The treasures of Southern Finland – the cultural highlights of the country

It is the mixture between history and modernity that characterizes the south of Finland in an impressive way and makes it one of the most popular regions in the country.

Porvoo in Southern Finland - Treasures of Southern Finland
Porvoo in Southern Finland

A modern tourist infrastructure and a nature that has remained true to its origins still set the scene and characterize the vacation in Southern Finland like no other aspect.

Southern Finland is ideal for time travel through the past centuries. Through the numerous cultural highlights, the region allows an impressive leap into history and shows the most important eras that the country had to cope with in the past.

Besides charming towns, Southern Finland presents itself with industrial monuments, churches and magnificent mansions that could hardly be more impressive architecturally.

The special thing about a trip through the south is the proximity of the numerous sights. Thus, the highlights are often only a stone’s throw away from each other and allow a tour that leads to the most beautiful destinations within 2 weeks.

In 14 days you can discover the most important sights of the south on a route of about 900 km. It is above all the capital Helsinki that becomes the linchpin of the journey.

Hardly any other metropolis is as popular today as the Finnish capital, which is characterized by its proximity to the water. It unites the contrasts of past centuries on an impressive surface and brings them to life with great sensitivity.

It is not only the old buildings that characterize Helsinki. Likewise, the spirit of modernity ensures a unique stay, characterized by a special flair.

Just a few kilometers from Helsinki you will come across the picturesque town of Porvoo, which has long been a well-known destination for travelers. It is mainly the cityscape that makes Porvoo a popular destination.

The old town is set off by the small alleys that invite you to stroll and shop. Porvoo is known for its many good restaurants serving modern culinary masterpieces and traditional dishes.

The Finnish city has managed to retain a certain tranquility that invites you to relax and enjoy.

From Loviisa to Lathi

After a sightseeing tour of Porvoo, you can head to Loviisa in Finland. Today, the city is internationally known mainly because of the local nuclear power plant.

A real pearl presents itself to the guests with the small, historic wooden house district, rich in old buildings.

At the small guest harbor of Loviisa, the ancient red storage magazines invite you to take a leap into history. They give a nostalgic picture and an impression of the historical Finland.

A paradise for families with children is the small Kotka. The extremely charming town gained international fame with the Maretarium.

The well-known and at the same time extremely modern adventure aquarium is located directly at the city harbor and manages to captivate children and adults in an unparalleled way.

The aquarium is dedicated to the Finnish fish world in all areas and provides insights into the life in the water.

Known as the capital of Finnish Karelia, Lappeenranta is one of the must-see destinations in Southern Finland.

The city is one of the most modern in the country and is home to Finland’s largest inland port. The image of Lappeenranta is characterized by the fortification above the harbor, which can be visited.

A successful end to the tour is a visit to the café, which can be found in the pretty Kahvila Majurska. Starting from Lappeenranta, a detour to Taipalsaari is a good idea.

On the way, travelers pass the area of Lake Saimaa, which is known for its breathtaking scenery.

Taipalsaari offers its guests a large wooden church, which finds its roots in the past centuries.

However, the main route from Lappeenranta leads to Lathi in Finland, which has made a name for itself as a venue for international winter sports competitions. Lathi is the perfect destination for ski jumping enthusiasts.

A real highlight is the extensive sports museum, where a ski jumping simulator is ready for guests. The sports museum is located below the three large ski jumps that characterize the image of the winter sports facilities.

Starting from Lathi, a small road leads to the nearby Hollolan kirkko. Already the drive along the Vesijärvi is like a feast for the eyes.

However, a real highlight is the medieval fieldstone church, which still presents itself with an appealing architecture.

On the way to Tampere

Southern Finland’s treasures include charming Hämeenlinna, about an hour’s drive from Lathi. Hämeenlinna is internationally known as the birthplace of Jean Sibelius and enjoys an excellent reputation among many travelers to Finland.

