Touring Finland by Train – Episode 867

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Touring Finland by Train (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Finland as the Amateur Traveler talks to travel writer Jayne Dear about a one-week itinerary to visit the best of Finland by train.

Why should you visit Finland?

Jayne says, “Many reasons. One of the most notable is that it’s the happiest country in the world. For the last six years, it’s been declared the happiest country in the world on the World Happiness Report. It’s a beautiful country. You probably will have seen more trees than you will have seen in your life.”

Jayne starts us in the capital of Helsinki. She recommends visiting:

  • Helsinki Central Station: A stunning Art Nouveau train station with a 48-meter-high clock tower.
  • National Museum of Finland: This museum offers insights into Finland’s history, including Viking relics, artifacts, and a Russian czar’s throne.
  • Market Square: Located by the harbor in Helsinki, it’s a vibrant place to witness the local food scene, buy fresh produce, and try unique dishes like moose burgers and reindeer soup.
  • Helsinki Cathedrals: There are two cathedrals to explore in Helsinki—the plain yet dramatic Lutheran Cathedral and the opulent Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral, offering a contrasting religious experience.
  • Suomenlinna Fortress: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic fortress on an island near Helsinki was built to deny the Russians access to the Baltic Sea. It’s a fascinating place to explore, with military museums, a submarine, and a lighthouse church.

While you are in Helsinki Jayne recommends a side trip to Porvoo which is located an hour from Helsinki by bus, Porvoo is known for its traditional wooden buildings. It has an open-air museum, showcasing historic buildings, churches, schools, and farms, providing a glimpse into Finland’s rural past.

Take the train then to Tampere which Jayne calls the “Manchester of Finland” due to its industrial history. Visitors can explore old warehouses, textile factories turned into museums and unique architecture like the Art Nouveau Fire Station. The city is situated between two lakes, offering picturesque views. For the best views, hike the nearby esker, a gravel hill left by the last Ice Age.

While in Tampere, Jayne and her husband also did a homestay where they were able to learn more about life in Finland.

Located in Parola, south of Tampere, is the Parola Tank Museum which showcases a variety of tanks and military vehicles, offering insights into military history.

Our next stop is Turku which was Finland’s old capital. Turku boasts a medieval cathedral and a historic castle. The city’s riverside features historic boats, making it an attractive destination for exploring maritime history.

If you have extra time, head north to Rovaniemi which is located on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is famous for being the “home” of Santa Claus. Visitors can partake in activities like dog sledding and witness the Northern Lights during the winter months.

Whether you want to explore the coffee culture, the Finnish love of board games, the extensive forests, or the Wife Carrying World Championships, Finland is worth a visit.


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Show Notes

Tales of an Interrailer
Why Finland Drinks More Coffee Than Any Other Country
Helsinki Central Station
The National Museum of Finland
Market Square
Helsinki Cathedral
Uspenski Cathedral
Finnish submarine Vesikko
Continuation War
Postimäki Outdoor Museum
Tampere Central Fire Station
Tampere Cathedral
Kaleva Church
Pyynikki Esker
Parola Tank Museum
Turku Cathedral
Sigyn (ship)
Aura River (Finland)
Turku Castle
Nordic countries
Wife Carrying World Championship
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Amateur Traveler Trips

Touring Finland by Train (Podcast) - a train trip to Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, a One Week itinerary #finland #helsinki #train #places #travel #vacation #trip #holiday Touring Finland by Train (Podcast) - a train trip to Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, a One Week itinerary #finland #helsinki #train #places #travel #vacation #trip #holiday

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Touring Finland by Train – Episode 867”

Matt Jasek


It was so great to hear you ask if the board games in the episode were Monopoly or Eurogames. As someone who is nerdy enough to know the distinction, I appreciated you asking. It is rare that my passions for travel and geeky hobbies line up and it is always a treat when they do.

Chris Christensen


Hey from one nerd to another 🙂

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