Tourist attractions in Finland – Top 30 cities and towns to visit
There are lots of Tourist attractions in Finland and although the country’s biggest tourist attraction is its nature there are still some great cities and towns that you should not skip once you visit Finland! Here is the list of Top 30 cities and towns to visit in Finland with map and great pictures!
Tourist attractions in Finland – Top Cities and Towns
Who wouldn’t know Helsinki, Finland’s largest city is also its capital and one of the most popular cities to visit. It is an industrial center and the largest port in the country.
Helsinki will attract you at first glance. Do not forget to make a trip to one of its islands. Helsinki Cathedral, Ateneum Art Museum or Esplanade Park are among the best places to visit here.
Helsinki, Finland by Pöllö
Tampere is a city in the southern part of Finland, which boasts the title of the largest inland city in Scandinavia.
It is surrounded by large lakes which are the city’s main attractions. You can enjoy great views from Näsinneula observation tower or Pyynikki observation tower.
Tampere Townhall, Finland by Leo-setä
Turku is the oldest city in the country dating back to the 13th century and until the 19th century it was the most important city of Finland and also served as its capital. It is the fifth largest city in the country and is a home to the oldest Finnish university.
Today it has approximately 175,000 inhabitants. Once here you can visit its Maritime Centre, Turku Castle or Cathedral among others.
Turku Castle, Finland by Jaakko Hakulinen
Rauma has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to its historic wooden houses. Rauma was historically maritime city, although in the 20th century, it came to the fore and paper industry.
The Old Town is today the largest historical wooden superstructure standing in Scandinavia boasting some 600 buildings on the area of 28 hectares. Once you stroll its streets, visit Maritime Museum or Marela Museum House.
Wooden houses in Rauma, Finland by gronman www.gronmanphotos.com
The city of Porvoo can be found along the southernmost coastlines of Finland. It is a medieval town and you simply must visit its old town center along with its Cathedral from the 15th century.
The Runeberg Home Museum or Brunberg Candy Factory Shop are just some more attractions that this city offers.
Porvoo, Finland by Anna B
Rovaniemi is the old city situated in the north, not far from the Arctic Circle (only about 10 kilometers). Its history dates back to the Stone Age when it was a place of settlements but the city’s name was first mentioned in the 15th century.
It is a hometown of Santa Claus so once you are here, do not forget to visit its Office, Village, Park and many other attractions related to this famous figure. This is why the city is quite popular among travelers.
Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland by flightlog
If you are flying to Finland it is very likely that you will be flying through the largest airport in Finland situated in the city of Vantaa. This city and airport serves to all the people travelling from-to Helsinki and as such, Vantaa became really busy place.
Although majority of people just pass through the city it also has some interesting places to visit and explore. Here You can visit Heureka – the Finnish Science Centre, Aviation Museum, or nearby lake beach known as Kuusijarvi.
15th century church in Vantaa, Finland by Jisis
The city of Oulu is one of the most populous cities in Finland and is spread across few small islands which are connected by bridges and pedestrians zones. No larger city can be found north of Oulu.
Although the city lacks the historic buildings, its center is very charming and if you take a walk within pleasant park on the island of Linnansaari it can be a pleasant stopover while traveling through the northern parts of Finland. Its Nallikari Beach is also one of the city’s best attractions.
Oulu City Hall, Finland by Estormiz
If you like skiing then you must visit Rukatunturi, known in Finland simply as Ruka. You will be pleased by about 500 kilometers of cross country skiing trails, which is quite enough even for 2 weeks holidays.
Skiing competitions are held here throughout the winter months. With 34 slopes, you can ski here from November till May.
Rukatunturi ski resort, Finland by Timo Newton-Syms
Right in the heart of the Finnish lake region of Saimaa lies the romantic city of Savonlinna. It is situated on two islands between the lakes Haapavesi and Pihlavesi. Due to the numerous monuments the city has become a popular destination for tourists and those who visit it will not regret.
The most important and dominant landmark of the city is magnificent 15th century Olavinlinna Castle towering on a rocky island. The best time to visit this town is during its annual international Opera Festival that is held at the castle every summer.
Savonlinna Castle, Finland by pixabay.com
Espoo is the second largest city in Finland situated at the shores of the Gulf of Finland. It has become known worldwide for the company Nokia Corporation.
Kaitalampi Lake, Serena Waterpark or Haltia – The Finnish Nature Centre are just few of many Espoo attractions to visit.
Espoo Cathedral, Espoo, Finland by Tomisti
The city of Jyväskylä has approximately 84,000 residents and is renowned for its unique architecture primarily associated with the name of the famous local architect Alvar Aalto. It has become a mecca for lovers of architecture from around the world who come to evaluate and admire its architectural arts. Alvar Aalto Museum specializing in architecture and design is the number one tourist attraction in the city.