The most important sight is the Häme Castle. The imposing brick building has never been destroyed or besieged in the history of Finland, and thus still presents itself with the charm it was given in centuries past.

Much older than the castle of Häme is the church of Hattula. It was built in the 14th century and is now considered one of the most beautiful destinations when traveling through Southern Finland.

Inside the centuries-old church there are beautiful murals.

Popular and equally well known is the Finnish Ittala. Most people associate the name with a well-known glass manufacturer.

In fact, the historic and eponymous glass factory is located in the village. Ittala is undoubtedly considered a center of Finnish glass art and manages to impressively combine an ancient craft with the traits of modern design.

Today, the production hall of the glass factory can be visited during an interesting guided tour. The grand finale is a visit to the lovingly furnished factory outlet, which follows the tour.

In the factory’s own sale, visitors can look forward to many a bargain that will surely prove to be a coveted souvenir.

A destination of an extraordinary kind is the Finnish city of Tampere. Nowhere else can you get as close to the industrial history of the northern European country as in this city.

In 1882, a special milestone in industrial history was taken in Tampere. For example, the country’s first light bulbs burned at the Finlayson textile mill this year.

Today, Tampere presents itself with a cozy cityscape where most guests feel at home from the first second. The city is characterized by numerous museums dedicated to different historical stages and features.

Again and again in the city you come across cozy cafes that invite you to take a breather. Finnish specialties are still offered in many of them.

Between well-known cities and small communities

In Turku, you can follow in the footsteps of history in an impressive way. As one of the best-known towns in Southern Finland, it has a much longer history than many municipalities.

Turku was once the capital of Finland and so it was given great importance for years. Today Turku is known as a university city. It is rich in excellent museums, which enjoy an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally.

But it’s also the student-centered dolce vita flair that makes Turku a must-see destination.

In the run-up to Christmas, it transforms into Finland’s Christmas Town. During this time, it presents itself with a sea of numerous lights that create an extraordinary ambience.

Starting from Turku, it is worth taking a detour to nearby Naantali. The town is characterized by nostalgic wooden houses that leave an extraordinary charm.

In the streets you can always find restaurants and cafes that could hardly be more cozy. Especially the port of Naantali resembles an idyll of special size.

While adults are captivated by the charming cityscape, a highlight for children awaits with the Muuminmaailma amusement park. The little guests can meet the famous Moomin trolls in the amusement park.

If you set off from Turku towards the east, you should say goodbye to the fast main road. The small side road to Sammatti is a scenic feast for the eyes and takes you into the beauty of Southern Finland.

Sammatti is only a small Finnish community, but it is definitely worth a visit. Even today Sammatti stands for the life and works of Elias Lönnrot.

The famous Finnish writer went down in the history of the country with his famous work Kalevala.

Although he did not spend much of his life in Sammatti, the community is home to two important stages of his life. This includes the cottage where Lönnrot was once born. But also his retirement residence can be visited today.

Idyllic Lohja is considered an important destination in southern Finland. In the village there is an old church, which finds its origins in the Middle Ages and still inspires with the features of the past.

When visiting the church should look at both the walls and ceiling. With their excellent paintings, they are reminiscent of an open picture book.

The medieval church tells numerous biblical stories in a unique way. At the same time, neither colors nor numerous details were omitted from the paintings.

The best way to discover Southern Finland and all its treasures is to take a car tour.

The south of the country has a dense road network that provides a certain comfort during the journey. All stages can be reached on a route of about 900 km.

Even though these are the best-known destinations in the south of Finland, it is worth taking a detour to the small villages in some places. They are precisely what make Southern Finland a destination that could hardly be more beautiful and, above all, more exciting.

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Ich bin absoluter Skandinavien-Fan und reise schon seit über 12 Jahren in die schönen Länder Skandinaviens. Hier teile ich meine Erfahrungen und Tipps zu den skandinavischen Ländern und der Ostsee-Region.