Finland is a Nordic country situated in Northern Europe that borders Sweden, Norway, and Russia. With its unspoiled nature, vibrant cities, intriguing cultural attractions, and exciting outdoor activities, Finland is a great destination for any traveler.
Whether you want to explore the majestic forests and fjords, get to know Finnish culture and traditions, or just enjoy the peacefulness of Finnish nature, you should plan a visit to Finland.
But you might be wondering when the best time to visit Finland might be. We’ve got you covered. We’ll share the best, cheapest, least crowded, and worst time to visit Finland for various travelers, ultimately allowing you to decide the best option for your trip goals.
Plus, we’ll share highlights of Finland, offer suggestions for activities around the country, and answer frequently asked questions about planning a trip there. By the end, you’ll be stocked with information and ready to plan the trip of your dreams!
Why You Should Visit Finland
Firstly, why should you visit Finland? There are a few reasons. Finland is known for its pristine nature, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors.
From Lakeland to Lapland, you can enjoy activities like fishing, hiking, biking, and skiing. If you’re a fan of trees and mountains, you’ll be a huge fan of Finland. If you’re looking for a cultural experience, Finland offers plenty of museums and galleries to explore.
You can also visit a range of unique Finnish attractions, such as the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. The Finnish capital, Helsinki, is a vibrant and modern city with plenty of cultural attractions. And the food?
Finland has some of the best and freshest seafood in Europe. Finally, Finland is an excellent country to visit if you’re interested in catching the Aurora Borealis, or “Northern Lights,” which is most visible in the Lapland region.
Overall Best Time to Visit Finland
Summertime is the overall best time to visit Finland. During the summer months of June through August, you’ll receive the warmest temperatures, which is crucial in an overall cold country like Finland.
Temperatures hover around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (or 18 degrees Celsius). The days are the longest during the summer, so you’ll enjoy the sunshine for hours each day.
This allows for plenty of time outdoors to explore Finland’s forests and fjords, as well as its many lakes. It’s also the best time to enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, camping, biking, and arctic water sports.
The summer months are also when the landscape is the most picturesque. You’ll see blossoming flowers and bright blue skies.
Plus, there are quite a few special events and festivals that happen during these months, so plan your trip around any particular ones you may be interested in, such as:
- Midnight Sun Film Festival
- Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival
- Pori Jazz Festival
- Ilosaarirock (Rock)
- Kaustinen Folk Music Festival
- Seinäjoen Tangomarkkinat (Tango)
Cheapest Time to Visit Finland
The cheapest time to visit Finland is in November. This marks the shoulder season between summer and winter when there are fewer visitors after the summer sunshine begins to wear off and before the winter holiday season begins.
November is an excellent time to go if you are looking to score deals on almost everything, from flights to accommodation to excursions.
Because the market demand is low, it’s easier to get deals and discounts across the country, especially if you look on the right websites, such as Skyscanner and Booking.com. Plus, it’s an excellent time to go if you want to catch the Northern Lights.
Weather-wise, temperatures in November can range from 28 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit (or -2 to 1 degree Celsius). And since November is the start of winter in Finland, you should expect some snowfall as well as rain, so pack accordingly and be prepared with slush-friendly shoes.
Least Busy Time to Visit Finland
The least busy time to visit Finland is between October and early December. Like our description of November above, this period marks a time that isn’t as warm and pleasant but also isn’t cold or snowy enough for wintertime adventures.
You are left with fewer options, but it’s still a great time to visit, especially if you want to avoid the tourist crowds at all costs.
Plus, you’ll still find plenty of events, festivals, and celebrations in Finland during this time. So if you’re interested in getting a better understanding of Finnish culture, this shoulder season is still an optimal time to visit the country.
Finally, the least busy time is optimal for couples and solo travelers who are looking for a more relaxing time away from the bustle of summertime tourists.
Worst Time to Visit Finland
Similar to the cheapest and the least busy, November is often seen as the worst time to visit Finland for all the reasons we’ve listed above, but we can briefly recap them here:
- The weather is cold but not cold enough to partake in wintertime sports or holiday fun
- The weather is also rainy and slushy, making it less ideal for city exploration
- There is less to do during this month in terms of events and festivals
- The tourist crowds are smaller, so there’s less to do in terms of socializing
Overall, November is the least ideal month to visit Finland. However, the worst time to visit depends on what you’d like to prioritize.
If you want to prioritize saving money, avoiding crowds, or seeing the Aurora Borealis, the worst time to visit is during the peak summer months between June and August.
If you want to enjoy as much sunshine as possible and get a taste of the extremely long days this Northern country provides for a short part of the year, then visiting during the winter months of December to February might be the worst option for you.
Things to Consider
Finland is an excellent tourist country, and the industry makes it easy and straightforward to visit. However, here are a few things to consider right off the bat when you begin planning your trip:
- Know your budget. Finland is not a cheap country, but there are plenty of ways to keep costs under control. Research the cheapest time to visit, plan your trips and accommodation ahead of time for better deals, and consider making an itinerary so you don’t overspend.
- Northern Lights. If seeing the Northern Lights is your primary reason for visiting Finland, then you should plan accordingly. The best time to see them in Finland is between October and April.
- Transportation. Finland has various transportation options, from boats to buses and trains to planes. You should research the best ways to get around in Finland for your top sights and comfort levels.
