Top 12 Things Finland Is Famous For

finland is famous for
| 6 min read

Finland is an enchanting Nordic country that is hailed as the “Happiest Country in the World” by The World Happiness Report. This is because of the country’s impressive healthcare for everyone, quality educational institutions, and high incomes. Not only that, but it also boasts stunning landscapes that are perfect for outdoor activities. It features a wide range of accommodations as well, including glass igloo hotels and Vrbo vacation rentals. During the Christmas season, the country turns into a winter wonderland, where you’ll find Santa replicas everywhere. Not only that, but this country also banks on the visibility of the Aurora Borealis during equinoxes, and the number of remarkable glass igloo resorts in the country are a testament to that. For a clearer picture of the charms and offerings of this Nordic country, here is a list of the top things Finland is famous for.

1. Aurora Borealis/northern lights

finland is famous for | aurora borealis/northern lights

Finland is a gorgeous country that is famous around the world for its stunning landscapes, friendly people, excellent quality of life, and delicious food. Not only that, but lots of tourists dream of coming to this country to witness the elusive and enchanting Aurora Borealis. Also referred to as The Northern Lights or Polar Lights, these beautiful natural phenomena that happen in the sky in high-latitude places, is a dazzling display of light that everyone has to see at least once or twice in their lifetime.

It showcases different colors, such as green, violet, pink, blue, and orange, and it is visible in only a few countries in the world - Alaska, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and some countries in the southern hemisphere. Finland has numerous glamping spots so that you can stay in nature and marvel at the beautiful sky filled with auroras.

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Aurora Borealis Wilderness Tour in Rovaniemi - Klook

Duration: 4hrsDuration

2. Happiest country in the world

National Costumes, Finland
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ninaras used under CC BY 4.0

According to The World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world, and it has been on the top spot three times in a row now. Although you may think that happiness is subjective, the United Nations has formed a matrix that determines one country’s happiness level. It is based on different factors, such as development, health care, economy, people’s satisfaction with life, and a lot more. Some people can definitely tell that Finland is a happy place as it is one of the countries with excellent education an healthcare systems. More so, the country boasts must-visit attractions, remarkable architecture, sumptuous cuisines, the famous northern lights, and a village where you can meet Santa any time of the year.

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3. Lapland

Utsjoki, Lapland, Finland
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ninara used under CC BY 2.0

Lapland is situated in the northernmost region of Finland. Husky safaris, reindeer rides, skiing in alpine slopes, and visits to places such as Arktikum make Lapland a trip of a lifetime. Kevo Canyon, Finland’s highest peak, and the Kilpisjärvi area are perfect for hiking enthusiasts. Lake Inari and River Teno offer water activities such as fishing, canoeing, and boating.

The Särestöniemi Museum is a must-visit for art and culture enthusiasts, showcasing Finnish artists’ works and providing insight into the country’s rich cultural history. The winter season, from November to April, is the best time to visit, with snowfall and skiing activities offered.

However, if you’re visiting from June to August, then Finland has numerous things to do during the summer holidays, including experiencing the midnight sun. Lapland is easily accessible by air through cities such as Kemi, Enontekio, Rovaniemi, Kittila, and Ivalo, and is well-connected by rail and road.

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4. Reindeers

Reindeer farm, Inari, Suomi - Finland 2013-03-10 f
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tsui used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the famous things that Finland is known for is the abundance of reindeer roaming in the country. Reindeers are an integral part of the Finnish culture and can be experienced in many parts of the country, particularly in Lapland.

The village of Saariselkä in northern Lapland is an excellent place to enjoy a traditional reindeer safari, led by a Sami guide. Visitors can ride a reindeer sleigh while taking in the winter landscape and learning about Sami culture. The town of Levi is another popular location for reindeer safaris, offering a range of experiences, including an overnight stay in a traditional Sami tent.

Reindeer farms, such as the Sirmakko Reindeer Farm near Levi and the Kopara Reindeer Park near Rovaniemi, also offer a chance to learn about reindeer and Sami culture. Visitors can feed the reindeer, learn about their daily life, and indulge in a traditional Lappish meal.

