Finland is an absolute winter wonderland but it’s not cheap, so here’s how to make it a bit more affordable for a family. We split our time between the big city, Helsinki and the snow paradise of Rovaniemi(Lapland). I was able to hop on an amazing deal for $264 roundtrip from Los Angeles on Finnair via the American Airlines site. WHAT A STEAL! Now here is where it gets EXPENSIVE!
Planning Finland was a sticker shock for a frugal, travel hacker like me. Since we paid so little for tickets we had a little wiggle room to pay for activities and get the dream igloo hotel that we wanted…more on that later!
HERE ARE OUR HELSINKI HACKS:
We used points we earned from this card to book two IHG hotels. Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza Helsinki
1. Helsinki City Museum: A great place to escape the cold and learn about the history of Helsinki. The kids can run around, play dress up and perform on stage. There is also a Finnish Cafe
2. Helsinki Cathedral(pictured)
3. Regatta Cafe: Have a cinnamon roll and some hot chocolate or roast a sausage by the fire.
4. Grab some Salmon Soup at the Old Market Hall
5. Drink Gloggi a warm mulled wine.
6. Hop in the Sauna. There are more saunas than people in Finland. Most hotels and airbnbs will have saunas available for free.
ON TO LAPLAND…
Since we were able to stay for free in Helsinki, we had extra money to pay for this hotel in Rovaniemi, Lapland…the home of Santa Claus.
I’m sure if you’re traveling with a family, you want to know what things cost. Here’s a breakdown of what you can do to avoid the high costs of activities in Lapland. One thing you won’t really be able to avoid, unless you rent a car, is transportation costs. TAXIS ARE EXPENSIVE. We paid about 35 euro per/ride.
1.HUSKY RIDES: 30 Euro – Consider getting the shortest ride(500m) to save 10 Euro at the Husky Park.
2.MEET & GREET SANTA: FREE!!! Enough Said! You’ll be able to take photos with Santa at Santas Village and the only fee is if you decide to purchase the pictures.
3. REINDEER RIDES: 14/18 Euro(kids/adults) – Consider taking the shortest ride, which is 400 meters. The reindeers walk pretty slowly.
4. SNOW TUBE/SLED: FREE – Most hotels will have a hill to take tubes and sleds down. You can also sled down the hill at Santas Village
This was one of my favorite trips to date! I can’t wait to return but I know to be prepared to pay!