Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Northern part of Europe. It shares its borders with Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Estonia. The capital city of Finland is Helsinki and the native language spoken here is Finnish.
The Fortress of Suomenlinna was built during the Swedish occupation in the 18th century. The fortress sits in Helsinki Harbor on an island that is accessible by a ferry trip from Helsinki. The fortress is now a favorite place for picnics and has several museums. The Naval Academy of Finland is also situated on the island and Vesikko, the last Finish submarine is also on display here. The fortress has been called a town within a town and there are 900 inhabitants living here full time. During the summer months the fortress is the location for concerts and many activities for children.
The Hame Castle is one of the best examples of medieval castles in Finland. The red brick structure sits upon Lake Vanajavesi and was built at the end of 13th century. Over the centuries, the castle has been used as a royal residence, prison, and even a granary. The castle has been added onto and expanded over the years. Since the castle has been restorated, it is a great place to discover the different levels and architectural styles.
The Helsinki Zoo is home to some very unique animals. The zoo is located on Korkeasaari Island and allows its visitors to wander from the frozen tundra to the tropical rainforest. The zoo showcases many of Finlands native plants and animals. Helsinki Zoo has 150 animal species and almost 1000 plants to observe. The park offers picnic areas overlooking the cliffs which provide an especially breathtaking view of the water below. The most enjoyable time to visit the zoo is in the summer months of May through August.
The town of Turku is Finlands oldest and most fascinating medieval village. Turku is 750 years old and has a fully restored medieval castle that was transformed into a Viking museum. Its Gothic cathedral is one of the most impressive sites in Turku. The village is home to the Handicrafts Museum and restored medieval homes. If visiting during the Christmas season, on Christmas Eve, people gather in the town square to hear the proclamation of Christmas peace. This has been a tradition in Finland since the middle ages.
The Aland Islands are a group of more than 6000 islands located in the Baltic Sea. The islands have many outside activities to enjoy. Biking and camping are two of the most popular attractions. These islands give the visitor a chance to get up close and personal with native wildlife and plants. For an extended stay on the Aland Islands there are also cabins to rent.
Lapland is one of the most unspoiled regions in Finland. It is home to the Northern Lights and of course Santa Claus. The region has few inhabitants, but the natives are truly welcoming to visitors. Lapland is the home of Santa Claus and where all the various stories about Santa Claus have originated. Guests always enjoy visiting the Santa Theme Park where children can experience meeting a real live Santa Claus.
The Arthur Hotel is located in the heart of Helsinki. The hotel is within walking distance of many of the museums found in Finland. This makes the Arthur Hotel, an ideal spot for visitors. The Julia Hotel is near the medieval village of Turku. It is a four star hotel and offers its guests many luxury amenities.
Finland is home to the worlds most museums. This makes it a history buffs haven for enjoyment. The country has some of the most welcoming inhabitants in the world and tourists can expect to be treated like family.