- Currency. Finland uses the Euro, so be sure to plan your finances accordingly. Most tourist sites and attractions take credit cards, but some smaller shops and restaurants only accept cash.
- Safety. Finland is arguably one of the safest countries to visit. You should follow the same safety guidelines you’d use in any other place, but the greatest threat in Finland might be a storm or blizzard, so pack accordingly.
Activities to Consider
Now that you feel equipped with baseline information on Finland let’s get into what types of activities you can do there. There is a wide range of activities, including the following:
- Dog sledding
- Wildlife watching
- Aurora Borealis hunts
- Culture and history tours
- Amusement parks
- Food tours and cafes
- Sea cruises
- Visiting castles and cathedrals
- Nightlife in Helsinki
Specific Attractions to Consider
Finland is renowned for its natural beauty, from the Arctic region to untamed forests and from thousands of lakes to its pristine islands.
Here are some of the specific attractions to consider when planning your trip:
- Suomenlinna. Gorgeous walking trail, great for picture and picnics
- Oy Levi Ski Resort. Scenic slopes
- SantaPark. The Home Cavern of Santa Claus – Chrismas-themed family amusement park
- Santa Claus Village. Another Christmas-themed attraction open year-round
- Linnanmaki. Massive, family-friendly amusement park
- Ateneum. A museum with both Finnish and international art
- Heureka. Science center, great for kids
- Hatanpää Park Arboretum. Lovely trails for summertime walks
- Huvivaltio PowerPark. Expansive amusement park for rides and shopping
- Sandcastle Lappeenranta. Place to see incredible sand structures
- EMMA. Espoo Museum of Modern Art – popular modern art museum
- Löyly Helsinki. Luxurious seaside sauna and restaurant
- Finnish Museum of Natural History. Nature-focused museum collection and botanical gardens
- Kaivopuisto. A family-friendly walking park with views of the sea
List of the Best National Parks
Visiting National Parks for hiking, trekking, climbing, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and other activities is one of the best things to do in Finland.
Here are the top National Parks in the country:
- Koli National Park. One of the most eye-catching places in Finland
- Urho Kekkonen National Park. Stunning national park for hikers and skiers
- Nuuksio National Park. Lakes, forests, and captivating scenic views
- Oulanka National Park. 270-square km wilderness river valley
- Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. Popular park for summer hiking and winter skiing
- Helvetinjärvi National Park. Rugged national park with scenic gorges
- Repovesi National Park. A calming park with lakes, forests, and a scenic bridge
- Sipoonkorpi National Park. A relatively new national park great for picnics and grilling
- Pyhä-Luosto National Park. Where you can see fell tops and ancient ruins
- Riisitunturi National Park. Wild area, ideal for hiking and skiing
- Hossa National Park. Great area for lakeside camping
- Syöte National Park. Lovely area for biking trails
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions about planning your trip to Finland, check out our answers to some commonly asked questions below.
What month is the best to see Northern Lights in Finland?
The ideal time to see the Northern Lights in Finland is typically between November and March. This is when you have the highest chance of seeing them, as there are long periods of darkness and more clear nights.
How many days are enough for Finland?
Depending on your Finland bucket list, you can explore Finland within five to seven days. However, if you want to get a taste of everything Finland offers while going slower, we recommend spending at least two weeks there.
When is the best month to visit Helsinki?
Helsinki, the most populous city and capital of Finland, is a favorite destination for many travelers to Finland. The best month to visit for city exploration is between May and September, when the days are exceptionally long and the weather is nice and warm.
If you want to avoid many crowds, going in May and September (as opposed to June through August) is ideal. However, if you want the ultimate best weather and longest days possible, and don’t mind crowds or higher expenses, opt for the prime summer months.
What is a typical Finnish breakfast?
A typical, traditional Finnish breakfast consists of slat-cured salmon with bread and herb cheese, rice porridge, or traditional pies and pastries.
Is Finland worth visiting in the winter?
Yes! Finland is worth visiting in the winter for various reasons. It’s the best time to go if you’d like to partake in wintertime activities such as skin, snowshoeing, sledding, and more.
Plus, you’ll get to experience lots of holiday celebrations and events if you go during December. Finally, the winter’s darkness offers the best chance to catch the Aurora Borealis.
Can I get around Finland without a car?
Yes, it is possible to get around Finland without a car. Although a car is convenient, Finland also has excellent public transportation, including buses, trains, and trams. You can use these to get around both cities and rural areas.
What are the most popular activities in Finland?
Some of the most popular activities in Finland include exploring the landscape and nature, visiting national parks and museums, taking part in winter activities such as skiing and snowshoeing, and experiencing the cultural side of Finland.
Other popular activities include visiting lakeside cafes, taking a cruise on the Baltic Sea, and exploring the nightlife in Helsinki.
How long are the days in Finland during the summer?
The daytime in Finland during the summer months of June, July, and August are up to 19 hours long! This wide time frame leaves you with plenty of opportunities to explore the city, go on hikes, and enjoy the sunshine in any way you like!
Alternatively, the country experiences days with only 6 hours of sunlight during the winter. It’s important to be aware of and prepared for this if you plan on visiting in the winter.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Finland?
Visiting Finland offers a unique and meaningful experience that can’t be found anywhere else, and the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking to get out of your trip and what type of weather you most enjoy.
The summer offers sunny skies and long days, while the winter offers a snowy, picturesque landscape and dark, clear nights. Either way, you’re in for a treat if you end up visiting the beautiful country of Finland!