12 days in Helsinki, Lapland & Lakeland Itinerary

12 days in Helsinki, Lapland & Lakeland Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Helsinki, Lapland & Lakeland Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+2
subway + bus + Fly:  14​h 15​min
Helsinki
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h 15​min
Inari
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Luosto
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Rovaniemi
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
Kuhmo
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
Savonlinna
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
Kouvola
— 3 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: Washington DC

1
night
Helsinki

Helsinki ©
Finland's largest and most populated metropolis, the maritime town of Helsinki boasts varied architecture, a lively cafe culture, and plethora of picturesque natural delights.
On the 20th (Mon), learn about all things military at Fortress of Suomenlinna, steep yourself in history at Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rock Church, then admire the masterpieces at Kansallisgalleria, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Helsinki Cathedral. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, get to know the fascinating history of Toolo Bay (Toolonlahti), get engrossed in the history at National Museum of Finland, then make a trip to Senate Square, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Uspenskin Cathedral (Uspenskin Katedraali).

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Helsinki online trip itinerary maker .

Washington DC, USA to Helsinki is an approximately 14.5-hour combination of subway, bus, and flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or fly. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Eastern European Time, which is usually a 7 hour difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Washington DC in May; daily highs in Helsinki reach 60°F and lows reach 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to travel to Inari.

Things to do in Helsinki

#Museums, #Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Rock Church ©
Rock Church
Fortress of Suomenlinna ©
Fortress of Suomenlinna
Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum ©

1
night
Inari

Inari ©
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Pielpajarvi Wilderness Church, then see the interesting displays at Siida, and then experience rural life at Reindeer Farm Petri Mattus.

To see maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Inari online tour planner .

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from Helsinki to Inari in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Helsinki in May: high temperatures in Inari hover around 49°F and lows are around 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can drive to Luosto.

Things to do in Inari

#Museums, #Wildlife, #Tours
Accommodations
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Siida ©
Siida
Pielpajarvi Wilderness Church ©
Pielpajarvi Wilderness Church
Reindeer Farm Petri Mattus ©
Reindeer Farm Petri Mattus

1
night
Luosto

Luosto ©
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, then look for all kinds of wild species at Kopara Reindeer Park, and then admire all the interesting features of Amethyst Mine Lapland.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Luosto trip builder .

Traveling by car from Inari to Luosto takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Luosto can reach 51°F, while at night they dip to 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to drive to Rovaniemi.

Things to do in Luosto

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Safaris
Accommodations
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Kopara Reindeer Park ©
Kopara Reindeer Park
Safaris
Amethyst Mine Lapland ©
Amethyst Mine Lapland

1
night
Rovaniemi

An urban center set amongst the great Arctic wilderness, Rovaniemi serves as the capital of Lapland province.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): don't miss a visit to Marttiinin Wanha Tehdas, see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, explore the different monuments and memorials at German Soldier s Cemetery, then see the interesting displays at Santa's House of Snowmobiles, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Rovaniemi Church.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Rovaniemi trip maker site .

Traveling by car from Luosto to Rovaniemi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 51°F, and evening lows to 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to travel to Kuhmo.

Things to do in Rovaniemi

#Wildlife, #Tours, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Safaris
Rovaniemi Church ©
Rovaniemi Church
German Soldier s Cemetery ©
German Soldier s Cemetery

2
nights
Kuhmo

Kuhmo ©
Kuhmo is a town and a municipality in Finland and is located at the south-eastern corner of the Kainuu region. Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Wild Taiga and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wilds Piira. On the 26th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Boreal Wildlife Centre.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Kuhmo travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Rovaniemi to Kuhmo takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Savonlinna.

Things to do in Kuhmo

#Wildlife, #Parks
Accommodations
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Boreal Wildlife Centre ©
Boreal Wildlife Centre

1
night
Savonlinna

Savonlinna ©
The picturesque town of Savonlinna sits on two islands surrounded by shimmering lakes and lush greenery.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): step into the grandiose world of Savonlinna Cathedral, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Pikkukirkko, pause for some serene contemplation at Paaskylahden kirkko, get advice or help at Riihisaari, then see the interesting displays at Savonlinna Provincial Museum, and finally explore the historical opulence of Olavinlinna Castle.

To see where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Savonlinna trip planner .

Getting from Kuhmo to Savonlinna by car takes about 5 hours. May in Savonlinna sees daily highs of 59°F and lows of 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Kouvola.

Things to do in Savonlinna

#Historic Sites, #Museums
Accommodations
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Olavinlinna Castle ©
Olavinlinna Castle
Savonlinna Cathedral ©
Savonlinna Cathedral
Savonlinna Provincial Museum ©
Savonlinna Provincial Museum

3
nights
Kouvola

Kouvola ©
Kouvola is a town and municipality in southeastern Finland. Start off your visit on the 28th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Kotka Church, then identify plant and animal life at Riverside Park, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry, and finally take a stroll through Stromforsin ruukki. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Arboretum Mustila and then identify plant and animal life at Hevoshaan Arboretum.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Kouvola trip planner .

Traveling by car from Savonlinna to Kouvola takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. May in Kouvola sees daily highs of 60°F and lows of 42°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Kouvola

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kotka, Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry, Stromforsin ruukki, Arboretum Mustila
Accommodations
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Arboretum Mustila ©
Arboretum Mustila
Stromforsin ruukki ©
Stromforsin ruukki
Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry ©
Pyhtaa Church of Saint Henry

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