Finlande vakantie

Ervaar Finlande

Best Places to Visit

However you plan to get around during holidays to Finland, there are many sights to explore and experiences to enjoy. Although the country is widely regarded as the most technologically savvy in Scandinavia, it's also a place of stunning wildernesses, ancient castles, vast unspoilt ecosystems, almost 200,000 lakes, many offshore islands, the Northern Lights and the eerie midnight sun. This cornucopia of different delights offers something for tourists of all tastes and brings times past into the modern day in a way unique to this inspiring nation.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland, set in the southern region and home to the huge, still inhabited Suomenlinna Fortress. Helsinki itself is set on an archipelago of small islands, including the island Seurasaari Open Air Museum featuring authentic heritage homes, which are linked by bridges and ferries. The city boasts attractive parks, two cathedrals and a picturesque Neoclassical centre holding several museums that are worth visiting on Finland holidays.

Rovaniemi is the gateway to Lapland, home of the nomadic Sami peoples. Popular for Christmastime family visits to Santa Park and Santa Claus Village, the city offers a luminous summer night sky and the Northern Lights' winter glory, which draw many visitors to snowmobile safaris and dog sledding in winter and ecotourism in summer. Set 50 miles (80 km) away is Ranua Wildlife Park, home to polar bears, wolves, reindeer and lynx, just a selection of the hardy species that make their home in and around the Boreal Forest, whose trees cut a swathe across the north of Finland.

Finland's oldest city and its first capital, Turku, lies along the southwestern coastline on the River Aura. Founded in the 13th Century, the city is a favourite visitor destination for its castle which overlooks the harbour and offers stunning views along with excellent photo opportunities. Turku Cathedral dominates the cityscape and the Sibelius Museum holds around 2,000 musical instruments and music-themed exhibits in celebration of the great composer's life and work.

Nature-lovers will adore the Kvarken Archipelago, set near the historic town of Vaasa and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lovely Lappajarvi Lake is a crater lake formed by a meteorite impact 73 million years ago and is surrounded by unspoilt forests and natural beauty. In Lapland, must-sees include the Sami Museum and Nature Centre with its exhibitions of traditional cultural artefacts.

Nos meilleures offres en Finlande

Need to know

Language

Finland has two official languages, Swedish and Finnish. Both languages are compulsory subjects in schools, but most of the population only use Finnish. In the tourist-oriented cities, English is widely spoken and in the countryside, many young people communicate in English. In the northern region of Finnish Lapland, Sami is spoken by the indigenous Sami peoples, and you may be less likely to find English speakers outside of the Santa villages up here.

Currency

Finland is a member of the Eurozone, with the Euro its official currency. Other currencies are not accepted and ATMs (known as ottos) are easily found across the country, as are banks with currency exchange facilities. All the main credit and debit cards can be used at ATMs and in shops, hotels and restaurants, although cash may be preferred in small towns for small purchases. It's usually only necessary to carry small sums in cash.

Visas

Visa-free entry to Finland for three months is granted to citizens of the other European Union and EFTA countries including the UK on production of an identity card or current passport. Citizens of the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as several other states, may also enter visa-free for a stay of up to 90 days in any one 180-day period. Nationals of other non-EU/EFTA countries should check with their nearest Finnish consulate or online for visa requirements and costs.

Climate

The climate of Finland is classified as humid, cool semi-continental and differs considerably between the southern and northern halves of the country. Warm summers and freezing winters predominate, with southern winters lasting four months from December with snow coverage and below freezing temperatures usual until early April. Southern summers begin in mid-May and end by mid-September, with midsummer highs in July and August reaching around 21°C due to the region's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. Northern Finland, including Finnish Lapland, is another story entirely due to the prevailing sub-arctic climate with its severe winters and warm, brief summers.

Main Airports

Finland's main point of air arrival is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, located 12 miles (20 km) from the centre of the city and served by around 30 international carriers. Other regional airports include Tampere and Lappeenranta, both acting as hubs for smaller carriers.

Flight Options

Travellers from the UK to Helsinki are well-served with a choice of flights from London-Heathrow, London-Gatwick, Dublin and Manchester. Flights also depart from Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. Visitors from the US can take a direct flight from New York. For visitors heading to Tampere Airport, flights are available from Edinburgh and London-Stansted. Flight times from London to Helsinki average 3 hours.

Travel Advice

Air travel and accommodation costs are at their highest in the full summer months, with the Christmas period also expensive due to the number of day and weekend trips to Lapland's Santa Claus attractions. In early spring and autumn, charges are lower and it's possible to bag a low-cost bargain flight by regularly checking on the budget airlines' websites.

Other Transport Options

A scenic way to travel from London to Helsinki is by train and ferry. London to Brussels by train is the first step, followed by an express train to Cologne and the overnight express to Copenhagen, then the tilting train to Stockholm for the Turku ferry. Once in Turku, there's a fast train to Helsinki.

Kaart

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Feiten

  1. Fins Lapland is de eerste keus van de meeste mensen die een 'Kerstmanvakantie' boeken. Sommige reisorganisaties halen je zelfs met een rendierslee op van de luchthaven.
  2. Veel van deze 'Kerstmantours' krijgen een extra authentiek tintje doordat alle gidsen kerstelven zijn en er wil onderweg nog wel eens een spontaan sneeuwbalgevecht ontstaan.
  3. Finland staat ook bekend als het 'country where I want to be' (land waar ik wil zijn) in het lied van Monty Python uit 1980.

Feiten

  1. Fins Lapland is de eerste keus van de meeste mensen die een 'Kerstmanvakantie' boeken. Sommige reisorganisaties halen je zelfs met een rendierslee op van de luchthaven.
  2. Veel van deze 'Kerstmantours' krijgen een extra authentiek tintje doordat alle gidsen kerstelven zijn en er wil onderweg nog wel eens een spontaan sneeuwbalgevecht ontstaan.
  3. Finland staat ook bekend als het 'country where I want to be' (land waar ik wil zijn) in het lied van Monty Python uit 1980.

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