Not many Australian’s I’ve met think of Finland when planning their trips to Europe. However, I did and I think it’s totally worth the visit! Here’s 10 things I love about Finland.
I didn’t know about Moomins until I went to Finland and they are the cutest little creatures! Moomins are fairly tale characters from the books and comics by Tove Jansson. Each Moomin has a name and a story behind it. They’re so popular in Finland there is even a Moomin World! The Moomin cups are also adorable and a great gift idea.
2. Endless Summer Sun
I visited Finland in July, which is basically the peak of summer. I knew the sun didn’t set completely during summer but I didn’t anticipate how amazing this would actually be. This is what I noticed:
- I didn’t get tired.
- I had more energy.
- I had to remind myself to go to bed.
- You can come home at 2am and it’s still daylight.
- I felt like I got more out of my day.
- The night-time doesn’t creep in to remind you of tomorrow.
Tip: if you’re like me and need an ultra dark room to sleep, take an eye mask to block out the light. Works perfectly.
3. Summer Cottage
In summer many Fins travel to their summer cottage for a getaway with family and/or friends. Many of the summer cottages are in the woods close to or by the sea. I was lucky enough to do this with my Finnish friends and it was great fun! Just think lots of food, drinks, sauna, swimming, games, laughter and being in nature.
If you didn’t know already, sauna is a big part of Finnish culture. Many Fins have them in their homes and regularly use them. Some Fins tap themselves with Birch leaves (known as Vihta or Vasta depending on where you are in Finland) to help stimulate circulation and/or promote relaxation in Sauna. Afterwards you jump into the ocean to cool down and repeat the process! I found it very refreshing.
If you’re a lover of music then you need to know about Ruisrock! It’s a 3 day annual music festival in Turku that attracts world famous and local artists. Founded in 1970, it’s also the oldest music festival in Finland and the second oldest in Europe. You can check out the most recent lineup here. I had SO much fun at this event. Highly recommend it!
6. Heavy Metal
Speaking of music, the quality of Finnish heavy metal bands is outstanding! According to GIS Lounge, Finland seems to have the highest proportion of metal bands to residents globally (53.2 heavy metal bands per 100,000 residents). Two Finnish metal bands that I think are definitely worth checking out are Children of Bodom and Nightwish. At one stage you could even get Nightwish on your credit card in Finland!
If you like the sound of an adorable, quaint town with cobblestones streets and boutique shops and cafes, Naanatali is a must. It’s also by the sea and is where the Finnish President resides.
Marimekko is one of Finland’s iconic fashion brands known for bright colours, patterns and collaboration with various artists. Products include clothes, bags, accessories and homewares. I found the products genuinely unique and left Finland with many Marimekko items!
This salty liquorice is not everyone’s cup of tea (kind of like Australia’s Vegemite) however I really liked and enjoyed Salmiakki! I even repurchased it from a Nordic store in Sydney once I returned. Let me know if you’ve tried it?
Fins are super fun once you get to know them. They’re friendly, hospitable, highly educated, easy going and certainly know how to party. They also speak excellent English although they can be shy too initially. I met some wonderful, lifelong friends in Finland.
Let me know if you’ve been to Finland? What did you like about it? Or if you’d like to visit Finland, what would you like to see the most?
Hei Hei! (bye in Finnish)
PS. This post isn’t sponsored. All opinions are my own 🙂