10 Things To Do In Finland During Summer

I get quite often asked for things to do in Finland and especially things to do in Finland during summer. So as promised here is list of 10 things you should do during summer in Finland. Some of these are more specific while others can be done almost anywhere.

Before listing all the things I have in mind I just want to mention that if you have only time to do one thing in Finland you should just walk around the nature and enjoy our fresh aired green forests. These tips are mostly something we locals do during summers. Totally normal for us but something foreigners may not try without encouragement. Enjoy and all Finns feel free to share your own tips on comments!

 

10. Day trip to Suomenlinna

Travel Blog Things To Do In Finland

Suomenlinna (Finland’s castle) is sea fortress and small island that is part of Finland’s capital Helsinki. If you are looking for perfect day trip destination in Finland, Suomenlinna is just perfect in every way. Idyllic small city, historic castle (that isn’t really castle but hey at least it sounds cool!) and of course perfect picnic spots with sea view. Lucky ones may even wave for cruise ships sailing right next to the island or take part to interesting events happening during summer.

Suomenlinna has earned its place on our ’10 Things To Do In Finland During Summer’ list. In addition to beautiful walking trails and cool cafes you can find handful of museums. If history isn’t your thing I recommend visiting toy museums. It’s not too expensive and I live for the small cafe they have. Try their matcha tea, I would die for it!

 

9. Free tours around churches

Travel Blog: Things To Do In Finland

Finland has this thing called Roadside churches that are open every summer. Basically you can enter these churches freely during their opening times. There is usually guide who is ready to tell you about the church, Finnish culture and near by destinations. Even if you are not one to get interested about history, religion or things like that roadside churches are still fun places to take small break from your busy day.

I have myself worked in roadside church and I can tell you that it is definitely interesting place to visit. Finland has a little over 200 churches open every summer and visiting at least one of them is definitely must thing to do in Finland during summer. Because Christianity as religion has been in Finland for quite short time many of the roadside churches have many interesting stories (and not only religious ones) behind them.

 

8. Swim in lakes and visit Finnish sauna

Finland summer, lake, forest, blue sky

You may have heard about Finnish saunas aka hot steamy rooms we go to relax. You should add this experience to your must to do things in Finland during summer list. When during winter we like to visit sauna and roll in snow afterwards, summers are dedicated for days on the beach. Colorful water toys, swimming in the still chilly lake water and then warming up in sauna. What would be better way to spend summer day in Finland?

As visitor in Finland you should look for the closest public sauna you can find. You can find them almost every city in Finland. Go there bravely and if you don’t know what to do you can always ask help from locals. In Helsinki good choice is sauna restaurant Löyly standing next to the ocean.

 

7. Visit outdoor museum

Travel Blog: Finland

If you want short look to the way Finns used to live, local art or even have picnic among statues, find the closest outdoor museum. Because Finns love to spend our limited summer days outside outdoor and open-air museums are popular places to visit. In Helsinki Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is perfect example of traditional Finnish outdoor museum. Old buildings, people dressed in national costumes and of course cute animals. If statue parks are your thing, I have heard many good things about Parikkala’s Sculpture Park.

 

6. Colorful old towns

Travel Blog: Things To Do In Finland

If you have been reading my blog for some time now, you may have realized that I am totally in love with old towns and colorful cities. That’s why my top 10 things to do in Finland during summer list wouldn’t be complete without sunny trip to pastel colored old town. Don’t get me wrong. These are good places to visit even at winter time but during summer Finnish old towns come to life. Small cafes, art galleries and of course locals having fun. My favorite ones are in Kokkola, Naantali and Mariehamn.

 

5. Day trip to Moominworld

Travel Blog: Moomins

Moomins are adorable fairy tale characters from Finland. These cuddly and friendly characters are well known from cartoons and comics. Every Finn knows them but surprisingly in the last few years Moomins have taken over Asia and more specifically Japan. Tourists around the world come to see Moomins in Finland but also locals love these characters. Most of us grew up watching these magical stories.

From pretty Finnish seaside city, Naantali, you can find theme park dedicated for Moomins. Moominworld is popular among local families and tourists. Even if you have never before heard about Moomins it is definitely worth of visit and good place to get know something more of Finnish culture. Remember to take bikinis with you because they also have idyllic beach!

 

4. Hike around national park

camping

Nature and Finland walk hand in hand. There is only under 6 million of us but we have a lot of area. One of the best sides of Finnish national parks: you can go there, hike and use everything freely. Just respect the nature, don’t litter and keep on trails when asked to. All national parks in Finland have good hiking trails that are well taken care of. There is even outdoor toilets, places for campfires and shelters to sleep in.