The best view of the city and its surroundings can be enjoyed from the tower of the transmitter, which has also a restaurant. The transmitter now also houses a small but well arranged Museum of Finnish nature.
Jyväskylä City Church in Finland by Nusho
Kuopio is not so interesting as other cities in Finland, but it also has something to offer. The nearby Puijo Tower offers amazing views of the surrounding forests and lakes, while Kuopio Museum will show you a huge mammoth and other animals.
Puijo Tower will answer your question on why is Finland called a land of a thousand lakes.
Kuopio from Puijo Tower, Finland by Konstantin Hyppönen
One of the most popular ski resorts in Finland is known as Levi. 43 ski slopes and 27 lifts are a guarantee of great skiing experience in Finland. The resort’s position within the Arctic Circle is then a guarantee of snow cover during the majority part of the year.
More than a half of them are lit so you can ski here even during the nights. Cross country skiing is also very popular here. You can try it on more than 200 kilometers of tracks. Not far from here is another Igloo hotel, from where you can watch northern lights – Levi Igloos / Golden Crown.
Ski slopes in Levi, Finland by Erik Sindonen
Another ski resort in Finland which is further enhanced with spa services is that of Saariselkä village. If you wish to see some nice valleys and waterfalls then you must visit Urho Kekkonen National Park which lies next to the village.
Saariselka village is well hidden in the forests, Finland by Argus fin
Not far from the village is then one of the most famous and unique hotel resorts in all of Europe – Kakslauttanen igloo village. You can stay in one of their amazing glass igloos over night while watching Northern Lights.
Kakslauttanen igloo village, Saariselkä, Finland by Tarja Mitrovic
In southern Finland, about 100 km from Helsinki, is where one of the major winter sports centers is located. Being a modern and one of the largest cities in Finland, Lahti offers a number of cultural and architectural monuments.
Once here, do not forget to visit Sibelius Hall or Ski Museum.
Lahti port in Finland by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho
Lappeenranta is the capital of South Karelia region situated on the shores of Lake Saimaa. This old spa town has become a popular destination for tourists, especially Russians. It is a home to the largest lake marina in Finland.
Although you will not find many sights here, Lappeenranta is a very pleasant place to spend a few days at the lakeshore. Lappeenranta Fortress, Sandcastle Lappeenranta or Angry Birds Theme Park are just a few of many attractions that worth visiting.
Sandcastle in Lappeenranta, Finland by Edvard Majakari
Mariehamn is a port city where lot of ferries and cargo ships arrive every day. The port is definitely the main attraction in this city.
Once here, do not forget to visit Museumship Pommern as well as Aland Maritime Museum for a one ticket price.
Mariehamn, Finland by Mikael Parkvall
The small town of Naantali is located in the southwest of Finland, not far from Turku. It is known mainly for one of the most popular theme parks of Northern Europe – Moomin World. It is definitely the most popular Finnish family attractions.
Other places of interest include the monastery and the nice little dock. In summer Naantali changes into a bustling holiday town that is full of tourists.
Naantali port and 15th century church, Finland by Pöllö
If you like fishing, canoeing, hiking or skiing then Kuusamo town would be ideal destination for you. Once here, you can try hiking through Karhunkierros hiking trail which is one of the most visited places in the area.
Appart from the nearby famous skiing resort of Ruka, or other wild nature activities such as bear watching or husky excursions the town also has some sights to explore. You can visit Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Centre, Kuusamon Ulkomuseo open-air museum or Water Tower from where you can enjoy some great views.
Ruka cottage in Kuusamo, Finland by Timo Newton-Syms
Vaasa is less known town in Finland. However there are lots of things to do. Open air museum Bragegården will show you how the city looked like before a great fire in 1852.
Tropiclandia water park is among its main attractions, but there are also some more museums and national parks around.
Ruins of the St. Maria Church in the old Vaasa, Finland by vaasalaisia.info
City of Hämeenlinna is a pleasant stop on the route between Helsinki and Tampere. You can take a short walk across the main square towards a peaceful park on the shore of the lake. It is here where you can find a huge castle Hämeenlinna (known simply as Häme), the main landmark of the city.
And if you’re a fan of more modern history, right next to it you can find the artillery museum with an extensive exhibition of weapons mainly from the last century.
Hame Castle, Hämeenlinna, Finland by Amy West
At the very end of the Gulf of Bothnia, on the border with Sweden, lies the town of Tornio, which is the southern gateway of the common border.
Among its main attractions include regional museum, art museums but also interesting wooden church from the late 17th century.
Orthodox Church in Tornio, Finland by Matthew Ross
Kemi is another important tourist center especially in the winter when it houses snow castle Lumilinna. It is here, where you can sleep in the ice hotel or taste some of the delicious Finnish meals in ice restaurant.
