The Best Time to Visit Finland

best time to visit finland

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Finland combines wilderness, design heritage, and strong epicurean traditions into one Nordic package. Although the climate varies throughout the year, all seasons in this mystical country have something to offer visitors. Still, the best times to visit Finland are the months of May through September, as these offer the mildest weather and the greatest number of tourist attractions.

While temperatures in the winter months rarely climb over 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 degree Celsius), the chance to see the Northern Lights also makes this a great time to visit Finland. However, the fairly warm summers provide great opportunities to explore the culture and wilderness of the country, and late spring, especially  May and June , are the most pleasant months in Finland. Finns take their summer vacations in July, which means higher prices, some business closures, and the need for advance reservations. Meanwhile, August and September have more annual rainfall than the prime spring and summer months yet visitors still enjoy mild temperatures.

The Varying Weather in Finland

Contrary to what many travelers believe, Finland's climate is quite diverse and varied throughout the year. Not surprisingly, July is the country's warmest month and February is the coldest, and those two months are also the wettest and driest months, respectively. 

The overall climate is not as cold as many visitors think. Even though it's at the same latitude as southern Greenland, the country receives warm airflows from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. Still, the weather is variable and can change quickly, especially in the winter. Winters are long and cold and the country's northern reaches might have snow on the ground for nearly half of the year. Average temperatures from November through March rarely exceed 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 degree Celsius). 

Warmer temperatures can be found in southwestern Finland, especially the country's islands situated in the Baltic Sea. In the summer, the weather is mild and warm, like other parts of the region. From June through August, temperatures typically range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 23 degrees Celsius). Keep in mind that beyond the Arctic Circle in the north of Finland, you can experience the Midnight Sun each summer, when the sun never goes down.

Key Events and Festivals

During May or June, the weather in Finland is typically warm and relatively dry, meaning that outdoor activities and events are plentiful. Just a few of the many spring and summer events in Finland include the  Organ Night and Aria Festival  from June through August; the  Naantali Music Festival , the  Black and White Theatre Festival , and the  Midnight Sun Film Festival  in June; and  Sirkus Finlandia and the  Pori Jazz Festival  in July.

The  Juhannusvalkeat  (Midsummer) Festival is a major celebration throughout Finland, complete with bonfires, dancing, and another revelry. The celebration of  Juhannus , as the Midsummer festival is called in Finnish, originates from John the Baptist whose commemoration and birthday are celebrated in Midsummer. Before 1316, the summer solstice was called  Ukon juhla , after the Finnish god Ukko.  

The High Tourist Seasons

Both winter and summer are the high tourist seasons in Finland, partly due to the special attractions, weather, and events you'll find in the country these times of the year and partly due to school and government holidays in Finland. While residents of Finland only get one week off from school in the winter—called the skiing holiday—kids and adults alike have more than four weeks of vacation to enjoy. As a result, you'll find larger crowds at popular destinations across the country from June to August and over the last week of December and the first week of January. Fortunately, this doesn't mean that hotels will be fully booked or popular attractions will be overrun—you can typically still find good deals on accommodations and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sights and events of Finland any time of year.

Spring in Finland is short and often overlooked as so many travelers flock to the country during the summer months. In some parts of the country, there still might be snow on the ground—it's even possible to ski through late spring—but the season is quite versatile depending on where in Finland you visit and when. While March can be chilly with temperatures hovering around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), by May, temperatures are regularly in the mid-50s.

Events to check out:

  • Vappu, Finland's version of International Worker's Day, is held on May 1. It's one of the country's largest holidays and brings residents to the street for days of partying. The celebration is also sometimes called Walpurgis Night.
  • The Helsinki City Marathon is an annual road running event held each year in May. Formerly held in August, the marathon draws more than 6,000 runners each year.

In Finland's north, the  Midnight Sun  is best seen in June and July. While Finns are used to dark Arctic winters, Midnight Sun is the complete opposite, as this natural phenomenon results in the sun remaining visible for almost 24 hours a day during peak summer months. Finns embrace the contrast between the two seasons, and in summer, public places come alive and everyone stays out late. It's a festive, happy atmosphere. It's also an ideal time to go hiking and camping. Finland has 40 national parks , scattered around the country’s archipelago, lakes, forests, and fells. Finland’s “Everyman’s rights” mean that you can venture just about anywhere in the parks as long as you respect nature and clean up after yourself.

  • In Helsinki during August, a must-do is the  city's annual Flow Festival , an urban music festival which is held in an abandoned power station on Helsinki's outskirts. The festival features some of the world's most popular flow performance acts and offers an impressive food menu with extensive vegan, organic, and farm-to-table selections.
  • Organ Night and Aria Festival is a unique series of late evening classical music concerts held throughout the summer in Espoo that include recitals as well as grand performances of major works.
  • The long-running Naantali Music Festival is held in the sunny, coastal town for which it is named. Concerts are held in a medieval abbey and other venues along the archipelago.

September and October are good times to visit Finland if you're on a budget and want to avoid the high tourist season. However, with the diminished crowds, many attractions will be closed. Still, photographers may relish the New England-style fall foliage display in September and October. If you don't mind missing out on the festivals and concerts but enjoy the thought of quiet and pleasant walks, beautiful landscapes, and relatively mild weather, then early fall may be the best time for you to visit Finland.

  • The annual Sibelius Festival takes place each year in September and serves to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer and violinist. The festival includes performances by Sinfonia Lahti, the city's famous symphony orchestra.
  • Helsinki Design Week spans two weeks in early September and features fashion designers, furniture designers, architects, and other creatives displaying their collections for the coming season.

If you consider yourself a winter-loving traveler, then the colder season may be the best time for your trip to Finland. It's a pricey time of year, but Christmas in Finland, packed with snow and local events, is a great experience. You can  visit Santa in Lapland  and cross the magical Arctic Circle at the  Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi , where you'll find Santa's reindeer and can even go for a reindeer sleigh ride.

Winter is also a time to visit the town of  Kemi where unique ice creations and snow castles attract visitors. The town, located by the Bothnian Bay, is known for the huge snow castle known as LumiLinna that has been erected there every year since 1996. Inside the monolithic ice sculpture, guests will discover a chapel, restaurant, and hotel, complete with ice tables, rooms, a bar, beds, and reindeer fur seat covers. Kemi also has a gemstone gallery that displays a model of the crown of Finland and other pieces like the imperial state crown of Britain and Sceptre of Czar from Russia.

  • If you want to see the Northern Lights ( aurora borealis ), aim for December. The aurora effect is a result of charged particles from the sun striking atoms in Earth's atmosphere, causing electrons in the atoms to move to a higher-energy state. When the electrons drop back to a lower energy state, light is released. This process creates a beautiful light effect.
  • The biggest events of the winter revolve around celebrating Christmas in Finland , which includes a number of unique traditions, starting with First Advent on the first Sunday in December.

The best time to visit Finland is during the months of May through September, when the weather is mild and the tourist offerings are plentiful.

Finland is the eighth-most expensive country in Europe. Visitors pay more for alcohol, restaurant visits, and hotel stays than in other European countries where electricity and other services are cheaper.

Northern Lights season in Finland spans from mid-August until early April, and the best time for spotting the Aurora Borealis is at the beginning and end of the season.

Britannica. "Finland." Retrieved March 8, 2021.

Helsinki Times. "Why Juhannus Matters." June 27, 2017.

Britannica. "What Causes the Northern and Southern Lights?" Retrieved March 8, 2021

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The Best Time to Visit Finland

By Condé Nast Traveller

Huskey dogs sledge safari ride at sunset in winter wonderland Levi Lapland Finlad

The best time to visit Finland can vary because every season in the Nordic country brings a different kind of charm. If you're seeking sunlight, the sun barely sets in the summers, whereas winters are your best bet at catching a glimpse of the northern lights dancing in the skies. In autumn, Finland is bathed in shades of crimson and gold, and the springtime is temperate and green. The best time to visit Finland depends on what lighting excites you the most: 24/7 daylight , or the neon green aurora borealis against the night skies? Here’s a quick guide to the best time to visit Finland.

• What is the best time to visit Finland? • What is the best time to visit Finland for the northern lights? • What is the best time to visit Finland for snow? • Temperature in Finland throughout the year • Plan your trip

What is the best time to visit Finland?

The best time to visit Finland is in the summer, between June to August , when the temperature ranges between 53°F and 73°C. The days are unusually long in the summer, with 20 to 22 hours of sunlight a day. Museums, castles , and other tourist attractions are open for longer during this time of the year, allowing you to explore long after the usual opening hours. Since winters last for nearly seven months in Finland, summer is also the best time to explore Finland’s 40 national parks and many nature hikes. This is also the season for festivals in Finland; for example. the 10-day Naantali Music Festival , which features classical music artists from around the world, takes place in June.

Shoulder season in Finland spans from April to May, which is to say: springtime. The temperatures usually hover between 32°F and 50°F. There are fewer crowds and nightly rates at hotels take a dip. Speaking of shoulder season, visit Finland in autumn, between September to November, when the temperature fluctuates between 41°F and 59°F, and the country's trees are plentiful shades of yellow and crimson. As it goes with shoulder season, hotels and airfare tend to be cheaper, and there are fewer tourists.

Winter in Finland, which is from December to March, is not for the faint of heart, with temperatures ranging between 14°F and 41°F and sunlight present only three to four hours a day. But this might also the most rewarding time to visit Finland because winter is northern lights season.

What is the best time to visit Finland for the northern lights?

Finland is one of the best countries in Europe where you can chase the northern lights. The northern lights are visible all year round, but they are seen only once the sun sets. Since there's minimal nighttime during the summer in Finland, the best time to spot the aurora borealis is during the winter season, from December to March, when days are actually just nights.

The northern lights are easiest to spot when you’re away from the cities. The secret recipe for a great sighting is clear skies, low light pollution, and long winter nights. If you’re lucky, you may spot the aurora in Helsinki itself, but your best bet is to head north to Lapland, Kemi, Rovaniemi, Muonio, Ivalo, Kakslauttanen, Levi, or Saariselkä.

What is the best time to visit Finland for snow?

Even if you don’t get lucky with the northern lights, the good thing about visiting from December to March is that there are plenty of winter activities to do while you're in Finland. November marks the beginning of the snow season in Finland. Stay in an ice igloo; go skiing or dog sledging; race rally cars through the Arctic; and visit Santa Claus’ home in Rovaniemi.

How many days do I need for a trip to Finland?

The number of days totally depends on your itinerary. If you wish to just explore the capital of Helsinki and places close by, a four- or five-day trip is sufficient. However, if you wish to see Lapland and more, plan a 10-day trip.

A version of this article originally appeared in Condé Nast Traveller India .

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The best time to visit Finland

By Condé Nast Traveller

Best time to visit Finland

Every season in Finland brings a different kind of charm. The suns barely sets in the summers. Winters are your best bet at catching a glimpse of the northern lights dancing in the skies. In autumn, Finland is bathed in shades of crimson and gamboge. The best time to visit Finland depends on what lighting excites you the most – 24-7 daylight or the neon green aurora borealis against the night skies. Here’s a handy guide to the best time to visit Finland.

Jump to What is the best time to visit Finland? What is the best time to visit Finland for the northern lights? What is the best time to visit Finland for snow? What is the best time to visit Finland for snow? Temperature in Finland throughout the year

What is the best time to visit Finland?

The best time to visit Finland is in the summer between June to August , when the temperature ranges between 12°C and 23°C. The days are unusually long in the summer, with 20-22 hours of sunlight a day. Museums, castles and other tourist attractions are open for longer during this time of the year, allowing you to explore after hours. Since winters last for nearly seven months in Finland, this is the time to explore Finland’s 40 national parks and many nature hikes. Summer is also when Finland hosts many festivals. The 10-day Naantali Music Festival, which features classical music artists from around the world, takes place in June. Spring spans from April to May and is shoulder season. The temperatures usually hover between 0°C and 10°C. The crowds are lesser and hotel tariffs see a dip. If you wish to watch Finland bathed in yellow and crimson, visit in autumn between September to November, when the temperature fluctuates between 5°C and 15°C. This is also shoulder season, with lesser crowds and more affordable accommodation. Winter in Finland, which is from December to March is not for the faint of heart, with temperatures ranging between -10°C and 5°C and only three to four hours of sunlight. But also the most rewarding because this is the best time to catch the northern lights . It is also the best time for winter activities and to visit Santa Claus’ birthplace Rovaniemi.

What is the best time to visit Finland for the northern lights?

Finland is one of the best countries in Europe to chase the northern lights. The northern lights are visible all year round, but they are seen only once the sun sets. With summers extending into long days with sunlight, the winter months between December to March are the best time to spot them.

The lights are easiest to spot when you’re away from the cities. The secret recipe for a great sighting is clear skies, low light pollution and long winter nights. If you’re lucky, you may spot the aurora in Helsinki itself, but your best bet is to head north to Lapland, Kemi, Rovaniemi, Muonio, Ivalo, Kakslauttanen, Levi or Saariselkä.

What is the best time to visit Finland for snow?

Even if you don’t get lucky with the northern lights, the good thing about visiting from December to March is that there are plenty of winter activities to do – November marks the beginning of the snow season in Finland. Stay in an ice igloo, go skiing or dog sledging, race rally cars through the Arctic and visit Santa Claus’ home in Rovaniemi.

How many days do I need for a trip to Finland?

The number of days totally depends on your itinerary. If you wish to just explore the capital of Helsinki and places close by, a four to five day trip is sufficient. However, if you wish to see Lapland plan a 10-day trip.

