Ukraine: Travel Implications
Updated 19 August 2022
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs urges cancellation of all travel to Russia.
It is impossible to transfer money to/from Russia, or to use foreign cards for payment or to withdraw cash from ATMs in Russia.
The EU has banned Russian planes from EU airspace, which includes Finnish airspace.
Finnair flights in Russian airspace cancelled until further notice.
Finnair operations in Ukrainian airspace suspended until further notice.
Finnair flights to Osaka cancelled until 29 October 2022.
Finnair flights on some routes are longer due to re-routing to avoid Russian airspace.
Coronavirus in Finland: Travel Status
New cases of COVID-19 remain high in Finland.
Masks are recommended but not required on public transport.
International travel is back to normal in almost all respects.
See authorities' and travel companies' websites for current rules and recommendations:
Finnish Government: International Travel
Air Travel: Finavia
Public Transport: Helsinki
Public Transport: Other Cities
Public Transport: Intercity
FAQs: Finnish Govt info and portal for all aspects of Corona
Adventures in Finland
- Finland & Regional Info
- Year-round Adventures
- Sauna and Spa
- Winter Activities
- Winter Adventures
- Rally Driving
- Related Links: Transport +
- Finland's best-known public figure is Santa Claus, and each winter people come from all over the world to visit him. But did you know you can meet Santa all year round in his village at the Arctic Circle? Find out more about Santa at VisitFinland.
- The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. From September to March the Northern Lights may be seen in Lapland a few times a week. In southern Finland the phenomenon is less common - perhaps 10-20 nights per year. They are less visible from cities due to the bright light conditions. Wherever you do see them, it's something you won't forget! There are great videos, filmed in Lapland, at VisitFinland
- The Moomins, created by Tove Jansson, are a particular favourite amongst Japanese visitors. In fact Moominvalley Park recently opened in Miyazawa, near Tokyo. But where better to meet the Moomins than at their Finnish home? www.moominworld.fi
Hibernation: please remember that Moomins sleep all winter and don't come out of hibernation until February
- Finland's Sauna Culture is ubiquitous - there are over 3 million saunas for a population of under 5½ million! Some saunas are adventures in themselves.
- Rally Driving Finland has more World Rally Championship champions than any other country. Experience the thrill of being a Flying Finn!
- Sweden & Estonia are obviously not in Finland, but some visitors are unaware how simple and affordable it is to visit either of these countries for a day or two. Furthermore, cruises to Stockholm pass through the stunning Archipelago. Numerous ferries depart Finland daily for each destination, and an overnight cruise is often cheaper than a hotel room. Stockholm and Tallinn each have beautiful 'Old Towns' and should not be missed!
Every season offers experiences unique to Finland, and this page links to some specialist service providers.
For general information and region-specific information, see also:
- VisitFinland: The official travel site of Finland, with tons of articles, photos and videos for Destinations, Seasons, and Themes
- Regional Sites: Finnish municipalities have their own travel sites with information on local events and activities
- Finterest: Zoom in on the map of Finland for details of events and activities in 6 groups: Culture, Kids, Events, Sports, Outdoors, and Nature
There are plenty of unique experiences to be had in Finland, any time of year!
- Wild About Lapland Summer and winter arctic tours from Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. Eco-responsible tourism in small groups, with a focus on adventure, animals, wilderness and respect for nature. Winter, Summer and Aurora packages as well as many individual tour options, and Summer camps for kids and youths. Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence
- Tackork Gård and Marina In the heart of the archipelago and nestled in nature, Tackork is a 'very Finnish' destination for a vacation, party, meeting or corporate event. The buildings date from the 19th century and local history goes back to the 13th century. Accommodations range from Tentsile tents (hovering in a tree!), Star Cottages, the Hunting Cabin, and the luxurious Suite. Regular saunas, a smoke sauna, jacuzzis and hot tubs can be booked for your private use. Enjoy local delicacies in the restaurant or, for larger groups, the banquet hall. Round up your evenings with music and dancing in the party hall.
Tackork's harbour has 24 berths, and Experiences for guests include use of classic 'pappa-tunturi' mopeds, kayaking, hunting, archery, an animal farm, and more. Tackork also hosts conventions with hunting, fishing and nature themes. Tripadvisor rating 4.5
- Seaside Glass Villas in Kemi. 21m² one bedroom villas with small kitchen and bathroom right on the Bay of Bothnia. A unique place to stay, from Northern Lights to Midnisght Sun.
- South Coast Fishing Adventures in Isnäs, an hour east of Helsinki - spring / summer / autumn. Guided fishing trips and packages, and cottages from 50m² - 230m² (with saunas of course!). For vacations, groups or business groups - catering is also available.
