Want to know why you should visit Finland this winter? Read on! Last Updated: August 8, 2022

Finnish Lapland
Saariselka, Lapland

There is a reason why Finland is known as Winter Wonderland. This article pretty much explains it. 

If you are looking for a romantic getaway or a much-needed family holiday this winter, keep reading!

Firstly, did you know Finland has been voted the happiest country in the world for the fifth time in a row? After visiting the country myself, I see why!

The country has everything that you can ask for to lead a happy life – mesmerizing nature, well-governed, perfectly functional public services and a very low crime rate and inequality rate. 

Besides the above, here are 10 other reasons to visit this magical country (especially in winter):

1. Chase the Northern Lights

Lapland is the northernmost region of Finland, known for the Midnight Sun in the summer and Northern Lights in winter. 

If you don’t know what Northern Lights are  – they are also called Aurora Borealis and are beautiful dancing waves of light that appear in the dark sky during winter in Arctic countries like Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 

This is the no.1 reason why so many tourists flock to Finland during the winter months. 

I was lucky enough to spot the Northern Lights on my second and third night itself while I was there. (This was in November 2017)

Usually, the months from October to March are the best months to chase the Northern Lights.

If you are from India, you can reach out to The Backpacker Co. (budget trip) and The Villa Escape (luxury trip) to help you with the trip planning. 

Both the organisations are owned by the same set of people and they are the best team in India to help you plan your trip to Northern Lights destinations.

Northern Lights in Finland
My first sight of Norther Lights that could not be captured with the naked eye 🙂
2. Indulge in other winter activities

Besides going on a Northern Lights excursion, there are several other winter activities to indulge in Finnish Lapland.

I highly recommend you try – Snowmobiling, Snow Shoeing and Dog Sledding. 

Now, it is important to understand and reach out to ethical companies only for Dog Sledding. This article explains the process and other details regarding Dog Sledding in Finland quite well. 

A few other activities to be considered:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Saling on an Ice Breaker Boat
  • Ice Fishing
  • Ice Floating

Reach out to The Backpacker Co. and The Villa Escape to help you plan your winter activities better!

Snowmobiling in Finnish Lapland
Snowmobiling in Lapland
3. Stay in a Glass Igloo or an Ice Hotel

This is a MUST-DO experience in Finnish Lapland.

You also have a good chance to see the Northern Lights from the comforts of your Glass Igloo. 

It goes without saying that staying at the Ice Hotel will be a rather ‘cool’ (literally!) experience, but if you can’t bear the cold then staying in a Glass Igloo would be an ideal alternative.

One of the best places to stay for such an experience is Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. There are several others to choose from but this particular property is one of the best in that region.

Glass Igloo in Finnish Lapland
Glass Igloo in Lapland
4. Meet the ‘REAL’Santa Claus

Did you know that Finland is the home to Santa Claus? You may visit Finland any time of the year, you will always find Santa there to welcome you. 

The Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi  (capital of Finnish Lapland) offers a super fun experience all year round. Right from meeting Santa and visiting his office to interacting with his reindeer and elves, it is a magical sight to witness. 

Christmas is celebrated all year long in Santa Claus Village!

Of course, there are many more special events around Christmas time but you will still get a very Christmas-y vibe all year long.

Reindeer in Lapland
It is always Christmas in Lapland!
5. Experience the Finnish Sauna

A sauna is commonly used in Finnish homes. It is one of the biggest things Finland is known for. 

More than anything it is a necessity for the locals there given the cold weather conditions for over half of the year. 

The Finnish sauna is a mind and body cleansing experience, very different from the regular saunas that you know of. 

To understand the local culture of Finland, indulging in a Finnish sauna will be a great idea! 

It is a traditional experience that you can do it alone, with your friends or with a group of strangers. 

The Finnish do this often with their families where they sit back and relax for a while. 

There is no one particular place I would recommend for this experience. The entire country has it widely available.

Finnish Sauna
A glimpse of the Finnish Sauna
6. Visit the Lakeland region of Finland

Finland is a water-rich country with 188,000 lakes. 

During my 10-days in Finland, I got an opportunity to visit the Lakeland region of Finland – mainly Saimma and Lappeenranta. 

While these are summer destinations, it is still worthwhile to visit them during winter. 

It is a good contrast to Finnish Lapland. You won’t get to see as much snow and the scenery is also very different since you will have more lakes here. 

You may not be able to enjoy all the snow activities like Lapland but there is a lot more that the Lakeland region has to offer like:

  • Ice fishing 
  • Ice floating
  • Quad biking

And many more!

Make sure to spend at least 2 nights in this region of Finland if you want to make the most of your time there.

Lakeland region of Finland
Lakeland region of Finland
7. Take a Gold Panning Lesson

If you are fascinated by the world of gold, then you must visit the Tankavaara Gold Village in Lapland. Here, you can take a Gold Panning lesson where they will teach you how to pan gold. 

In this lesson, you will have a chance to dig through soil and water and find gold for yourself. While the quantity is as minimal as it can be, it is still a great souvenir to have at the end of the day! But mind you, not everyone finds gold fragments in soil or water. You really need to focus hard to pan gold. 

Besides this, you can also do other winter activities that I have mentioned before.

Gold panning in Finland
Gold panning (can you spot the gold I panned? ;))
8. Visit the capital of Finland – Helsinki

If you are missing the city life at this point, feel free to spend a couple of days in Helsinki. 

You get to experience everything here that Finland has to offer – Finnish culture, traditional foods, local concerts and magnificent architecture. 

It is one of the most laid-back capitals I have visited. There is a lot of history here and it is also close to some other historical cities like Vantaa and Espoo. 

Helsinki is one of the main places to experience authentic sauna. This is a commercial activity in the city now.

Helsinki – Capital of Finland
9. Take a day trip to a new country – Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia. It is only a 2-hour ferry ride from Helsinki.

If you have the time, you must definitely go for it!

Travel time is about 4-5hours in total so you have 8-10 hours to explore the capital city of Estonia.

Know more about the ferry timetable here.

I had the opportunity to dine inside one of the ferries that go to Tallinn. The food quality was great and the cruise itself was of luxury standard.

Helsinki to Tallinn ferry
This is what the ferry looks like from the inside
10. Experience the Teepee Wilderness Camp

Want to know more about the Sami culture in these unique campsites/tents in Lapland. They are a mix of luxury and adventure. 

You can chase the Northern Lights from outside these tents. I had a chance to do that on my third night in Lapland!

Additionally, you can choose to either stay in these tents or simply dine inside one of them. There are several options available.

What a Teepee looks like from the outside

Have I convinced you enough to visit Finland this winter?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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