When you say Finland, the first thing that probably comes to your mind must be the Northern Lights. It is, without a doubt, the most spectacular natural light show offered by our planet. It is a sight that is hard to express in words and something that stays with you for ages. Having said that though, Finland has so much more to offer apart from the Northern Lights!
Festivals, carnivals, adventure sports, stunning natural landscapes, hiking experiences and centuries-old towns are just a few of the amazing things that the country has to offer you. All of this makes a trip to the lands of Finland irresistible. In fact, once you take a look at a few pictures of the stunning landscapes, you might end up wanting to shift there permanently.
As you know, Finland is one of the northernmost locations on Earth, and therefore, it has extremely cold weather conditions during the majority of the year. The winters can last for span of 3 to 7 months, depending on the part of the country you’re in. Of course, this does not detract travellers that have been enticed by the charms of rustic living! With over 40 national parks in the country, it is surely a dream place for people who love trekking or hiking. Furthermore, with the incredible snow cover that the majority of the country experiences, there is no shortage of opportunities for you to explore different winter adventure sports.
Finland has a lot of cities that are worth touring for multiple days. While Helsinki is famous for its neoclassical architecture and a beautiful sea fort, Rovaniemi is popular for its skiing options. Saariselkä offers you glass igloos to witness the amazing Northern Lights from and Savonlinna takes you back in time through its majestic castles.
What is the best time to visit Finland? Does it always snow here? Will the weather conditions allow you to travel freely? Which are the best places to visit according to the time of the year? Is there something for people who like to explore cities and towns? These are just some of the questions that come to mind while thinking of visiting Finland. To answer all of this, we have assembled a detailed overview of all the things you need to know (season-wise) so that you can choose the best time to visit according to your preferences!
Peak Season: June to August
Off Season: September to October
Shoulder Season: March to Mid-May and November
Due to its location, Finland has a long winter with certain areas (the Lapland) witnessing even 7 months of winter in a year, which is a dream come true for people who love winter. However, the summers are equally special with the sun out almost the whole day. The spring season is the smallest season of all, with the winter continuing till March. The following table will help you get an easy understanding of how the temperature fluctuates throughout the year.
|Travel Seasons||Min/ Max Temperature||Weather|
|Spring||0-10°C||Pleasant and Breezy|
|Summer||12-23°C||Bright and Pleasant|
|Winter||-10-5°C||Snowy and cold|
Temperature: The temperature during spring in Finland fluctuates between 0°C and 10°C.
Weather: Even though spring in Finland officially starts in March, more often than not, the winter takes over the month of March. It is only midway through April that the sun comes out properly, the trees start getting their leaves back and the sound of birds chirping reaches your ears as music. The climate is definitely pleasant at this time of the year, with light breezes making the weather cool and fun. The average lowest temperature during this time of the year is around 0-1°C with the highest being 10°C. Even though it may seem too chilly, it actually is not.
Significant Events: Vappu is the most popular festival this time of the year. It is Finland’s version of the International Worker’s day. The residents of all the major towns come out on the streets to celebrate in a joyous manner. Also called The Walpurgis Nights, the event lasts for multiple days with the locals enjoying this small holiday season.
The Helsinki City Marathon is another event that should interest travellers who are into fitness.
Why you should visit now: The spring season in Finland is one of the shoulder seasons of the year, with the major hotels and tourist spots seeing a drop in the rates. Apart from this, it is the perfect time to visit the towns and cities because of the fewer number of tourists this time of the year. You get a chance to visit the museums and castles without having to navigate your way through crowds.
Things to know before the visit: Since the temperatures vary from place to place, you should carry clothes accordingly. If you visit in the second half of May, the number of summer clothes should be more.
Also, if you are planning to visit smaller towns or villages, book the hotel room in advance as the tourists enjoying winter sports might still be there.
Tip: Spring is the most budget-friendly season of the year with all the hotels and restaurants giving discounts during this season. Book your tickets well in advance to get even better deals.
Temperature: The temperature during the summer ranges between 12°C and 23°C.
Weather: Some might say summer is the best time in Finland with the minimum average temperature hovering around 12°C and the maximum average temperature around 23°C. The temperature is pleasant with crystal clear skies and long 20+ hours of sunlight throughout the day.
Significant Events: The summer in Finland witnesses multiple festivals and carnivals in the months of June, July and August.
The 10-day Naantali Music Festival in the first two weeks of June is an ideal way to kick off the summer season. Multiple classical music artists from around the country visit the city of Naantali to make it a festival to remember.