- Iloranta Fishing and Crabbing 'Farm resort' in the Finnish countryside. Well-being services and nature activities, including fishing, crabbing and gigling (night-time fishing) from rafts on Lake Iso-Roine. Wood-burning, smoke, and infrared saunas!
Regular saunas are great, but Finland also offers some amazing sauna experiences you won't find elsewhere. Floating saunas, sauna ships, and possibly the most unique sauna in the world - a ski lift sauna in Lapland. Many saunas available for rent are attached to a restaurant, so food and drinks are available. If you rent a sauna, towels, soaps etc. are usually supplied. Take a swimming costume in case you want to hit an adjacent public beach!
VisitFinland articles about sauna life:
6 Steps to Do Sauna: Woodpecker Film explains Finnish sauna in this 2014 video!
Saunas Finland-wide: www.saunaonline.fi/saunat Over 150 saunas of all types available for rent, from city centres to the wilderness. Choose your location from the menu on the left. Site in Finnish only but simple and works well at Google Translate.
- Loppi: Floating sauna-house About 90km north of Helsinki is the floating sauna-house Jalo, on a serene private lake - it looks awesome! Very Nordic with a traditional wood-burning sauna, Jalo can accommodate up to 12 people, has a spacious living room and huge rooftop terrace and grill. Cook your own, or catering is available.
www.jalolautta.fi En, Fi
- Saunasaari: Island of Smoke Saunas Literally "Sauna Island", Saunasaari is located between Suomenlinna and Laajasalo about 20 minutes by water taxi from the Kauppatori market square. It has smoke saunas available for rent, for 5-40 people. Catering is available, serving uniquely Finnish dishes.
- M/S SaunaShip: Up to 12 passengers can tour the Helsinki Archipelago on M/S SaunaShip, with its wood-burning sauna, lounge area, open fire and barbecue. Swim in the sea and have a freshwater shower afterwards. Tailored and regular tours are available; see site for photo gallery, details and reservations.
www.saunaship.com > In English En, Fi
- Löyly: Opened in June 2016, the unique architecture of the Löyly sauna complex on the shores of Hernesaari has made it an 'instant landmark', inside and out. Facilities include a traditional smoke sauna and two wood-burning saunas, and restaurant with a huge terrace on the sea. Have a burn and go swimming!
www.loylyhelsinki.fi/en/ En, Fi
- Restaurant Uunisaari: Island Sauna Situated on a small island near Kaivopuisto in Helsinki, 2 saunas for up to 15 people are available with drinks, food, Jacuzzi and a beach!
www.uunisaari.fi En, Fi
- Saunabus Wherever you're heading, take the sauna with you. Saunabus is for up to 8 passengers, with a comfortable cabin, fridge, TV, sound system and karaoke. Hot tub rental is also available. Seems to be popular for polttarit (bachelor parties).
www.härski.fi Finnish only Google Translate
- Ylläs: Sauna Gondola Unbelievable! A sauna in a ski lift gondola, taking up to 4 people to the top of the Ylläs fell in Lapland. Available for rent to groups of up to 12, who take turns in the gondola while friends enjoy the sauna, fireplace and Jacuzzi in the Cafe Gondola. Open during winter and from midsummer until end of September.
Travel article: A Sauna Like No Other En
Contacts: ski.yllas.fi/en/gondola/ En, De, Fi, Ru
- Ruka: Ice Sauna Winter only Built on frozen Lake Salonkijärvi, with room for up to 10 people. There is a hole in the ice for swimming next to the sauna. Drinks are served in the sauna and you can have a meal in the barbecue hut, by the open fire.
rukansalonki.fi En, Fi
- Parainen: Airisto Spa Just south of Turku, a beautiful retreat in the archipelago. Private sauna, smoke sauna, outdoor pool and hot tubs with beach access. Seasonal air, land, sea and ice activities are available, and a private restaurant with terrace.
www.airistospa.fi/en/ En, Fi, Ru, Sw
Winter: Officially December-February, but in practical terms include March
Temperatures: -30°C - 0°C
Snow: There may or may not be persistent snow on the ground in southern cities. In the North coverage is usually about 1 metre.
Everyday activities: You don't need a big budget to enjoy Finnish winter. Strolling on frozen lakes and harbours, tobogganing, cycling (with winter tyres) and ice fishing are daily pursuits all over Finland, and you don't need much gear. Cross-country skiing is very popular - but for downhill skiing, head North. It's also traditional to roll naked in the snow (usually during sauna) - Finns are experts at snow angels!
Helsinki Top Tip: Take the ferry across frozen waters to the historical island fortress Suomenlinna for a great value mini-adventure!
