The Best Time to visit Finland

Travel+Leisure World's Best Awards 2023 logo in white
Black and white illustration of Kate Herz's headshot
Written by
Kate Herz

Published on: April 10th, 2024

Last modified: April 10th, 2024

For many travellers, the best time to visit Finland is summer (June–August), with warmer temperatures and long daylight hours. But to see the northern lights or sparkling snowscapes, other seasons are better. Snow blankets northern Finland for about half of the year, while the south is often snowy from December to March.

The best time to travel to Finland depends on which part of the country you’re visiting and what you want to do. Our travel designers have provided some expert advice based on average temperatures, snowfall, daylight hours and more. Whether you’re headed to Helsinki, Finnish Lapland or anywhere in between, this climate guide will help you pick the perfect timing.

Finland Month-by-Month Weather Guide


When it comes to weather, Finland is all about extremes. Considering the fact that it’s among the northernmost countries on earth – and one of only eight that are partially within the Arctic Circle – you might imagine that it’s always freezing cold. But while some areas are certainly frigid, other parts of the country can occasionally exceed 30ºC (86ºF).

Another thing to consider is the stark difference between daylight hours from winter to summer. Finland experiences both polar nights (24 hours of darkness) and polar days (24 hours of sunlight) depending on the season. These phenomena are more pronounced the farther north you go, but they also occur to some extent in the southern regions. 

All of that said, every month has something special to offer. We’ve broken down the year into  this detailed guide to help explain Finland’s weather by month.

January in Finland – Best for dark winter days

If you’re interested in experiencing pitch-black polar nights with no sun in sight, January is a good time to go to Finland. Just make sure you’re prepared for some seriously cold temperatures; they can get as low as -50ºC (-58ºC) in the north and -35ºC (-31ºF) on the southern coast.

February in Finland – Best for snowy landscapes

February is one of the coldest months across Finland, but boasts more daylight hours than December or January. This makes it a great time to enjoy the snow that blankets the country during winter. It’s also when you’re most likely to see snowfall in the southern capital of Helsinki: a magical sight.

March in Finland – Best time to see the northern lights in spring

All across Finland, March is still extremely cold and snowy. In fact, the snow tends to be deepest in this month: up to 90 cm (35 in) in the north. Because the skies are clear and the nights are long, it’s also one of the best months to see the northern lights.

April in Finland – Best for springtime in the south

April is somewhat of a transitional month in Finland, and weather conditions vary greatly depending where you are. In the south this month marks the beginning of spring, but northern regions can still be quite snowy. Temperatures in Helsinki can climb as high as 7ºC (45ºF), with melting snow and blooming flowers.

Spring in Finland

May in Finland – Best for Vappu festivities

In early May Finland erupts in celebration. ‘Vappu’ on 1st May is both a sort of Labour Day and the symbolic end to winter. Temperatures are rising all over the country, the snow is all but gone and the days are getting longer, with 16–18 hours of sunlight in Helsinki.

colorful fireworks in Helsinki.

June in Finland – Best for the summer solstice

Finland’s daylight hours are at their longest in June. The Midsummer holiday falls in late June, coinciding with the longest day of the year. In the north the sun doesn’t set at all, and the south experiences around 19 hours of daylight. The average June temperature across Finland is 15ºC (59ºF).

summer at the lake in Finland

July in Finland – Best for warm weather and outdoor activities

Finland’s summer temperatures continue into August, though they start to drop a bit after peaking in late July. This is also when you’re most likely to see summer showers, especially on the southern coast and islands. August is back-to-school season in Finland, so popular tourist areas will be a bit quieter. 

Kayaking at Kolovesi National park Finland in summer

August in Finland – Best for late summer escapes

Finland’s summer temperatures continue into August, though they start to drop a bit after peaking in late July. This is also when you’re most likely to see summer showers, especially on the southern coast and islands. August is back-to-school season in Finland, so popular tourist areas will be a bit quieter. 

Hammock and summer in Finland

September in Finland – Best time to see the northern lights in autumn

September marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in Finland. It’s a great time to see the northern lights without braving frigid temperatures. The nights are starting to get longer and darker, and the aurora borealis tends to be more active around the autumn equinox in late September.

October in Finland – Best for brilliant autumn leaves

October brings ruska (autumn leaf season), transforming Finland’s foliage into a tapestry of red, orange and gold. Temperatures drop all over the country and snow is likely in the north and central regions. It’s a good time to see the northern lights, although rain and fog may obscure them on some nights.

Cloudy day of autumn in arctic Finland.

November in Finland – Best for the low-season lull

By November winter has arrived across Finland, bringing longer nights and a high chance of rain or snow. Temperatures average -6ºC (21ºF) in Lapland and 3ºC (37ºF) in Helsinki. It’s among the least popular months for travel, making it a good time to visit if you want to avoid the holiday rush.

Three reindeers walking in the snow lapland finland

December in Finland – Best for polar nights

December in Finland is magical in more ways than one – but it’s also cold and dark. The average temperature sinks below freezing, and the north can easily hit -10ºC (14ºF). The winter solstice brings the year’s longest night, with 6 hours of daylight in Helsinki and no sunlight at all in Lapland.

Winter night in Helsinki, Finland

The Best Things to Do in Finland by Season


Considering the extreme differences between seasons in Finland, it’s only natural that certain months are better for specific activities. Each time of year has its own advantages and attractions, whether you want to trek through the snow, bask in the midnight sun or visit Santa’s workshop. Here are a few of our favourite things to do in Finland and tips for when to do them.

Aurora borealis
February–March or September–October

The best time to see the northern lights

Although long, dark winter nights create ideal conditions for viewing the northern lights, spring and autumn are actually the best times to see them. This natural phenomenon is statistically more common in February, March, September and October. And with slightly higher temperatures and more hours of sunlight, you can enjoy daytime activities too.

Snowman at Santa Office in Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

The best time to visit Santa

If you’re interested in meeting the ‘real’ Santa Claus, head to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. The Santa Claus Village is actually open year-round, but it’s especially enchanting during the holiday season. December is the most popular month to visit, but late November and early January also promise plenty of Christmas spirit.

hiking in Finland

The best time to go hiking

The best time to go hiking and enjoy other outdoor activities in Finland is summer. This is when the country is warmest and sunniest, with long days that give you plenty of time to explore its vast forests and thousands of lakes. Just make sure to bring plenty of insect repellent.

Snowmobile Finland

The best time for snow activities

Finland’s whole winter season offers plenty of opportunities for sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The north is usually covered in snow from November until April, with the deepest snow cover in March. Late autumn and early spring have more daylight than December and January, so are generally better for outdoor activities.

The Best Time to Visit Helsinki


The best time to visit Helsinki is between May and September. From late spring to early autumn, Finland’s capital is wonderfully warm and bright – quite literally, as it enjoys nearly 19 hours of daylight at the peak of summer. This is a fantastic time to explore the city and the hundreds of islands that fan out from its coastline.

Visit in early May to experience vibrant Vappu celebrations, in June for the famous Midsummer festivities, in July for the warmest weather or in August for smaller crowds. In September Helsinki’s temperatures start to cool off – averaging 10ºC (50ºF) – and the chance of rain increases, but you might catch the beginning of autumn leaf season later in the month.

Trip Inspiration

Be inspired by our Polar example trips, and then get in touch to plan your own adventure

Whatever you want from your Finland adventure, our travel designers are ready to help