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Experience the Vaasa region
3 minute read
a family enjoying their time in a pier at the Finnish archipelago

Credits:: Elina Manninen / Keksi

Discover some of the best things to experience in Vaasa and the archipelago around it.

Located on the west coast of Finland, Vaasa and its surroundings offer a unique combination of nature experiences and modern city life on a single visit. Vaasa and the Kvarken archipelago are a great place to witness geologic history in action.

a summer terrace full of people in Vaasa, Finland
As in many Finnish cities, Vaasa’s city centre has a traditional, cobblestone-clad marketplace. Here, you can buy fresh produce in summer or sit down for a bite to eat.
Credits: Ann-Britt Pada

Take a stroll in a historic setting

The history of Vaasa can be traced to the early 14th century, when sailors from Norrland across the sea landed on a forested land that was still an island. This became the first city of Vaasa, Old Vaasa, that was destroyed in a fire in 1852. The ruins of Old Vaasa can be found 7 km from the present city in the Rauniopuisto park area, which is ideal for a stroll. During the summer, the park is a great location for a picnic, while in the winter, the area turns into the city’s best sledding hill. Around the corner, at the end of the Adelcrantzinkuja alley, is the church of Korsholm from 1786, one of the most beautiful buildings in the Vaasa region that was originally built as a court of appeal.

People walking in the streets of Vaasa
Credits: Christoffer Björklund

Grab a bite of something local

In the Vaasa region, locally produced food and fresh ingredients are abundant. For a quick culinary journey head to the old Market Hall, a Gothic-style building that has been the home of local produce for over a century. Great food and local flavours can also be found in several restaurants and cafés in the city or by the sea in the archipelago. It’s worth paying a visit to the tropical greenhouse restaurant Linds kök in Närpiö, an hour’s drive from Vaasa, where you’ll be welcomed by strawberry and tomato plants, fruit trees and edible flowers.

 
An a la carte portion of fish on a plate
Credits: : Elina Manninen / KEKSI
A family enjoys a summer lunch by the sea
The Finnish word for ‘cheers’ is ‘kippis.’ You might also hear the Swedish word, ‘skål.’
Credits:: Elina Manninen / KEKSI

Explore the one-of-a-kind landscape

In the unique natural environment of Kvarken Archipelago, you can experience the shifting land phenomenon, a land uplift, caused by the Ice Age. The vast lowlands and green fields that have risen from the sea over time stretch out to meet a calm horizon in all directions. Located next to the scenic, kilometre-long Raippaluoto bridge, the World Heritage Gateway Visitor Centre is a good starting point. From the Visitor Centre, you'll get information on this UNESCO World Heritage site and its attractions. You can reach most of the sights and villages with a car or a boat. Other options to explore the archipelago are to cycle, to kayak, to hike or to hop on a world heritage cruise. Along your way, you’ll find picturesque red wooden restaurants and cafés by the sea, many offering accommodation as well.

A picture of the Raippaluoto bridge in Vaasa archipelago
Red houses by the sea in Finnish countryside
Credits:: Elina Manninen / Keksi

Visit a craft distillery or brewery

An aerial view of the distillery by a river
Credits: Kimmo Makkonen

Want to learn about whisky, gin and other rye-based craft products? Kyrö Distillery is an award-winning, small-but-bold whiskey distillery in a former dairy building, 40 minutes from the city of Vaasa. The doors are open on Saturdays and you can join a tour with a guided tasting (remember to book in advance). On request, there’s also dining for groups of six or more. Another great opportunity to get to know the local craft brewing culture is the Kvarken Gastropub & Pizzeria, which serves tasty food along with beers from their own Kvarken brewery in Raippaluoto. Many of the products have names referring to the colourful history of the archipelago. How about a sip of The Busted Smuggler Golden Ale?

A row of distillates

Discover art for all tastes

From Vaasa market square, it is only a short walk to the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, which is located in a former customs warehouse by the sea. The art collection of the museum is considered one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary art in Finland. Classical art can be found at the Ostrobothnian museum, and changing exhibitions at Vaasa City Art Gallery and Tikanoja art museum. The city also has a buzzing street art and graffiti scene: lately there has been curated outdoor exhibitions in an abandoned amusement park.

A picture inside the museum with some visitors
Credits: : Rob Smith
Two people having a discussion inside a museum of modern arts
Credits:: Mikko Lehtimäki