8 days in Helsinki, Lapland & Lakeland Itinerary

8 days in Helsinki, Lapland & Lakeland Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Finland trip planner

Make it your trip
— 3 nights
— 2 nights
— 1 night
Fly to Helsinki, Train to Tampere
— 1 night
Train to Helsinki, Fly to Zurich



— 3 nights

Daughter of the Baltic

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Turku Castle and The Aalto House. Johannes Church and Kamppi Chapel of Silence will appeal to history buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Helsinki: Turku (Bike Rental - by Carfield & Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova). There's lots more to do: stop by Katajanokka, contemplate the long history of Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum, explore the world behind art at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Helsinki trip itinerary website.

Zurich, Switzerland to Helsinki is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, car, and ferry. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time (CET) to Eastern European Standard Time (EET), which is usually a 1 hour difference. In December, plan for daily highs up to 3°C, and evening lows to -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Saariselka.

Things to do in Helsinki

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Spas

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:


— 2 nights
Outdoor pursuits--ranging from cross-country skiing and snowmobiling to reindeer safaris and chasing Northern Lights--draw the largest number of tourists to Saariselka.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Tue): see the interesting displays at Siida - Sami Museum and Nature Center and then fly down the slopes at Saariselka Ski & Sport Resort. Here are some ideas for day two: fly down the slopes at Urho Kekkonen National Park.

To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Saariselka online trip builder.

Getting from Helsinki to Saariselka by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or drive. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Helsinki in December: highs in Saariselka hover around -7°C, while lows dip to -17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Ranua.

Things to do in Saariselka

Winter Sports · Parks · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:


— 1 night
On the 30th (Thu), get to know the resident critters at Ranua Zoo.

To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Ranua online day trip planner.

You can drive from Saariselka to Ranua in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 30th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Tampere.

Things to do in Ranua

Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your trip


— 1 night

Manchester of the North

Finland's third largest city, Tampere boasts an array of cultural offerings and a lively music scene.
On the 31st (Fri), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tampereen Tuomiokirkko and then examine the collection at Vapriikin Museokeskus.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Tampere road trip planning tool.

You can do a combination of flight and train from Ranua to Tampere in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 0°C, and evening lows to -6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tampere

Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:

Lapland travel guide

Landmarks · Nightlife · Safaris
The wild expanses of Lapland promise spectacular scenery, adventure, and rich cultural experiences. As the country's northernmost region, it sits well above the Arctic Circle. Despite also being the largest region, in Lapland just 3.4 percent of the Finnish population calls this great stretch of land home, leaving plenty of room for pristine lakes, dense forest, and seven unspoiled national parks. An abundance of well-marked trails await hikers of all levels, while more remote and rugged adventures beckon experienced explorers. Music is of particular importance in these parts, so try to catch a concert or dance performance during your stay.