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    100 Reasons To Go To Finland, Because Finland Is 100 Years Old Today

    Happy birthday, Finland.

    1. Finland became an independent country 100 years ago today.

    Flickr: david_e_smith

    Äkäslompolo, Lapland

    2. And it's time you added it to your bucket list.

    3. Because, seriously, why haven't you been yet?

    4. Finland doesn't get a lot of sun in the winter...

    5. ...but it doesn't matter.

    Flickr: ninara

    Saariselkä

    6. Because the entire country looks absolutely stunning the moment snow falls.

    Flickr: juhoholmi

    Puukkokumpu, Lapland

    7. And the nights are just phenomenal.

    Oksana_gracheva / Getty Images

    8. You'll never see anything as beautiful as the northern lights.

    Flickr: timo_w2s

    Sodankylä, Lapland

    9. They're magical in every way.

    Flickr: visitfinland

    Sodankylä, Lapland

    10. Besides, Father Christmas lives in Finland – and you can go visit him.

    11. You can get a reindeer-driven sleigh to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi...

    Rkankaro / Getty Images

    A reindeer

    12. ...and why wouldn't you want to do that?

    Jellisv / Getty Images

    A baby reindeer

    13. You can also get a husky-driven sledge.

    14. And then snuggle up with the huskies afterwards.

    15. If you're more adventurous, Finland in winter is a dream come true.

    Flickr: karrio

    Kangasala

    16. There are 187,888 lakes in Finland.

    17. And if the ice hasn't been broken for you to swim in them, you can cross-country ski over them.

    Flickr: timo_w2s

    Länsimäki

    18. Ski jumping is hugely popular in Finland, and it's the most exhilarating sport you can watch.

    19. And these are real holiday cottages in Rovaniemi that you can stay in.

    20. Just imagine the walks you'd go on.

    Roman_kozhevnikov / Getty Images

    21. Finnish cities are beautiful too.

    Flickr: johnlsl

    Helsinki

    22. This is a heated swimming pool in the middle of Helsinki.

    23. And the countryside looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale.

    Flickr: juhoholmi

    Vartiosaari, Helsinki

    24. Every cathedral...

    Flickr: rdnk

    Espoo

    25. ...every forest...

    Flickr: johnlsl

    Elimäki

    26. ...and every river just looks perfect.

    27. And if you get hungry on your snowy hike, you can always stop for some grilled sausages.

    28. Finnish cinnamon buns are also to die for.

    Flickr: jonastana

    A cinnamon bun and coffee

    29. And Finnish people are famous for making good coffee (and drinking lots of it).

    30. But as the snow starts to melt...

    31. ...and the days start to get longer...

    32. ...Finland only gets even more stunning.

    33. Finnish wildlife is really exciting.

    Flickr: timo_w2s

    A reindeer

    34. Not to mention really cute.

    Lucaar / Getty Images

    A bear

    35. But Finland really comes into its own as the evenings start getting brighter.

    Flickr: nikotiko

    Parkano, Pirkanmaa

    36. When you can sit out late and just contemplate the beauty of everything around you.

    Flickr: giuseppemilo

    Suomenlinna, Helsinki

    37. The ski jumps are still there, of course...

    38. ...but so are the lakes...

    39. ...and the forests.

    40. There are so many rowing trips you can take...

    Flickr: juhoholmi

    Taivalkoski

    41. ...and so many berries you can pick.

    Sitikka / Getty Images

    42. Celebrating midsummer in Finland is one of the most special things you can do.

    43. And most Finns go to their summer cabins around midsummer.

    Flickr: wili

    Vaskojoki

    44. There, they'll spend time on their jetties...

    45. ...dipping in and out of the lakes that surround them.

    Flickr: villehoo

    Vartiosaari, Helsinki

    46. Finland's population is only 5.5 million people.

    Olegmit / Getty Images

    47. Which means there's plenty of space to find some peace and quiet.

    48. But really, saunas are the best thing about Finland. Pretty much every Finnish household has one.

    Flickr: visivo

    A sauna

    49. And there's nothing better than a dip in a cold lake after an evening in the sauna.

    Flickr: visitfinland

    Purnujärvi

    50. Although you can swim at any time of day.

    51. Taking boat trips is the loveliest way to spend time on the lake.

    52. And you can see so many wonderful sights from the water.

    Flickr: ninara

    Hillosensalmi

    53. There are always new places to discover...

    Flickr: iceninejon

    Suomenlinna, Helsinki

    54. ...and new places to sit and while away afternoons.

