Guest Post by Aleksander Pichkur
Finland isn’t exactly the number one destination when it comes to traveling. The vast majority of travelers love Finland because of shopping, camping, and family trips. This country is great for anyone who would love recreation.
Every tourist should visit Helsinki at least once in a lifetime, as well as Turku, catch a ferry to Stockholm or other Scandinavian cities, and Tampere where you can visit a huge amusement park and so on.
This article will reveal every detail about Finland – how to get there, how much it costs, where can you spend a night, and what you can do there.
Visa in Finland
As in any other country of the Schengen agreement, you won’t be allowed to enter Finland without a Schengen visa. Finland, on the contrary to other European countries, is extremely supportive of foreign tourists, which is why they give a visa immediately and for a long time.
The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is $160. This includes tourist, business, student, and exchange visas. Most petition-based visas, such as work and religious visas, are $190.
4 Ways to Travel to Finland
The European railway network is very large. It covers almost the entire continent, so traveling by train is the best way to see Europe. Nothing prevents you from starting your journey in Portugal and ending in Finland. It’s relatively inexpensive and very convenient. Eurail, for example, operates in 28 countries.
Traveling by car can be another convenient vehicle, depending on where you are going. If you are going to travel by car across Finland, do not forget to get car insurance, which customs officers will check, because otherwise you won’t be allowed in without it. This insurance is called the Green Card.
You can get it in any insurance agency and even on the way to the Finnish border, at gas stations, and in the mobile offices of insurance companies. I recommend that you also study the requirements of the car. For example, a severely damaged car may simply not be allowed into the country.
There are special requirements for wheels and other parts of the car. I also recommend that you read an article about traveling to Europe by car, which describes many aspects of preparation and features of entry and movement in Europe by car.
Both Helsinki and Turku are major cities that serve as harbors. So it is not surprising that you can get there by water. You can buy a tour, which will include a trip not only to Finland but also, for example, to Stockholm. There are plenty of options for boats and their routes, as well as the services that are provided on each water vehicle and upon arrival at the harbor.
It all depends on which boat you choose and from where you got a ticket. The main boats that operate between Finland, Sweden, and Estonia are Princess Maria, Princess Anastasia, and others.
Where to Stay in Finland
If you are not an advanced traveler, or are scared to rent an apartment, start with a hotel. There are plenty of options from cheapest to most exclusive. You may try international booking sites, such as Booking.com. Remember to check the ratings not to be disappointed.
If you are going to rent a flat without the help of your agency (let’s say you are traveling by yourself), there are plenty of options you could choose from. And the choice doesn’t fall upon the apartment only!
If you travel during summertime, camping is also an option. Finland has great camping spots, trailer parks, and different temporary home services. It’s the cheapest way to accommodate yourself in Finland.
This European country is a bit expensive, so if you don’t have lots of money to spend, camping is very safe here. Try Eurocampings to know more about camping spots.
Weather in Finland
As you may know, Finland is a cold country. Nevertheless, it’s best to travel to Finland during the summertime. The average temperature in the south of the country during the summer months is only +20 °C. The further you’ll move to the north of the country, the colder it would be (+ 15- + 18 °C).
Winters are certainly colder than in other European countries. For example, in Turku, the temperature rarely drops below -10 °C.
However, if you chose to travel to the north of the country for a winter resort, be sure to pack super warm clothes and a pair of skis.
Main Finland Tourist Attractions
Helsinki is the capital of Finland and its biggest city. This sterile, but somber and rather reserved place gathers thousands of tourists, as well as citizens who are up for a stroll.
Helsinki has everything you need when it comes to souvenirs and gifts. There are great shopping malls, as well as hypermarkets.
Shopping in Helsinki is so popular not only due to a great choice but also to the quality. Here you can see lots of foreign ladies, especially from Slavic countries because of the borders.
A small city in the south of the country has gained its popularity among travelers, for the most part, thanks to the harbor in it.
From here you can sail to other Scandinavian countries and the countries of central Europe. But besides the harbor itself, Turku also offers something to see.
Turku Castle is located near the harbor, in the south of the city, and is the first palace of the governor of Finland. In addition to visiting the castle, you should spend your time walking around the city and visiting restaurants that offer seafood and fish. Then you can go to the cathedral or the craft museum.
Tampere is the former industrial capital of Finland, which is closer to the western border of the country. This city is surrounded by two huge lakes, and in its center is decorated with old brick factories, eventually converted into art spaces, museums, and restaurants.
Tampere is very different in its “brick” spirit from the rest of the cities of the northern country, so it won’t hurt to go here as well.
This city is very popular mostly because of its curious name. There are also several places that attract most of the foreign tourists, like the Hamina Fortress, a restored 18th-century building, which offers excellent views of Lake Saimaa. The lake itself and the canal are also worthy of attention.
Finland is called the country of a thousand lakes not in vain, as each lake is beautiful in its way in here! Besides, there are enough museums in Lappeenranta, for example, the South Karelia Art Museum, as well as the Finnish Aviation Museum.
Finnish National Traits
Finns are quite casual and reserved, not down for excessive makeup or dress-ups. Finnish girls are not the “girliest” types of women, which is a breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for a girl, don’t forget that your mentalities may not click.
If you consider dating a Ukrainian woman and see one, offer her help to push her cart. But be attentive, don’t make the same offer if you want to date a Finnish girl. Finnish women are very emancipated, so they make take your offer as an insult.
Finns are extremely down to earth people with no desire to impress you. If you want to win the heart of such a girl, don’t try too much. Stay liberal. Women won’t go the extra mile to meet you either. They will appear friendly but reserved for a first date.
Finnish women don’t suffer from a lack of men’s attention; so don’t think they will look desperate or too passionate. Finnish women are not obsessed with dressing up for a date, wearing high heels or makeup, preferring a “girl next door” style.
Finns are quite open-minded and tolerant people, free to express themselves however they want to, starting from crazy hair colors to tattoos and piercings. If you think that any wealthy man from oversees can raise interest in a Finnish girl, you are seriously wrong.
Finns are proud of their nation. Besides, it’s an economically advanced and successful country, so citizens are well off.
If you plan to impress a Finnish citizen, work on your thoughts, develop a strong position in life, an interesting outlook; be free from stereotypes and slurs. It is good to know something about the history of the country as well.
Finland is a great county with centuries of traditions. If you want to visit it, just take a trip and you won’t regret it!