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5 Things to do in Finland in Winter

Finland is always a beautiful country to explore with Interrail, but it takes on a whole new feeling when winter sets in. Road transport through this sparsely populated country can be difficult during winter months, but the train network is comprehensive, fast and reliable. If you’re looking to get the most out of Finland by train in winter, start with these five incredible winter activities and destinations.
 

1. Santa Claus Express

Why go?

The Santa Claus Express is a slick and efficient double-decker night train that connects our 5 things to in Finland in winter. The train runs from Helsinki to Finland’s far north, making a stop in Santa Claus' hometown of Rovaniemi, and terminating in Kemijärvi. The views from the train are remarkable, and it’s the most comfortable way to venture into the country’s beautiful far north.
 

How to get there

The Santa Claus Express travels from Helsinki to Kemijärvi, via Rovaniemi. Reservations are required, but the train is fully equipped and you can secure a sleeper for maximum comfort.
 

 

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2. Northern Lights

Why go?

Finland may be the best place to witness one of the most spectacular natural light shows, Aurora Borealis. In the northern reaches of the country the night skies are dark enough for viewing of the Northern Lights between August and April. There are several ways to experience this phenomenon, including skiing, snowshoeing, or staying overnight in glass igloos.
 

How to get there

You can view the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi, which you can reach using the Santa Claus Express option above.

 

 

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3. Helsinki

Why go?

When snow falls in the beautiful city of Helsinki it takes on a whole new dimension. Though perfectly placed as a summer city, the snow brings with it a feeling of peace and tranquility. The city is compact enough never to have to be outdoors for too long, but there are also several things to outside like cross-country skiing, ice skating and pulkka, or sledding.
 

How to get there

Helsinki is a major rail hub in Finland, and it is easy to reach by rail from most cities and neighbouring countries.

 

4. Husky Ride in Lapland

Why go?

There’s only one way to see the arctic wild, and that’s with the aid of Finland’s beautiful huskies. They’ll wind you through the incredible scenery in near total silence, with just the sound of panting to remind you of their hard work.
 

How to get there

As with the Northern Lights, the easiest way to reach Lapland is with the Santa Claus Express.

 

 

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5. Ice cold Swim and Sauna

Why go?

There are few traditions as exhilarating and entrenched in Finnish culture as hot saunas. Winter is the perfect time to experience the shock of going from ice cold swims to comforting warmth, all in a matter of seconds. There are public saunas in most major cities, the most popular one being Arlan Public Sauna in Helsinki. You can also find saunas close to lakes that will let you experience the benefits of sudden temperature changes.
 

How to get there

Arlan Public Sauna is located in the heart of the city and easy to access by foot or pubic transport.