    55. If you're spending summer in town, you're best off eating at your local summer market.

    56. Where you'll find crepes...

    Flickr: seitti

    Crepes with vanilla ice cream, cloudberry jam, and mämmi

    57. ...blueberries...

    Flickr: mafaldablue

    Blueberries

    58. ...wild strawberries...

    Flickr: karviainen

    Wild strawberries and raspberries

    59. ...and more types of mushroom than you even knew existed.

    60. Helsinki is well worth visiting in the summer.

    Flickr: pixelsblue

    Kluuvi, Helsinki

    61. It's full of beautiful sculptures...

    Flickr: corrafig

    Helsinki

    62. ...stunning architecture...

    Flickr: iceninejon

    Temppeliaukio, Helsinki

    63. ...and the most wonderful design shops.

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    Iittala glassware

    64. You'll need to stock up on sweets and chocolate.

    Flickr: antiapathy

    Chocolates and sweets

    65. Especially Fazer Blue.

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    Fazer chocolate

    66. And you'll see Moomins wherever you go.

    Flickr: mike-burns

    Arabia mugs and bowls

    67. Seriously.

    Flickr: peachraspberry

    Moomin stationery

    68. You can't go to Finland without visiting Marimekko.

    Flickr: yarianyg

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    69. Finns are so proud of it, they even put Marimekko's iconic flower design on their planes.

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    Finnair plane

    70. If you spend time in Finland over the summer, you're bound to experience an electrifying storm.

    Flickr: timo_w2s

    Vuosaari, Helsinki

    71. But before long it'll be quiet again.

    Flickr: miguelvirkkunen

    Lake Päijänne

    72. And you'll be able to relax.

    Flickr: juhoholmi

    Nurmijärvi

    73. If you're lucky, you might spot a bear.

    Lucaar / Getty Images

    A bear with her children

    74. So be wary when you go wandering through the forest.

    Flickr: rmontage

    A bear in Kuhmo

    75. Finnish pastries are out of this world.

    Flickr: snoopsmaus

    Finnish pastries

    76. Cinnamon buns are the most iconic...

    Juhajarvinen / Getty Images

    Cinnamon buns

    77. ...but butter buns are delicious too.

    Flickr: mirka23

    A butter bun

    78. And oven pancakes are the yummiest treat.

    Ranta Images / Getty Images

    Finnish pancakes

    79. So make sure you try them all.

    Flickr: karviainen

    Butter buns, blueberry buns, and quark buns

    80. And make sure you order egg butter with your Karelian rice pie.

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    Karalian rice pies

    81. And say yes if you're offered oven cheese with cloudberry jam.

    Atide / Getty Images

    Finnish cheese and cloudberry jam

    82. The birch forests in Finland seem endless...

    Pxel66 / Getty Images

    83. ...and because the sun only sets for a few hours in the summer, the days seem endless too.

    Kotajarvi

    84. Which gives you all the more time to go exploring.

    85. And to see the most of what Finland has to offer.

    Flickr: wili

    Emäsalo

    86. So make sure you get out and about...

    87. ...go off the beaten track...

    88. ...and say yes to every adventure that's suggested to you.

    89. Especially if someone's proposing a bike ride.

    90. And make sure you stay up to watch the sun set.

    91. Finland also has beaches that are well worth a visit.

    Flickr: 24578558@N03

    Kalajoki Hiekkasärkät

    92. And it's full of little islands that you'd be foolish to miss.

    Toshket / Getty Images

    Helsinki

    93. And make sure you see a few castles too.

    Flickr: yuenchiyan

    Savonlinna

    94. You'll have heard that the Finnish government gives all new mothers a "baby box" to help them get going...

    Flickr: roxeteer

    A baby box

    95. ...but have you heard how good Finns are at breakfast?

    Flickr: ollyf

    Breakfast

    96. Even as summer draws to an end...

    97. ...and the nights start drawing in again...

    Flickr: nikotiko

    Hämeenlinna

    98. ...Finland is utterly stunning.

    Sakarilampola / Getty Images

    A reindeer

    99. It's the most beautiful country on earth.

    100. 🇫🇮 Happy independence day, Finland! 🇫🇮

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