Temperature in Finland throughout the year

April to May - 0°C and 10°C June to August - 12°C and 23°C September to November - 5°C and 15°C December to March - 10°C and 5°C

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The best time to visit Finland is generally during the summer months of June, July and August, when the climate is warmest, the days are longest and the blossoming landscape at its prettiest. It’s also when tourist facilities and transport services operate at full steam. That said, visit Finland in winter and you can enjoy a snowy wonderland and all the outdoor activities that come with it, such as cross country skiing, snowmobiling and the magic of a reindeer ride, followed by that great Finnish institution – a steaming sauna. Of course, there’s also that spectacular aerial showstopper, the Northern Lights (aurora borealis), which are best seen dancing across the sky between August and April.

Weather in Finland

When to visit finland in spring, when to visit finland in summer, when to go to finland for its summer festivals, when to visit finland in autumn, when to visit finland in winter, when to go to finland to see the midnight sun, travel ideas for finland, created by local experts.

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Mention the very word “Finland,” and most people will shiver at the very notion of the place, with images that involve frozen tundra and thickly iced lakes. Despite sitting fairly far north, Finland maintains a relatively mild climate, thanks to its many lakes and the warming Gulf Stream that flows in off the Norwegian coast – though the weather can change quite quickly, especially during the winter, worth considering when deciding the best time to visit Finland. Snowfall is greater in the north and eastern regions, and usually under a blanket of snow in winter.

Skiing on a track in winter Finland © canadastock/Shutterstock

Winter cross-country skiing © canadastock/Shutterstock

Rainfall levels are moderate and more or less constant throughout the year, with an annual average of 65cm; the coast and the northern stretches tend to rain less than in the south and in the interior.

Visiting Finland in March–May

Although technically spring, March is still clinging on to winter. It remains cold and often snowy, but match this with the longer days, especially once April arrives, and it’s the best time to go to northern Finland for a snowsports holiday. In fact, it’s not unheard of to find snow hanging around nearly until the beginning of summer in Lapland.

In the south, spring usually begins around mid-April, though it can remain chilly in a number of places until May. However, at least winter has released its icy grip and you'll see the country slowly emerge out of hibernation. Events also start up again in spring: jazz lovers will enjoy the April Jazz Festival in Espoo, just a half-hour drive from the capital, Helsinki .

Helsinki cityscape © elina/Shutterstock

Helsinki cityscape © elina/Shutterstock

By May, spring is in full swing: temperatures average 10˚C (50°F), flowers are lighting up the countryside and everywhere is a lush green. If you’re in Finland on 1 May, you can’t fail to notice the celebrations taking place across the country. Vappu (also Labour Day) is a national holiday that marks the end of the long winter and the welcoming of spring – an excellent excuse to let loose with boisterous festivities. The party gets going the night before, with people filling the bars and restaurants in Finland’s towns and cities.

Visiting Finland in June–August

With the dark winters seemingly endless, Finns are ready to embrace the warm, sunny days of summer when it finally rolls in. The landscapes are at their best – a palette of vibrant greens and everything in full bloom. And in sharp contrast with the winter months, the summer days are long. So long, in fact, that the sun doesn’t even bother to set from the middle of May until late July in the north – from June in the south. The Midnight Sun is just cause for celebration, and Midsummer ( Juhannus ) is a national holiday. Finns typically take off to spend the weekend closest to the 25 June at country cottages, to hang out with friends and family, light bonfires, steam in a sauna, and relax or party until the small hours – after all, when it’s constantly light, who knows when it’s bedtime? If you’re in the city during Midsummer you may well find it more or less deserted.

Aerial view of fishing boat with young woman and man in blue summer lake in Finland © Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

Boating on Finland's lakes in summer © Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

The best month to visit Finland for warmest weather is, without doubt, July. Temperatures average 17°C (62°F), though highs of 26°C (32°F) are not unheard of, especially in the interior. This is summer proper, when everyone makes the most of the good weather and heads outdoors – for hiking and biking, swimming and boating, fishing and foraging for wild food. The only downside is getting bitten by mosquitoes – lots of them.

Vacation time for Finns is generally from Midsummer to early August, when they tend to head en masse to the countryside or the coast – though even then, only the most popular areas are uncomfortably crowded. By mid August it’s back to school time, which means a chance to enjoy a quieter (and cheaper) break.

Picking berries in the forest of Finland © Tsuguliev/Shutterstock

Picking berries in the forest of Finland © Tsuguliev/Shutterstock

If you’re asking when is the best time to visit Finland for its capital, Helsinki, choose May, early June or September, when it's at its liveliest – though you’ll find plenty going on throughout the year.

Summer offers plenty of fun and culture via its many festivals. Kicking off in June is the Midnight Sun Festival (Sodankylä Elokuvajuhlat), five days of screenings by national and international filmmakers in the city of Sodankylä, in northern Finland. In July, head west for the hugely popular Kaustinen Folk Music Festival , or Pori Jazz , one of the top jazz festivals in Europe. But one of the biggest events in July is the Tangomarkkinat (the Tango Festival) in Seinäjoki, where couples have been twirling each year since 1985. If you’re in Helsinki in August, get tickets for Flow , a contemporary music and arts festival, with international heavyweights taking to the stage.

Visiting Finland in September–November

Visually speaking, autumn is a superb time to visit the country, especially in Lapland during ruska-aika (russeting): the lower fells become bathed in golds and oranges, bracken and beech glow bronze, poplars cloak the hills in yellow and the higher hills turn a deep crimson. Bear in mind though that the coastal waters can be fairly nippy as early as September, and that most sights and attractions have reduced hours outside of high season, from mid-September onwards.

Lake cabin in Ruissalo, Turku, Finland © Igor Grochev/Shutterstock

Lake cabin on the island of Ruissalo, Turku © Igor Grochev/Shutterstock

September to October is one of the best times to visit Finland for sightings of the Northern Lights, particularly if you’re in the north of the country. You can also expect the first whisperings of winter in October. This means temperatures drop – to below freezing at nighttime in the north – and the number of daylight hours shrinks. It’s also often rainy and windy. Travel in November and you’ll probably find Finland at its gloomiest: short days eking out just four hours of daylight near the Arctic Circle and only a couple more down south.

Visiting Finland in December–February

There’s no skirting around it: winter is dark and cold, February being the coldest month. But the snow is transformative. Landscapes are beautiful under the heavy layer of glistening, powdery white, and become a playground for anyone interested in the outdoors. From ice skating to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and Nordic skiing, or just strapping on a pair of snowshoes and walking through the soft stuff – there are many ways to enjoy this time of year. And what could be better than spending the day outside in the cold and then having a glugg of hot glogg, Finland’s version of mulled wine, and thawing out in a wood-burning sauna – although you’ll probably want to skip the option of plunging into a freezing cold lake after.

Book this excellent winter woodland snowmobiling and ice fishing adventure to find out how the Finns enjoy the winter wilderness of Rovaniemi in Lapland.

Bath in the winter snowy forest © Lana Kray/Shutterstock

Sauna in a Finland forest © Lana Kray/Shutterstock

Obviously December is the best month to travel to Finland for Christmas snowy magic, especially in Lapland, home of Father Christmas himself. If you go in early December, before school’s break for the holidays, or in January, you’ll find it less busy and easier on your wallet in terms of accommodation costs.

It’s worth mentioning that the Finns are well used to these conditions and don’t bat an eyelid when everything freezes over. This means everything runs smoothly and visitors are well catered for. Bear in mind, though, that towns and cities during the coldest months feel somewhat dormant. Also worth noting is that the Finns from the south tend to take their skiing holidays in February and March in the north, so you should book accommodation and outdoor activities in advance.

Reindeer safari winter in Lapland, Finland © BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

Reindeer rides in Lapland © BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

When is the best time to travel to Finland to see the Northern Lights?

Firstly, the best place in Finland to see the Northern Lights is north of the Arctic Circle. And Lapland’s wilderness and sparsely populated region means little light pollution, which makes it ideal for catching sight of the heavenly display, assuming there are clear skies. The short days and long nights from autumn through winter and into spring give the best chance of sightings, with September-October and February-March being the optimum times.

 Northern lights Aurora Borealis activity in winter Finland, Lapland © Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

Northern Lights activity in Lapland © Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

There are numerous tours on offer to see the Northern Lights, and some ski resorts are set up to maximise sightings. For example, in Lapland, at the resort of Yllas they turn street lights off after 10pm if the Northern Lights put in an appearance, while many resorts, such as Levi, offer accommodation with panoramic views.

It’s one extreme to another: from mid-winter winter darkness to perpetual light. Due to the way the Earth tilts on its axis, regions above the Arctic Circle experience days of unbroken daylight, from mid May to late July. The best place to see the Midnight Sun is Lapland, as you’ll have around 70 days to witness this phenomenon. But even Helsinki, in the south, barely sees the sun dip below the horizon before popping back up again.

Summer midnight sun lake in Finland © Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

Summer midnight sun in Finland © Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

In a nutshell, the best time to visit Finland to see the Midnight Sun is between June and July in the south, mid May to late July in the northern regions.

If we've inspired you to visit Finland, why not let our local experts help you to plan a tailor-made holiday adventure ?

Top image: Lake in Finland in summer © ArCaLu/Shutterstock

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When's the Best Time of Year to Visit Finland?

The attractions and climate across Finland can vary wildly, so most months provide you with diverse things to do

When it comes to experiencing the enchanting wonderland of Finland , timing can make all the difference. This northern European gem offers a kaleidoscope of seasonal joys, each with its own unique charm and activities. This guide will tell you all you need to know about visiting this pearl of northeast Europe at any time of year.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips , compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips .

best time to visit finland

This could be the best time of year to travel to Lapland and see the Northern Lights, since Christmas is over and most of the crowds have thinned out with children back at school. The sky is still dark enough for clear and stunning views of the lights, and the snow is deep enough to enjoy other Lappish activities, such as riding in a reindeer sledge or going skiing. Cities aren’t quite as exciting during this time as there aren’t many events on, and the short daylight hours may make things rather bleak.

Rainfall: 9 days

Temperature: 19°F (-7° C)

The coldest month of the year in Finland should only be braved by the truly daring. While the winter days aren’t quite as short, the entire country tends to be covered in snow and ice at this time, and getting around is incredibly difficult with an increased risk of accidents. Yet these conditions almost make visiting Finland in February a rite of passage. This time of year is a paradise for you winter sports enthusiasts to take advantage of the prime snow conditions. Try snowmobiling, Nordic skating , cross-country skiing or any of the other winter sports .

Rainfall: 8 days

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Temperature: 19°F (-7°C)

best time to visit finland

The daylight hours begin to lengthen in March , but the cold still remains. If Easter falls during this month, then you can expect it to still be covered by snow. The great contrast in weather can cause a lot of frustration for Finns, with the snow close to melting one day and a cold front swooping in on the next and covering everything in a fresh layer all over again. A plus is that the Northern Lights can be very active around the spring equinox on March 21st, and the night skies are still dark enough for a final glimpse before spring.

The further north you travel, the better the chance of spotting the Northern Lights in March to ensure you make the most of this beautiful and culturally rich region.

Temperature: 27°F (-3°C)

Spring can be highly different in various parts of Finland. While flowers begin to bloom in the south, the north is still in the icy grip of winter. This is probably what makes Easter such a low-key holiday in Finland. More events and tourist sites begin to open up in the cities, such as the April Jazz Festival in Espoo or the Reindeer Racing Championships in Inari. However, the winter activities in Lapland begin to dry up around this time, and the thinning ice makes some of them dangerous. Most of the northern ski resorts will still be open, though, and will have fewer crowds.

Temperature: 38°F (3°C)

best time to visit finland

May 1st is Labour Day in Finland; with the weather finally clearing up, most locals use that extra day off to relax, take a walk or have a picnic outside. The end of the long winter is celebrated with fairs, a carbonated fruit drink known as sima , and funnel cake (the chocolate-covered variety is the best). It’s also around this time that university classes end, so expect loud and wild parties in student towns. Overall, it’s a great month to see Finland peppered with lush greenery, and you can take advantage of the improved weather before the tourist season begins in earnest. Rent a summer cottage now, before the demand increases.

Rainfall: 6 days

Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

With the sun finally out, most Finns jump at the chance to take their long-awaited summer holidays in June. One of the biggest public holidays is Midsummer , which is usually on the closest weekend to June 25th. Tradition is to spend the holiday at summer cottages and light bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve. Cities become almost deserted during the holiday weekend and the sun doesn’t set at all in Lapland. The chilly weather can persist in the far north, but this is still a good time of year to visit Finland and take part in an ancient tradition. However, again, you’ll have to book your accommodation far in advance.

Temperature: 59°F (15°C)

best time to visit finland

This is when summer truly begins in Finland. The entire country comes alive for a month to take advantage of the brief window of warmth and sunshine; concerts and events are held up and down the country, from the Ilosaari Rock heavy metal festival to Animecon. The Finnish countryside is at its most beautiful at this time: perfect for cruises , fishing or berry-picking , as long as you use plenty of bug repellent. You can generally expect a heatwave during this month as well, but the effects of climate change can cause sudden and unexpected heavy rain showers. Another downside is that the midnight sun can make sleep almost impossible without blackout curtains or an eye mask.

Rainfall: 10 days

Temperature: 63°F (17°C)

August is typically when children go back to school and summer holidays end in Finland. Plus, the temperature begins to drop more rapidly than the rest of Europe, meaning a lot of the tourist attractions close. The weather is still generally fine, however, especially in the south, so it ‘ a more quiet and relaxing time for a late summer break. Fewer tourists also means that hotels and holiday chalets are typically cheaper. August is a good time to go for a shopping spree, since most stores have massive clearance sales to make room for their Christmas stock.

