One of the most exciting things about studying abroad is the possibility of visiting new places and exploring new cities. While we highly recommend you to experience and enjoy both summer and winter in Finland, we understand that you might want to seize the opportunity and travel to other parts of Europe as well.
Although Finland is located in the North of Europe, it is one of the most well-connected countries in the world. From the main airport in Finland, Helsinki Airport, you can travel to over 130 destinations in Europe, Asia or North America in just a few short hours.
However, traveling in Finland is great too and should not be forgotten! Every year our clean nature attracts more people who want to enjoy the beautiful archipelago, thousand lakes, Midnight Sun, snow and Northern lights.
To give you a preview of what life is like in Finland, watch the video in the end!
Below you will find more information about how to get to Finland, how to travel around in Finland and what cities we recommend you to visit once you’re here.
Once you have been admitted to a university in Finland it is time to organize your trip! We recommend that you start looking for flights well in advance, as this allows you to compare different options, and find tickets at more affordable prices.
The majority of all international flights arrive at Helsinki Airport, which is the main airport in Finland. Being a popular stop-over place, Helsinki Airport has great international connections. Domestic flights bring you easily to other cities in Finland, but you can also always opt for a bus or a train.
There are international train links from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and if you are coming from Sweden, Estonia, or Germany, you can arrive by sea. The main harbors in Finland are Helsinki and Turku.
- Hämeenlinna is located by a long, narrow lake called Vanajavesi. The famous red brick castle is one of the noted landmarks along with Aulanko Park. You can visit a museum devoted to the national composer Jean Sibelius, or visit the Sibelius Park. Being a historically important place, the Hämeenlinna Historical Museum is also one of the city’s popular attractions.
- Tampere was founded in 1779 and is famous for its industrial architecture, active cultural life, and beautiful lake sceneries. The city offers a bunch of quirky museums, including a spy museum and the Lenin Museum, but also a beautiful cathedral. The area is great for outdoor activities and it has several parks, beaches, and forests to enjoy. The old villages of Ruovesi and Virrat are also definitely something to check out!
- Turku is Finland’s oldest city and the former capital. The city boasts beautiful archipelago landscapes, busy city life but also peacefulness of the countryside. The city’s castle, originating from the medieval times, currently houses the Turku Historical Museum. Two old sailing ships, “Suomen Joutsen” and “Sigyn” are moored and open to the public in the summer. Moreover, every summer the city hosts the oldest festival in Finland, and the second oldest continuously running pop/rock festival in Europe, Ruisrock.
- Oulu combines nature, northern hospitality, and culture with modern technology. The Tietomaa Science Center is a popular tourist attraction. You can also visit the Botanic Garden, the Provincial Museum, and the Municipal Library. The Market Square offers Finnish pastries and coffee with a pinch of local vibes. Oulu is not far from the best ski resorts in the country either!
- Jyväskylä was established in 1837 on the north side of the Jyväsjärvi lake, linked to lake Päijänne, Finland’s deepest lake. The town gets its peculiar character from a harmonious mixing of old wooden houses and modern stone buildings. The famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed the Municipal Theatre, Police Headquarters and Local Government Offices. Jyväskylä is famous for its trade fairs and especially the Jyväskylä International Arts Festival.
- Lapland and its capital Rovaniemi are very easy to visit by train or airplane. Rovaniemi is internationally known for the Santa Claus Village and the science center Arktikum. The possibilities for outdoor activities are countless. In the winter, you can choose between downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and husky or reindeer rides. During the summer, rafting, canoeing, hiking, fishing, golfing, hunting and mountain biking are popular activities. Tourist attractions such as Rauna Zoo and the amethyst mine are also worth visiting.
The above are only a few among many cities and towns to visit in Finland. Feel free to check out our blog to find more places to visit!
- The Åland Islands are situated between Sweden and Finland, and while being a part of Finland, the main language is Swedish. The islands are famous for their untouched nature and beautiful archipelago landscapes. Visit the islands on midsummer’s eve and join the ancient celebration marking the longest day of the year!
- Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is built on 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges. The city offers world-class museums and attractions due to its rich cultural life and 750 years of history. Good places to visit are the Stockholm City Hall (from where you can enjoy a fantastic view), the Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral, situated in Gamla Stan, the old town district. The Vasa museum featuring an old warship is also worth visiting.
- Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a beautiful city with a rich history and many interesting sights and shops. Tallinn Old Town is one of the best-preserved medieval cities with Hanseatic origin in Europe. The old cobblestone streets and gothic-inspired architecture, together with the many restaurants, bars, museums, and galleries create a magical environment.
- It is easy to visit Russia from Finland. In Moscow, you can visit the Kremlin, Basils Cathedral, and several museums. St. Petersburg has many beautiful old buildings, churches, palaces and museums to visit. As Russia is not part of the EU Schengen area, it is important to remember to check in advance if you need a visa to visit. In some museums, you have to show your ticket for several exhibitions and you cannot enter special exhibitions for the second time, so keep your ticket at least until leaving.
Helsinki-Vantaa airport is a popular stop-over and has great connections to the rest of Europe, as well as to other continents. Usually, you can travel without a visa on the Finnish student residence permit in the Schengen area.