Skip to Content

The Absolute Best Times to Visit Finland (For All Budgets)

The Absolute Best Times to Visit Finland (For All Budgets)

What's the best time to visit Finland?

The best time to visit Finland depends on your interests: summer (June–August) for warm-weather activities like hiking and city exploration, and winter (November–March) for the Northern Lights and snow sports. Summer provides long days for enjoying national parks and festivals in Helsinki, while winter allows for unique experiences such as skiing and dog sledding in snowy Lapland.

Finland, one of the Nordic countries, is the best place to visit if you are looking for dramatic, wild nature in Europe. The stunning countryside is the best reason to visit Finland.

You can explore polar landscapes in the far north of Lapland, visit the many islands along the coast, or hike through forests, lakes, and peatlands in the center. The capital, Helsinki, is also worth a visit for its historic buildings and modern design.

Visiting Finland is all about getting the timing right, especially since seasonal differences are so dramatic. Here is a quick guide to help you decide the best time to visit the country, as well as when you can beat the crowds and save some money.

Overall Best Time to Visit Finland

Photo of a green trolley making its way down the tracks in Helsinki during June, one of the overall best times to visit Finland

Helsinki,Finland- 06.21.2019: people and tram on street in Helsinki Old Town, .Helsinki is the capital city and most populous municipality of Finland/Finn Stock/Shutterstock

The best time for hiking or exploring Helsinki is the summer (June–August), while if you want to do polar activities like see the Northern Lights, you should visit in winter.

Since it’s located so far north, Finland has drastic differences between its seasons. The summer in Helsinki is warm and mild. Average temperatures in July are around 71 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the country has a similar climate.

Summer days are also very long. In Helsinki, June and July usually have 19 days of sunlight, with the sun setting at 11 PM. Further north in Lapland, the sun doesn’t set at all in the summer, giving you plenty of time to explore.

Summer weather is perfect for exploring Finland’s national parks and islands. You can go hiking, swimming, canoeing, and cycling.

The Aland archipelago in the south is a popular summer destination among Finns and perfect for a low-key vacation. Summer is one of the best seasons to explore Helsinki as well. The warmer weather means you can sit outside on café terraces and walk around.

This is also peak festival season, with popular events like:

If the main reason you are visiting Finland is to experience a quintessential Nordic winter, then you should visit during the winter months (November–March). Make no mistake, winter in Finland is bitterly cold, especially in the far north of Lapland.

Temperatures in Rovaniemi, Lapland’s biggest city, average 12 degrees Fahrenheit but can drop as low as -35 degrees. Those who bundle up and prepare for the cold are rewarded with a glimpse at polar landscapes and the traditional Sámi way of life that is only possible in the winter.

This is the best season for:

  • Skiing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog sledding

If you want to see the Northern Lights, the winter is also the best time to visit.

Cheapest Time to Visit Finland

Reindeer pulling a wooden sled through a snow-covered forest with smiling children in the background

BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Finland is during the fall (September–October), which sees far fewer visitors than other seasons. Demand is much lower for tourism in the fall, so you can snag discounts on accommodations.

In Rovaniemi, you can find hotel discounts of up to 30%. You can also find good deals on flights to Finland in the fall. The absolute cheapest month to fly into Helsinki is January, but October is the second-cheapest month to go.

Tourism demand is lower, and there are no major holidays that would drive the price of flights up. This is a good time to save money on visiting Finland’s national parks and southern natural areas.

It hasn’t gotten too cold or snowy yet (average high temperatures around Helsinki in October hover around 48 degrees Fahrenheit). However, there are fewer tourists than in the summer, so prices are lower in smaller towns. Expect beautiful fall foliage, crisp weather for hiking, and even foraging opportunities.

Least Busy Time to Visit Finland

Tram and vehicles pass a photographer standing on the street during the least busy time to visit Finland, as seen from a low-exposure image

Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Finland is from the mid-late spring (April–May). Fall also sees fewer visitors at Finland’s most popular attractions. Spring is the sweet season for avoiding crowds in all of Finland’s regions.

In the summer, Helsinki and the southern islands are packed with vacationing Finns and foreigners. Meanwhile, the ski resorts and Lapland are crowded (and expensive) from November to March.

By April, the crowds have died down throughout Finland, and you can explore many places without worrying about long lines or full hotels.

Easter brings crowds, but other than that, this is a quiet month. Lapland still has snow during this time, so you can explore winter activities without many people around. May is a lot warmer, and even up north, the snow is melting.

On the Aland Islands, temperatures are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit during this month. It’s still too cold for swimming, but you can go hiking or cycling. This is also a good month to visit Finland’s national parks without the worst of the crowds.

Visit in May, and you can experience one of Finland’s wildest holidays, Vappu. Vappu, celebrated on May 1st, celebrates the arrival of summer and warm weather.

Expect massive parades, stands selling festive souvenirs, and booze-filled street parties. It also coincides with May Day, a worker’s celebration, so many people take advantage of the time off to go on vacation.

Worst Time to Visit Finland

Night photo of the Santa Clause Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland, pictured during the winter, the worst time to visit Finland

Winter night view of Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland in Finland/Smelov/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Finland is during the worst of the winter, in December and January when the weather is bitterly cold and there is no sun. Unless you are out to experience Finland’s polar delights, winter, in general, is not the best time to visit.