Rainfall: 11 days

best time to visit finland

The Finnish autumn is short but highly underrated. The weather may be cold and wet, but it’s not to the point of making accessibility difficult. You can still practice your photography in the cities, watch the birds migrating, or enjoy some indoor activities; since the tourist season is over, they’ll be less crowded and much cheaper. The Northern Lights begin again in Lapland, particularly around the autumn equinox on September 21st, although the increased cloud cover makes them difficult to spot.

October is a highly divisive time in Finland. The south still has autumn leaves and mild temperatures while, in the north, the temperature drops below zero and snow is returning. The days also become significantly shorter, and there are fewer open tourist sites and special events. Halloween isn’t that popular in Finland, since All Saints Day is practised instead, during which Finns place candles on the graves of deceased loved ones. However, some do still observe Halloween by attending costume parties or watching scary movies, which is perfect on a dark night in.

Temperature: 41°F (5°C)

The Finnish winter really kicks in around this time, becoming cold, dark and icy with a greater chance of slipping some renegade ice. This even prompted the Helsinki tourism board to put up a sign in the city centre, saying, “Nobody in their right mind would come to Helsinki in November. Except you, you badass. Welcome.” Alternatively, head to Lapland for your first glimpse of the Northern Lights and shopping at the Christmas markets before the winter tourism season starts and the prices shoot up.

Rainfall: 13 days

Temperature: 32°C (0°C)

best time to visit finland

Visiting Finland, and especially Lapland, during the Christmas season is a dream come true for many, and it is truly magical. The decorations, markets, snow and Northern Lights all create a winter wonderland. The only downside is that, with so many other people having the same idea, hotels and resorts become incredibly crowded and more expensive. Visiting in early December before the school holidays begin is one way to beat the crowds, and you can also join in the celebrations for Independence Day on December 6th.

Rainfall: 12 days

Temperature: 25°F (-4°C)

When not to go to Finland

Easily, the period between September and November is the worst time to visit the Finnish cities due to the amount of ice and slush on the ground. There are also reduced hours of daylight and fewer things to do. Summer in Lapland does have some charm, but there are far fewer attractions open and swarms of mosquitoes, which are best avoided.

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The best time to visit Finland

By Condé Nast Traveller

Best time to visit Finland

Every season in Finland brings a different kind of charm. The suns barely sets in the summers. Winters are your best bet at catching a glimpse of the northern lights dancing in the skies. In autumn, Finland is bathed in shades of crimson and gamboge. The best time to visit Finland depends on what lighting excites you the most—24-7 daylight or the neon green aurora borealis against the night skies. Here’s a handy guide to the best time to visit Finland.

Jump to What is the best time to visit Finland? What is the best time to visit Finland for the northern lights? What is the best time to visit Finland for snow? What is the best time to visit Finland for snow? Temperature in Finland throughout the year Plan your trip

What is the best time to visit Finland?

The best time to visit Finland is in the summer between June to August , when the temperature ranges between 12°C and 23°C. The days are unusually long in the summer, with 20-22 hours of sunlight a day. Museums, castles and other tourist attractions are open for longer during this time of the year, allowing you to explore after hours. Since winters last for nearly seven months in Finland, this is the time to explore Finland ’s 40 national parks and many nature hikes. Summer is also when Finland hosts many festivals. The 10-day Naantali Music Festival, which features classical music artists from around the world, takes place in June. Spring spans from April to May and is shoulder season. The temperatures usually hover between 0°C and 10°C. The crowds are lesser and hotel tariffs see a dip. If you wish to watch Finland bathed in yellow and crimson, visit in autumn between September to November, when the temperature fluctuates between 5°C and 15°C. This is also shoulder season, with lesser crowds and more affordable accommodation. Winter in Finland, which is from December to March is not for the faint of heart, with temperatures ranging between -10°C and 5°C and only three to four hours of sunlight. But also the most rewarding because this is the best time to catch the northern lights . It is also the best time for winter activities and to visit Santa Claus’ birthplace Rovaniemi.

What is the best time to visit Finland for the northern lights?

Finland is one of the best countries in Europe to chase the northern lights. The northern lights are visible all year round, but they are seen only once the sun sets. With summers extending into long days with sunlight, the winter months between December to March are the best time to spot them.

The lights are easiest to spot when you’re away from the cities. The secret recipe for a great sighting is clear skies, low light pollution and long winter nights. If you’re lucky, you may spot the aurora in Helsinki itself, but your best bet is to head north to Lapland, Kemi, Rovaniemi, Muonio, Ivalo, Kakslauttanen, Levi or Saariselkä.

What is the best time to visit Finland for snow?

Even if you don’t get lucky with the northern lights, the good thing about visiting from December to March is that there are plenty of winter activities to do— November marks the beginning of the snow season in Finland. Stay in an ice igloo , go skiing or dog sledging, race rally cars through the Arctic and visit Santa Claus’ home in Rovaniemi.

How many days do I need for a trip to Finland?

The number of days totally depends on your itinerary. If you wish to just explore the capital of Helsinki and places close by, a four-five day trip is sufficient. However, if you wish to see Lapland plan a 10-day trip.

Temperature in Finland throughout the year

April to May - 0°C and 10°C June to August - 12°C and 23°C September to November - 5°C and 15°C December to March - 10°C and 5°C

Plan your trip

A reindeer-lover’s guide to Finland Where to see the northern lights all over the world The only northern lights guide you need The best things to do in Finland So this is where Santa Claus really lives Where to go in Finland beyond Helsinki 23 best igloo hotels to watch the Northern Lights

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Best time to visit Finland – the four seasons

best time to visit finland

Finland has four clearly distinctive seasons. But because Finland is quite large – the distance from Helsinki on the south coast to the northernmost part of Lapland is more than 1,000 kilometers – the seasons change at slightly different times in different parts of the country. For example, April is spring in the south but winter in the north.

The Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic brings its own mix to Finland’s climate by raising Finland’s temperatures higher than in other equally northern regions. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Lapland isn’t as cold as Siberia.

In this article we explain about seasons in Finland and recommend some of the most interesting travel destinations for each month.

Winter in Finland

husky safari lapland

Finland’s winter is cold, snowy and dark. The length of daylight in the south is only a few hours, and in Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t rise for weeks.

In present times of climate change, Christmas is often snow-free in Helsinki – we Finns call it Black Christmas. A proper winter in southern Finland begins January and continues until March. 

The best winter destination in Finland is Lapland. In the north, winter begins as early as November, when the first snow falls on the ground. 

December – visit Santa Claus in Rovaniemi

In Lapland, December is full winter: temperatures are freezing and there’s enough snow for all kinds of winter activities. 

December is the peak tourist season in Lapland, especially in Rovaniemi, where people arrive from all over the world to meet the most famous Finn, Santa Claus. Rovaniemi is a popular travel destination for a good reason, as you can find all the best experiences of Lapland in this small town. In addition to Santa, you can experience reindeer, huskies and snowmobiles in only two or three days. 

Read more: Rovaniemi – Gateway to Finnish Lapland

January and February – the best time to see Aurora Borealis

northern lights lapland

January and February are the coldest and darkest months. On the north side of the Arctic Circle the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon, although that doesn’t mean it is pitch dark in the middle of the day. The light of polar night is magical bluish twilight, an experience in itself.

Midwinter is the best time to see aurora borealis, the northern lights, and there is no better place for watching them than Lapland. Northern lights can be spotted by chance, but weather forecasts show probabilities for auroras in different regions. Northern lights occur at an altitude of 80-100 kilometers, so it’s not possible to see them in cloudy weather. Usually the best time to see the aurora borealis is in the evening before midnight.

March and April – perfect time for winter activities in Lapland

kiilopää lapland

In March the days get brighter. Daylight hours stretch around the clock and temperature climbs up from horribly freezing numbers. During Easter, the ski resorts in Lapland are sometimes so warm that you can enjoy the sun at the slope bar without a jacket – at least for one beer.

In March and April it’s time for the most amazing outdoor weather. This is the best time for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and fat biking on the snow. There are several large ski resorts in Lapland (Levi, Ylläs, Saariselkä, Pyhä) with ski lifts and comprehensive equipment rental services.

Read more: Lapland in Winter – Best Winter Activities

Spring in Finland

Spring advances at a different pace in the north and south. While people still go skiing in Lapland at the end of April, the snow in the south has melted long ago. The days are long and bright everywhere.

May – nature awakens

May is the worst time to visit Lapland, at least if you want to enjoy the great outdoors. As the snow melts, the ski resorts close their lifts, but on the other hand, the melting waters make ground so soft and wet that it’s not worth going on a trek just yet.

Instead, in Southern Finland, May is an excellent month. Spring is already long and nature has woken up: birch buds blossom and white wood anemones cover the ground.

The best outdoor destinations in Southern Finland in the spring are Nuuksio National Park and Repovesi National Park. Both are small and suitable for day trips for the whole family. It’s not worth going on an overnight hike in May, as the nights are still quite chilly.

Read more: Day Hikes in Finland – 8 Best Short Hiking Trails

When nature awakens, Finnish national animal, the brown bear, also wakes up from hibernation. In the Kainuu region, Martinselkonen Wilderness Center, it’s possible to see adult bears as early as mid-April. The little cubs, adored by nature photographers, won’t come close to the bear safari hides until June.

Read more: Bear Watching in Finland – Guide to Bear Safaris

One of the recommended destinations for spring is the Åland archipelago. In May, the fiercest tourist season has not yet begun, but there is a special treat available: Åland is known for asparagus, and in May the asparagus season is at its best.

Summer in Finland

According to a popular proverb, the Finnish summer is short but at least there’s very little snow. Fortunately, the joke is not true. Especially in Helsinki and elsewhere in Southern Finland fine summer weather lasts up to four months from May to September.

In Lapland, the season is shorter: the actual summer months are July and August.

June – summer cottage season begins

June is an excellent time to visit Turku and drive around the Archipelago Trail; Finns’ summer holidays have not yet begun, so there is space on ferries and hotels. 

Renting a summer cottage in June is also a good idea, as the cottage season for Finns doesn’t begin until Midsummer.

Midsummer Festival, celebrated in late June, is the biggest holiday of the whole year alongside Christmas. Midsummer lasts for a long weekend (plus a couple of days of hangover), and by far the most popular way to celebrate it is at a cottage with family and friends. The cottage itinerary includes sauna, barbecue and drinking.

Read more: Summer Cottages and Cabins in Finland – Guide to Finnish Cottage Life

July – the best time for road trips

punkaharju finland

July is the warmest month in Finland. Since July is a holiday month for most Finns (yes, the annual summer holiday is often full four weeks!) Helsinki and other larger cities resemble ghost towns. Instead, the Lakeland region and Turku archipelago are pretty busy. You can explore both by renting a summer cottage or going on a car trip.

July is the most popular time to take a thorough road trip. In addition to the warm and sunny weather many small towns have lovely summer cafes, which are only open during the holiday season.

Read more: Driving in Finland – Tips and 4 Best Road Trips

July is also a time of major festivals. Among others, Ruisrock, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Kaustinen Folk Music Festival are held in July.

Read more: The Best Festivals of Finland

August – Helsinki Festival weeks

Finns end their summer holidays at the end of July, although the summer weather continues throughout August. August is an excellent time to rent a summer cottage, as there is more choice than in July and the prices are a bit cheaper. At a cottage it is definitely worth visiting a nearby forest to pick blueberries and chanterelles.

In addition to cottages, August is the best time for a city break in Helsinki. The reason is that when the weather is fair – and the people of Helsinki are not on holiday somewhere else – the Finnish capital is at least for a moment full of lively and laid back urban vibe.

helsinki finland

The best time of the year to visit Helsinki is late August, when the Helsinki Festival is celebrated. For 2-3 weeks, various art events are organized around the city: classical music, world music, theater, contemporary dance and the new circus, film screenings and, of course, events for children. The Helsinki Festival culminates in the carnival-like Night of the Arts, when the streets and parks of the city center are bustling with art performances and the museums are open free of charge until late into the night.

Read more: Helsinki and Southern Finland – Travel Guide

Autumn in Finland

In Finland, autumn is considered to begin in September, although in fact the summer weather in the south will continue until the end of September. In the north, on the other hand, the change in the season is clearly noticeable as early as the beginning of September. That’s why the best place to enjoy early fall is without question Lapland – and the farther north, the better! 

September to October is also the season for mushrooming and berry picking. In autumn, the lingonberries ripen practically everywhere, while the most sought-after mushroom is funnel chanterelle (a.k.a. yellowfoot).

September – autumn leaf colors in Lapland

saana kilpisjärvi lapland

In September, Lapland’s fell scenery is at its most beautiful. After the first cold nights the plants – birch trees, bushes and shrubs – start changing their color from green to yellow, orange and red. The view is most magnificent in the treeless fells of Northern Lapland.

Autumn foliage lasts for a couple of weeks, but when does it actually start? No one can answer this for sure, but in a normal year, autumn foliage is at its best in northern Lapland in mid-September and a little later in southern parts. In October, it might already be snowing on the fells, so definitely the best time of the year to hike in Lapland is around mid-September.

In addition to the colorful scenery, hikers get to enjoy a rare treat: thanks to the cold nights, mosquitoes and other annoying insects have vanished! On the other hand, during the short and intense season, there are much more hikers than usual. Compared to many other countries, however, Finland’s “congested” hiking trails are downright deserted.

The best destinations for autumn hiking are Lapland’s wilderness areas such as the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area and national parks like Pallas-Yllästunturi and Urho Kekkonen National Park.

Read more: Trekking Trails in Finland – 3 Best Multi-Day Hikes

October – beautiful time to visit Eastern Finland

In October, the autumn is already beginning to pass in Lapland, and in the north the day is beginning to shorten rapidly. The best landscapes can be enjoyed in Eastern Finland, where autumn colors do not arrive until October.

