Meet the Moomins

5 minute read

Credits: Moomin World

Moomins are a quintessential part of Finnish culture

The Moomins, those charming and whimsical white trolls, have left a significant mark on Finnish culture and history, and captured the hearts of people around the world.  

Tove Jansson, the author and illustrator behind the Moomins, was a pioneer who paved the way for female artists. Moomin stories not only entertain children but unfold a deeper meaning for adults. Swedish-speaking Jansson brought to light values like inclusion, acceptance, and community that are important pillars of modern Nordic societies.  

Today, you can find the Moomins in books and animated TV shows as well as in museums, cruise ships, theme parks, and even tableware! 

Credits: Sami Valikangas

History of the Moomins

Although the characters and events taking place in the Moomin books are fictional and may at first glance seem to be targeted towards children, there’s a deeper meaning to the tale. Tove Jansson anchored her personal values as well as her private life to the world of the Moomins. The tales touch upon topics of inclusiveness, equality, and queer themes.

Everyone is welcomed to the Moominvalley regardless of age, identity or background. Even spiky Stinky and angry little My.

Explore world’s only Moomin museum in Tampere

The Moomin museum, located in Tampere, is full of stunning exhibitions that portrays how Tove's personal life was translated into the Moomin stories. By booking a guided tour or experiencing one of the exhibitions at the museum you can hear how Tove’s romantic relationship with female partner Viveca translated into figures such as Thingumy and Bob hiding a big secret in their suitcase. Or, discover how her complex relationship with her father translated into a stubborn Moominpappa and an affectionate mother into the friendly Moominmamma.  

At the Moomin museum, you can also experience an immersive walk through the multifaceted historical development of Moomin as a character. The museum contains a sizeable collection of Tove Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä’s drawings and paintings, the very original drafts and illustrations, as well as other published and unpublished creations of the Moomins. 

Visit Moomin World theme park in Naantali and Moomin Ice Cave in Leppävirta

Another perfect opportunity to dive into the mesmerizing world of the Moomins and to meet the charming characters is to visit the family-friendly Moomin World theme park in Naantali. In Moomin World, you can take a part in the maritime adventures at the Moomin family’s bathing hut, walk the magical Fairytale Trail to the Witch’s House, and visit the legendary Moomintroll’s house. The park is located in the Coast and Archipelago region near Turku and it is open during the summer season. 

The beloved Moomin characters can also be explored as ice statues in the arctic Moomin Ice Cave in Leppävirta, a small town in Lakeland. Descend into the mysterious underworld cave, located 30 meters underground, and admire the stunning ice sculptures, or slide down the ice chute to experience butterflies in your stomach! The Ice Cave – located near Valtatie 5 (highway no. 5) – is a perfect pit stop for families travelling to Kuopio by car. 

One of the most iconic sights in Naantali's Moomin World is the Moominhouse.
Credits : 2020 Moomin Characters Tm & Dennis Livson
Leppävirta's Moomin Ice Cave is located 30 meters underground.
Credits: Moomin Ice Cave

According to the Moomintroll, grownups don't slide down chutes. They're too afraid of looking silly.

Relive Tove’s childhood adventures in the Finnish Archipelago

Tove Jansson spent most of her summers at the Finnish Archipelago on the West Coast in the Pellinki island (“Pellinge” in Swedish), which is located 50 kilometres from Helsinki and accessible year-round. The closeness to nature and the sea as well as her childhood adventures were a source of inspiration to the steep valleys, deep forests, and stormy waters found in Moomin stories. 

Tove's original summer cottage is located in Pellinki’s Klovaharun island. Klovharun has been preserved in its original condition and the cottage is open to the public during one week in July (check timetables here). The nearby Söderskär lighthouse is a nature preserve where you can explore Moominpappa’s real-life lighthouse and gaze at the place where it all began — the islands and the Baltic Sea. Another interesting lighthouse to explore in Southern Finland is the Bengtskär lighthouse in the Kimitoön islands area in the southwest of the Finnish Archipelago. Bengtskär is the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries. 

Pellinki island, home of Tove Jansson's cabin Klovharun, is ruggedly beautiful with barren cliffs and rocky beaches. Klovharun is open to visitors one week per year.
Credits : Niko Laurila
Bengtskär lighthouse is located one-hour boat drive away from Kasnäs harbour in Southern Finland.
Credits: Julia Kivelä

Where else can I find the Moomins?

The development of Moomins as an art project has culminated in the Moomin characters becoming a famous design motif on fabrics, home decorations, and on kitchenware, like the famous Moomin mugs produced by the Finnish design company Arabia.

If you’d like to give a Moomin a hug and stay in a theme cabin, take a cruise with Tallink-Silja – the official sea carrier of Moomin. If you’re an animation lover, we recommend watching the new Moominvalley TV show created by an Oscar/BAFTA/Emmy-winning team. And last but not least, to enjoy wonderful photo and real-life footage of Tove's time in the Pellinge Archipelago make sure to visit the Tove Jansson exhibition at the Helsinki Art Museum HAM.  

If you’d like to dive deeper into the world of Moomins and Moomin-themed places to visit in Finland, visit

Tallink-Silja cruise ships that sail between Helsinki and Stockholm have Moomin-themed cabins.
Credits: Tallink Silja

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