Temperatures are bitterly cold throughout the country. Even in the south, around Helsinki, you can expect few days when the weather is above freezing.

It’s better to visit in the fall or spring when temperatures are milder. Smaller towns and tourist destinations tend to shut down outside of the main tourist season. Expect hotels, restaurants, and even tourist attractions to be closed from October to April in rural Finland, so there isn’t as much to do in the winter.

Even if you’re visiting to experience Arctic activities, December and January are the worst months to visit because of the lack of daylight. In Rovaniemi, December and January only have two to three hours of sunlight, which doesn’t give you much time to spend outdoors.

It’s better to visit later in winter because there is already a drastic increase in sunlight by February. The benefit of visiting in December and January is that you get to experience the festive Christmas season.

This is particularly fun in Rovaniemi, which claims to be the home of Santa Claus and even has the Santa Claus Village amusement park. The Park is open all year round but is most festive around Christmas, thanks to the decorations and seasonal events.

Finland by Month: Climate & Activities

Bridge to the Olavinlinna Olofsborg, located in Savonlinna, during the best time to go to Finland

Vitaly Titov/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Finland? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


January in Finland is very cold, with temperatures typically ranging from -10 to -1°F (-23 to -18°C) in the south and even colder in the north.

This month is perfect for experiencing the magical Northern Lights, enjoying winter sports like skiing in Lapland, and participating in traditional Finnish sauna followed by an invigorating dip in an ice hole.


February continues with frigid weather, ideal for attending the Sami cultural festivals in Lapland, ice fishing on frozen lakes, and visiting the unique SnowCastle of Kemi with its snow hotel, ice restaurant, and chapel.


As winter slowly transitions to spring, temperatures in Finland range from -6 to 20°F (-21 to -6°C). March is great for late-season skiing, witnessing the start of the ice melting, and enjoying the longer daylight hours for outdoor activities.


Spring temperatures in April range from 18 to 39°F (-8 to 4°C). It’s an ideal time for exploring the awakening nature on hikes, visiting the cities of Helsinki and Turku for cultural experiences, and enjoying Easter celebrations with Finnish traditions.


May sees warmer temperatures from 32 to 59°F (0 to 15°C). Explore the Finnish archipelago, enjoy the blooming landscapes, and experience the Vappu festival on May 1st, a significant spring celebration with picnics and outdoor parties.


Summer arrives with temperatures between 46 to 68°F (8 to 20°C). June offers opportunities for enjoying the Midnight Sun, especially in Lapland, attending traditional Midsummer (Juhannus) celebrations with bonfires, and exploring Finland’s national parks in their lush summer greenery.


July maintains mild temperatures from 54 to 72°F (12 to 22°C). It’s a popular month for visiting the coastal cities and engaging in water activities, attending music festivals, and exploring the vibrant Finnish countryside.


Temperatures in August range from 52 to 70°F (11 to 21°C). Visit the Helsinki Festival for cultural events, enjoy the crayfish season with traditional parties, and explore the Lakeland region with its thousands of lakes.


As fall begins, temperatures range from 41 to 59°F (5 to 15°C). September is perfect for berry and mushroom picking in the forests, enjoying the autumn foliage, and visiting the annual Helsinki Design Week.


October sees cooler temperatures from 32 to 48°F (0 to 9°C). Enjoy the autumn colors in national parks like Nuuksio, visit the charming old town of Porvoo, and experience the beginning of the Northern Lights season in northern Finland.


Fall temperatures in November range from 23 to 37°F (-5 to 3°C). This month is ideal for visiting the cities for their cultural offerings, enjoying traditional Finnish cuisine, and preparing for the upcoming Christmas season with markets and festivities.


Winter brings colder temperatures ranging from 14 to 30°F (-10 to -1°C). December is festive with Christmas celebrations, skiing and winter sports in the north, and experiencing the unique Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, right at the Arctic Circle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gorgeous view of the Northern Lights over Hamnoy in Finland

Piotr Grzeslak/Shutterstock

Here are a few of the most common questions people have asked about visiting Finland:

What is the best month to visit Finland?

The best month to visit Finland is August, which has warm, pleasant weather and fewer crowds than the rest of summer. For winter activities, the best month to visit is March.

What is the cheapest time of year to go to Finland?

Fall and spring are the cheapest times of year to go to Finland. These seasons have the lowest tourism demand, so you can save money on hotels.

When can you see the Northern Lights in Finland?

The Northern Lights are visible in Finland from September to early April. The best time to visit is around the spring equinox when there are the fewest clouds.

How many days are enough for Finland?

Seven days are enough to see the best that Finland has to offer and go on a few laid-back adventures in nature.

Is Finland affordable to visit?

Finland isn’t affordable to visit. The cost of living is high, so expect to pay a lot of money for hotels, food, and activities. You can save some money by visiting outside of peak season times when prices tend to be lower.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Finland?

The best time to visit Finland depends on the seasonal activities you want to do. If you want to explore Helsinki, go hiking, or lounge on the beach, visit in the summer, from June to August. For skiing and spotting the Northern Lights, visit during the winter (with the best conditions from February to March).

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Finland has to offer. Happy travels!