The Finland museums are many, and in the capital city
of Helsinki alone you could
spend almost all of your time checking out the various
museums around town. There are Finland museums that deal
in a historical context, and there are some that look
towards the future with scientific intentions, so suffice
it to say that they cover a wide spectrum. Whether you
like art, science, history,
sociology, or any other number of subjects, there is a
Finnish museum to suit your tastes, so you’ll always
want to see what your respective Finland destination has to
If you visit just one Finnish museum during your Finland
vacation, it should arguably be the National Museum
of Finland, which is located in the heart of Helsinki.
The exhibits here trace the history of Finland back to
the Stone Age, and there are plenty of cultural exhibits
and artifacts to help you learn all about Finnish culture.
Among the highlights at the National Museum of Finland
is the Realm, which covers Finnish history and culture
from the Middle Ages to the early 1900s. Even though the
exhibits at the National Museum of Finland are reason
enough to visit, the building in which the museum is housed
is also of particular interest. Built between 1905 to
1910, its design incorporates many of the same characteristics
that some of the most notable Finland
castles and cathedrals do, making it quite attractive. There is a fee to enter
the National Museum of Finland, as is the case at most
Finland museums, but if you show up on May 18 or June
12, which are two major Finnish
holidays, you’ll get in for free. Admission
to the museum is also featured on the Helsinki Card, which
allows access to all the top Helsinki attractions.
Buying a Helsinki Card is a good way to save some money
if you plan to hit a lot of the capital city’s attractions.
While the museums in Helsinki are too many to list here, some of the other ones that are among the best include the Finnish National Gallery and the Mannerheim Museum. The former showcases mostly modern art, with some pieces that date as far back as the 1700s, and among the works on display are those from native Finnish artists. As for the Mannerheim Museum, it delves into the life of Baron Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, who was the country’s president from 1944 to 1946. Besides viewing memorabilia from the Baron, such as swords and uniforms, you can also see his rich antique and furniture collections. Getting back to art, the work of renowned Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela is on display at the Gallen-Kallela Museum in Espoo. Kellela, who lived from 1865 to 1931, is particularly known for his paintings. The city of Espoo borders Helsinki to the west, so its museums are never far off for those visiting the capital. To learn more about Espoo, you can always stop by the Espoo City Museum where one of the main exhibits traces the history of the city.
While most of the museums in Finland are in the southern part of the country, the northern Lapland region is not devoid of some good ones. Among the best is the Sami Museum, which is found in the town of Inari. The Sami People are native to Lapland and have lived here for centuries on end. Not only can you learn all about the Sami People and their culture at the Sami Museum, but you can also devote some time to learning all about Lapland’s nature at the adjacent Nature Center. Both the Sami Museum and the Lapland Nature Center are part of the SIIDA, which is a general exhibition center and meeting venue. Another Finnish museum that focuses on Lapland culture and history is the Provincial Museum of Lapland, which is found in the provincial capital of Rovaniemi and housed in the more comprehensive Arktikum. No other museum in all of Scandinavia offers a more complete look at the Lapland region than does the Arktikum, so if you visit only one museum this far north, the Arktikum should probably be first on the list. Other museums in Rovaniemi focus on north Finnish art, Lapland’s forestry history, and Lappish life in the early 1900s.
With all the great museums in Finland to choose from, you can surely satisfy your cultural fix, and the ones mentioned thus far are just some of the best. Whether you are in Turku, Tampere, Helsinki, Inari, or any other significant Finnish town or city, there is likely a Finnish museum that will pique your interest. Many of the Finland castles and fortresses have been turned into museums, at least partly, so in addition to admiring the architecture from outside, you can head in for a look at some intriguing artifacts. As mentioned, science is the focus at some of the Finland museums, with Tietomaa being the country’s premier science center. Found in Oulu, Tietomaa, which is also generally known simply as the Science Center, is a place where both kids and adults will be intrigued.