Finland’s most famous national landscape, Koli, is one of the undisputed outdoor destinations in Eastern Finland. Koli is quite a convenient autumn destination because in good weather it is only a 10-minute walk to the best viewpoint – but if bad weather strikes, you can enjoy the scenery from the jacuzzis of Koli Break Sokos Hotel ’s lovely spa.

In October, excellent holiday destinations are also the cities of Southern Finland – Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Porvoo – which are absolutely stunning in beautiful weather. And on a city break you can always spend a rainy day in a museum or restaurant – or get to know Finnish sauna culture in one of the many public saunas.

November – the worst month to visit Finland

November is considered the worst month in Finland. And we have to admit: it’s true. November is dark, cold and wet. Sure, there are some absolutely wonderful sunny days, but they are short and scattered. In Helsinki, the darkness of late autumn is emphasized by the fact that there is rarely snow on the ground.

No wonder the international start-up event, Slush, had their commercials in Helsinki airport read: “Nobody in their right mind would come to Helsinki in November. Except you, you badass. Welcome.”

So, the question is: what should one do in Finland in November? Here are a couple suggestions:

Enjoy the urban culture. In November nobody should feel bad about not enjoying the great outdoors, after all it’s dark and wet. We recommend you to head to a museum, restaurant or a rock club – or all of them!

Visit a sauna. Finland has many excellent spas, some suitable for couples and others water parks for the whole family. Bigger cities have traditional and modern public saunas, where anyone can try the sauna easily and safely.

Read more: Sauna in Finland – the Ultimate Guide to Finnish Sauna Culture

Go to Lapland. There’s a very good chance that winter has already arrived in the north. November is a good month to see the northern lights, and it’s guaranteed to be more quiet and calm than the high season in December.

Map of Finland’s best travel attractions

The map below shows the best tourist sights, museums, family attractions, hiking trails, outdoor activities, wildlife safaris and ski resorts of Finland.

Did you like this article? If you’re planning a trip to Finland, please book your hotel or rent a cabin or rental car by clicking on our affiliate links. We get a small commission, but you don’t pay any extra. Thanks for your support!

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Archipelago trail – drive or cycle around the finnish archipelago, bear watching in finland – guide to bear safaris, driving in finland – tips and 4 best road trips, sauna in finland – the ultimate guide to finnish sauna culture, summer cottages and cabins in finland – guide to finnish cottage life, fishing in finland – species, tackle, permits and best fishing spots, helsinki faq – practical information, finland faq – know before you go, leave a reply.

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Lakeland and  the Midnight sun are highlights in Finland during the Summer

Lakeland and the Midnight sun are highlights in Finland during the Summer

Jaakko Posti

Weather in Finland

The most of the Finnish population lives in the south, which is dominated by northern temperate climate.

The rest of the country is dominated by a humid and cold continental climate with freezing winters. The great experience you can do all year in Finland is visiting a sauna, which is one of the most popular activities in Finland.

Summer in Finland

Winter in Finland  usually is long, and because of fact, the Finns celebrate their summer very passionately. The duration of the summer is around 100 days every year, from June to the end of August starting September, and temperatures from 15 to 32 degrees. The weather influenced the Finns very much. They celebrate the summer a lot. Some go to music festivals, offering a choice of jazz, blues, rock, opera and chamber music. Others are sailing among the coastal islands or enjoying slow life at their summer cottages – swimming, fishing and cooking dinner on the grill. In Lapland, the midnight sun offers the visitor an unforgettable experience from mid-May to the end of July, and Helsinki has almost 20 hours of daylight during the summer months.

Winter in Finland

The winter in Finland is generally long, and temperatures range from around -30 to 0 degrees. Starting around October until May. Snow arrives in southern Finland in December; in northern Finland in October. In Lapland , snow lasts until late April. During January and February, the snow almost always covering the landscape of Northern and Eastern Finland. Even if there’s little snow in Helsinki, there’s often up to a metre or more on the skiing slopes of Lapland .

In the inland regions of southern and central Finland, the first snow falls at the beginning of December and melts during late March and April. It is a great time for holidays in Finland`s northern regions, as these months offer the best opportunities for viewing the Northern Lights as well as ideal snow conditions for dog-sledging, snowmobiling, skiing and other winter sports. What about just sitting by the fire in a warm and cosy log cabin is a pleasure for some, as is the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the hotel bar. The Northern Light (Aurora Borealis) lights the sky over Lapland on up to 200 nights of the year, and on approximately one out of three nights in Rovaniemi . The best time to watch the Northern Lights is from September to late March.

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The Best Time to Visit Finland for Weather, Safety, & Tourism

The best times to visit Finland for ideal weather are

June 25th to September 16th

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

Finland Travel Guide

Temperature.

  • Perceived Temperature
  • Rain and snow
  • Humidity and wind
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year

Other Finland Travel Info

Weather in finland.

Average temperatures in Finland vary drastically. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for most of the year with a very low chance of rain or snow throughout the year. The area is somewhat temperate — in the 41st percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above . If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Finland, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally late July where highs are regularly around 71.9°F (22.2°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 55°F (12.8°C) at night.

Finland Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Finland temperatures (celsius), “feels-like” temperatures.

The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

Finland Perceived Temperature (F)

Finland perceived temperature (c), average finland temperatures by month.

Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

Show Fahrenheit

Show celsius, precipitation (rain or snow).

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Finland are April, March, and then February. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early to mid March. For example, on the week of March 12th there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early December with an average of 1 days of significant precipitation the week of December 3rd.

Chance of Precipitation

The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Finland.

Snow on the Ground

The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Finland (in).

Average Rain and Snow by Month

Show inches, show centimeters, humidity and wind.

Finland has some extremely humid months, and above average humidity throughout the year. The least humid month is May (62.4% relative humidity), and the most humid month is November (89%).

Wind in Finland is usually moderate . The windiest month is December, followed by November and October. December’s average wind speed of around 8.8 knots (10.1 MPH or 16.3 KPH) is considered “a gentle breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in early March where average top sustained speeds reach 14.2 knots, which is considered a moderate breeze.

Relative Humidity (%)

The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Finland.

The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

Average Wind Speeds

Show wind speeds.

All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Show Relative Humidity by Month

Is it safe to travel to finland.

Our best data indicates this area is generally safe. As of Dec 04, 2023 there are no travel advisories or warnings for Finland; exercise normal security precautions. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories . This advisory was last updated on Dec 04, 2023.

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in Finland is July, followed by June and January. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Finland in December. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

Most popular months to visit, overall finland travel experience by season, spring (march through may).

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold. Highs range from 61.7°F (16.5°C) and 30.5°F (-0.8°C) with far warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is rare with 2 to 3 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.

Summer (June through August)

The middle-year months have comfortably cool weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the most precipitation with 3 to 4 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Finland, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.

Fall (September through November)

Fall daily highs range from 60.7°F (15.9°C) and 32.7°F (0.4°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a normal amount: 3 to 4 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.

Winter (December through February)

Weather is far too cold this time of year in Finland to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 31.9°F (-0.1°C) and 21°F (-6.1°C). On average, it rains or snows a smalll amount: 2 to 5 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.

Best Times to Travel › Finland

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Best time to visit Finland

Finland is a place that experiences easily discernable seasons: summers are warm and bright, Helsinki experiences pleasant temperatures of around 25°C (77°F) and up to 20 hours of daylight; in the winter, parts of the country are covered by snow and plunged into a 51-day polar night, where the sun does not rise beyond the horizon.

Finland's climate

The local character is shaped by climatic extremes – endless summer days and the blackest of winter nights – and its moods swing accordingly. From the rocky archipelago of the southwestern coast to the majestic sweep of the lakeland labyrinth and the sweeping fells of Lapland, Finland’s natural environment is one of Europe’s wildest. And Finns, modern as they are, still love to retire en masse to their lakeside cabins and saunas in the summer, and glide on skis through the snow-smothered woods in winter. The urban scene may have changed, but the unparalleled remoteness and tranquillity of Finland’s lakes and forests make them uniquely timeless.

What to pack

The best advice on packing for Finland is to bring layers of clothes, regardless of the season. While it is famous for frigid winters – when gloves, long underwear, hats, woollen tights and socks, and several layers of cotton topped by wool and something waterproof are recommended – Finland also has very sunny and temperate summers. As a result, sun block and a sun hat are as essential at these times as warm clothes are in the winter. 

In winter, bring heavy-duty footwear, not only to keep out the damp but also to avoid damage to good shoes ruined by salt and gravel put down to melt ice on the pavements. Spring and autumn are rainy, and summers are usually pleasantly dry and sunny, but occasionally wet. A good insect repellent is a must if you’re travelling in the far north or central Finland in summer, to ward off mosquitoes.

Read more from the travel guide to Finland

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Best Time To Visit Finland

  • Jan Avg Daily: -1 ° C Avg Nightly: -9 ° C
  • Feb Avg Daily: -1 ° C Avg Nightly: -10 ° C
  • Mar Avg Daily: 2 ° C Avg Nightly: -6 ° C
  • Apr Avg Daily: 8 ° C Avg Nightly: -1 ° C
  • May Avg Daily: 15 ° C Avg Nightly: 4 ° C
  • Jun Avg Daily: 19 ° C Avg Nightly: 9 ° C
  • Jul Avg Daily: 21 ° C Avg Nightly: 12 ° C
  • Aug Avg Daily: 19 ° C Avg Nightly: 11 ° C
  • Sep Avg Daily: 14 ° C Avg Nightly: 6 ° C
  • Oct Avg Daily: 8 ° C Avg Nightly: 3 ° C
  • Nov Avg Daily: 2 ° C Avg Nightly: -2 ° C
  • Dec Avg Daily: 0 ° C Avg Nightly: -7 ° C
  • 2.41K views
  • ~ mins read

Finland hasn’t really drawn a significant portion of the world’s tourism market, due to its relative distance, and its closed–off persona. It still remains a rather enigmatic country, but once you visit, you will realize the small things that make Finland a unique place to visit. The country is rather relaxed and laid back, and the bitterly cold winters offer a wonderful opportunity for those who love winter sports. And of course – nobody knows how to drink better than the Finns, so you’re definitely going to have some fun at a Finnish party.

You can visit Finland any time of the year. Every specific season has something special to offer, which means the best time to visit Finland depends on what you want to do. Read on to find out more!

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Quick Facts

  • Best Time to Visit Finland : June – August, November – March
  • High Tourist Season : June – August
  • All Seasons : April – May (spring), June – August (summer), August – October (fall), November – March (winter)
  • The best time to visit Finland is during the summer months, when most of the places across the country will be open, and the weather will be the warmest it gets during the year.
  • Winter can be incredibly cold in Finland, but it is also peak season for visitors seeking snow activities and a Northern Lights experience.  
  • Spring and fall are quite good, weather wise, but some parts of the country will shut down, or won’t be open post winter.
  • If you want to visit the smaller cities and towns, the best time for you to visit is during the summer months.

Scandinavia has remained tragically undiscovered. Most people tend to shiver at the very sound of ‘Finland’, and rightfully so. The country is located quite far up north, and can get rather cold, even in the non–winter months. However, there are a lot of unique things for you to explore in the country, and it is the perfect off–beat adventure destination for those who want to do something new and different.

There isn’t really a bad season to visit Finland – you just have to find out what you want to do. Summer is when to visit Finland if you want to visit the smaller towns. Winter is the best time to visit for those interested in adventure sports, or winter adventures. Spring and fall have a lot of special things to offer, weather wise, but a lot of the smaller towns might be shut down. To find out what is on offer in every specific season, read on!

Seasonal Overview

1. april to may – spring / good season.

Suomenlinna sea fortress

Springtime is an exciting time to visit Finland. This is when the snow begins to thaw, and nature revives itself after the freezing winter. Be aware – there might be snow in Finland even during the spring, especially in the Lapland region. This is not the peak season – in fact, there will be a drop in the number of tourists in Finland following the winter sports season. Most of the accommodation in larger towns will be open for business, but some of the smaller towns might still be in stupor following the winter, so make sure you book your accommodation in advance, so as to not be blindsided!

  • Avg. Temperature : 45 – 61° F / 7 – 16° C (in Helsinki)
  • Rainfall : 44 – 86 mm
  • Season : Spring
  • Highlights : It would be best for you to stick to the bigger towns during these months. Helsinki will be rather stunning, with the snow just thawing, and the days beginning to stretch. You will also be able to enjoy the museums more freely, since there won’t be as many tourists within the city. Turku and its nightlife will be up and thriving during these months as well.  On 1st May, Vappu celebrations spread across the country, celebrating the summer. The Black and White Theatre Festival also happens in May.

2. June to August – Summer / High Season

Helsinki, the capital and the largest city of Finland

June to August is the peak season for tourism in Finland, and for good reason. This is when the Midnight Sun effect spreads all across the country, giving you over 20 hours of unrestrained sunlight for you to explore the country. This is also the warmest part of the year, so if you are not a fan of the cold, this is the best time to visit Finland. Beware the mosquitoes though. July and August see huge swarms of these critters, especially in the Lapland region. Make sure you carry plenty of bug repellent.Since this is the peak season for tourists, all the smaller towns will also be pretty active. There will be discounts in Helsinki, due to the high volume of tourists present, as well.

  • Avg. Temperature : 65 – 69° F / 18 – 21° C (in Helsinki)
  • Rainfall : 58 – 115 mm
  • Season : Summer
  • Highlights : Barring the mosquitos, this is one of the best times to visit Lapland, which would be incredibly cold in the other months. You should also explore the Sami culture of the region – as these reindeer herders have incredibly fascinating lives. The Organ Night, Aria Festival, Naantali Music Festival, Kivenlahti Rock Festival, Midnight Summer Festival, Sirkus Finlandia Festival, and Pori Jazz Festival all happen during the summer months, in June – July, so you will definitely have a lot of cultural happenings to look forward to.

