Design meets nature – unique shelters and huts in Finland

5 minute read
A view to Kaippahanoja day trip hut and fireplace.

Credits: Visit Salla / Suvi Kauhanen

Discover design architecture in the forest

You know you’re in Finland when you find a sleek shelter or a hut in the middle of the wilderness that could otherwise be in an architectural magazine. The ethos of timeless design, high functionality, and Nordic minimalism is very much present in these remote locations across national parks and other nature reserves.

Most shelters and huts in Finland are traditional wooden buildings. However, if you’re keen on going trekking and camping with a touch of modern aesthetic, add these design gems to your travel plan! You'll find a map at the end of this page.

Ukko-Luosto day trip hut in Pyhä-Luosto National Park, Lapland

Located only 2 km away from the Luosto village in Lapland, this day hut with magnificent vistas is an easy stopover for beginners. Enjoy a front-row seat to the majestic northern nature and marvel at the light phenomena of the northern sky year-round. The hut has basic heating and a stove but if you’re looking to cook, we suggest bringing your own camping cooking gear as the stove has no hotplate.

View of the Ukko-Luosto Scenic Hut in winter under the Northern lights.

Rautulampi huts in Urho Kekkonen National Park, Lapland

In the Urho Kekkonen National Park in eastern Lapland, next to Rautulampi pond, there are two different types of huts at close distance. These brand-new, wooden huts were completed in 2021. In one building, there is a reservable wilderness hut for a small group of up to eight people and an open wilderness hut with a drying room. In the other building, there’s a day hut. Stop over for a snack and rest to admire the national park’s vast landscapes. The huts are accessible from several starting points on foot, and in the winter by skis.

Before your adventure into the northern wilderness, make sure you’re familiar with Finnish outdoor etiquette.

The larger building in Rautulampi has two sides: a reservable group hut and an open hut with a drying room.
Credits : Metsähallitus / Tuija Kangasniemi
Rautulampi’s day hut is equipped with a table set and a wood-burning stove.
Credits: Metsähallitus / Tuija Kangasniemi

Aurora day trip hut in Saariselkä, Lapland

Just 700 metres from the gateway of Urho Kekkonen National Park, on the family-friendly Aurora trail, you’ll find this sleek, modern shelter. As the name suggests, here you’ll have a fantastic chance to catch magical Auroras in the sky or admire the Midnight Sun in the summer. The hut is heated and there is plenty of table space and benches making it a great day-trip destination even for families with smaller kids. There’s also a big terrace for enjoying the views!

Aurora day trip hut is divided into two sections: the other one is open to all visitors and the other can be rented for small groups. Overnight stays are not possible in this hut.
Credits: Pirjo Seurujärvi

There are 450 wilderness huts, traditional and modern alike, in the Finnish Lapland where you can stay overnight for free.

Kaippahanoja day trip hut in Salla National Park, Lapland

You’ll find this swell day trip hut on the Pahakuru trail in the Salla National Park, the newest national park in Finland (2022). Heat up the stove inside to warm up or prepare a simple lunch at the campfire place next to the hut. After a brisk hike, any meal is guaranteed to taste scrumptious, particularly with gorgeous views like these! This hut was designed by Finnish architect Manu Humppi, who specialises in wilderness architecture. He also designed the Rautulampi huts in Urho Kekkonen National Park.

Credits: Visit Salla / Suvi Kauhanen

Nature observation points in Salla National Park, Lapland

The national park of Salla has several easily accessible shelters to observe the natural phenomena of the Arctic region. In these beautiful wooden sheds, you get to experience the Northern Lights and the snow-crowned trees during winter, the golden light of the Midnight Sun in the summer, the splendour of colours in autumn, and the parade of the migrating birds’ return in the springtime. Check out the observation points at Kaunisharju, located only 4km from Sallatunturi, or Lake Keselmäjärvi for truly unique design-meets-nature views.

Lake Keselmäjärvi observation point in Salla is accessible for everyone.
Credits : Kea Creutz
Having lunch in this observations point with views of Salla’s tranquil nature is one for the books.

The unwritten rule of the wilderness huts: the weariest hiker or the one arriving last has the prerogative to stay overnight.

Kintulammi nature reserve in Tampere, Lakeland

Located 20 km northeast of Tampere, there’s another hiker hotspot, the Kintulammi nature reserve. In this popular recreational area, you can discover 18 km of marked trails, duckboards, and six campfire sites, four of which have ecologically designed lean-to shelters. Next to these huts, you’ll find a woodshed and dry toilet.

Credits : Magomed Shapiev
This shelter in Kintulammi is an Instagram-worthy spot near Tampere.
Credits: Magomed Shapiev

Saimaa Seal Trail in Puumala, Lakeland

The circular, 13 km long Saimaa Seal Trail, also Norppapolku in Finnish, will introduce you to the diverse scenery of Lake Saimaa – the biggest lake in Finland. Although the path runs through forests, eskers, and shore cliffs, the lean-to is wheelchair accessible. The modern and spacious shelter was built by the local community from locally sourced wood.

The Saimaa Seal Trail shelter overlooks Lake Saimaa in eastern Finland.
The shelter has room for a group large or small to enjoy lunch or a snack.
Credits: Matti Vainikka

Bonus tip: Lammassaari Boardwalk in Helsinki

There’s no need to travel far up north to feel close to nature and enjoy modern, wooden design. The Viikki-Vanhankaupunginlahti nature reserve is only half an hour's bus drive away from central Helsinki. Starting from Pornaistenniemi, you’ll find an accessible boardwalk to Lammassaari, a popular recreational island, which is the perfect destination for a relaxed day trip. If you’re into birdwatching, you’ll appreciate the additional platforms built along the path.  

If you’re curious to know more about Nordic architecture in nature and want to hear the thoughts and stories of the designers, visit the website dedicated to the Nordic collaboration at  

Credits: Jussi Hellstén

Map of unique nature shelters and huts in Finland

Here you can find all the nature locations included in this article on a map.

See also

National Parks in Finland

Learn more about the National Parks in Finland and...