Winter

During January and February, there is almost always snow in northern and eastern Finland. Even if there’s little snow in Helsinki, there’s often up to a metre or more on the skiing slopes of Lapland. The snow season in northern Finland begins in November and lasts at least until May. In the inland regions of southern and central Finland, the first snow falls at the beginning of December and melts during late March and April.

winter in figures

– 30°C – 0°C

Around 120 days

December – March

doze off under the northern lights

In Finland, nature’s most spectacular light show, the Aurora Borealis, can be viewed in a range of purpose-built spaces from glass igloos to luxury suites.

The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year – or every other clear night – in Finnish Lapland. The more traditional ways to go Aurora spotting are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobile and sled dog touring. If gazing at the dark sky in crispy winter air is not your thing, you can simply add comfort.

Read more about sleeping under the Northern Lights

on the hunt for the northern lights

The Northern Lights dancing up above is such a powerful and unique natural phenomenon it changes lives down on Earth. Being one of the best places to spot the Aurorae, Finland has even received immigration because of them. Below are some tips for becoming a Northern Lights Hunter yourself.

Read more about Northern Lights

skiing under the sun – or the moon

During the long days of March and April in Lapland, you can ski or sleigh for 12 to 16 hours under a brilliant sun. The best skiing season in Lapland starts in February and lasts until May. If you’re looking for something more exotic, try skiing under magical moonlight during the darkest ‘kaamos’ days of December and January.

You can go downhill or cross-country skiing, go on a dogsled or skimobile safari, or even indulge in some ice-skating or ice-fishing. The Finnish winter lasts half the year, so Finns have thought of plenty of activities to fill the time.

Read more about skiing

dress right for the weather

Yes, it gets cold in Finland in the winter. But that’s no reason to stay indoors – just gear up right and make the most of the fresh white season.

Dress warmly and enjoy it. Even if the thermometer reads minus 20 centigrade, it doesn’t feel as cold as you might think. The dry continental climate here doesn’t feel as cold as the damp cold of central Europe. Finns are also used to this kind of weather, so everything runs smoothly and punctually.

Read more about winter wear

take an icy dip

Believe it or not, swimming in a hole in the ice really does you the world of good.

The secret of plunging into icy water is in the feeling that surges through your body once you are back on dry land; your circulation kicks in and your body starts to warm up. While climbing into the water does require a certain amount of courage, the initial shock and momentary loss of feeling in your legs soon pass – and it is all worth it!

Read more about Ice Swimming

christmas time and santa claus

White landscapes enshrouded in darkness, only lit by the stars in the sky and ice lanterns on driveways set the mood for a soothingly cosy festive season…

Everyone knows Santa Claus comes from Finland, but there’s lot more to a traditional Finnish Christmas. During the festive season, Finns like to take things slow and enjoy the company of loved ones.

Read more about Santa Claus

in snowy helsinki

As the snow falls, the idyllic summer towns are replaced with something completely different, but equally alive with opportunities for a great time.

Once you get the hang of it, ice-skating is definitely one of the most thrilling ways to enjoy the cold. You can go for some of natural calm on the icy sea or skate in the middle of the city at the ice-skating rinks.

Read about Helsinki’s winter activities

You might also enjoy these

8 Most Beautiful Northern Lights Shots from Finland

We listed the most beautiful Aurora Shots by Finnish photographers and asked them to tell the stories behind the mesmerising photos.

Read More
Cross-country – Skiing with Feeling

Cross-country skiing is somewhat of a national sport in Finland. It is extremely good for the body and mind, with beautiful winter scenery serving as an inspiring backdrop.

Read More
Ice Fishing - Finnish Meditation

Ice-fishing is a much-loved winter activity in Finland. The beauty of it lies in its simplicity - a session of ice-fishing could almost be counted as a sort of meditation.

Read More
10 'Must Experience' Ski Resorts in Finland

There are around 75 ski resorts in Finland. That’s quite a high number for a country that has no mountains. Instead of mountains, there are a great deal of hills, which are covered with snow for about 200 days a year.

Read More
5 Unique restaurants in Lapland – from budget to fine dining

Lapland gives an astonishing backdrop to a delicious restaurant scene. Here are our picks of Lapland favorites from traditional to modern cuisine.

Read More
Must-do winter activities in Lakeland

Experience Finnish Lakeland like never before – here are some of the outdoor winter sports and adventure activities that get your heart pumping!

Read More
8 Most Beautiful Northern Lights Shots from Finland Cross-country – Skiing with Feeling Ice Fishing - Finnish Meditation 10 'Must Experience' Ski Resorts in Finland 5 Unique restaurants in Lapland – from budget to fine dining Must-do winter activities in Lakeland