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Finland

Before you say anything, of course we've included meeting Santa on this list. Finland might be a country of majestic landscapes and cheerful cities, but it's also a great place to release your inner child. The kids can come too, if they want. 

Take the Santa Claus Express 

 

Santa might travel by sleigh, but we've opted for the train instead. Take the Santa Claus Express  from Helsinki to Rovaniemi in Lapland, where you'll find Santa and his reindeers. With or without kids, it's an experience not to be missed. 

 

finland-lapland-reindeers-sleighs-snow

Watch the Northern Lights at Rovaniemi 

 

One of the best Christmas presents you could ever ask for is seeing the Northern Lights. Witness this spectacular astral show on your way to see Santa, watching the sky explode with colour. 

 

finland-northern-lights-snow-family

Ride the tram, Helsinki 

 

As one of the oldest tram networks in the world, Helsinki's iconic public transport is a great way to get around the capital. Consider joining a specific tram tour to see both the main sights and more off-the-beaten track destinations. 

 

finalnd-helsinki-retro-tram

Spend time in a sauna 

 

You can find saunas in most countries these days, but in Finland, the sauna's birthplace, it's more than a casual experience. Join the locals to soak away your ills, before plunging into ice-cold water. You don't have to go far for this experience - check out Löyly in Helsinki, Rajaportin in Tampere or Jätkänkämppä Smoke Sauna in the Finnish Lakes.

 

finalnd-sauna-made-of-wood-at-home

Visit Olavinlinna Castle  

 

Located in the heart of Finland's Lakeland, Olavinlinna is a medieval castle floating upon Lake Saimaa. With its three towers, stone walls and stunning location, this hidden destination is well worth a visit. 

 

finland-olavinlinna-castle

Stay up all night in Oulu 

 

Oulu is a university city in central Finland with a vibrant night scene. On your way up to Rovaniemi, take a pit stop here - but don't expect any rest! Check out this charming town's diverse range of bars, restaurants and clubs.

 

finland-oulu

Go island hopping, Helsinki

 

Helsinki is an underrated destination that many travellers miss. But with island hopping across the archipelago, why would you? Buy the island hopping ticket and take the ferry across to Lonna, Vallisaari and Suomenlinna. From spending time in the sauna to exploring museums, sea fortresses and island wilderness, there's so much for you to do!

 

finland-island-baltic-sea

Enjoy a sleigh ride, Lapland

 

It's time to test out Santa's trusty mode of transport with a sleigh ride in Lapland. Witness the majesty of your reindeer guides as they glide across snow and ice, giving you an experience you'll never forget. 

 

finland-lapland-reindeer-sleigh-winter-snow-woman

Hike in Nuuksio National Park

 

If you want to escape the bustle of Helsinki, visit Nuuksio National Park. With hiking trails, lakes and forest scenery, it's a great place for a picnic or a spot of camping. Having a campfire? Make sure to try plättys, Finnish-style pancakes. 

 

finland-nuuksio-national-park-woman-lake

Stroll around the Old Town, Porvoo

 

Porvoo is a bus ride from Helsinki and a fantastic day trip. With its red riverside warehouses, quirky streets and colourful houses, this city oozes charm and character. Wander through the Old Town with your camera at the ready, and then share your photos with us, too!

 

finland-porvoo-old-town