So, how can you do your perfect overnight trip to Finnish nature? First get tent, or hammock, or just sleeping bag (because like I said there is shelters you can use for sleeping). Step two: go to internet, find the closest or the most interesting national park and get free map. And finally take bus or tax or lift to your destination. Then walk. That’s it. Easy, right?

 

3. Enjoy the sun with cold drink on terrace

drink_summer
Photo from Unsplash

Finns are known for heavy drinking but even if you are not one of those party animals drinking cold beer (or glass of fine wine) on sunny day while watching people passing by is almost perfect moment to have. It is something locals do. When it gets warm and days get longer every place from bars to restaurants and small cafes open their terraces. And at the same time those terraces get full of Finns enjoying our short summer warmth.

 

2. Crazy festivals

Travel Blog: Finland Festival

Because summers in Finland are short we love to enjoy them as well as we can. This is why visiting festival is one of my must to do things in Finland during summer. We have everything from music festivals with world class names to small village happenings with local musicians and events varying from family olympics to dance performances.

Maybe the most popular celebration of summer in Finland is for midsummer (juhannus). Midsummer fest is also event to celebrate our nightless night. Traditional ways to spent midsummer are burning a huge pile of branches, drinking and doing summer magic like try to find out your future husband through dream. Just find out from internet where the closest festival is and go. A little alcohol and warm summer day makes even us Finns friendly and talkative. You will fit in perfectly.

 

1. Enjoy peaceful Finnish summer cottage life

cottage_summer
Photo from Unsplash

Maybe the most Finnish thing you can do here during summer is to spend weekend living in cottage. You will get bonus points if the cottage is next to lake, has wooden sauna and no water toilet. It’s like escape from city to just be peacefully with yourself, your friends and family. You can play traditional Finnish summer games like Mölkky, boot throwing and of course board games. There is nothing as atmospheric as playing game of Uno in candle light chocolate as price while listening radio.

Other important cottage (in Finnish ‘Mökki’) activities are swimming and eating. Barbecues are normal things and especially eating sausages and as dessert traditional Finnish pancakes made on campfire. But in reality there is no rules for cottage life. Just enjoy and have fun with your closest ones.

 

Have you any summery things to do in Finland you would like to recommend? All comments are welcome like always. It’s already June so I just want to wish good summer and happy holiday for everyone! And thank you for 2 000 readers. I don’t know what your are still doing here but you are highly appreciated. This writing thing would be super boring without you. 🙂

With love,

Lost Viivi

Photo Diary: Helsinki

So, I may have been lazy once again… If you are new here in my blog: Hello, I am the person who never follows her own schedules! But well because I have been busy (this not excuse, okay? I have really been busy) I can’t publish today the last part of my abandoned amusement park story time. I’m sorry everyone who has now waited for too long for me to finally finish it.

Right now I am in train going back home. Today I had crazy fun day in Helsinki. (And I even met up with fellow blogger for the first time! Thanks for Anub who was nice enough to not complain about my bad pronouncing or the terrible Finnish coldness.) So because I have nothing else to share with you today here is small photo diary from Helsinki. I hope you will enjoy it!
Photo diary: Day in Helsinki

I admit that I still love this view even after seeing it one time too many. In moments like this I can kind of understand why people want to visit Finland. However that doesn’t mean I will stop making fun of my beloved home country and our non-existing tourist attractions.

Travel Destination: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any snow in Helsinki. But even like this the city is beautiful and has its own charm. And we of course saw a lot of frozen places so maybe that makes up for all the missing snow? It’s not true Finnish experince if you haven’t almost fell over while walking on ice!

Travel Destination: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland

One of our day’s major things to do was visiting Suomenlinna sea fortress. It’s been over five years from my last time here and I didn’t even remember how much I used to love this place. Suddenly I even remembered that as child my dream used to be grow up and live my life in this tiny cozy island.

Travel Destination: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki Finland Travel FoodIt took us a while to find the right restaurant (that may totally be my fault and it probably has something to do with my bad luck while travelling) but finding the place was totally worth it. I haven’t eaten falafel for so long time so our choice was the best possible.

Photo diary: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, FInlandSun is setting in Finland guess what time it is! So if you don’t know northern countries have super short day’s at winter. So the sun was setting already at 3pm.

Travel Destination: Helsinki, Finland

Travel Year 2016 Helsinki

The last photo is me sharing my favorite Helsinki spot with you. I have always loves Senate Square. Now there was huge Christmas market but at other times of year you can meet funny tourists taking photos and just enjoy the beautiful view. I may have biased opinion about this matter so you shouldn’t probably believe my tip… I have had some of my best teen memories in this square. Being part of flashmob, meeting amazing people and doing crazy things.

