The country in northern Europe is not only worth a visit during the northern lights season. Finland or Suomi has a very special language. And it also delights visitors with its lakes, forests and moose.
Seeing the Northern Lights under a clear night sky is an awe-inspiring experience for many. In Lapland in northern Finland, these northern lights appear on around 200 nights a year. Aurorae occur when electrically charged solar wind particles collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere.
Celebrations are popular in the Finnish capital – especially on December 6, Independence Day. But a visit to the port city is also worthwhile because of the architecture and the many restaurants and bars. Before gaining independence from Russia, Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of Tsarist Russia until 1917.
The sauna is part of everyday Finnish culture. For centuries, Finns have been sweating, relaxing, and debating in this hot spot that keeps their immune systems running during the frigid winter months. There are saunas everywhere in Finland, even in the Parliament in Helsinki there is one.
The Finnish coast in the southwest of the country has tens of thousands of offshore rocky islands, the archipelago. The Kvarken Archipelago is part of the archipelago and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The red wooden houses with white windows are typical of the region.
Legendary designers such as Alvar and Aino Aalto made designs from Finland a household name. In Helsinki’s Design District there are countless shops where young creative people offer their products and in the Design Museum you will find Finnish design classics from vases to tableware to furniture.
About 100,000 moose live in Finland’s forests. However, the shy animals are rarely seen in the wild. If you want to meet moose, it is better to go to one of the parks or zoos where moose live. You can pet tame mooses at Moose Manor Park near Jämsä in central Finland.
Finland’s 40th national park was inaugurated in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of independence. Wild animals such as bears, wolves, lynx, and eagles live in the parks. A rare species of freshwater seal, the ringed seal, can be seen in the national parks around Lake Saimaa.
Finland has a long vodka tradition. Most vodka is made from barley and the distillation process can take months. There are also types of vodka with flavors of Nordic blueberries, raspberries or cranberries. Hard alcohol is very expensive. You can only buy it in state monopoly stores called “Alko”.
White winter landscapes are guaranteed in Finland. So if you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or dog sledding, this is the place for you. Many husky breeders in Lapland have specialized in tourism and offer dog sled tours through the wilderness.
Almost all Finns love salmiakki, salty liquorice. The classic salty liquorice comes in hard or soft versions, but you can also find new creations of this typical Finnish specialty, for example with chocolate.
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