Skiing and Skating Conditions, Finland-wide:
Handy website shows the condition of ski trails, skating and swimming venues across Finland. In English, Finnish, Swedish
OK thrillseekers... the bit you were looking for! Most 'extreme' winter activities and adventures take place in Lapland. These companies are established and experienced, and offer tours, adventure packages, and activities:
- Adventure Apes: Adventure company based in Tampere, specialising in custom small-group adventures. Wilderness excursions, adventure-based activities, hiking and skiing tours, fishing trips and more. The Lapland Winter Adventure can include, amongst other activities, snowmobile and husky safaris, ski school, ice swimming, winter fishing, winter camping and survival skills, staying in a snow hotel or glass igloo... or building your own! En
- Arctic Treehouse Hotel: Not actually a treehouse, but a pretty awesome looking place. Individual 'glass house' suites combining local tradition, Lappish heritage and modern Scandi design. Fantastic views over the treetops. Very cosy-looking - it would be great to see the Northern Lights from here... En
- Aurora Dome: Spend a night by Lake Jeris or Lake Torassieppi in an Aurora Dome; igloo-shaped tents with Lappish-themed decoration and a transparent wall. Domes are fully insulated, with a fireplace. En, Fi
- Hetta Huskies: Fancy mushing through the Arctic wilderness? Hetta Huskies offers short and multi-day sled-dog safaris from their farm base 300km inside the Arctic Circle in Lapland. Most safaris meander through the boreal (Taiga) forests, though some multi-day safaris venture onto the high plateaus of the Arctic tundra. Overnight accommodations are usually in reindeer herders' shelters and cabins. Hetta's 'Leave No Trace' policy helped them become a Gold Award Winner, World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015. En, De, Fi, Fr, Ru
- Kemi: The city of Kemi has two very Finnish attractions, the first of which is definitely adventurous. The Sampo is a former Finnish government icebreaker, now offering a variety of cruises including an evening cruise in search of the Northern Lights. Snowmobile safaris to the Sampo can also be arranged. The adventurous part is the opportunity to swim in the frozen sea wearing a water impermeable survival suit. For a limited season, January-April, Kemi is also home to the Snow Castle which incorporates a hotel, restaurant and chapel En, Ch, Fi
- Lapland Safaris: A wide variety of activities, safaris and overnight adventures, some 'conventional', some more adventurous such as seeking the Northern Lights by snowmobile and staying in wilderness cabins or a snow village. En, De, Fi, Fr, It, Sp
- Nellim Wilderness Hotels & Safaris: Four resorts in Northern Lapland. Wilderness Hotel Nellim is a rustic, cosy hotel in the small village of Nellim. Wilderness Lodge Muotka, deep in taiga forest near Urho Kekkonen National Park, is further afield but also looks very comfortable. Wilderness Hotel Inari is located on Lake Inari. A perfect place to see the Northern Lights, with pristine nature and Arctic activities. Wilderness rooms, log cabins, aurora cabins and Inari panorama chalets. Wilderness Hotel Nangu is also located by Inari Lake. Wilderness rooms, panorama log cabins, aurora log cabins or Lake Inari aurora huts. During winter this is an adult-only destination, good for couples, friends, businesses, groups and events.
There are over 70 ski resorts in Finland, with 250+ lifts transporting guests on more than 300 km of slopes. The highest altitude ski resort is Pallas, at 780 m. Popular northern resorts with long seasons are Levi, Pyhä (and nearby Luosto), Ylläs, and Ruka. Himos is popular in central Finland, and Ukko-Koli in southern Finland. Vihti Ski Center is the largest ski resort in the capital region. Find out more at:
- Ski.fi: All about skiing in Finland, including a directory of ski resorts with information on opening dates, lifts, trails, and current conditions
- VisitFinland.com: Articles about skiing in Finland, each with links to related sites and information. Search skiing
- Nationalparks.fi: Nationalparks.fi is a brilliant resource where you can search destinations for the outdoors activity of your choice
- Finlandnaturally.com: Finland, Naturally is another great resource for winter activities throughout Finland
- Rally Promotion Finland
One-day Introduction to Rally courses through to longer personal, intensive rally coaching programs. Summer and winter programs, using Subaru Impreza WRX rally cars. Co-piloting Experience also available - take the ride of your life on a forest rally road! Tracks include Saukkola forest rally stage, 1 hour from Helsinki airport and 25 minutes from nearest hotel. Service can include pick-up from Helsinki Airport.
- Juha Kankkunen Driving Academy
Sport Driving and Rally School with 4-time rally world champion Juha Kankkunen and his team at the 6.5 km Kuusamo race track next to Ruka ski resort. Winter only - programs on ice and snow covered tracks. All driving programs are tailored, for both beginners and advanced drivers.
- BMW Winter Driving Experience
15 minutes from Rovaniemi airport. Key elements include driving with limited friction, steering technique, emergency braking and avoiding, and drifting exercises. The annual program is held in March. At the end of the session participants can compete against each other. Group bookings are available, and Consumer Days for single entrants. Vehicles are BMW xDrive 1- series and 3-series.
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