Travel | Did You Know

5 Crazy Things Finns Do for Fun

Photo by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash

Finland is one of the most interesting places in the world. There are lots of wonderful places to visit all year round. What's more, Finns are pleasant, and you will always find fun activities no matter how crazy your interests may be. Whether you are visiting Finland for business or pleasure, here are a few things to do for fun.

1. Visiting Saunas

The love of saunas in Finland is unmatched. It is based on the country’s history. Going to saunas is a historical tradition and visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of options.

Most people think of saunas as places to visit once in a while when you need to relax. However, Finns are different. They go to saunas every weekend and may even go there to talk about business.  

Most visitors are pleasantly surprised to find that a Burger King branch in Helsinki has a sauna where business meetings are held. Business saunas in Finland are arranged just like home saunas. The guests are naked and the temperature is typically set at 90 degrees.

Finland has about two million saunas to cater to the population of 5.3 million. Most state institutions and large companies have saunas. Even the prime minister and president have their own saunas.

When visiting a sauna in Finland, visitors are advised to take a shower before getting into the hot room. Use your time at the spa to relieve stress even when it is a business meeting. Don’t dress until your body temperature is back to normal and you are no longer sweating. There are many spas so exploring a few them is the key to getting a well-rounded experience.

2. Gambling

Gambling is a popular pastime in Finland. Since there are lots of casinos in the country, all Finns can find appropriate options. The government has a monopoly on all the online gambling sites as well as land-based casinos. This promotes safety and accountability in the industry.

There are three entities in charge of gambling in Finland. All of them are responsible for unique forms of gambling. They operate the sanctioned sites in the country.

RAY is in charge of land-based casinos across Finland. It holds the monopoly for table games, slots, and traditional casino games like roulette. Fintoto Oy is in charge of pari-mutuel horse racing, and Veikkaus Oy is in charge of instant win games, sports betting, and the national lottery. A fourth entity oversees gambling activity in the Aland Province. It is an autonomous area with 6700 islands that extend into the Black Sea.

Even though these organizations carve up gambling in Finland, they operate under the direction of the government. That said, Finnish casino fans can also play online casino games at offshore websites based in Malta or the UK. In fact, more people prefer to use the overseas casinos because they provide better services than local sites.

3. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus

SantaPark is a Christmas-themed Park in Finland. It is the perfect place to find Christmas if you can’t go all the way to the North Pole. You get to experience Christmas delights like Santa, Mrs. Claus, and an elaborate Elf School. You can learn how to make gingerbread delicacies and other Christmas secrets.

SantaPark also has a calligraphy school where you can write letters to Santa. There is a post office where mails to Santa are sent all through the year. The Arctic Circle is another highlight. You get to cross it through an underground tunnel. The Winter Wonderland experience is perfect for families.

SantaPark invites visitors to experience every moment of a truly magical Christmas fairytale. From the magical views and cultural feat to the luxurious Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, you can make memories that last a lifetime.

4. Try Out the Cuisine

Finns love eating and they have a lot of amazing food. Their food is mostly European and it mostly comprises of pasta, fish, potatoes, meat, and rice. The vegetarian lifestyle is growing popular and plenty of restaurants serve vegan and vegetarian foods.

In Finland, lunch is typically served between 11 and 12 am. Dinner is served around 5pm. Most eateries stress on health and it is an important part of the county’s culture. The food cultures vary from one region to another so there is something for everyone. For example, fish is mostly consumed at the coast and reindeer meat is mostly popular in Lappish cuisine. The general culture is diverse. The traces of Italian, American and Asia food cultures are clear.

Finns consume a lot of coffee and alcoholic drinks as well. Coffee is served almost always in big celebrations. People even drink it during business meetings.

Even though alcoholic drinks are expensive, they are popular. There are strict age restrictions and grocery stores only have mild alcoholic drinks. If you want stronger options, you must visit government-regulated Alko stores. When eating out, you don’t have to tip the servers unless you want to.

5. Recreational or Ice Travel

Most of the water in Finland is covered is covered by ice in winter. However, his doesn’t stop Finns from having fun. They engage in fun activities like skating, ice fishing, and skiing. When the ice is thick enough, they bring out their snow mobiles and cars. Even though traveling on ice is dangerous, it is a risk that many Finns are willing to take.

If you choose to be part of the winter fun, remember to prioritize safety. Note that ice isn’t strong enough right after water freezes. Even when it is strong, the hardness varies from one point to another. If you doubt the strength of ice, it would be best to avoid it.

Finland has some of the best ice hotels in Europe. They are beautiful, comfortable, and perfect for immersing yourself in nature. Even though the temperatures can drop to as low as -30°C, you won’t feel it. Even when sleeping on an ice bed, sleeping bags and warm bedding will keep you warm. You can wake up to a trip to the sauna.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com