Today’s technology allows you to visit places virtually anywhere. Finland is no exception – places like the UNESCO World Heritage site Suomenlinna, an icebreaker, Lake Saimaa, Lapland, and the Åland Islands are just one click away.
Of course, nothing beats the experience of actually visiting these one-of-a-kind places but the online experience can give you a glimpse of what is to come. It can also help you in planning your stay.
So, let’s take a tour around some of the most iconic places in the happiest country in the world – we hope you enjoy the ride!
Article published in May 2020.
Full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the Midnight Sun and winter darkness, urban and rural, East and West.
There is an abundance of places to visit online in our capital city. The Virtual Helsinki experience is a great place to start. Virtual Helsinki is the digital twin of the Helsinki city center, created in high-quality 3D. It is perhaps one of the most realistic virtual experiences of any city online. The tour starts from iconic Helsinki landmark, the empire-style Senate Square, and takes you through four seasons.
Suomenlinna, one of Finland’s most popular tourist sites, is a ‘must-see’ – online and in real life. With Suomenlinna 360, you can visit all corners of the island from the south end of Kustaanmiekka to the fortresses and seaside views. You choose!
Are you a vintage fan? Take a tour of the city during the olden days with Helsinki Photos. This treasure trove of photographs is courtesy of the Helsinki City Museum.
If you love ballet and opera, bring the world famous Finnish National Opera and Ballet into your own living room with Stage24. If museums are more your cup of tea, deep dive into the history of Finland by visiting the archives of the National Museum of Finland. The historical collections include over 138,000 objects which describe the country’s history from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum building itself is located in Helsinki.
If you’re looking to calm your mind, visit the picturesque surroundings of Porvoo, located 30 minutes east of Helsinki. On Visit Porvoo’s Calm Down website, you can choose from three themes: peace, connection or beauty – and get ready to indulge your senses with beautiful sights and sounds of this historic region. You can also share the experience with your friends.
The traditional Häme region of Finland, just north of Helsinki, can also be explored online. Visit Häme’s Virtual Tour website includes places like the Forssa Kutomo Area (‘weaving mill’ in English), the Finnish Glass Museum, and a large variety of nature sights. During your virtual hike through Häme from the comfort of your own sofa, you will also receive tips from scouts. Useful for when you do get back to nature again!
There’s no better way of starting a virtual tour of the Coast and Archipelago than the historical city of Turku. The 360 tour of Turku offers the most exquisite views of the city during different seasons and times of the day.
The site works by clicking different locations around the city so you can build a tour any way you want. Don’t miss the Turku Castle, Samppalinna, and the Turku Cathedral.
The Åland Islands are a great next stop from Turku. Take a tour around these ruggedly beautiful islands – also known as the pearl of the Finnish Archipelago – with Roundme.com’s Åland Islands tour. Explore the Jomala Church, the oldest masoned stone building in Finland, Degersand beach, Kastelholm Castle, and the town of Mariehamn.
Silverskär is another ‘not-to-miss’ online destination at the Åland Islands. Lean back and enjoy the beauty of Champagne Island and take a peek inside the fishing cabins of Klobben and the beach sauna at Sviskär with Silverskär 360. The site provides a warming look into the traditional archipelago living in Finland.
On the eastern shores of the Coast and Archipelago, you’ll find the maritime town of Kotka and nearby Kouvola.
In Kotka, you can take a virtual tour onboard an actual icebreaker. The online 360 tour of Icebreaker Tarmo gives you access to the engine deck, the main deck, and the deck house. The service is provided by the Maritime Museum of Finland.
Kouvola, famous for its industrial history, is the home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Verla. This famous mill site can also be explored online – travel through time and take a look into the buildings and machinery that used to run this factory located next to the Verla Rapids.
The Lakeland area of Finland is a vast region spanning from Lahti and Tampere in the west all the way to Lake Saimaa in the east, and the national landscapes of Koli further up north. Lakeland’s online experiences are as versatile as the region itself.
Start exploring Lakeland from Lahti. Follow the online performances of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra on Classic Live – unique moments of performing arts via an easy channel free of charge. Sibelius, the iconic Finnish composer, and his works are some of the ‘must-hear’ masterpieces.
From Lahti, head north to the city of Tampere. Virtual Tampere offers a wonderful look into the historical locations, old churches, activities and culture of the city – all virtually! Take a spin around the Tohloppi tour skating track, Viikinsaari Island, or go up and under in Pinsiö.
Even further up north you’ll find the city of Jyväskylä, famous for many Alvar Aalto designed public buildings. Enjoy a stunning 360 virtual tour of Jyväskylä by night using the City of Light virtual platform.
Lake Saimaa and Koli are some of the most quintessential places when it comes to iconic Lakeland scenery. Saimaalife.com provides an incredible and intimate collection of life in Saimaa during the four seasons. The content, inspired by nature and the presence of this great lake, offers 360 videos of the region: go boating, visit the town of Savonlinna in the summer, or try (virtually) paddling on a SUP board.
The Koli Summer 360 service offers incredible views of the ridges, forests, islands, and lakes of Koli. Take a panorama visit around the most grandiose landscapes Finland has to offer: the Koli summit. This national scenery will not disappoint you!
The magic of Lapland is alluring to visitors and Finns alike – seeing the Northern Lights and the midnight sun are bucket-list items for many.
If you are dreaming of a little escape from the day-to-day, tune into the Sound of Lapland to listen to the iconic ambient soundscape of Northern Finland. These online sounds and the videos of Lapland will soothe your soul and freshen your spirit. We promise! You can also find the Scapes album on Spotify.
To experience the Northern Lights in one’s lifetime is a true privilege. The Aurora Alert service increases your chances of seeing these magical polar lights dancing in the sky when you are in Lapland. The alert messages contain intensity information, offering you the chance to see the best of auroras during the season in Rovaniemi, Luosto and Pyhä regions. The season opens in the autumn. Until then, enjoy the video footage of actual auroras from the past Northern Lights season.
Live online streams providing footage of wild animals have become hugely popular in recent years. In Finland, the World Wildlife Fund’s Saimaa Ringed Seal Wildlive (‘Norppalive’ in Finnish) is one of the most popular. The star of the live cam is the endangered freshwater seal that lives in Lake Saimaa. In the wild, it can be quite a challenge at times to spot the seal but the online feed increases the odds for all nature lovers. WWF’s Wildlive service also provides footage of other wild animals.
From beautiful national parks to cute wooden villages and unexpected hidden gems, Finland truly is a photographer's dream destination. Scroll down to see our list of the 10 most instagrammable places in Finland.
Whichever direction you go from Helsinki, you’ll find experiences to remember. Try a day-trip – or stay for a week! The capital of Finland is the place where most visitors to Finland stay or at least stop by. Helsinki is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green urban areas.