3. September to October – Fall / Good Season

The wondrous Northern Lights in Finland

Fall in Finland is rather spectacular. The weather is stunning, and the beautiful autumn colors take over the landscape. The weather remains fairly warm till the end of September – it’s by October that the winter cold starts setting in. This is when to visit Finland if you love the fall colors, and are planning on spending your time in the bigger towns. This is the off–season so tours and attractions will start shutting down, especially in the smaller towns.

  • Avg. Temperature : 45 – 60° F / 7 – 16° C (in Helsinki)
  • Rainfall : 30 – 35 mm
  • Season : Fall
  • Highlights : This is when to visit Finland if you want to see the Northern Lights. However, beware– there is no guarantee that you will be able to see it. If there is any cloud coverage, you might not be able to see the lights. This is a good time to visit Lapland, and see the ruska–aika (or russeting), where the entire landscape becomes red and gold.

4. November to March – Winter / Good Season

Levi, one of Finland's largest ski centers

Winters in Finland are bitterly cold. The weather in Finland can be some of the coldest in the entire world. And yet, although this is the low season in most of the country, it is a busy time of the year for Lapland and the ski-resorts. There will be plenty of snowfall, starting from November onwards. It becomes a heaven for snow sports enthusiasts, whether you are into skiing, snowboarding, or even dog sledding. Temperatures will definitely drop below freezing level for most of the year, and the daylight hours will also decrease – around December – January, you might only see 3 – 4 hours of sunlight every day. During this time of the year, Finland is thronged by tourists to see the Northern Lights and to experience a magical Christmas with Santa. While a lot of small towns might close for the season, the major stops can be very busy, so make your plans well in advance, and book all your accommodation before going.

  • Avg. Temperature : 19 – 36° F / 7 – 2° C (in Helsinki)
  • Rainfall : 25 – 132 mm
  • Season : Winter
  • Highlights : Rovaniemi and Levi are incredibly popular destinations during these months, as they are ski resorts with a lot of snowfall. December is a good time to see the Aurora Borealis as well, as the cloud coverage will be quite low. You can spend this time in a Finnish resort, relaxing in the stunning rural saunas, and drinking the local alcohol.

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How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Finnish Lapland

From the northern lights to the legendary sauna culture, this arctic destination has it all. Here's what you won't want to miss.

best time to visit finland

Milamai / Getty Images

Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland, is the place to go to check more than a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences off your list — like seeing the northern lights and experiencing the midnight sun. The arctic destination has stunning nighttime skies, wide-open landscapes, and air so fresh it can make you happier. Here’s how to plan a trip to Finnish Lapland that you’ll never forget. 

When to Go to Finnish Lapland

Here’s the good news about Lapland: It’s always beautiful out — well, depending on how you define “beautiful.” The region's peak travel season falls between December and February thanks to a natural phenomenon we’ll get to in a moment. During this period, the region’s average temperature ranges from 3 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, though it can get down to as low as minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit with added wind chill. 

By contrast, temperatures in the summer can be much milder, usually ranging from 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a prime time to visit the area for hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures.

How to See the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland

Many visitors travel to Finnish Lapland to take in a few breathtaking natural occurrences — including the aurora borealis, or northern lights. You can see this phenomenon any time between August and April, though it occurs more frequently around the equinoxes in late September and late March. Visit then and look to the sky on clear nights for a chance to witness this incredible celestial light show.

Those looking for a more curated experience can ask their hotel for recommendations, or they can book a guided trip like a  three-hour aurora borealis picnic  in Rovaniemi, which includes a short hike to an outpost with warm drinks and food. You can also take  a snowmobile tour or, the most adventurous of all, an aurora ice floating experience in Rovaniemi . It's just as it sounds — guests don dry suits and set out on a frozen lake to lie back and blissfully gaze up into the night sky.

How to See the Midnight Sun in Finnish Lapland 

Giles Clarke / Getty Images

If you’re not much of a night owl, that’s okay because Finnish Lapland offers another spectacular show: the midnight sun. From late May until early August, the tilt of the Earth means the sky never gets dark. Make the most of the near-constant daylight by taking a hike, going fishing, or even playing a round of golf when you'd normally be asleep. 

What Else to Do in Finnish Lapland

Andrey-Kobylko / Getty Images

Go for a hike.

Finnish Lapland is chock full of  stellar hiking trails  fit for all levels. The Arctic Circle and Inari hiking areas offer everything from one-hour hikes to all-day wilderness adventures, as well as restrooms and visitor centers. 

Hit the sauna.

Sauna culture has long been an integral part of Finnish life , and there’s no better spot to experience it than in  Tampere , the sauna capital of the world. Come for the public spas, but stay for the arts, culture, and attractions like the Tampere Market Hall, the largest indoor market in Scandinavia. 

Paddle your way through the region.

Explore Finnish Lapland from a different perspective by taking to its rivers for a canoeing adventure. During the warmer months, you can take in the amazing views as you meander along calming waterways. Try this six-hour canoe trip  down the River Kapsajoki, which includes a campfire lunch and opportunities for fishing. 

Visit Santa Claus.

Fun fact: Santa lives in Finland. And you can visit him any time of year at the  Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Kris Kringle and his elves open their famous home and workshop all 365 days of the year. Meet the man himself, cross the Arctic Circle (which passes through the theme park), embark on a snowmobile safari adventure in the Lapland wilderness, and dine in a restaurant made of snow while you're there.

Where to Stay in Finnish Lapland 

Lingxiao Xie / Getty Images

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel

At the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, guests can enjoy a host of creature comforts in a nature-centric setting. Every room comes with fur throws and floor-to-ceiling windows, while some even have soaking tubs, fireplaces, and decks from which to take in the surrounding forest. Book the chic two-bedroom Arctic GlassHouse  to enjoy all the bells and whistles.

Seaside Glass Villas

Need more of a view? Spend a few nights at  Seaside Glass Villas , a collection of box-shaped bungalows in the waterfront town of Kemi. Each one has a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the Bothnian Bay, as well as a glass roof through which you can enjoy incredible views of the northern lights while lying in bed.

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

You might recognize Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort's gorgeous glass-domed igloos from your Instagram feed, but even the best photos can't capture the magic of actually staying in one. Book the kelo-glass igloo to combine the privacy of a log chalet with the wow factor of the northern lights dancing over your bed.

Those seeking to stay in the lap of luxury need look no further than  Octola , an exclusive five-star hideaway with just 12 rooms and two chalets. Guests can book a single room or buy out the entire space if they want to bring along family and friends. 

What to Pack 

Packing for a summer trip to Finnish Lapland is relatively easy. Just bring whatever you normally would for any other summer getaway — shorts, T-shirts, a bathing suit, pants, and a light jacket for cooler nights. 

If you plan to visit in winter, you'll need to bust out the big checked bag and pack it with cozy thermal underwear, insulated snow boots with a grip, an insulated jacket, waterproof or snowproof pants , a few wool sweaters, warm gloves and socks, a hat, a scarf, and some instant heat packs to throw in your gloves and boots. Don’t forget your camera, and make sure to pack extra batteries — they will drain quickly in the cold weather. 

How to Get There 

Despite being located in Finland's far north, getting to Lapland isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think. First, fly into Helsinki, then, depending on your final destination, continue to either Kemi or Rovaniemi by regional flight. Finnair and Norwegian Air each offer a 90-minute nonstop to Rovaniemi, or you can board a one-stop Finnair flight to Kemi via Kokkola-Jakobstad Airport in Kronoby.

If you've got the time, a scenic seven-hour train ride will get you from Helsinki to Kemi (the ride to Rovaniemi takes 8.5 hours). You can also travel between Rovaniemi and Kemi by train for a 90-minute intra-Lapland adventure.

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best time to visit finland

The Best Time to visit Finland

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Published on: April 10th, 2024

Last modified: April 10th, 2024

For many travellers, the best time to visit Finland is summer (June–August), with warmer temperatures and long daylight hours. But to see the northern lights or sparkling snowscapes, other seasons are better. Snow blankets northern Finland for about half of the year, while the south is often snowy from December to March.

The best time to travel to Finland depends on which part of the country you’re visiting and what you want to do. Our travel designers have provided some expert advice based on average temperatures, snowfall, daylight hours and more. Whether you’re headed to Helsinki , Finnish Lapland or anywhere in between, this climate guide will help you pick the perfect timing.

Finland Month-by-Month Weather Guide

When it comes to weather, Finland is all about extremes. Considering the fact that it’s among the northernmost countries on earth – and one of only eight that are partially within the Arctic Circle – you might imagine that it’s always freezing cold. But while some areas are certainly frigid, other parts of the country can occasionally exceed 30ºC (86ºF).

Another thing to consider is the stark difference between daylight hours from winter to summer. Finland experiences both polar nights (24 hours of darkness) and polar days (24 hours of sunlight) depending on the season. These phenomena are more pronounced the farther north you go, but they also occur to some extent in the southern regions. 

All of that said, every month has something special to offer. We’ve broken down the year into  this detailed guide to help explain Finland’s weather by month.

January in Finland – Best for dark winter days

If you’re interested in experiencing pitch-black polar nights with no sun in sight, January is a good time to go to Finland. Just make sure you’re prepared for some seriously cold temperatures; they can get as low as -50ºC (-58ºC) in the north and -35ºC (-31ºF) on the southern coast.

best time to visit finland

February in Finland – Best for snowy landscapes

February is one of the coldest months across Finland, but boasts more daylight hours than December or January. This makes it a great time to enjoy the snow that blankets the country during winter. It’s also when you’re most likely to see snowfall in the southern capital of Helsinki: a magical sight.

best time to visit finland

March in Finland – Best time to see the northern lights in spring

All across Finland, March is still extremely cold and snowy. In fact, the snow tends to be deepest in this month: up to 90 cm (35 in) in the north. Because the skies are clear and the nights are long, it’s also one of the best months to see the northern lights.

best time to visit finland

April in Finland – Best for springtime in the south

April is somewhat of a transitional month in Finland, and weather conditions vary greatly depending where you are. In the south this month marks the beginning of spring, but northern regions can still be quite snowy. Temperatures in Helsinki can climb as high as 7ºC (45ºF), with melting snow and blooming flowers.

Spring in Finland

May in Finland – Best for Vappu festivities

In early May Finland erupts in celebration. ‘Vappu’ on 1st May is both a sort of Labour Day and the symbolic end to winter. Temperatures are rising all over the country, the snow is all but gone and the days are getting longer, with 16–18 hours of sunlight in Helsinki.

colorful fireworks in Helsinki.

June in Finland – Best for the summer solstice

Finland’s daylight hours are at their longest in June. The Midsummer holiday falls in late June, coinciding with the longest day of the year. In the north the sun doesn’t set at all, and the south experiences around 19 hours of daylight. The average June temperature across Finland is 15ºC (59ºF).

summer at the lake in Finland

July in Finland – Best for warm weather and outdoor activities

Finland’s summer temperatures continue into August, though they start to drop a bit after peaking in late July. This is also when you’re most likely to see summer showers, especially on the southern coast and islands. August is back-to-school season in Finland, so popular tourist areas will be a bit quieter. 

Kayaking at Kolovesi National park Finland in summer

August in Finland – Best for late summer escapes

Hammock and summer in Finland

September in Finland – Best time to see the northern lights in autumn

September marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in Finland. It’s a great time to see the northern lights without braving frigid temperatures. The nights are starting to get longer and darker, and the aurora borealis tends to be more active around the autumn equinox in late September.

best time to visit finland

October in Finland – Best for brilliant autumn leaves

October brings ruska (autumn leaf season), transforming Finland’s foliage into a tapestry of red, orange and gold. Temperatures drop all over the country and snow is likely in the north and central regions. It’s a good time to see the northern lights, although rain and fog may obscure them on some nights.

Cloudy day of autumn in arctic Finland.

November in Finland – Best for the low-season lull

By November winter has arrived across Finland, bringing longer nights and a high chance of rain or snow. Temperatures average -6ºC (21ºF) in Lapland and 3ºC (37ºF) in Helsinki. It’s among the least popular months for travel, making it a good time to visit if you want to avoid the holiday rush.

Three reindeers walking in the snow lapland finland

December in Finland – Best for polar nights

December in Finland is magical in more ways than one – but it’s also cold and dark. The average temperature sinks below freezing, and the north can easily hit -10ºC (14ºF). The winter solstice brings the year’s longest night, with 6 hours of daylight in Helsinki and no sunlight at all in Lapland.

Winter night in Helsinki, Finland

The Best Things to Do in Finland by Season

Considering the extreme differences between seasons in Finland, it’s only natural that certain months are better for specific activities. Each time of year has its own advantages and attractions, whether you want to trek through the snow, bask in the midnight sun or visit Santa’s workshop. Here are a few of our favourite things to do in Finland and tips for when to do them.

Aurora borealis

The best time to see the northern lights

Although long, dark winter nights create ideal conditions for viewing the northern lights, spring and autumn are actually the best times to see them. This natural phenomenon is statistically more common in February, March, September and October. And with slightly higher temperatures and more hours of sunlight, you can enjoy daytime activities too.

Snowman at Santa Office in Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

The best time to visit Santa

If you’re interested in meeting the ‘real’ Santa Claus, head to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. The Santa Claus Village is actually open year-round, but it’s especially enchanting during the holiday season. December is the most popular month to visit, but late November and early January also promise plenty of Christmas spirit.

hiking in Finland

The best time to go hiking

The best time to go hiking and enjoy other outdoor activities in Finland is summer. This is when the country is warmest and sunniest, with long days that give you plenty of time to explore its vast forests and thousands of lakes. Just make sure to bring plenty of insect repellent.

