Finland

What you need to know before you go

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    Finland, in Europe’s far northeast, is a land of extremes. From the 24-hour sunshine and hiking trails of summer to the eerie darkness and deep snow drifts of winter, what to do in Finland very much depends on the season. The great outdoors are a big feature of the country and, with around 188,000 lakes, the word ‘great’ barely begins to describe it. The further north you get, the wilder the countryside gets and, as Finland reaches into the Arctic Circle, you also get the chance to see the Northern Lights.

    Finland isn’t just for adventurous travellers, though. The capital city, Helsinki, is quite a cultural hub and home to beautiful historical buildings and very striking modern ones, while Tampere is packed with museums, music and art and Rauma is home to a very large wooden old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While Finns remember and are proud of their heritage, it’s a high-technology country with very forward-thinking people.

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    • Helsinki

      Helsinki, the super-cool Finnish capital, is an intoxicating blend of forward-thinking innovation and revered tradition. Many visitors flock straight to Suomenlinna, a jaw-dropping, UNESCO-protected island fortress, which dates back to the 1700s. Once you’ve explored its imposing battlements and winding tunnels, stick around for a picnic and take in the sweeping city views.

      Back in town, check out the neo-classical splendor of Senate Square, which is dominated by a towering statue of Russian Emperor Alexander II. Then it’s time to browse the Design District’s effortlessly cool lifestyle stores, before diving into the city’s flourishing, eclectic food scene.

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