Finland is the land of the Northern Lights and of Santa Claus. It is also the land of reindeer, forests, lakes and archipelagos. Relatively much less crowded than other north European countries, Finland is a country waiting to be explored. Most tourists flock to Helsinki to see the various art galleries and museums. But did you know that Finland is also the country where some of the weirdest statues can be found? Or that there is a highway lined with scarecrows which stop motorists dead in their tracks? Let us find out more!
- The Aland Islands
The Aland Islands are an archipelago jammed between Finland and Sweden. While the residents speak Swedish, the islands themselves are autonomous. There are 10,000 small islands in this archipelago along with a few large ones. The islands are known for the Museum Ship Pommern which depicts the islands’ marine history. Another popular attraction is the Jan Karlsgården open-air museum which portrays a typical farm of the 19th century. The biggest attraction of the Aland Islands is however the landscapes and the nature. There are also many hotels and restaurants in the Aland Islands if you are planning to unwind or stay overnight.
Hämeenlinna is a small town in Finland. It is situated on a beautiful narrow lake known as the Vanajavesi. This small town is surrounded by the Hattelmala hills towards the north. Hämeenlinna is stacked with many attractions making it popular with tourists. The biggest attractions of the town are the Aulanko Park, the Tavastehus Castle, and the Hämeenlinna Historical Museum. There is also the Market Square and the Lutheran Church. Other notable attractions include the castle located on the Vanajavesi river and the statue of Paavo Cajander.
Founded by Tsar Nicholas in the 19th century, Jyväskylä is a small town located near the Jyväskylä Lake. It is the second largest lake of Finland. Jyväskylä is the cultural and administrative hub of Finland. It is also an industrialized town and is known for its numerous trade fairs. Popular attractions are the Town Church and the Church Gardens. There is also the Minna Canth Monument that you can visit.
Tampere is the third largest city in Finland. It was founded in the 18th century and is known as a cultural hub of this Scandinavian nation. Located between the Pyhäjärvi and the Näsijärvi lakes, Tampere is famous for its numerous open-air theatres and festivals. Popular attractions include the town square Hämeensilta, the Lenin Museum, and the Särkänniemi Amusement Park. The city also has four famous statues created by renowned artist Wäinö Aaltonen.
- Sibelius Monument
This monument was created in the memory of Jean Sibelius, the national composer of Finland. Designed by sculptor Ella Hiltumen, it was opened to the public in 1967. It’s a form of abstract art and had its fair share of disputes and disagreements even before it was unveiled. However, it went on to win many awards and has its smaller versions installed in UNESCO Paris and UNO New York City.
- Insurance Building
What is so interesting about an insurance office building? The fact that it is covered with grotesques and gargoyles from Finnish legends. The Insurance Building was built in 1901 and every doorway and every molding was covered with stone artwork. The building belongs to the Pohjola Insurance Company and they are proud of their building, which is considered to be a prominent example of the Finnish Romantic style of architecture.
Kemi is located in Lapland and is well known because of its famed snow castle. This is not a castle like any other. This is a snow castle which is built every year! The castle serves as a venue for musical concerts and weddings. Guests can even stay overnight inside the castle, which can be up to three stories high. Another major attraction of Kemi is the ‘Icebreaker Tour’ where you board an icebreaker on the Arctic and setting out to explore scenic landscapes and icebergs. You also get to swim in near freezing water wearing special non-permeable suits! In addition, Kemi is also the place to be if you want to experience some Finnish nightlife.
- Salla Reindeer Park
Reindeer are as common in Lapland as kangaroos in Australia. The Salla Reindeer Park, along with being home to numerous reindeer, offers many other activities like fishing and swimming on ice. There are also midnight canoe trips and sleigh rides with reindeer! The park is also a great place for going on a hike. There are trails located just behind the park which are ideal for a casual hike. As a hiker, you can follow all the directions yourself and may even end up close with a majestic reindeer!
- The Silent People
The Silent People is a procession of nearly one thousand scarecrows at a field located along Highway 5. Motorists going through the highway often stop in their tracks and stare at the sight. The scarecrows wear colorful clothes and none of them have faces. They all face the same direction. The creator of these scarecrows, Reijo Kela, has remained silent about the reason behind creating them. That has added to the mystery of these scarecrows. Their clothes are changed twice a year, eliciting curiosity and surprise.
Helsinki looks a lot like St. Petersburg in Russia. The design was intentional because Helsinki was rebuilt by the Tsars as a miniature St Petersburg. Such is the resemblance that the Finnish capital was often depicted in Cold War movies as St. Petersburg! Helsinki is dotted with many attractions, mostly museums, public parks, and churches, most noteworthy being the National Museum of Finland and the Church in the Rock. In addition to the numerous cultural attractions, Helsinki is also home to the stadium which hosted the historic 1952 Olympics.
- Northern Lights
This is what most people come to Finland for. Seeing the Northern Lights is an experience which few people will have in their lifetime. Finland is one of the best places to see these blazing columns of attractive lights across the sky. While they can be viewed from anywhere in Finland, the best place for watching them is Lapland. The best time for seeing the lights is between the months of September and March.
- Santa Claus Village
Now let us come to Santa Claus! Think twice if you want to say he is a work of fiction. In Finland, Santa is not just real, but also has a village and a post office in his name. While the city of Rovaniemi is the official town of Santa, he himself can be seen at the Santa Claus Village every day. Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and more than 300,000 visitors arrive at the city just to meet Santa Claus.
Originally posted 2017-04-05 06:42:49.