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Where is Finland?

Finland is a Nordic country and it’s officially known as the Republic of Finland. If you want to know exactly where is Finland, it is present in northern Europe. It’s a peninsula with the famous Gulf of Finland present in its south and the Gulf of Bothnia present in its west. The countries Norway and Sudan are present in its north and Russia is present in its east.

Finland also happens to be a part of the Fennoscandia geographical region which also includes certain parts of Russia and Scandinavia. Finland is the eighth largest European country in terms of area, and the most thinly populated country of the European Union. Finland lies between longitudes 20° and 32° E, and latitudes 60° and 70° N.

Many tourists ask where is Finland in terms of natural beauty and landscapes? Finland is a breathtaking country which contains about 179,000 islands and 188,000 lakes. The area that has the highest number of lakes is known as the Finnish Lakeland. Meanwhile, the highest number of islands is present in the southwest region in the Archipelago Sea between the main island of Aland and continental Finland.

There are many amazing places to visit in Finland. But some of the most breathtaking places to visit in Finland are its heavenly rolling hills and thick pine forests which are beautifully complimented with a number of lakes and inlets. Finland contains a total of 37 national parks which are present from the southern shores of the famous Gulf of Finland to the region of high fells of Lapland.

The commercial cruises which are available between major coastal cities and port cities of the Baltic region play an essential role in the country’s rising tourism. The country is famous for its ‘polar night’ during the midwinter. Polar night is a period in which there’s no rising of the sun for days or weeks or sometimes, even months! Correspondingly, there’s also ‘midnight’ in the summer, with no sunset for long periods of time.

Finland offers a great variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, Nordic skiing, yachting, hiking, lake cruises, kayaking and many more. There’s also abundant wildlife in Finland. Bird-watching is highly popular among tourists, especially those who are fond of avifauna. The common games of Finland are elk and hare. Finland also hosts the popular annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. Hence, Finland is a must-visit destination owing to its exciting outdoor activities and beautiful landscape.

Things to do

Just a 15-minute ferry ride from the Kauppatori (market square), a visit to Suomenlinna, the ‘fortress of Finland’, is a Helsinki must-do. Set on a tight cluster of islands connected by bridges, the UNESCO World Heritage site was originally built by the Swedes as Sveaborg in the mid-18th century. At the main quay, the pink Rantakasarmi (Jetty Barracks) building is one of the best-preserved of the Russian era. It holds a small exhibition and helpful multilingual tourist information office, with downloadable content for your smartphone. Near here are the hostel, supermarket and distinctive church. Built by the Russians in 1854, it served as a Russian Orthodox place of worship until the 1920s when it became Lutheran. It’s the only church in the world to double as a lighthouse – the beacon was originally gaslight but is now electric and still in use.From the main quay, a blue-signposted walking path connects the main attractions. By the bridge that connects Iso Mustasaari and the main island, Susisaari-Kustaanmiekka, is Suomenlinna-museo, a two-level museum covering the history of the fortress. It’s very information heavy, but the first part gives good background. There’s also a helpful audiovisual display. There are guided walks from here (adult/child €10/4) in English three times daily from June to August, and 1.30pm Saturdays and Sundays the rest of the year.The most atmospheric part of Suomenlinna is at the end of the blue trail, Kustaanmiekka. Exploring the old bunkers, crumbling fortress walls and cannons will give you an insight into this fortress, and there are plenty of grassy picnic spots. Monumental King’s Gate was built in 1753–54 as a two-storey fortress wall, which had a double drawbridge and a stairway added. In summer you can get a water bus back to Helsinki from here, saving you the walk back to the main quay.Several other museums dot the islands. Perhaps the most interesting is Ehrensvärd-museo, once the home of Augustin Ehrensvärd, the man responsible for designing and running the fortress. An attractive 18th-century house, it holds numerous portraits, prints and models giving an insight into daily life on the island. Ehrensvärd’s elaborately martial tomb sits outside in the square, and opposite is Viaporin Telakka, a picturesque shipyard where sailmakers and other workers have been building ships since the 1750s. The dry dock holds up to two dozen boats; these days it's used for the maintenance of wooden vessels.Along the shore from here is another fish out of water. The Vesikko is the only WWII-era submarine remaining in Finland. It saw action against the Russians. It’s fascinating to climb inside and see how it all worked. Needless to say, there’s not much room to move.Back on Iso Mustasaari is Sotamuseo Maneesi, which has a comprehensive overview of Finnish military hardware from bronze cannon to WWII artillery. Quite a contrast is the nearby Lelumuseo, a delightful private collection of hundreds of dolls and almost as many teddy bears. The cafe here serves delicious home-baked cakes under a line of samovars.There are several other eating places, largely mediocre. The best for a beer or a bite is Suomenlinnan Panimo, by the main quay. It brews a clutch of excellent beers including a hefty porter and offers good food to accompany it. Taking a picnic is a great way to make the most of Suomenlinna’s grass, views and (hopefully) sunshine. At around 5.15pm it’s worth finding a spot to watch the enormous Baltic ferries pass through the narrow gap between islands.Ferries to Suomenlinna head from the passenger quay at Helsinki’s Kauppatori to the main quay on Suomenlinna. Tickets (single/return €2.50/5, 15 minutes, three times hourly, less frequent in winter, 6.20am to 2.20am) are available at the pier. In addition, JT-Line runs a waterbus at least hourly from the Kauppatori, making three stops on Suomenlinna (one way/return €4.50/7, 20 minutes, 8am to 7pm May to mid-September). </p>