Scandinavia is truly not that famous for being a budget travel destination and Finland, to be more precise, is herein no exception. Okay, it is not cheap at all to be honest – you would find out yourself the latest, when ordering a small beer somewhere – but don’t get scared! You just need to know where to look and soon you’ll have many options to choose from, for an affordable way of having plenty of fun in one of the northern countries’ beauties.
You might have heard already about crazy contests to be held every year in Finland: From mobile phone or gumboot throwing via wife carrying (the winner will receive his wife’s weight in beer – just saying… ) to air guitar playing. The latter has a 20+ years lasting tradition and takes place every summer in Oulu. Free entry allows you to catch a glimpse at The Air Guitar World Championship competitors and their creative on-stage moves, if you don’t dare to reach for the cup by jamming your own equipment!
Accommodation tip: Hostel Tapion Tupa, Kalajoki
Talking about entertainment, the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä offers around its program also free-of-charge events such as morning discussions. And afterwards you could fill your batteries with wandering around the Finnish nature or just relaxing on a beach on the lakesides.
Accommodation tip: Hostel Visatupa, Sodankylä
With its enormous wide range of nature Finland has anyway so many places you just should not miss out, that it’s difficult to select where to send you first. So what about the largest national park then to start with? That would be Lemmenjoki National Park in the Inari region of Lapland. Here you can experience the wild at the base with getting an impression of the diversity of trees, plants and animal wildlife and hike your way over the paths or learn a bit about the Sami culture close by.
Accommodation tip: Hostel Lemmenjoen Lumo, Inari
While in summer the famous Midnight Sun might not let you sleep as much as back home, during winter the Northern lights will probably keep you awake for a while, with their amazing bright colours and formations in the icy-cold sky of the north. Nevertheless, both are worth to explore and you won’t get enough of those fantastical nature spectacles, we promise.
Accommodation tip: Hostel Ahopää, Inari/Saariselkä
Since you already found your way to Lapland once, you can make a wish for Christmas by talking directly to the pro: Santa Claus welcomes guests all year round and it does not even cost a cent to see him in his taken from the fairy-tale home in Rovaniemi. In his backyard you can cross furthermore the Arctic Circle or say hello to his famous reindeers, before heading back to the south.
Accommodation tip: Hostel Kemijärvi, Kemijärvi
For those who are rather surrounded by arranged stones than loose pebbles, in southern Finland situated lays the oldest town: Turku. Keep your eyes open for its medieval architecture and feel the historical spirit on the spot, for example while having a free look into the castles inner yard. And last but not least, jump from the former to the current capital: modern Helsinki. The lively and younger city is as well as its outrider surrounded by a stunning archipelago, which make you feel the essential co-existence between humans and nature in Finland.
Read more about the Finnish capital here: HELSINKI ON A BUDGET
Text: Susanne Schick for Suomen Hostellijärjestö ry – Finnish Hostel Association
Pictures: Finnish Hostel Association / VisitFinland.com
Main picture: Kemijärvi by Kari Halkola