5 Neat Things to Do in Finland This Summer

Many of you probably have plans for the summer already, such as a summer job or perhaps a vacation abroad. But if you're planning to stay in Finland and are still on the fence when it comes to all the what-to-do's and where-to-go's over the three precious, warm months of summer, here are five neat ideas for the summer to scribble down to your planner.

1. Eat, drink and dance at festivals

Most of us are probably familiar with the usual festival roster Finland has to offer: Provinssirock, Tuska, Ruisrock, Raumanmeren Juhannus, and so on. But how about you try something a little bit different this summer? Of course, if you want to hit one of the big ones, you might want to consider Ilosaarirock in Joensuu, just to get out of Helsinki for a bit. Ilosaarirock takes place nearby the beautiful Pielisjoki river and it's famous for its laid-back atmosphere and usually pretty darn awesome band line-up with nice, even obscure, indie treats. This year, Ellie Goulding will probably draw a big crowd, but there's plenty more to see and hear as well. And if Ilosaarirock seems too big, there are loads of smaller, local festivals happening around the Greater Helsinki area. For example, there's the Maailma Kylässä festival in Helsinki. This year's theme is justice and the focus is on Asia. It's also a fun, budget friendly way to ”travel” if a trip abroad isn't in your sights for the summer.

Ilosaarirock, Joensuu 15-17.7.2016

Maailma Kylässä, Helsinki 28.5-29.5.2016

2. Adventure in your hometown

Believe it or not, even our same-old-same-old hometown can hide secrets worth discovering on a sunny summer's day or even at night when the sun is barely a glimmer above the horizon. Downtown Helsinki, of course, offers idyllic parks and architecturally stunning quarters to explore, but don't hesitate to venture into the suburbs. In Kruunuvuori, you can find a ghost town of abandoned villas while in Pohjois-Haaga, you can explore Alppiruusupuisto, a park dedicated to rhododendrons and azaleas. The park will be in bloom at the beginning of June.

Kruunuvuorenranta, 00590 Helsinki

Alppiruusupuisto, Laajasuontie 40, 00320 Helsinki

3. Enjoy the sun and rain  and exercise!

Summer is the perfect time for barbeque and ice cream, but let's not forget about exercise either. There's nothing quite like going for a run in summer rain or enjoying a brisk walk by the sea. If you haven't run the stairs of Malminkartano, that could be your one fitness goal for the summer. Alternatively you can gather up your friends and set up a beach volley tournament, test your condition at the Helsinki midnight run, or pull on your sneakers and head to Keskuspuisto (central park) for some fresh air - you might even spot horses there!

Helsinki Midnight Run 3.9.2016

4. Time-travel

You don't need a Tardis to explore the past or the future, not when you've got for example the Turku's very own medieval fair to visit! Enjoy medieval culinary treats and frolicking jesters, watch blacksmiths at work, and cheer at brave riders taking part in jousting in the historical city of Turku. There is also a pharmacy museum nearby the fair area, which offers an intriguing look into the often questionable remedies of the past. In Helsinki, for example Hakasalmen huvila takes you on a journey to the fascinating 19th century or if you're after something more down to earth, there's Työväenasuntomuseo (worker housing museum) that gives you a peek into the lives of the laborers. Then there is the charming, old Porvoo to venture about, or if you like castles, a road trip to the austere Olavinlinna castle in Savonlinna might be in order!

Turku Medieval Market, Old Great Square, Turku 30.6-3.7

Apteekkimuseo and the House of Qwensel, Läntinen Rantakatu 13b, 20100 Turku

Hakasalmen Huvila - Hakasalmi Villa, Mannerheimintie 13b, 00100 Helsinki

Työväenasuntomuseo - Worker Housing Museum, Kirstinkuja 4, 00510 Helsinki

Vanha Porvoo - Old Porvoo

Olavinlinna, 57130 Savonlinna

Olavinlinna by night

5. Go Art

There's so much art to see over the summer that it'd be practically impossible to experience it all, but there are a few interesting exhibits to visit, say, on a rainy day. "Tom of Finland: the Pleasure of Play" exhibition is on in Helsingin Taidehalli, bringing to the forefront the bold, groundbreaking art of Touko Laaksonen. Also keep an eye on the exhibitions at Artsi, the art museum of Vantaa, which focuses on street art. Alternatively, you can start creating your own art. Take a sketch book by the sea and let your creativity flow. It doesn't matter if the picture doesn't quite compete with those of professionals. It's the freedom of expression that matters – and that you get to enjoy the beautiful Finnish summer at the same time!   

Helsingin Taidehalli, "The Pleasure of Play", Nervanderinkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki, 7.5-7.8.2016

Vantaan taidemuseo Artsi, Myyrmäkitalo, Paalutori 3, 01600 Vantaa