I hope you are having an amazing weekend and that you are being more productive than I have lately been. And like always all comments are welcomed. Have you ever visited Helsinki? Or met fellow bloggers for fun travelling day?

With love,

Viivi Severina

Photo Diary: My New Home

Hello everyone!

How are you? I hope you have had amazing adventures lately because I have only been exploring this new city I’m now living in. And I’m sorry if nothing in this post makes sense because I have currently fever and flu.

Today I’m going to share few photos from my new home town. So like usually there is photos and captions for them. In addition to those I will be talking about something else between the photos. (My blogs future… Almost serious stuff…) Now let’s begin!

 

trainstation
I want to start with this train station photo. It starts to be too familiar building for me because when I want to go see my family and friends I need to take three hours long train journey. Tiring but fortunately I have traveller’s mind and can handle long transportation times.

I have been super busy lately and not only because of my new life as full time student. If you know the site Fiverr I just recently started to earn some extra money there. (Takes unexpectedly a lot of time!)  Like you may have realized there hasn’t been many post to this blog and I have been quite stressed to come up with some easy to write ideas.

Before I promised to publish new bucket list destination every Wanderlust Wednesday but now I have to eat my words and just promise to publish something interesting every Wanderlust Friday. (That doesn’t rhyme like with Wednesday… Maybe Fearless Travel Friday?)

hostelroom
Unfortunately this majestic place isn’t my home. But it is from hostel room I lived in my first week here in Kokkola. I recommend Villa Carleborg for everyone. 

So now you can expect new post every Friday. Next week I am going to finally publish that long waited Tallinn travel diary that has been waiting in my drafts folder for too long. I’m also planning a lot of weekend trips in the future so wait patiently for those travel diaries.

busstop
This photo is my closest bus stop. Oddly I haven’t seen any buses here in my first moth. Is there even any of them?

Another thing I wanted to talk about today is my YouTube channel. No, I don’t have one yet but if you have been following me long enough you may know that at one point I promised to start making videos when I get 1 000 readers.

Honestly I though it would take at least year to get so many readers but somehow it has only taken a few months. Thank you everyone who likes to read my blog! And especially the people commenting! It always makes my day when someone drops comment for my text.

kokkola2
This is Kokkola’s public living room or something like that. It’s full of art and you can leave your own piece there or just sit down and enjoy what others have done. 

Yeah, but now back to the YouTube subject. Is there any videos you would like to see? I have many ideas myself but I would love to get tips what you would like to watch me doing. Also I will probably make two channels.

One channel for travel videos I can then share here with my blog posts. And another one for random videos about literally anything. I will inform you more here in my blog when I get to the point where I have enough time to really make the channels. (Maybe next weekend?)

church
Local church in sunset.

 

I think this was everything I had to say today. Thanks for reading and I hope you liked the photos!

And by the way you can also follow me in Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I try to be active there but I’m a lot better blogger than I am with social media.

streetart
And today’s photo diary is going to end in this photo of local street art. I totally love it and will take better photos of it for you later on. See you again next Friday!

 

With love,

Viivi Severina

 

 

Travel Diary: My Lovely Helsinki

This past week has been busy one for me. I have been traveling around Finland and even did cruise abroad. A lot of new places and experiences on short time so a lot of travel diaries to write for you.

Today I’m going to tell about weekend adventure I did with one of my best friends. The idea for this trip started a few weeks back but we only bought the tickets week before leaving. Our destination was Tallinn, Estonia, but first we decided to spend day in Finland’s capital city Helsinki.

Today’s diary is going to be shortly about that day in Helsinki. Enjoy!

Stormy Helsinki Finland
Our day in Helsinki was full of stormy clouds and rainy weather

Helsinki in Day

My mum drove us to the bus stop after nine in the Saturday morning and we had hour before our ride would leave. I had been bright like I’m every morning and decided not to take jacket with me. MISTAKE! We used the remaining hour to buy warm clothes from the super market close by.

The weather wasn’t on our side. It rained when we ran towards the bus and it rained the whole two hours ride to Helsinki. Rain became the norm of our trip. Whatever we decided to do the water was coming down from the sky. We didn’t let that dispirit us.

Interactive museum Helsinki

We had decided to start our day in Kiasma modern art museum. I have been there probably too many times and it’s one of my family’s yearly day trip destinations. My friend on the other hand had never visited this amazing museum.

I loved the exhibitions they had this time. Colorful and spectacular.