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Finland Tour Guide

Ann Travel Finland  (Anna Siukola)

Ann Travel Finland (Anna Siukola)

Hi, my name is Ann, and I offer author’s Helsinki and Southern Finland tours in English to individual travelers, families, friend groups, and large groups. My style is educative and entertaining, so you will have a lot of facts presented in an easy, fun, and friendly manner. I am knowledgeable in various fields, but my tours are not boring history lessons. Instead, we will have a lively narrative and discussion, and I promise you will WANT to know more! I conduct all sorts of tours: sightseeing-, thematic-, tailored-for-your-interests, customized tours; walking and biking tours, and tours with the use of public and private transport. You name it! Whatever you select, I can assure you that you will have great memories when you are back home!18 years ago, I moved from one beautiful city to another – from St. Petersburg to Helsinki. Back in St. Petersburg, I worked as a tourist guide, and following my passion for this profession, I studied for and received the authorized tourist guiding diploma in Helsinki as well. Through these years, my knowledge of modern life in Finland, the language, people’s mentality, traditions, culture, etc. has naturally deepened. All curiosities which make up Finnish culture, have become part of me, and Finland has become my dear, beloved home. As an international person living in Finland myself and having an international family (at home, we speak English, Finnish, and Russian), I would like to offer you a tour where I am going to tell you about Helsinki, its history and traditions, its modern vibe and the international diversity of it before and today. What is the place of Finland in this fast-changing world? Let’s talk about it, and compare it to your home country if you will.My customers love the way I connect historical facts about Finland and the neighboring country - Russia. Having been an authorized St. Petersburg guide as well, I always find it fascinating to bring up some historical connections. Well, well… Finland was part of Tsarist Russia for a century, so there are loads of connections here. Now, due to the current situation, people don’t travel to St. Petersburg, but many, from my experience, are interested to know about the current state of affairs out there. Through my tours, you can get a touch of it too. Just IF you want.My other occupation is a multidisciplinary artist, which is why on my tours I love to point out architectural details and all the man-made beauty of Helsinki. As a person who is very passionate about history, art, architecture, and overall – beauty around us and a person who loves to share her knowledge and inspiration, I also love to meet other cultures and exchange our knowledge about this beautiful and diverse world. So, come to have fun with me on my tour and get a touch of the old and modern sides of the atmospheric Helsinki city!Contact me and let's plan your visit to Helsinki together!

5. Santa Claus (from USD 128.5)

finland is famous for | santa claus

Santa Claus is a big part of the fascinating Finnish culture. They claim that Santa is originally from Finland. Do you want to know where Santa came from, specifically? The Finnish have an answer for that - Korvatunturi. Korvatunturi is a fell in Lapland, in the municipality of Savukoski. Santa Claus is a representation of how much of a happy country Finland is, as this legendary character represents bliss and festivity. More interestingly, when you visit the country, you do not need to wait for Christmas to see Santa as he has an official office and a whole village on the captivating Arctic Circle that welcomes everyone, all year round.

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Rovaniemi: Santa Claus Village and Arctic Circle

Duration: 3.5 hour

214 reviews

6. Midnight Sun Film Festival

Midnight Sun Film Festival 2005
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pallarim used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Directors, producers, artists, and film enthusiasts surely know about the Midnight Sun Film Festival. To those of you who have no idea what it is, it is a five-day film festival that happens annually in Sodankylä, Finland. Most of the time, this entertaining and informative event is held in the second week of June. It features a well-curated program of different film-related activities. There is a film marathon, where almost up to 50 films and documentaries are shown throughout the course of the festival. Also, there are talks from various film directors and producers. Participants can also attend masterclasses that will teach them important techniques.

Midnight Sun Film Festival

Address: Sodankylä, Finland

Website: Midnight Sun Film Festival

Opening hours: Second week of June (annually)

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7. Skiing

finland is famous for | skiing

With Finland’s diverse landscapes that include mountainous and forested areas, it is no wonder that skiing is a widely popular sport in the country. Finland boasts a multitude of excellent ski resorts that offer various slopes, ideal for all types of skiers. Plus, the weather in Finland is very favorable for this sport. From October to May, it is possible to enjoy some ski fun in holiday resorts as the landscapes are still covered in snow. Some of the best ski resorts in Finland that you should try, include Pyha Ski Resort, Saariselka Ski Resort, Vuokkati Ski Resort, Levi Ski Resort, Ruka Ski Resort, Tahko Ski Resort, and a lot more.

