in the middle
On the far-flung corners of northern Europe, Finland fuses the flavours of Russia and the Baltic region with classic Scandinavian charm. From the cool and collected capital of Helsinki and the frozen tundra of Lapland to the wave-buffeted inlets on the Baltic and the great lakes and forests of the east, it's a land of wild nature and indelible interest.
Discover the best Finland hotels and you'll soon be enjoying a smorgasbord of ski resorts and saunas, medieval castles and imperial forts, spruce-peppered islets and snow-trampling reindeer herds, all below the glow of the Midnight Sun or the hues of the Northern Lights.
Helsinki is the most-visited city in Finland. The capital, it's a city noticeably forged by the Russian influence, with tsarist onion domes and palaces and the great bulwarks of the Suomenlinna Fort jutting out into the sea. Meanwhile, age-old Finnish culture is alive between the timber lean-tos of Seurasaari, and summer's never been so good as on the Esplanadi boulevards.
Once the industrial powerhouse of the nation, Tampere now pulses to a bohemian rhythm. The redbrick mill houses around the central square of Keskustori bustle with cool cafes and restaurants, while tech companies innovate in Hervanta, and the suburb of Pyynikki comes crisscrossed with urban ski routes come winter.
Turku is steeped in history and heritage. Considered the oldest city in Finland, the cityscape is defined by the mighty Turku Castle and the soaring spire of Turku Cathedral. Cobbled streets run rings around these, while the Medieval old town is peppered with student jazz bars and vodka dives.
Snow-powdered Lapland is a veritable winter dream. Ice-blasted forests feather out into the deep reaches of the Arctic Circle, while the Northern Lights dance in purples and greens across the forever-black sky. It's also the place to come and see Santa Clause in Rovaniemi, to ski the pistes of Saariselka, and to hike the wild fells.
The vast and handsome landscapes of the so-called Lake Region are another of Finland's major draws. Search dealchecker for cheap hotels in Finland and you could be bedding down amidst the pine forests that rise above the waters around Savonlinna, or flitting between museums along the watery banks of Kuopio.
A medley of old market halls and redbrick factories, cobbled streets and Swedish-influenced bars, Vaasa is another popular stop off. It's also the gateway to the ice-carved lands of the beautiful Kvarken Archipelago, set out between the chilled waters of the Bothnian Gulf.