Kiasma museum helsinki

So after our daily dose of culture it was time to find something to eat. We of course decided pizza -eat as much as you can- buffet. No need for fancy meals because we were still in Finland.

helsinki2

Stomachs full we walked around in the rain. Saw some big attractions like Helsinki Cathedral. We even got lost in middle of running race in the bay area. The traffic was stopped and even trams weren’t moving. No idea what it was. All respect for the runners, I’m so lazy would never take part to event like that.

helsinki5

One of the amazing experiences we had happened in Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. I have never seen Orthodox ceremony but ended going inside just in the middle of one. So interesting! It was more powerful and showy when compared to the Christian one I’m used to.

helsinki7

A little by little the black clouds were going away and the sun was starting to shine. What did we do? Went and bought ice creams! It’s Finn syndrome… Sun makes us crazy because we don’t see it enough.

helsinki13

We enjoyed the last sun beams and then walked towards the cruise terminal. Everything went fine in the boarding (odd because we had never done it by ourselves so I expected more problems!) we arrived to our cabin’s door safely and from there the “fun” began.

cruise

In the photo you can’t even see our cabin’s size. But basically it was made of toilet and living are. The toilet took over half of the cabin leaving just enough walking space for us. We had known it would be small but it’s size still surprised us… Fortunately it was going to be just one night so we survived.

After the shock and laughs for the situation we started to examine our “new home” more closely. That’s when I found information paper stating that we should leave our cabin before 6.45 at morning. Before seven!! Too early! Who the heck makes these cruise plans?

cruiseship

Because of the early wake up we then wanted to sleep early but next problem was waiting for us. The bottom bed was meant to come out from the sofa taking over half of the living area. We were pulling it with all our strengths but could not open it. We tried good five minutes and were going to give up and go to the reception for help. Then I magically pullet and pushed and can’t even remember how but it finally opened.

After all the hassle it was time to sleep. Reluctantly we put our clocks to wake us at six and tried to rest the remaining few hours in the wildly swinging boat.

 

 

Tallinn old town buildings
Next time: story from Tallinn’s old town

Wait for my next travel diary to hear about the day we spend in Tallinn! Have you ever been in cheap cruise? I think starting from now I will only take day cruises to Tallinn…

I hope you are having amazing day.
With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: Camping with 17 000 People

Week ago I left to scout summer camp and had amazing two days. 17 000 people camping together in forest and having the best times of their life. And then I become sick and had to return home. How unlucky can I be?

Because I spend so short time in the camp this travel diary will be only 4 photos long. I hope those moments are enough to present you what it’s like to be in scout camp in Finland. More photos from the camp’s official website HERE.

camping

Huge scout camps are always interesting because you get to meet so many different aged, nationality and other way new kind of people. This time we has swedes sharing our small part of the camp. If I had stayed for longer I would been “working” with many different nationalities.

The first time went by building our camp and setting up tents. I was feeling a little bit unwell already but pushed the feeling aside. Fortunately I got to see the camp and everything build there. Tree houses and amazing gates to the sub-camps.

camp

The last thing on our first day was opening ceremony. It’s quite magical feeling when 17 000 people squeeze to look same stage in the middle of forest. There was fire show, music and funny moments. Different nationalities showed of their skills and introduced cultures.

Everything was okay but at the end (handsome) boys took over and everyone went wild. Usually scouts are seen as teens who help grandmas over streets and sell cookies. In reality we can be anything. And at this moment everyone were dancing, having fun and not caring about the world outside our own small city.

scouts

I was almost mid night when the show finally ended but fortunately in Finland we have bright summer nights. Then everyone tried to go and eat at the same time and everything was in chaos for a while. I was totally ready to go sleep at this point but I still had to line up to get in toilet.

I fall asleep quickly but woke up in the middle of night when someone tried to get to their sleeping place over me. After that I couldn’t sleep and was feeling super sick. I decided to take short walk and hope my state would get better. It didn’t but I got to witness the sleeping camp.

It’s magical to walk around in total silence. You know there is thousands of people around you but you can’t see anyone. It’s not dark but gloomy. Shadows and mist everywhere. I didn’t have my phone with me so no photos of that beautiful moment. Sometimes it makes good for you to just appreciate something without the camera ready.

forest

This is photo is from my first (and last) morning in the camp and also the moment when I felt so sick that I realized my only option was return home. It’s terrible feeling. You have been waiting for something to happen so long and then your body betrays you and there is nothing to do.

Well at least I get to experience the first night and meet some friends after long time. (I’m trying to keep being positive…) 

Have you ever been on huge camp? Or had to cancel something you have anticipated because of sickness?

I hope you enjoyed today’s travel diary and see you soon!

With love,

Viivi Severina