Top 5 Must Visit Cities in Finland

Finland has a lot to offer from lively, vibrant cities to boreal forest, national parks and beautiful archipelagos. The Finnish nature is always just step away from the heart of its cities and so, whether you are looking for an urban adventure or a nature experience while you study in Finland, here are the must see destinations for the most fun-filled Finnish cities!

Helsinki

In Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, you can always find something to do or see. This seaside city, awarded with City of Design status by Unesco, is filled with events, restaurants and cafés, Nordic design and architecture. Within the city center you can visit one of the world renowned museums, art galleries and libraries, stroll the boulevard for boutiques and markets or even experience Finnish culture by taking a dip in the Baltic sea from the brand new design sauna right in the heart of the city! The public saunas of Helsinki are open all year round, even through winter.

Various boat tours leave from the main market square so you can hop on to see the stunning archipelago area of Helsinki shore. In Helsinki, the Finnish nature is always within reach. You can explore the seaside trails that are easily accessible with public transport from the city, or take a trip to one of the many national parks and nature centers around the Helsinki area.

View of the Helsinki skyline
Helsinki

Edunation’s partner universities in Helsinki:

tampere

This city between two lakes is the number one travel destination for Finns within their home country! The atmosphere in Tampere is laid-back and it has a rich art and culture scene with events and festivals happening all year round. Tampere is an old industrial center, nowadays known for its red-tile architecture and a rapid running through the town center. The old factory buildings are repurposed and now work as quirky museums, galleries and exhibitions, restaurants, bars and other venues for fun activities.

In Tampere you can easily get around by foot, or take the tram or the bus to explore some of the various nature and park areas around the two lakes surrounding the city, the ever-popular public saunas of Tampere by it’s lakes, or the amusement park Särkänniemi and the Tampere landmark, observation tower Näsinneula. Tampere is a growing city with a lot of character and something to do for everyone on every day of the year.

Photo of the rapid and the industrial buildings in Tampere city center
Tampere rapid

Edunation’s partner university in Tampere:

Turku

Turku is the old capital and the oldest city in Finland with a rich history and a central European medieval feel to it. This charming port city is easy to navigate by foot so it’s a good idea to walk along the river Aura that flows through the city from the main market square all the way to the medieval Turku Castle by the sea and discover what Turku has to offer. Most of the main attractions are along this river – it’s not called the heart and soul of Turku for nothing! There are many local events in Turku all year round, such as music- and art festivals and medieval markets. Whether you are interested in exploring museums, architecture, eating or shopping, you will have a fun time in Turku.

Aerial view of the Turku cathedral
Turku cathedral

Porvoo

Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland, founded nearly 800 years ago. This beautiful archipelago town is known for its wooden town, charming cafés, and the colorful riverside warehouses. Porvoo is idyllic and cozy, picturesque, even with its pastel-colored wooden houses, cobbled streets and riverbank views. This town especially thrives in the summer. It’s old town is lively with local cafés, restaurants, fairs, exhibitions and it’s famous interior design shops. You can explore the city and the Castle Hill park, an old fortress now reclaimed by wilderness by foot or rent a bike and explore the nature, woods and fields right by the city.

You can take a day trip to the accessible Porvoo from Helsinki by bus or a steamboat, or stay in one of the historic red-painted riverbank houses that have been converted into modern apartments and cottages.

View of the Porvoo old town from the riverbank
Porvoo old town

Rovaniemi

As the capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi is a popular tourist destination all year round with lots of activities to offer both indoors and outdoors. From Rovaniemi you have easy access to Lapland’s breathtaking nature, it’s national parks and hiking routes, skiing centers, reindeer farms and sleigh rides. Rovaniemi is considered by Finns to be the home town of Santa Claus and the unique experience of Santa Claus Village is open for visitors throughout the whole year. Rovaniemi is located at the Arctic circle so depending on the time of your visit you might be able to catch sight of the Northern Lights or experience the Midnight sun – in other words, 24 hours of daylight! 

While you study in Finland, you can easily reach Rovaniemi with the main railway line. Major stations are located in every Edunation partner university city. 

A signpost pointing to famous sights in Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi signpost
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