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Backcountry Skiing Adventure in Rovaniemi - Klook

Duration: 4hrsDuration

8. Glass igloos

Kakslauttanen Igloo village
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tarja Mitrovic used under CC BY 2.0

Finland attracts millions of tourists annually. Most of these tourists come to the country with the thought in mind that it is the happiest country in the world. Aside from its fascinating culture, nice people, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious food, the Aurora Borealis is one of the main reasons why people fly all the way to Northern Europe. Due to this, resorts in the country have come up with creative and luxurious ways to bank on this desire. Some resorts in Finland offer upscale glass igloos, where tourists can see the skies all night, inside the shelter of a cozy glass igloo. It is an experience that makes guests feel like they are one with nature. One of the best resorts in the country that offers this experience is Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.

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9. Sauna

finland is famous for | sauna

Finland is characterized by a lengthy winter season and moderately rainy summers. This is why it is a common misconception that the country is winter all year long. Due to this climate, saunas are widely popular in the country. The Finns are fond of their steam rooms, and wherever they live, they can find one that they can access. Some households even have their own saunas. Even some workplaces and factories have saunas. In 2013, it was recorded that the country has 3.3 million saunas all over Finland, more than half of its population then, which is 5.3 million.

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Arctic Evening Experience with Snow Sauna in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland - Klook

Duration: 4hrs30 Min Duration

10. Nokia

Nokia N86
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user File:Nokia N86 8M... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

In terms of modern technology, there is one brand that Finland is known for - Nokia. This multimillion Finnish company was founded in 1865 with headquarters in Espoo, Finland, Helsinki. It is a global brand that covers information technology, multinational telecommunications, and consumer electronics. The company caters to almost 130 countries in the world, and as of 2018, they had 103 300 employees working for the company. In 1998, this global brand was hailed as the best-selling mobile phone brand in the world. Presently, Nokia is still in the telecommunications playing field, offering 5G-capable smartphones.

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11. Salmiakki

Halva - Väkevä Salmiakki
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tiia Monto used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Finland is known for its delicious Nordic cuisines. Tourists who are also foodies will have a field day in the city when they visit as it features many great places to eat. Aside from complicated dishes and well-plated fine-dining fare, there is one delicacy that Finland is popular for - Salmiakki. This culinary treat is made from black licorice, flavored with ammonium chloride, and it has a salty flavor. This treat is eaten like candy. Finns can’t get enough of their salmiakki.

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12. Helsinki (from USD 24.92)


Helsinki is the captivating capital of Finland. It is nestled on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland, south of the country. Helsinki is a charming metropolis that has a breathtaking sea-facing landscape. It is also highly urbanized, just like most capital cities in the world. Unlike other modern cities, this one boasts remarkable period architecture that beautifies the lot of it. Aside from architecture and modern attractions, Nordic cuisine is also a reason to visit Helsinki. Some of the most visited points of interest in the city include Suomenlinna, Temppeliaukion Church, Senate Square, the bustling Market Square, and the remarkable Sibelius Monument.

Tip from tour guide

Video of Helsinki shared by Finland tour guide, Anna.

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Helsinki: Highlights & Hidden Gems Self-Guided Walking Tour

Duration: 1 hour

Fall in love with Finland

There are numerous good things about Finland, it is a stunning city with fascinating culture, warm people, beautiful architecture, and impressive attractions. It is also a country that has been hailed as “The Happiest Country in the World” for three consecutive years now. You can even meet Santa Claus at the Santa Claus Village all year round. Surely, there are lots to love about Finland. If you are planning to visit this charming Nordic country, be sure to familiarize yourself with this list of things that Finland is known for. Don’t forget to check out the top things to do and places to visit in Finland as well!

Tip from tour guide

In addition to the aforementioned attractions, Finland is famous for ice swimming in winter and warm swimming in summer. With its abundant lakes, the country offers ample opportunities for swimming, so be sure to bring your swimsuits regardless of the weather.

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Frequently asked questions about the top things Finland is famous for

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