For the most part, travelers board flights to Finland to experience a quiet country draped in forests and lakes and inhabited by small towns. But to the outdoor enthusiast booking a flight to Finland, it is a land waiting to be explored. Hiking backpacks, trekking poles and camping gear are the most common items found on Finland flights. From dog-sledding to overnight trips in the wilderness, a cheap flight to Finland fuels the nature-lover’s soul.
Helsinki, Finland’s capital city, offers an abundance of entertainment for tourists. While tourism fuels Helsinki’s economy thanks to Finland flights, fishing and logging keep the remote province of Lapland alive under the “midnight sun.” As ancient as Finland might seem, this country is at the forefront of technology and social awareness. In 1906, Finland was the first European country to grant women the right to vote and despite its abundance of forests and trees, Finland makes baseball bats out of fiberglass. Per capita, Finland is the leading book-publishing country in the world and it has one of the highest Internet connection rates. For those travelers booking flights to Finland on a mission to make history, a stay in the dark wilderness won’t cut it; Finland hit the world’s record book when two Finnish brothers broke the record for sitting on an anthill.
There’s a reason you’ll find cheap flights to Finland in the winter – the weather is bitterly cold. Temperatures routinely drop into the negatives. The capital city, Helsinki, is on the southern coast and has milder summer and winters. Note that the sun doesn’t completely set for 73 days in the summer, and barely rises above the horizon in the winter.
Peak Season: The months between May and September are famous for attracting masses of travelers looking to experience Finland at its finest. If you are hoping to see the Northern Lights then you’ll need to book your flights to Finland either around September and October or March and April, that said you’ll find cheap flights to Finland even more difficult to find as tourists flock to the country for the best views of the spectacle. Summer never fails to amaze those seeking outdoor exploration and pleasant temperatures. Aside from the summer sun, the next draw usually centers around winter holidays, so book flights to Finland in advance for a new and exciting holiday destination.
The winter is the quietest time of the year as the country is shrouded in darkness for much of it. October and April are prime times for finding cheap flights to Finland, especially if you’re looking to spend the holidays, or catch a glimpse of the stunning and unpredictable Northern Lights. You’ll definitely find the cheapest flights to Finland then, with the exception of December as Christmas brings many tourists looking for Santa. The winter months also has much better offers on accommodation so it’s worth considering if you want to make a saving. The benefit of the darkness is also that you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights much more easily.
You’ll need to decide what your reasons for visiting are to decide when the best time is to book flights to Finland. If you want to see the Northern lights you’ll want to secure your flight tickets a couple of months in advance to find cheap flights to Finland around September/October or March/April whereas if you aren’t too concerned with it, then you’ll have to plan your flight tickets well in advance to avoid the mad tourism that hits the country in the summer. Being flexible is your best friend when trying to find the cheapest flights to Finland as you have the freedom to pick and choose as you see fit.
If you’re flying to Finland from Washington, DC or New York, you may be able to find a nonstop flight that takes as little as nine hours. However, most flights involve one or two stops and typically take 12 to 15 hours. Los Angeles residents can expect to spend at least 15 hours in transit if they’re flying to Helsinki. Other destinations, such as Turku, may take closer to 20 hours.
Helsinki features a major international airport that works with a variety of airlines. From North America, popular choices include Delta, United and Air Canada. British Airways and Lufthansa are two popular European choices. Numerous smaller regional airlines also fly in and out of Helsinki, including Finnair, Icelandair and SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Asian airlines, such as Cathay Pacific and Air China, are also common sights.
What you should bring to Finland depends quite a bit on when you plan to travel there. During the winter, focus on warmth. Thermals, multiple layers, waterproof boots and a heavy coat are essentials. Don’t forget a warm hat, and toss in a ski mask if you plan to go dog sledding or snowmobiling. During the summer, shorts and a t-shirt are a good choice most days. Be sure to bring along some warmer clothes, too, as it can get chilly at night or during the frequent afternoon showers. Bring along a pair of sunglasses no matter what season you travel, as endless summer days and glaring winter snow both strain the eyes.
Comfortable shoes are essential for any trip to Finland. Hiking boots are the best choice for taking in the country’s amazing natural beauty, but expect to do a lot of walking even in the towns and cities. Most are very easy to navigate on foot or by public transportation.
From the Helsinki airport there is a train connection, so you can easily find your way from the airport to the city. There are also a couple of bus routes available, including the 617 or the 615. They do go to different places though, with 615 going to the train station. If your hotel is near the airport then you can take a free airport shuttle, so once you’ve booked your flights to Finland it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of where to book your hotel. Lastly, you can grab a taxi from outside of the airport, however it can be expensive to do so.
You are limited to just two options really if you fly into Turku airport. It is, however, only 5 miles away from the city center, so finding your way isn’t too difficult. The cheapest option would be to take the number 1 bus which is reliable and is only a few euros. The other option is a taxi. Whilst you won’t have to wait like you might have to if you choose the bus, you’ll spend a lot more on the journey. If you arrive after and the bus has finished and there are no taxis, you can request one on a phone in the airport.
