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When is the Best Time to Visit Finland?

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If you’re currently planning a trip to Finland, you may be wondering: “When is the best time to visit?”

While many cite the winter months as being the best time to visit Finland as you have a greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights, others would say that Finland really does come alive in the summer, albeit for all of just three months.

In this guide, I’ll be discussing what Finland is like through each season so that you can make up your own mind on when it’s best to visit.

Finland in Winter

Snowy trees in Finland

Average Temperature: -1°C (21°F) — based on Helsinki temperatures, Northern Finland is likely to be colder
Months of the Year: December – March
Recommended Winter Activities:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Husky sledding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Finnish sauna
  • Ice fishing
  • Ice hotel or igloo overnight stay
  • Christmas festivities
  • Northern Lights hunting

With Finland’s snow season running from November to May, the whole of the country really does turn into a magical winter wonderland during the cold months. There’s a reason why it’s been known as Santa’s home for all these years!

Although temperatures around Helsinki generally hover just below freezing in the winter, temperatures can get as low as -20°C in the north, so you would do well to do a bit of planning on what to pack for a trip to Finland.

As there are few daylight hours in Finland during the winter months, you have a greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights (with March being the best month for it).

But some of the most sought after activities during a Finnish winter are more traditional, such as husky sledding, ice fishing and taking part in the complete Finnish sauna experience.

Finland in Spring

Spring in Finland

Average Temperature: 13°C (55°F) — based on Helsinki temperatures, Northern Finland is likely to be colder
Months of the Year: April – May
Recommended Spring Activities:

  • Vappu celebrations
  • Ihana Helsinki Festival
  • Helsinki Spring Light Chamber Music Festival
  • April Jazz Festival
  • Inari Reindeer Racing Championship
  • Northern Lights hunting

Spring is a short time of year in Finland as it only lasts from April through May.

Across Helsinki and southern Finland, snow can often be found as late as the beginning of April, but flowers are also trying to show off their beauty.

If you visit towards late April or in May, you should see the best of what a spring in Finland has to offer with temperatures averaging at about 13°C, although the further north you go, you still have the chance of skiing and doing other winter-type activities.

Of all the seasons, spring is when you’ll see Finland at its most diverse when it comes to the different weather and climate across the country.

Plus, spring has some of the best conditions for aurora hunting!

Need tips for what to pack? Check out our packing list for Europe in spring! >>>

Finland in Summer

Summer in Finland

Average Temperature: 20°C (68°F) — based on Helsinki temperatures, Northern Finland is likely to be colder
Months of the Year: June – August
Recommended Summer Activities:

  • Tangomarkkinat
  • Wife Carrying World Championships
  • Juhannus / Midsummer celebrations
  • Hiking
  • Wild berry picking
  • Beer floating
  • ‘Midnight Sun’ phenomenon

Because of how long winter and the snow season lasts for in Finland, the locals really make the most of the summer (despite how short it is).

There are plenty of festivals and celebrations taking place, as well as the opportunity to get out into the good old fresh air!

Plus, you’ll be able to really make the most of your vacation days as the sun doesn’t set during the summer months, resulting in that incredible ‘Midnight Sun’ phenomenon we all love to go on about so much.

Summer is also when all tourist facilities and transport services operate at full steam.

The downsides to a summer in Finland are the difficulties of sleeping due to the light hours, as well as not seeing as much of the locals who enjoy long days out and weekends away during this season.

Finland in Autumn/Fall

Autumn in Finland

Average Temperature: 7°C (15°F) — based on Helsinki temperatures, Northern Finland is likely to be colder
Months of the Year: September – November
Recommended Autumn Activities:

  • Ruska celebrations
  • Forest hikes
  • Mushroom picking
  • Finnish sauna
  • Get cozy in a wooden cabin (with Glögi)
  • Northern Lights hunting

Travelling during the ‘shoulder seasons’ is always enjoyable, but this becomes even more true in Finland.

The forests explode with colour and the Finns even celebrate the start of autumn by referring to it as ‘ruska’ — for the autumnal reds, oranges and golds that decorate the countryside.

Autumn in Finland is much cheaper, both in terms of flights and hotels, but some tours and attractions close or reduce their hours during this off peak season so do bear this in mind for your itinerary.

Autumn is a time to relax, hike in nature and relish in the blissful solitude.

Plus, this season also has some of the best conditions for aurora hunting!

Are you ready for your trip to beautiful Finland? I’d love to know what time of year you’re thinking of visiting, so drop me a line in the comments section below…

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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