The Organ and Aria Festival is a long festival that starts in June and continues till the last week of August. It involves grand recitals and the best classical music artists performing at Espoo.
In August, the town of Helsinki hosts the urban musical festival - the Flow Festival. Apart from top artist performances, the festival boasts of some incredibly delightful food options for everyone coming in. Vegans are in for a treat here because of the abundance of fresh-farm and organic food items on the menu.
Why you should visit now: To be honest, the summer in Finland is nothing short of magical. The days are unusually long with 20-22 hours of sunlight in a day. The sun basically hides behind the clouds for a couple of hours before it comes back. This in itself is something unique for travellers to experience. As a result of the long days, the museums and castles are open to tourists for longer hours.
Go bask in the glorious sunlight everywhere you go. Hike through the natural trails in national parks to get closer to nature. Also, it is the best time to visit Lapland, which is otherwise incredibly cold and closed to tourists during the winter season.
Things to know before the trip: The Finnish summer has unusually long days so if you are planning to stay outdoors, then carry an umbrella with you. It is a good time to visit places that are off-limits during the winters so do not forget to explore such places.
Tips: Carry a mosquito repellent cream as these bugs are everywhere during this time of the year. Similarly, a sunblock should be your constant companion as there will be a lot of exposure to sunlight. Since it is one of the peak seasons in Finland, it is advisable that you book your tickets well in advance.
Temperature: The air temperature during the season of autumn fluctuates between 5°C and 15°C.
Weather: The Autumn season in Finland is much longer than its spring season. The minimum average temperature drops to 5°C in most parts of the country with the maximum average temperature hovering around 15°C. It is quite rainy this time of the year, especially in the month of October. It can get quite dull and sluggish during this time of the year and the rain only stops when it starts snowing.
Significant events: Due to the continuous rains, there are not many festivals or events during this time of the year. Sampo International Theatre Festival in Helsinki, Loviisa Sibelius Festival and Kaunianiem Music Festival are the three most popular events in the three months during Autumn.
Why you should visit now: September is a great time to visit as you will be witnessing multiple shades of yellow and brown on the trees. For landscape photographers, this is the ideal time to visit. November offers a different take on Finland’s weather as it starts snowing and marks the beginning of the winter. Also, since it is the shoulder season, you can stay in the best hotels at affordable prices.
Things to know before the visit: This part of the year experiences maximum rainfall and hence not carrying your umbrella with you will not help you in any way! Be prepared for unexpected rain showers. Due to the lack of tourists this time of the year, a lot of tourist spots are not open or close early, so exploring nature would be the best option for entertainment.
Tips: Due to the low number of tourists this time of the year, you do not have to worry that much about booking hotels or air tickets in advance. There’s a good possibility that you can get it in the last minute as well.
Temperature: The air temperature during the season of winter fluctuates between -10°C and 5°C.
Weather: The Winter in Finland can be one of the harshest winter seasons in the world, with the average minimum temperature dropping 10°C below the freezing point. The average maximum temperature stays around 5°C and that is enough to tell you about the level of chilliness you experience here. There is heavy snowfall across the country, and you might see only 3-4 hours of light during the peak winters.
Significant events: More than any festival or carnival, this time of the year is popular for winter sports enthusiasts. It is heaven for everyone who loves skiing and snowboarding. Rovaniemi and Levi are the two most popular destinations in the country for skiing.
Christmas is the biggest festival in the winter season. It is truly a different and unique experience with almost all the country covered in snow, giving you a proper Christmas-y vibe. The towns and cities are decorated with lights and the whole country is in a festive mood.
Book at least one night in a glassed igloo in Saariselkä and witness the phenomenal Northern Lights. You just cannot miss it.
Why you should visit now: Northern lights. Aurora Borealis. Call it whatever you want but this solely is a good enough reason for you to visit Finland in the winter season. It is truly a magical phenomenon that will leave you short of superlatives to express your feelings. If you want to explore living in snowy conditions to the fullest, then Finland in winter is for you.
Things to know before the visit: Even though this time of the year does not see that many tourists as the summer season does, there still are thousands of tourists in the winters. You must book your tickets beforehand, especially if you want to go to the skiing resorts as they fill up pretty quickly.
Tips: Pick good quality winter clothes as it gets really cold. Travel to a top skiing resort, the city of Helsinki and the igloo town of Saariselkä to experience everything there’s on offer during the winter!
Enchanted by Finland’s different seasons? Then why not experience one of them by booking a holiday with Thomas Cook? Visit our website or drop in at your closest branch!