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Finland is often known as a winter destination. Long cold winter months are full of things to do from northern lights hunting to skiing and skating. But what about summers? It isn’t talked about as often, but Finnish summer is maybe even more beautiful and eventful when compared to winter. Because there are only a few summer months, locals really know how to make the most out of it.

Here are some of our favorite summer activities.

  1. Visit a National Park

In Finland, nature is for everyone and that’s why the first thing on this list is a visit to a national park. Finland has 39 national parks and all of them are totally free of charge. You can get free maps from the internet and walk around aimlessly. If you are a fan of camping, take your gear with you (or rent from Finland). Even sleeping in the national park is free. You just have to decide on a park that’s fitting for you. Lapland has amazing views, national parks in central Finland idyllic countryside sceneries and Sipoonkorpi National Park is located in Finland’s capital Helsinki. However, these are just a few examples.

 

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  1. Finnish Cottage Life

Finns love their summer cottages and you should try this experience at least once in your life. If you don’t have a Finnish friend who could invite you to spend time in their own cottage, you can always rent one from anywhere in Finland. Cottage life is definitely one of the best things to do in Finland during summer. At first, it may sound boring but spending summer in a cottage means a lot of outdoor activities, spending time in nature and usually swimming in a clear watered lake. You can play Finnish summer games like ‘Mölkky’, throwing the boot or hide and seek. Traditional Finnish cottage doesn’t have any luxury (not even an indoor toilet) but you can also rent a modern cottage with all the newest equipment.

  1. Outdoor Museums

Wherever you travel in Finland you can find an outdoor museum close by. These museums are often open only during the summer and are in the middle of nature. If you are a tourist in Finland or even longtime resident, visiting outdoor museums will teach you a lot about the local culture while being the perfect way to see more of idyllic Finnish nature. One example of an outdoor museum is Seurasaari Open-Air Museum. Like most of the outdoor museums, Seurasaari is dedicated to historic Finnish culture with old buildings, farm animals, and guides wearing traditional clothing.

 

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  1. Enjoy the Midnight Sun

You may have heard about northern nightless night or midnight sun. If you haven’t, basically it means that in northern countries there is one day in a year when the sun never sets. Finns celebrate this day with partying through the night. Characteristic midnight sun celebrations include a huge pile of branches that is set on fire at midnight, playing summer games, drinking and doing summer spells (for example to see your future husband in a dream). The main point is to have fun.

 

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  1. Travel to Åland and Finland’s Archipelago

The last tip for our “best of” list during summer is a visit to Finland’s archipelago. Finland’s biggest island is also an autonomous area called Åland. It and the other islands of Finland differ a lot from the mainland. Bike and car tours around these islands are popular during summer months and definitely worth of try if you are planning on staying in Finland for a longer period. Even locals do these island trips during summer because archipelago is a beautiful area full of idyllic islands and many things to see.

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Henrique Kerch

I’m a Caracas native, living in Chicago. I have a passion for travel, culture, food, adventure and discovering new places off the beaten path. I still remember the first trip I took internationally as a child and the excitement that it was to know that everyone will speak another language. Traveling was cool—waking up early to make the trip to the airport, packing too much and then realizing it’s much better to pack light.

Now a travel writer, I get to see new places continually, check out new restaurants, and talk about my experiences. Just as I’m about to be done with a trip, I see myself at the airport daydreaming while staring at the departure board thinking about my next destination.