Snowmobile Finland

The best time for snow activities

Finland’s whole winter season offers plenty of opportunities for sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The north is usually covered in snow from November until April, with the deepest snow cover in March. Late autumn and early spring have more daylight than December and January, so are generally better for outdoor activities.

The Best Time to Visit Helsinki

The best time to visit Helsinki is between May and September. From late spring to early autumn, Finland’s capital is wonderfully warm and bright – quite literally, as it enjoys nearly 19 hours of daylight at the peak of summer. This is a fantastic time to explore the city and the hundreds of islands that fan out from its coastline.

Visit in early May to experience vibrant Vappu celebrations, in June for the famous Midsummer festivities, in July for the warmest weather or in August for smaller crowds. In September Helsinki’s temperatures start to cool off – averaging 10ºC (50ºF) – and the chance of rain increases, but you might catch the beginning of autumn leaf season later in the month.

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best time to visit finland

best time to visit finland

Guide on How to Travel from Helsinki to Lapland

A re you heading to Finland and wondering what the best way to travel from Helsinki to Lapland? Did you know that for most visitors to Finland, these are the two most visited areas? It makes sense as most visitors fly into Helsinki, spend a day or two and then head off into the vast wilderness of Finnish Lapland.

In this guide I will help you in your travel research by providing up to date information on how to travel to/from these regions of Finland, whether its by plane, train or even car. 

One of the biggest factors in your decision about how to get from Helsinki to Lapland will be the amount of time you have and your budget. Below I go through the practical details on the three main transport options, providing the positives and negatives for each so you can make the most informed decision. Let get into it!

What are the airports in Lapland?

As I mentioned there are currently 5 airports in Lapland. Below are the airports with the main locations serviced from them.

Rovaniemi Airport (RVN)

Rovaniemi is the third busiest airport in Finland and is the most popular of the ones in Lapland. Located in the south of Lapland, just near the Arctic Circle, this airport is seen as the gateway to Santa Claus Village. Given the towns popularity, there are several flights a day between Helsinki and Rovaniemi. This is one of the few that also is international airport accepting flights from several major European cities. 

In general, Rovaniemi can feel a quite commercial and crowded, especially during the peak winter season. This airport also serves as the hub for Pyhä  and  Salla which are popular for their natural beauty and skiing, both downhill and cross country. 

Ivalo Airport (IVL)

Two popular destinations with skiers and snowboarders include Inari and Saariselka , which are both serviced by the Ivalo airport. The airport is within 30 minutes of both destinations and is the northernmost airport in Finland.

Kittilä Airport (KTT)

Kittila is one of the main airports in the northernmost region of Finland, and the only other accepting international flights. This airport services the popular ski area of Levi. Levi is a popular spot for families during the festive season, but is smaller and quieter than Rovaniemi. Additionally, the popular Snow Village can be found here.

Our favorite destination serviced by this airport is Muonio which is a laid back destination offering all the popular touristy activities found in Rovaniemi but without the crowds and is excellent for spotting the Northern Lights. 

Kemi Airport (KEM)

Kemi-Tornio Airport is located on the coast of the Bay of Bothnia, serving travelers heading to Southern Lapland. Kemi has slowly become more popular in the tourist circuits for their magnificent Snow Castle that is built there every winter and for the famous Sampo icebreaker cruise. 

Kuusamo Airport (KAO)

Lastly, the Kuusamo Airport serves one of Finland’s major holiday destinations Kuusamo, attracting almost a million tourists annually. Many of these arrive for skiing at nearby ski resorts, especially Ruka Ski Resort , one of the largest in Finland.

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Flying from Helsinki to Lapland

Domestic flights from the capital Helsinki to Lapland airports are operated by Finnair. While the flights can be reasonably priced if booked well in advance, domestic flights on Finnair do impose an extra fee for checked luggage. Additionally, the new Finnair carry on limits are quite strict with a maximum of 8 kg for all carry on items combined. This means, that for most travelers,  it makes most sense to upgrade to the main fare price which includes both carry on and checked baggage. Once you upgrade your flight, a round-trip flight will cost a minimum of €200.  Note, if you are looking for cheap flights, sign up for Finnair’s email blast and keep an eye out for flash sales.

That said, this is still the quickest way to travel between Helsinki and Lapland. It can be cost effective if you are a solo traveler and/or traveling with extremely light luggage. However, it can be get expensive if you need to check a bag or are traveling in high season with several people

Traveling by Train from Helsinki to Lapland

Next we will move on to traveling by train from Helsinki to Lapland , which is the second most popular option.

I personally find travelling by train in Finland to be a wonderful experience and the most convenient way to get around the country. The trains are clean and reasonably reliable depending on weather conditions of course. Additionally, it is better for the environment and saves you money on accommodation if you can take an overnight train to travel while you sleep. All long-distance trains in Finland are operated by VR Train. 

Day vs. Night Trains

The most popular train that visitors take to Lapland from Helsinki is the Santa Claus Express train which ends in Rovaniemi. It leaves close to midnight and arrives around 11 a.m. the next morning. If you are traveling with children, this train is great as the sleeper cabins are essentially sold as a two person cabin. Prices for an upstairs private compartment sleeper cabin which includes a private toilet run around 300 Euro one way. The train also has a restaurant car for snacks and meals while on the train. Note, Rovaniemi train tickets for the sleeper cars can sell out quickly, so book well in advance to ensure you have a cabin.

Another popular route is to Kolari, which is the northernmost railway station in Finland. Travel here from Helsinki takes approximately 14 hours. Boarding is around 7:45 p.m. in Helsinki with a 10 a.m. arrival.  Even though it sounds like a long trip, it goes by quite quickly once you get settled in your sleeper cabin, grab some food from the restaurant car and then hit the sack. 

If you are unable to secure a sleeper cabin, you can consider a day train. With free Wifi, power sockets and the ability to walk around, an 8 hour train would actually go quite quickly if you can keep yourself occupied! These tickets run around €75 per ticket during high season. 

Take Your Car on the Train

For readers who live in Europe or have a rental car already booked, they can consider putting the vehicle on the train as well! These trains depart from Pasila Station and can be extremely handy if you have brought your car over from mainland Europe, but don’t want to drive all the way to Lapland. This is not cheap, but is a dobale option to ensure you have more access to explore around Lapland.

Train Stations in Lapland

There are many train stations in Lapland that I can’t list them all, but the main ending/starting point for the major lines include Kolari as the furthest north, Rovaniemi and Kemijarvi in the east. 

Kolari is in the far north of Finland, northeast of Rovaniemi, and very close to the Swedish border. This station is perfect for those traveling to Levi or Muonio. You can reserve a shared taxi or bus from the station to both locations. 

Kemijärvi is located east of Rovaniemi and from here you can easily access Salla and Pyhä.

Overall, I personally feel that if you are traveling with others or even on your own that taking an overnight train to or from Lapland is a great option. Train travel is scenic, cost effective if you have a family or a lot of luggage and you also have the option of taking a vehicle. The negatives are that it does take a long time and there are times that the trains leave late at night making it awkward for families with smaller children. 

Driving from Helsinki to Lapland by Car

For many travelers further afield, this would mean renting a car and needing to return it either in Lapland or back to Helsinki which can be quite an expense.

I am not sure I would recommend this option for many, but if you have your car and you are confident on driving on the right hand side of the road, in snow or inclimate weather, you will most likely be fine.

But you must be aware that this journey is at least 800 kilometers and can take around 10 hours. That said, the journey up to Rovaniemi is along one main road and the views will be stunning for much of the way.

In general, I’d only advise driving to Lapland from Helsinki if you’re touring elsewhere in Finland, have your own vehicle and have at least a couple of weeks here to make it worthwhile and cost-effective.

Important Information for Your Finland Trip

When is the best time to visit finland.

In reality, you can visit Finland at any time of the year as there are a multitude of activities to suit any weather condition. That said, in my opinion, the best time to visit Finland is definitely during the winter months between December and February. This is when you will see the most beautiful winter wonderland landscapes and you have a great chance to see the aurora borealis. Note, it is also the coldest time of the year, so you will need to prepare for that!

What is the best way to get to Finland?

Finnair offers direct flights to Helsinki Airport from all over the world, including from here in Los Angeles. The international flights are on newer Airbus A350 planes which have ample legroom, flight cameras and more. Subscribe to their newsletter for deals and special offers if this is a trip you are looking to plan far in advance. 

If you are in mainland Europe, you can also make your way overland to Tallinn and take the Viking Express over to Helsinki for a very affordable rate. Note, this is also a great day trip idea from Helsinki.

Where do you recommend to stay in Helsinki?

There are so many amazing options to stay in Helsinki. I think where you stay is dependent on what you want out of your visit. During my stay in the city I was leaving on an early morning ferry and arriving late at night from the airport so I chose the Noli Studio Apartments which were cheap, clean and convenient to everywhere I wanted to go. There are several of them located throughout the city, so pay attention to the neighborhood that you wish to be in! 

If you want a little more luxury and don’t mind being a little further out, consider the Clarion Hotel which is a favorite for repeat visitors to the city. 

What are the best things to do in Finland?

There are so many amazing things to do in Finland that I can’t list them all here. But a start would be to check out our top experiences in Lapland that you can find all over the region. Winter activities are some of the best on offer here in Finland.

What do I need to pack for Finland?

Layers is the short answer. The longer answer will depend on what time of year you are visiting. Assuming you visit during the high season of winter, you will need to pack a lot of warm breathable layers such as merino wool . Overall, I would say to focus on layers, good boots that have room for several pairs of socks, good gloves or mittens and a warm hat.

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Guide on How to Travel from Helsinki to Lapland

Where and when to see the northern lights in 2024

Now is the perfect time to plan a northern lights trip

northern lights appear as dancing ribbons of green in the sky above a snowy mountain top.

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When to see the northern lights

Northern lights forecasts.

Nothing quite beats seeing the northern lights, or aurora borealis, in all their glory. But where and when can you see them? 

Lucky for us the next few years are going to be the best for seeing the northern lights due to heightened solar activity as we approach "solar maximum" in the current solar cycle.

So if you are planning a trip to see the northern lights now is the time to do it. Not sure where to go? Here we have rounded up some of the best places to see auroras around the world. 

Related: Aurora colors: What causes them and why do they vary?  

The northern lights are created when energized particles from the sun slam into Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph (72 million kph), but our planet's magnetic field protects us from energetic assault.

As Earth's magnetic field redirects the particles toward the poles the dramatic process transforms into a cinematic atmospheric phenomenon that dazzles and fascinates scientists and skywatchers alike. The southern lights, or aurora australis, are produced in the same way. 

We asked Tom Kerss, astronomy, author and northern lights expert what three pieces of advice he would give to someone wanting to see the northern lights. 

Tom Kerss is an astronomer and the author of numerous best-selling books about the night sky for both adults and children, including Northern Lights , Diamonds Everywhere and the Starry Stories Series .  

What are your top tips for seeing the northern lights?

1. Unless you're lucky enough to have the lights come to you, seeing auroras is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Fortunately, we can forecast where and when they are likely to become visible, so you can increase your odds. Being in Norway between late September and mid-March, during the darkest, moonless nights, and being mobile will greatly improve your chances. 

2. It's important to persevere! The arctic nights can be extremely cold, but you'll need to push yourself and stay up late to make the most of the auroral zone. On good nights, the Lights are visible as soon as it gets dark, but you should try to stay up until after midnight.

3. Taking your own photographs of the Northern Lights is so alluring, and very rewarding. Today's cameras — including smartphones — capture super, colourful and clear shots. But try not to get too carried away. Make sure you absorb the luminosity, colour and subtle movement of the Lights with your own eyes. You'll make pictures in your mind that you can't share, but you can feel!

What is your favorite aurora fact?

My favorite fact about auroras is that they appear not only on Earth, but on many other worlds. Every planet in the Solar System (except Mercury) exhibits auroras, as do several moons and even a comet! Moreover, we've measured auroras on other stars, and possibly even exoplanets, and they can teach us about the environments and interiors of these remote worlds.  

Where to see the northern lights in Europe

If you live in Europe, the easiest thing to do is head to the far northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. Many local people speak English in those regions and there are lots of tours available.

Wherever you plan on going, bear in mind that cloudy skies may make it difficult to catch auroras on any one particular night. If possible, leave yourself extra time to accommodate inclement weather.

Here is a list of some possible European northern lights trips and tour providers:

northern lights in Norway appearing as vivid green bands of light across the sky. With mountains and water below.

Hurtigruten Coastal Express

Bergen — Kirkenes — Bergen 

Price: From £2942pp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner + exclusive excursion to the Tromsø planetarium.

Duration: 12 days 

Northern Lights Promise :  If there is no recorded sighting of the northern lights while sailing, Hurtigruten will give guests a free 6- or 7-day Classic Voyage to redeem the following season. Terms and Conditions apply.

If you're interested in booking the Astronomy Voyage head over to Hurtigruten's official site .

If you're looking for the ultimate skywatching and cultural experience in Norway, we recommend taking the Hurtigruten Coastal Express along the stunning Norwegian Coast. 

There are a number of voyages available as well as specialized " Astronomy Voyages " that include additional astronomy lectures from an onboard astronomer and a visit to Tromsø's impressive planetarium and science center. 

You can read more about what it's like to experience the Hurtigruten Astronomy Voyage in our article . 

The Northern Lights Company

The Northern Lights Company based in stunning Vesterålen, Norway, offers various 4, 5 or 7-night northern lights trips between September and April. 

All tours include transport, accommodation, aurora chasing by night as well as daytime activities so guests not only get to see beautiful Norway but also experience it. 

From eagle safaris and visits to the local Sami Reindeer farm to aurora research at the Andøy Space Centre and photography trips. There is something for everyone with the Northern Lights Company.