In winter you can also take a trip by icebreaker Sampo, which anchored in Kemi, and today operates mainly as a tourist attraction.
Dining room in the SnowCastle, Kemi, Finland by Art of Backpacking
Inari is a small town on the very north part of Finland. It is situated at the shores of the large lake, just a few kilometers from Norway.
Inari lake is the third largest lake in Finland and a beautiful place. Its surface is dotted with thousands of islands and islets that make up a truly fascinating scenery. It is one of the most wildest places in all of Europe.
Inari lake, Finland by Karlis Strazdins
Joensuu is the capital of North Karelia region. The city was founded in 19th century and is now home to University of Eastern Finland, which is one of the most important in the country.
Orthodox Church, Kirkkokatu, Joensuu, Finland by Matthew Ross
Pori is a coastal city west of Tampere which is popular mainly for its renaissance architecture of the late 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to architecture the city is famous for its Yyteri sandy beach and international jazz festival.
old Town Hall of Pori, Finland by Graaf
Hanko is the southernmost town in Finland and has been known as famous recreational area since the times of Russian Empire. Hanko was founded in 1874 and due to its location was an important port.
You will like this town especially if you like the sea and beaches as it is here where you can find several dozen kilometers of sandy beaches.
Hanko, Finland by দেবর্ষি রায়
Hamina is a small town in the eastern part of the southern coast of Finland, near the border with Russia. Among toutists it is famous mainly for its fortress from the 18th century.
Town Center still retains star-plan of the fortress and especially a large part of the fortification itself.
Hamina fortress in Finland by Pitkäkaula
30. Your tip?
Is there any beautiful town or city in Finland that should be on this list? If yes, then this position is waiting for it! Tell me below in the comments so that I could add it here! 🙂
A comment ? Write there !
peter beattie Le 15/01/2017 à 17h26
Just been to Turku 4 days on a business trip ,,January so pretty dark but WHAT WONDERFUL PEOPLE
michael shambrook Le 24/04/2016 à 15h12
I lived in Turku for a year, it is a great place. I also travelled to many city’ on your list, i loved Rovaneimi.
Many thanks for taking the time to make a list.Truly great to have some memories come flooding back.
Julius Szabo Le 24/04/2016 à 15h25
Nice to hear that! With such a positive comment my work seems not to be useless! 🙂 Thank you Michael!
Anu Kemppainen Le 23/10/2015 à 13h19
Kajaani, here is northest stone castle in the world.
Julius Szabo Le 13/12/2015 à 2h50
Hi Anu, thanks for your comment, unfortunately I cannot find a picture that I could use on this article, don’t you have some, so that I can add Kajaani on the list as well? Thanks!
Merih Kaner Le 23/10/2015 à 11h10
Very nice list. But there are some more places to visit in Finland.
Maybe Seinäjoki? City Hall and church, both are designed by Alvar Aalto, are nice places. Also in my opinion Seinäjoki has one of the most beautiful libraries in Finland.
Tommi Le 23/10/2015 à 7h53
You really should add Kalajoki. There is a huge Sandy Beach and a ton off tourist attractions in the area. Waterparks, hotels, camping area etc. Very Beautiful place especially at summer!
Julius Szabo Le 23/10/2015 à 11h18
Thanks, Tommi, for your tip, that beach looks really amazing!
Mare Ann Ylipelto Le 09/11/2015 à 4h27
Thanks for sharing. My husband is from Finland, and this may be the closest I get to visiting there! Do you know the name Gabor Szabo?
Mare Ann Ylipelto Le 09/11/2015 à 4h29
Also, my husband’s father fought in the Winter War.
Carolyn Le 23/10/2015 à 0h38
Suomussalmi: the town burned to the ground by its inhabitants during the winter war and location of the house museum showing how people lived in the old days.
Raate: location of the Winter War museum and underground bunkers used to defend Finland from invaders.
Julius Szabo Le 23/10/2015 à 1h07
Never heard of Winter War so far, I need to extend my knowledge! Thank you, Carolyn, you have just learnt me something new!
connie Le 25/10/2015 à 1h38
I just hung up from my Uncle, he and my father lived in Turku during the winter war. we talked about this war in our phone conversation and minutes later i am reading your post! You do need to extend your knowledge, it is quite interesting! According to my uncle, in September 1939, the Russian government promised Joseph Stalin Finland for a Christmas gift. The Russia attacked Finland and the Finns fought back for 4 years! SISU!!
connie Le 25/10/2015 à 14h35
Helena Isotalus Le 22/10/2015 à 19h56
Kokkola is worth visiting. There is a nice mainly wooden old town and especially in summer nice places to visit , like the island called Tankar.
Julius Szabo Le 22/10/2015 à 20h04
Hi Helena, thanks for your comment, good tip! There is also nice 16th century stone church in Kokkola and that island looks great as well!
