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Journey

Finland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Starting Point: Helsinki
4-6 days

Finland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

At Finland’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you’ll feel the connection between past and present. Begin your journey in Helsinki on the island of Suomenlinna, which is just a short ferry ride from the city center.
Suomenlinna, World Heritage Site of UNESCO
Helsinki

Guided tours at Suomenlinna

The Suomenlinna Sea Fortress was built over the course of three centuries and has defended Sweden, Russia, and Finland. Nowadays, the area around the fortress is distinctly residential, and it’s a popular place to spend a day learning about history, eating well and visiting artisan workshops.
90 mins

Travel tip

After exploring historical Suomenlinna, continue on to Old Rauma, the largest wooden town in the Nordics. Rauma is easily reachable by bus from Helsinki. Timetables can be found on Matkahuolto's website at matkahuolto.fi.

Travel tip

The Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site is actually shared by two countries, Finland and Sweden. This is the best place in the world to experience and understand land uplift following the last Ice Age. To get there, travel from Rauma to the city of Vaasa. The fastest option is by car. Car rental companies, like Europcar, operate throughout the Rauma area.

Travel tip

Continue the journey by train from Vaasa to Petäjävesi. Timetables are available at VR's website vr.fi. In Petäjävesi, visit Petäjävesi Old Church, which exemplifies the North European log construction technique of the 18th century and invites visitors to experience Finnish rural life, then and now.

Travel tip

The Struve Geodetic Arc in Jyväskylä is just a short train or bus ride away from Petäjävesi. This gigantic measuring tape was used to determine the shape and size of the Earth back in the 19th century. One of Finland’s best-known points is Oravivuori in Jyväskylä.

Travel tip

The next UNESCO destination is the Verla groundwood and board mill, located in the old mill village of Verla in the Kouvola region, where you’ll experience everyday work and life during the 20th-century manufacturing era. You can take a train from Jyväskylä to Kouvola, then drive 30 minutes from Kouvola to Verla. In the summertime, there is also a bus from Kouvola to Verla.

Sights and attractions

While you’re exploring Finland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, don’t miss these historic attractions.
Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse hotel by night
Rauma

Kylmäpihlaja Lighthouse Hotel

While history can feed you figuratively, your stomach also needs a good meal. Here are a few spots to sate your hunger.
From small, atmospheric boutique hotels to affordable design hostels, Finland offers plenty of accommodations to choose from.