Visit Tromsø

Visit Tromsø sells aurora-watching trips around the city of Tromsø in Norway. The largest urban area in Northern Norway and the world's third largest city above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø lies just within the Northern Lights Oval, the region above Earth's geomagnetic North Pole where aurora displays are most likely to occur.

Visit Tromsø sells 'aurora chases,' dynamic night hunts for aurora displays in the aurora season between September and April, and slower-paced 'experiences' such as dog-sled and boat trips and overnight stays at aurora hotspots. Tromsø can be accessed by plane from Norway's capital Oslo; adventure seekers are sometimes rewarded by an aurora display during their incoming flight.

northern lights appear as thin ribbons of green light in a partly cloudy sky. Below are the lights outside cabins at Abisko Turiststation.

Lights over Lapland

Lights over Lapland sells a range of aurora-watching packages that take skywatchers to Sweden's northernmost region, Lapland. Lapland straddles the border between Sweden and Finland, with both sides offering excellent aurora viewing opportunities in winter months and the midnight sun experience in summer. 

Lights over Lapland operates on the Swedish side of the border with most of its tours aiming for Abisko National Park (not far from the Esrange Space Center which runs rocket tests for ESA and is gearing up to perform the first satellite launches from continental Europe).

"Abisko has developed a reputation for being the No. 1 aurora-watching destination on the planet, due to the fact that it is located in a very special microclimate with less precipitation than any other location on Earth that is located within the aurora zone," photographer Chad Blakley, who is a co-founder of Lights over Lapland, told Space.com via email. 

If you want to see what it's like to chase auroras in Swedish Lapland check out our article on what it's like to put Abisko's "cloud-busting weapon" to the test . 

northern lights appear as a large green band swirling over the top of the central mountainous peak reflected in the water below.

Guide to Iceland

Guide to Iceland sells a range of aurora-watching packages on the North Atlantic island, including bus tours, boat tours and hunting trips. Situated just below the Arctic Circle, Iceland provides a decent chance of catching the Northern Lights during winter months. If that doesn't work out, you can instead relax in the island's powerful natural hot springs and outdoor pools.

Viatour northern lights night tour from Reykjavik

Viatour operates evening aurora-watching trips from Iceland's capital Reykjavik. The bus tour takes tourists across the island to its most popular aurora spots. The operator says that those who don't get to see the northern lights during their trip can join again at no additional cost. 

Arctic Adventures

Arctic Adventures offers a large number of tours from day trips to multi-day excursions to experience the very best of Iceland. There is a range of northern lights tours available whether it be traveling by bus, boat, or multi-day hiking tours. Experience the majestic northern lights with Arctic Adventures and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Where to see the northern lights in North America

Yellow tent illuminated under the aurora borealis display in Alaska's Arctic.

If you're interested in trying to photograph the northern lights check out our guides on how to photograph auroras , as well as the best equipment for aurora photography .

There are plenty of options for good aurora viewing in North America. While far-eastern Canada tends to be cloudy, the shore of the Hudson Bay, the northern Canadian towns of Yellowknife or Whitehorse, or the west coast of Alaska are usually good bets. (The city of Fairbanks itself can be a great choice for seeing northern lights without needing to go too far in the wilderness.)

Alaska Tours

Alaska Tours offers a range of packages from one-day trips to week-long tours that take visitors past the Arctic Circle to the heart of Alaska's wilderness, where the chance of catching the glowing auroras is among the best in the world. 

Aurora Borealis Yukon  

Aurora Borealis Yokon runs one-day to five-day aurora-watching trips in the Yukon territory in northwestern Canada. A direct neighbor of Alaska, Yukon offers pretty much the same aurora-observing conditions during the winter months.

Churchill Arctic Adventures

In the east, Churchill Arctic Adventures offers trips to Churchill, Manitoba, on the western shores of Hudson Bay. The company operates dedicated 'aurora domes,' heated cabins and other outposts in the boreal forest that allow visitors to observe the magnificent lights in perfect comfort. If the aurora doesn't show up, then perhaps some of the polar bears residing in this region may. 

Can I see the northern lights from my home?

If you capture an amazing photo of the northern lights and would like to share it with Space.com and our news partners for a story or gallery, send images to [email protected].  

The "standard" aurora borealis, observable in the Arctic regions, is generated by the solar wind , which constantly flows toward Earth. It manifests itself into a large "ring" above Earth's geomagnetic North Pole and is known as the aurora oval. 

During times of heightened solar activity, the aurora oval can expand more southern latitudes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center maintains a detailed 30-minute aurora forecast where you can see the predicted extent of the auroral oval and the probability of auroras. The aurora borealis is visible most nights, weather permitting, within a band several hundred miles wide that's centered at about 66 degrees north — about the same latitude as the Arctic Circle.

But geomagnetic storms, caused by coronal mass ejections (CME), can ramp up the northern lights considerably and make them visible over much wider areas. In early November 2023, for example, a powerful geomagnetic storm sparked auroras as far south as Greece and Turkey .

Related: Aurora myths, legends and misconceptions

As the solar cycle intensifies, such occurrences might become more common (or rather, slightly less rare). We recommend keeping an eye on Spaceweather.com for alerts of possible incoming geomagnetic storms as well as NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center . 

Yet even the most powerful geomagnetic storm will fail to deliver the experience unless other factors cooperate — a cloud-free sky, not too much moonlight, nighttime hours and absence of light pollution. (City-dwellers have to get out into the countryside for an aurora experience no matter how strong the geomagnetic storm supercharging the sky might be.)

But you can have an aurora experience without even leaving your house if you so choose. Our northern lights webcams article offers aurora views from some iconic locations from across Europe and North America, all in one place. 

If you're planning an aurora-viewing trip, the best time is throughout the winter months. Anytime between late September to late March is a good time for northern lights hunting as the long nights provide ample aurora viewing opportunities.

The good news is that the sun's approximately 11-year solar cycle of solar activity is ramping up as we approach solar maximum. This means that the next few years will be the perfect time to plan a northern lights adventure.

The northern lights can appear for long periods or short bursts lasting only a few minutes (if that!) so the best way to see them is to wrap up warm, and wait. I have been on several northern lights hunts and sometimes they can appear when you least expect, so unless you're already outside and ready, you'll miss them completely. For me, the wait is all part of the experience, especially when you're out aurora hunting with other like-minded individuals. It provides the perfect opportunity to share aurora stories, do a spot of stargazing and simply enjoy the shared experience of the night sky . 

graphic showing what you need to see the northern lights the five items listed are clear skies, warm clothes, patience, suitable location, and a little bit of luck. On the right of the text are some graphics of warm clothes, a starry sky, four leaf clover and a north compass sign.

You can get an idea of how active the northern lights are likely to be in your area by keeping tabs on a short-term aurora forecast, such as the one provided by the Geophysical Institute . One predicting the next half hour is available on NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Website . Also, a citizen science website called Aurorasaurus gives on-the-ground instant information from aurora enthusiasts wanting to alert the community to new sky shows.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected].

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Daisy Dobrijevic joined Space.com in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K. Daisy is passionate about all things space, with a penchant for solar activity and space weather. She has a strong interest in astrotourism and loves nothing more than a good northern lights chase! 

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  • dcr66 To be honest I have never paid explicitly for some tours to see Northern Lights. They are more visible than you think and you just need to know when. I do know people that pay $$ to go see these things in Norway. Then I showed them the pics I took from a plane window. If you are flying from North America to Europe the great circle route usually takes you up to Greenland and Iceland. If the flight is night time, then get a window seat on the left side of the plane. Don't sleep and keep your eyes peeled when you are up there. Very likely you will see the green curtains easily up near the horizon. My daughter despite never seen them before saw it flying to Europe. Same can be done if your route takes you over Anchorage Alaska, the right side of the plane. I used to see it all the time on the fueling stopover to Anchorage AK back in the 80s and 90s. Less likely these days except on certain China based airlines. The polar route from North America to Asia that goes over the North Pole. You should be able to see the green curtains on either side when you are in the artic circle. The Prairies in Canada but avoid the summer because you will be in astronomic twilight essentially. I lived in Winnipeg for some years in the 1980s and I see them all the time. All kinds including the white sheet that cover the whole sky and bright enough to read. Reply
  • michael'Buzz'collins Yes, luckily some only have to travel a short distance out to your back door! As Recently the Aurora Borealis, thankfully (no clouds 🙏)was able to be viewed in NW Donegal, Eire As I recently saw the repeat of Alexander Armstrongs Iceland visit on RTE ( as I missed it on ch5) So wasn't expecting to see this wonderful cosmic display!! Here are a few pictures that people took from their backyard from Burtonport to Buncrana, Inc Churchill, As I see another Churchill featured below in Manitoba as if seeing the Northern Lights isn't enough, it's program on Ch4/BBC has featured it as it has the most concentration of polar bears too (, because of the ice melting!) https://www.facebook.com/162517790452520/posts/pfbid031eTNJrFWY791rydpEhMDQDUyvGh3pnKZfgwKsK7VRTYwjGdSXZoTHaFdSfUvQNUVl/?sfnsn=mo https://www.facebook.com/1580520814/posts/pfbid033woQiJnL5XpYNoweeEznauNbSjQNJDxSSMxvzE7RxrrxoAwS7kbrTYPnDvZHKgBRl/?sfnsn=mo Simply outta this world,so to say😇 Reply
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best time to visit finland

best time to visit finland

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10 Best Places to Visit in Finland in June 2024

Nathan David

Finland is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world and is known for its breathtaking scenery, fascinating cities, and unique attractions. If you are planning a trip to Finland, June is an ideal time to visit, as the weather is pleasant and there are plenty of activities and events to enjoy. Here are the 10 best places to visit in Finland in June 2024:

Helsinki is the capital of Finland and is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place. Helsinki is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore.

Turku is the former capital of Finland and is a charming city with a rich history. It is home to a number of historical buildings, including Turku Castle, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Turku is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Tampere is the second largest city in Finland and is a major industrial and cultural center. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Tampere is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Oulu is a city in northern Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Oulu is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and is known as the home of Santa Claus. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, especially during the Christmas season. Rovaniemi is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Jyväskylä is a city in central Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Jyväskylä is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Kuopio is a city in eastern Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Kuopio is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Lahti is a city in southern Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Lahti is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Vaasa is a city in western Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Vaasa is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Joensuu is a city in eastern Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Joensuu is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a number of festivals and events taking place.

Finland is a beautiful country that has something to offer everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor activities, you will find something to love in Finland. June is an ideal time to visit, as the weather is pleasant and there are plenty of activities and events to enjoy. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Finland today!

Finland is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. The people of Finland are friendly and welcoming and always willing to help visitors. The country is also very safe, making it an ideal destination for solo travelers. The best months to visit Finland are June, July, and August, when the weather is at its best. Finland is well-connected by air, rail, and road, making it easy to get around. The local food is delicious and varied, and there are a number of excellent hotels to choose from. If you are looking for a truly unforgettable travel experience, Finland is the perfect destination.

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Nathan David is a passionate traveler and an avid writer who delights in sharing his global adventures through captivating narratives. With an insatiable curiosity for exploring diverse cultures and uncovering hidden gems, Nathan has embarked on numerous journeys across the globe, each experience enriching his understanding of the world.

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When is the best time to visit India?

Joe Bindloss

Dec 13, 2023 • 7 min read

Indian women covered in colourful powder for Holi Festival in Jaipur.

Whether you’re looking for the best festivals, to hit the beach, or trek between hill stations, let us help you plan your trip © ferrantraite / Getty Images

India is a country that’s almost a continent. From the sky-high peaks of the Himalayas to the waterlogged jungles of Kerala and the dry-as-a-bone deserts of Gujarat and Rajasthan , this enormous nation covers an astonishing variety of terrain. There’s always somewhere worth visiting no matter what the weather is doing.

The northern hemisphere winter – from December to March – is the optimum time to visit the vibrant cities and historic temples and forts of north India , while the rainy monsoon period from June to September is peak season in the dry mountains of Ladakh .

However, even at the height of the rainy season, there are plenty of good reasons to visit this remarkable nation – not least the festival calendar, which is packed year-round. Here’s our guide to the best times to come to India .

High-angle view of Arambol beach: a white stretch of sand being lapped by waves and backed by palm tress. On the sand a number of people sunbathe and a handful of colorful fishing boats also line the shore.

December to March is best for beach days, tiger safaris and temple trips

The peak season for tourism in India coincides with dry skies and warm but not baking temperatures in the plains – in other words, perfect traveling weather. The balmy, sunny days are ideal for visiting India’s teeming cities, and most of the country is ripe for exploration, though it can be frosty in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Even in the steamy south, humidity hovers at manageable levels and temperatures dip overnight, making it easier to sleep, though this is also the time for peak prices almost everywhere. Another hassle is the morning fog, which can disrupt air travel and other forms of transport in the northern plains.

December to March is also the sweet spot for lowland adventures. National parks are drier, there’s less greenery for wildlife to hide behind, and animals are more active for longer thanks to the lower temperatures. For a good chance of tiger sightings, head to Kanha , Bandhavgarh , and other national parks in the central plains.

In the hills, it’s a slightly different story. While there’s an undeniable magic to seeing Shimla dusted with snow, many hotels shut their doors for the winter, and mountain trails and roads over high passes become obstructed, including the main roads to Ladakh (though some hardy travelers still fly in for winter treks). A handful of hill towns in Kashmir , Himachal Pradesh , and Uttarakhand stay open for skiing and other winter sports.

December is a big time for Hindu marriage ceremonies – look out for  baraat (bridegroom’s processions) featuring a white horse, a nervous groom, and an ear-splitting marching band. Christian communities in Goa and parts of Kerala and the Northeast States hang up decorations in the lead-up to Christmas, and Christmas Day is celebrated with feasting and fireworks.