Mare Ann Ylipelto Le 09/11/2015 à 4h24
My husband is from Kokkola, born in Toholampi, and migrated to Astoria, OR. I have not been there yet, but still hope to.
Tanja Le 22/10/2015 à 10h39
Puu-Käpylä wooden district
A wooden garden city built in the early 1920’s. Built for working class. Architects Martti Välikangas and Akseli Toivanen.
Julius Szabo Le 22/10/2015 à 16h15
Thanks Tanja for your valuable comments!
Tanja Le 22/10/2015 à 10h37
Unesco’s World Heritage List brings Suomenlinna together with a long list of cultural and natural sites that are considered common property of all of humanity. Welcome to Suomenlinna! Helsinki.
Annette Crawford Le 22/10/2015 à 2h08
Would like to visit Kauhava since my grandmother was from there. My grandfather was born in Lehtimäki and married grandmother in Kauhava before leaving for the USA.
Kathy Holler Le 22/10/2015 à 1h18
I think Mänttä should be on the list- it’s a beautiful small city close to Tampere…those wishing to go I can tell you that late June/early July is a great time when the strawberries are ripe and sold at all the outdoor markets..In helsinki you must visit the church that is carved out of rock..one of the first things people notice is how clean the cities and roads are- and how the underbush has been cleared from forests near the hi-ways. This discourages animals from venturing too close to the road and always motorists to see them if they do venture close..
Camilla Le 21/10/2015 à 23h47
Maybe Pietarsaari could be added Zacharias Topelius had a cottage there and Pietarsaari is quite cosy 🙂
Milla Le 21/10/2015 à 22h59
Ämmänsaari should be on this list!
Vero Le 21/10/2015 à 17h41
I’m from Buenos Aires ( the other extreme of the world), luckily I have been twice in Finland and I could know more than half of the cities you have advertised in the blogg.
I’m wishing back there to watching the other half and still more. I adore Finland!
Vanessa Le 20/10/2015 à 15h20
Porvoo sounds awesome! Any town that is well known for candy is a winner in my books and it looks so charming and lively!
Viktoria Le 20/10/2015 à 12h28
Hey, you forgot Kotka! It can be #30 🙂
Julius Szabo Le 20/10/2015 à 12h36
Thanks, Viktoria, I will replace #30 with your tip! 🙂 Any more towns you would like to see on this list?
antonette - we12travel Le 19/10/2015 à 21h33
When in Finland, I usually travel for nature, but I have to say that Helsinki is one of my favorite capitals in Europe, such a relaxed atmosphere! I’ve also been to Tampere and really enjoyed that, too!
Julius Szabo Le 21/10/2015 à 9h31
Majority of people travel for nature in Finland, but there are also cities and towns that worth visiting! 🙂
riitta Le 19/10/2015 à 13h37
The igloo village picture belongs to Saariselkä not Rovaniemi!
Julius Szabo Le 19/10/2015 à 13h57
Thank you riitta, the error has been fixed 😉
Sonal of Drifter Planet Le 19/10/2015 à 11h33
Awesome list! #6 has been a part of my wishlist for a while 🙂
Jenna Le 19/10/2015 à 7h43
I’ve really been wanting to visit Finland lately–it sounds like such an amazing country! Turku looks gorgeous! And the igloos would be so cool. Thanks for the great list of spots to visit!
Meg Jerrard Le 19/10/2015 à 5h08
Great list! Rovaniemi was my favorite – for some reason I decided to travel to Finland during February one year so it was very cold!! But Lapland was so magical at that time of year and I had a truly amazing experience. Highly recommend Rovaniemi for anyone who heads north!
Elaine J. Masters Le 19/10/2015 à 1h28
So much to see. Thanks for this detailed list and wonderful pictures. I look forward to visiting Finland.
Tatiana / The Happy Jetlagger Le 18/10/2015 à 21h30
Finland in winter is definitely too cold for me – but the Igloo hotel makes me want to change that! Must be so exciting to sleep there!
Mel Jones @ Footsteps on the Globe Le 18/10/2015 à 21h28
Hey Julius! Your town guide is awesome! Particularly the igloo village, I’ve seen it before and would love to give it a go, that would be such a great stay whilst in Finland falling asleep in the snow watching the stars, dreaming until then 🙂
Mar Le 18/10/2015 à 4h29
Santa’s hotel 🙂 been on my list for so long. Although I am not sure I could survive the cold winter in Finland, I see how snow makes the place so much more fairy-tale like. Thanks for this nice summary!
Gemma Le 18/10/2015 à 2h01
Rovaniemi Igloo village and that snow castle would be my top choices. I really don’t like the cold though!
Marissa Tejada Le 17/10/2015 à 16h40
Finland is on my bucket list! Love your round up. I’d love to go one spring. So many places there to visit…