The airport is around 12 miles away from the city and there are a few different methods from which you can choose. If you’re on a budget or if you just want to save a bit of money where you can then opt for bus number 1a. This takes around 35 minutes but will save you a lot of money when compared to a taxi. If you are at Terminal 2 then you can take the train which goes directly to the train station from the airport. If you do opt for a taxi, then expect to it to be more expensive than other public transportation options.
Once you’ve reached your hotel, and you’re ready to explore Finland, cover long distances with the country’s expansive public transportation system to make sure you see it all.
Train service is not only efficient, but long range, so you can go from the Swedish border to the Russian border to the southern coast as you please. Buses take you more shallow distances, but make is possible to get out of the bustling cities and experience the smaller, more remote towns. Buses are typically a comfortable means of getting around, and are usually affordable.
If you’re more of an independent sightseer, then renting a car is the perfect way to accomplish your own version of Finland travel. If you’re staying in Helsinki, there are a few short road trips you can take. By road, Tampere takes 3 hours, Turku takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, and Rovaniemi takes about 13 hours. Buckle up!
Most trips to Finland begin in Helsinki, and that city alone could take up an entire week or two. Experience Finnish culture and art when you tour the city’s numerous museums, including the National Museum of Finland and the Helsinki City Museum. Take a stroll through Esplanadi Park, which features well-maintained, tree-line trails meandering through the heart of the city. Take in the stunning traditional architecture of the Helsinki and Uspenskin Cathedrals, or meditate in the modern sanctuary of Rock Church. Get out of the city for a day by taking the ferry to the nearby Suomenlinna Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on a gorgeous string of islands.
Explore Finland’s natural beauty by visiting Lemmenjoki National Park, located near Inari, Lapland. Keep an eye out for golden eagles, brown bears, reindeer and more as you hike along the well-maintained trails, or rent a canoe and paddle through the numerous lakes and rivers that flow through the park. Although Lemmenjoki National Park is the largest protected area, Lapland in general offers plenty of room to explore. During the winter months, go for a ride on a dog sled, or hit the slopes at one of the area’s numerous ski resorts. Keep an eye out for the Northern Lights, which are an almost nightly sight in Lapland during the fall, winter and spring. While you’re in Lapland, be sure to stop at Siida. This fascinating museum combines well-maintained nature trails to teach you about Lapland’s complex ecosystem as well as artistic and cultural exhibits to help you learn about the Sami, Lapland’s indigenous people.
Lemmenjoki National Park: If outdoor expeditions beckon your travel desires, then book flights to Finland to experience the best trekking in a variety of weather conditions and terrain. In the heart of the Lapland province, Lemmenjoki National Park offers a huge span of wilderness just waiting to be explored. Cover the arctic land step-by-step and discover a few of nature’s small wonders, like the Ravadaskongas waterfall along your way. For an absolute in-depth experience, stay in one of the free wilderness huts on the outskirts of the park.
Moomin World: When the kids are in tow, it can be a struggle to please everybody. If your children seem restless on the flight to Finland, ease their boredom with thoughts of a theme park. Moomin World, a theme park based on the children’s books of Tove Jansson, is a surefire way to entertain. Packing your carry-on with Jansson’s books will prepare them for a visit to Moomin World, where costumes, characters, Pirate Forts, Pancake Factories, and Whispering Woods will set their imaginations ablaze and promise enjoyment for all ages.
Olavinlinna Castle: In the Savonlinna lakes area, where lush greens and tall trees make windy roads and intriguing inlets, you will find the best-preserved medieval castle in northern Europe. Constructed in 1475, and built to protect the Swedish and Finnish empires, it was eventually detained by the Russians in the 18th century. Two red towers and yellow interior reigned from then on, and since it’s no longer occupied, you can see the beauty and grandiose for yourself. Just book a cheap flight to Finland to step inside the castle in all its glory, and to tour the antiquated luxuries of political takeover and passionate nationalism.
Valamo Orthodox Monastery: If you consider yourself a sommelier with a knack for history, booking a cheap flight to Finland is only your first step in experiencing a winery that has it all. It’s hard to beat a good winery, but it’s even harder to beat a winery that also boasts an incredible amount of religious and historical significance. Finland’s only Orthodox monastery, the church was seized by the Red Army in World War II, and reconstructed and blessed again in 1977, where the recent clergy began its wine production. They produce their own wine out of fruit grown on-site, such as crowberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackcurrants and they allow visitors to both taste and buy the bottled bliss. Once your glass is empty, you’ll understand why Valamo Orthodox Monastery is a truly religious experience.
Helsinki Airport is located less than 15 miles from the heart of the city, so getting there at the end of your trip is easy. A train travels directly from the city to the airport for convenience. Buses are also a popular option, with frequent routes to the airport from Helsinki and other nearby areas. Taxis are also available, although they tend to be fairly expensive.
From Helsinki, it’s easy to catch a quick flight to other European destinations. London and Paris are both a mere three hours away, and multiple flights are usually available daily. Prague is just two hours away by air. If you need to warm up after a cool Finnish vacation, hop a four-hour flight to Madrid for some sunny Spanish weather.
(prices quotes are from London)