Close-up of a woman in colourful clothes who is dancing in a crowd during the festival of Holi

In January, all eyes are on Delhi for the pomp and circumstance of Republic Day on January 26 (don’t miss the army and police motorcycle stunt teams). The Hindu festival of Sankranti is celebrated in different ways across India, from special celebrations to honor cows in South India to mass kite-flying in Gujarat. (If you'd like to participate in kite-flying, you can help to avoid causing harm to birds and other wildlife by choosing a kite with a plain cotton – not synthetic – string and by avoiding early morning and evening when the birds are likely to be flying in great numbers.)

If you come in February, head to Jaipur for the cultured Jaipur Literature Festival , or Agra for Taj Mahotsav , a 10-day carnival of culture, cuisine and crafts featuring 400 artisans from all over India (and enough regional food to induce a curry coma). Alternatively, make for the hills and join Buddhist communities embracing Losar, the Tibetan New Year.

Other red-letter days on the calendar include the Hindu festival of Vasant Panchami in January or February, marking the arrival of spring. In February or March, you can attend Goa’s lively carnival; honor Lord Shiva at celebrations across the country for Maha Shivaratri; or join in the joyful mayhem as mountains of rainbow-colored powder are thrown around for the festival of Holi.

June to November is the best time to hit the Himalayas

India’s shoulder season means different things depending on where you go in the country. The plains are drenched by the monsoon rains from June to September, and Goa’s beach resorts become ghost towns, but backpackers and trekkers flood into the mountains, filling Ladakh’s lodges, tented camps, and yoga retreats.

This is the prime time for treks on India’s high-altitude trails, but roads and paths through the foothills turn into torrents, national park trails close, and views disappear behind swirling clouds. That might give an impression of a country besieged by rain, but it doesn’t rain all day every day; there’s still plenty to see and do, with bargain prices for accommodations and tours.

As the rains clear from September, tourism picks up in the plains and the foothills, but Ladakh closes down for the season, and public buses between Leh and Manali stop running. October and November are great times to visit almost everywhere else in India – prices remain below the peak, skies are clear and the trekking season gets underway in the foothills. This is also a great month to visit desert areas such as Rajasthan, which can be surprisingly green.

Traveler with laptop sits a balcony with a view point over the mountain valley

In June or July, Rath Yatra sees effigies of Lord Jagannath – Vishnu as Lord of the Universe – hauled through the streets on vast, colorful chariots, most famously in Puri in Odisha (Orissa). Buddhist festivals fill the gompas of Ladakh – Hemis Tsechu is a glorious spectacle, with costumed dances and the unfurling of a giant thangka (Buddhist painting) at Hemis Gompa .

August is jam-packed with festival action. Kerala’s exhilarating boat races take place on the second Sunday of August and there are patriotic flag-hoisting ceremonies and parades in Delhi on August 15 to celebrate India’s independence. Falling in August or September, Ganesh Chaturthi sees the ritual immersion of thousands of colorful idols of the elephant-headed god in Mumbai .

There’s more action in October and November, as Hindus honor Durga, the fearsome form of the mother goddess, most famously at Navratri and Durga Puja (celebrated enthusiastically in Kolkata and West Bengal). Many areas throw lavish celebrations for Dussehra, celebrating the victory of Hindu god Rama over demon-king Ravana and the triumph of good over evil (festivities are particularly colorful in Kullu and Mysuru ).

This is also the season for Diwali (Deepavali) , which brings fireworks and twinkling lights to towns and villages across India, and the Camel Fair in Pushkar , which attracts 200,000 people and 50,000 camels, horses, and cattle. Sikhs celebrate Nanak Jayanti – the birthday of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism – with prayers, kirtan (devotional singing), and processions, especially in Punjab and Haryana .

The Shivalik Deluxe Express train from Kalka to Shimla rounds a corner its journey. The train line is very scenic, hugging the side of a mountain and surrounded by forest.

April to June is the best time to avoid crowds

India’s low season sees temperatures soaring to almost unbearable levels. By May, the lowlands feel like an oven, and locals wait eagerly for the cooling effect of the monsoon. Cities can be uncomfortably hot – sensible travelers head to the hill stations or stay close to the water on the coast. The Northeast is wet, but it’s peak season for visiting Sikkim and highland areas of West Bengal , including Darjeeling .

If you can handle the heat, tourists are thinner on the ground, making visits to popular sights such as Delhi’s Red Fort less hectic, and this is a great time for treks in the cooler foothills of the Himalayas. Accommodation prices are also low, though many beachside hotels in Goa close completely from May to September. If you happen to be in Maharashtra , you’re in for a treat as tasty Alphonso mangoes come into season.

Rain doesn’t halt the festival calendar. Mahavir Jayanti commemorates the birth of Jainism’s 24th and most important tirthankar (teacher and enlightened being), while Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi (the solar new year) in the middle of April. Rama Navami is another big date as Hindus celebrate Rama's birth with processions and enactments of scenes from the Ramayana (one of Hinduism’s most sacred texts).

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan runs from approximately March 10 to April 9 in 2024. Some Muslim-owned businesses close during the day, and people fast from sunrise to sunset. The breaking of the fast at Eid al-Fitr is marked by feasting, and Muslim women adorn their arms with mehndi (henna designs). The birthday of Buddha (Buddha Jayanti) is celebrated with gusto in Bodhgaya and Tibetan Buddhist areas.

Understanding India’s festival calendar

While secular festivals in India follow the Gregorian calendar, most religious festivals follow lunar calendars, so the dates change every year. Muslim celebrations move forward by 11 days every year relative to the Gregorian calendar, and Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain festivals can fall in different months from year to year. Always check the dates of festivals before planning a trip – the Indian government has a calendar of the year's gazetted government holidays .

This article was first published Apr 8, 2021 and updated Dec 13, 2023.

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COMMENTS

  1. The best time to visit Finland

    Make the most of white nights from May to mid-August. The summer season kicks off on May Day (May 1) and the midnight sun asserts itself from the end of May to the end of July, reducing night-time darkness to five or six hours at most. In Lapland's far north, the sun doesn't set at all from mid-May to late July.

  2. The Best Times to Visit Finland

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Finland is a year-round destination, drawing visitors to its lakes in the summer and ski slopes in the winter. Fall and spring might not be quite as busy, but there's one ...

  3. The Absolute Best Times to Visit Finland (For All Budgets)

    The best time to visit Finland depends on your interests: summer (June-August) for warm-weather activities like hiking and city exploration, and winter (November-March) for the Northern Lights and snow sports. Summer provides long days for enjoying national parks and festivals in Helsinki, while winter allows for unique experiences such as ...

  4. The Best Time to Visit Finland

    Although the climate varies throughout the year, all seasons in this mystical country have something to offer visitors. Still, the best times to visit Finland are the months of May through September, as these offer the mildest weather and the greatest number of tourist attractions. While temperatures in the winter months rarely climb over 30 ...

  5. The Best Time to Visit Finland

    The best time to visit Finland is in the summer, between June to August, when the temperature ranges between 53°F and 73°C. The days are unusually long in the summer, with 20 to 22 hours of ...

  6. The best time to visit Finland

    The best time to visit Finland is in the summer between June to August, when the temperature ranges between 12°C and 23°C.The days are unusually long in the summer, with 20-22 hours of sunlight a day. Museums, castles and other tourist attractions are open for longer during this time of the year, allowing you to explore after hours.

  7. Best time to visit Finland

    The best month to visit Finland for warmest weather is, without doubt, July. Temperatures average 17°C (62°F), though highs of 26°C (32°F) are not unheard of, especially in the interior. This is summer proper, when everyone makes the most of the good weather and heads outdoors - for hiking and biking, swimming and boating, fishing and ...

  8. Best Time to Visit Finland (Climate & Seasons)

    The best time to visit Finland is during the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October. During these months, the weather is generally mild and sunny, with fewer crowds and lower prices than during the peak summer season of June-August. Here are some of the benefits of visiting Finland during the shoulder seasons:

  9. When's the Best Time of Year to Visit Finland?

    Yet these conditions almost make visiting Finland in February a rite of passage. This time of year is a paradise for you winter sports enthusiasts to take advantage of the prime snow conditions. Try snowmobiling, Nordic skating, cross-country skiing or any of the other winter sports. Rainfall: 8 days.

  10. The best time to visit Finland

    The best time to visit Finland is in the summer between June to August, when the temperature ranges between 12°C and 23°C. The days are unusually long in the summer, with 20-22 hours of sunlight a day. Museums, castles and other tourist attractions are open for longer during this time of the year, allowing you to explore after hours.

  11. Best time to visit Finland

    The best time of the year to visit Helsinki is late August, when the Helsinki Festival is celebrated. For 2-3 weeks, various art events are organized around the city: classical music, world music, theater, contemporary dance and the new circus, film screenings and, of course, events for children. ... Map of Finland's best travel attractions ...

  12. The Best Time to Visit Finland? All Year Long

    Helsinki in Spring: Sunny Terraces and May Day Fetes. Nothing beats springtime in Helsinki, Finland's capital city. From March to May, temperatures rise, snow melts, and urban parks and gardens bloom, bringing city dwellers outside in droves. The first signs of spring appear in Helsinki's downtown green lungs, where locals congregate for ...

  13. Best time to visit Finland

    The best time to visit Finland depends on what you're wishing to do as the winter season from December through to April is ideal for dog sledding and winter sports (Feb and Mar best time to go for daylight) whereas the arrival of the spring in May sees the sun making a welcoming return prior to the long hot summer days from June to August.

  14. Finland

    The Northern Light (Aurora Borealis) lights the sky over Lapland on up to 200 nights of the year, and on approximately one out of three nights in Rovaniemi. The best time to watch the Northern Lights is from September to late March. Weather in Finland - When is the best time to visit Finland - You can visit Finland all year, but the attractions ...

  15. Best time to go to Finland

    The best time to visit Finland is from June to August, but a trip all year round is possible depending on the experiences you wish to have on site:. For a city trip to Helsinki, the best time is between May and September.You will have plenty of time to visit its numerous museums (Kansallismuseo, Kiasma, Ateneum) and its classically inspired cathedral.

  16. The Best Time to Visit Finland for Weather, Safety, & Tourism

    Weather is far too cold this time of year in Finland to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 31.9°F (-0.1°C) and 21°F (-6.1°C). On average, it rains or snows a smalll amount: 2 to 5 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists. Best Times to Travel › Finland

  17. Best times to see the Northern Lights in Finland

    Head north for a once-in-a-lifetime show. Northern Lights are most visible from the end of August to April in northern Finland. Auroras, caused by solar winds, occur year-round but the nights need to be dark enough for us to be able to catch a glimpse of this phenomenal light show. That is why autumn, winter, and spring are the best times to ...

  18. Best Time To Visit Finland 2024

    The magic snowy period from December through March is the best time to visit Finland. Snowmobiling, dog sledding, ice-fishing, and snowshoeing are there for you. And December is the time to meet Santa in his village! Summer in Finland is warm and it's the right time for hiking, boating, and wild berry picking. Beer floating takes place in July.

  19. Best time to visit Finland

    Best time to visit Finland Finland is a place that experiences easily discernable seasons: summers are warm and bright, Helsinki experiences pleasant temperatures of around 25°C (77°F) and up to 20 hours of daylight; in the winter, parts of the country are covered by snow and plunged into a 51-day polar night, where the sun does not rise ...

  20. Best time to visit Finland

    The best time to visit Finland is during the summer months, when most of the places across the country will be open, and the weather will be the warmest it gets during the year. Winter can be incredibly cold in Finland, but it is also peak season for visitors seeking snow activities and a Northern Lights experience.

  21. The Best Times To Visit Finland

    And it's a very scenic time to visit Finland. "Autumn is all about the changing colours of nature, what Finns call Ruska, and with over 75 percent of Finland's land covered in forests, there is no shortage of colourful fall foliage," says Sipilä. September and October are some of the best times of the year to go hiking and camping or ...

  22. How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Lapland in Finland

    Finnair and Norwegian Air each offer a 90-minute nonstop to Rovaniemi, or you can board a one-stop Finnair flight to Kemi via Kokkola-Jakobstad Airport in Kronoby. If you've got the time, a scenic ...

  23. The Best Time to Visit Finland

    November in Finland - Best for the low-season lull. By November winter has arrived across Finland, bringing longer nights and a high chance of rain or snow. Temperatures average -6ºC (21ºF) in Lapland and 3ºC (37ºF) in Helsinki. It's among the least popular months for travel, making it a good time to visit if you want to avoid the ...

  24. Guide on How to Travel from Helsinki to Lapland

    The quickest and probably one of the most popular ways to travel from Helsinki to Lapland is to fly. Right now there are 5 airports in Lapland connecting to Helsinki and two even internationally ...

  25. Where and when to see the northern lights in 2024

    The Northern Lights Company based in stunning Vesterålen, Norway, offers various 4, 5 or 7-night northern lights trips between September and April. All tours include transport, accommodation ...

  26. 10 Best Places to Visit in Finland in June 2024

    Lahti. Lahti is a city in southern Finland and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. It is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Lahti is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, as there are many parks and green spaces to explore. In June, the city comes alive with activity, as there are a ...

  27. The best time to visit India

    The northern hemisphere winter - from December to March - is the optimum time to visit the vibrant cities and historic temples and forts of north India, while the rainy monsoon period from June to September is peak season in the dry mountains of Ladakh. However, even at the height of the rainy season, there are plenty of good reasons to ...

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    Get the latest lifestyle news with articles and videos on pets, parenting, fashion, beauty, food, travel, relationships and more on ABCNews.com

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    The full drama of UEFA EURO 2024 is available to watch throughout the world thanks to UEFA's official broadcast partners. Fans can find their local UEFA EURO 2024 broadcaster (s) below. Check the ...