Central Finland

Sights

Top ChoiceNational Park in Hossa

Hossa National Park

Founded in 2017 to commemorate Finland's centenary of independence, the country's 40th national park stretches over 11,000 hectares of glittering lakes and dense forests. Highlights include Julma Ölkky, a...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Central Finland

Kierikkikeskus

This excellent museum is by the Iijoki, whose banks are riddled with important Stone Age settlements. The informative display zeroes in on a handful of artefacts, including preserved wooden fences to trap fish. A...

Top ChoiceSquare in Oulu

Kauppatori

Oulu has one of Finland's liveliest market squares, and its position at the waterfront makes it all the more appealing. The square is bordered by several old wooden storehouses now serving as restaurants, bars...

Top ChoiceCultural Centre in Kuhmo

Juminkeko

If you're interested in the Kalevala or Karelian culture, pay a visit to this excellent resource centre inside a beautiful hand-hewn timber building made using traditional methods and modern styling – its 24...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Oulu

Tietomaa

This huge, excellent science museum can occupy kids for the best part of a day with a giant, 35m-high IMAX screen, hands-on interactive exhibits exploring planets and the human body, and an observation tower. An...

National Park in Central Finland

Oulanka National Park

Stretching from Koillismaa to Lapland and along the Russian border, this superb national park was established in 1956 and covers 27,000 hectares of pristine boreal forest made up of pine, birch and spruce. Sámi...

Church in Central Finland

Haukiputaan Kirkko

Haukipudas, 21km north of Oulu at a scenic spot along the Kiiminkijoki, is renowned for its cream-painted, terracotta-roofed wooden church, one of Finland’s most exquisite ‘picture churches’. The interior is...

Church in Kajaani

Paltaniemen kuvakirkko

Paltaniemi's enchantingly weathered wooden church was built in 1726 and contains some of Finland’s most interesting church paintings: rustic 18th-century works full of life and colour that enliven the roof and...

Visitor Centre in Hossa

Hossa National Park Visitor Centre

The visitor centre at Hossa National Park has a detailed exhibition on the Värikallio Stone Age rock paintings. Only discovered in 1977, the paintings of 61 figures depicting fishing, hunting, shamanic rituals...

Wildlife Reserve in Kuusamo & Ruka

Kuusamon Suurpetokeskus

There’s a great backstory to this bear sanctuary 35km south of Kuusamo on the Kajaani road. Rescued as orphans, the bears were nursed by their ‘father’ Sulo Karjalainen, who then refused to have them put down...

National Park in Central Finland

Syöte National Park

This national park is a favourite winter-sports escape 140km northeast of Oulu, with a downhill resort, Iso-Syöte. It covers discrete areas of old-growth spruce forest and is great for ski-trekking or hiking,...

Museum in Oulu

Turkansaaren Ulkomuseo

Set across two river islands on the scenic Oulujoki, this open-air museum is a collection of traditional wooden buildings, from loggers’ cabins to stables, and includes a handsome farmhouse. The 1694 church is an...

Museum in Hossa

Raatteen Portti

Some of the most bitter fighting of the Winter War took place 88km south of Hossa (23km east of the lakeside town of Suomussalmi) along the Raate road. The museum here screens a worthwhile audiovisual...

Nature Centre in Kuhmo

Petola Luontokeskus

On the main road 3.5km east of central Kuhmo, this centre has an informative exhibition in various languages on Finland’s quartet of large carnivores, known hereabouts as karhu (bear), ilves (lynx), ahma...

Farm in Hossa

Hossan Poropuisto

Within Hossa National Park, this reindeer farm offers the opportunity to get to know these gentle, antlered beasts. You can feed the reindeer (€5 per bag); in summer, boat trips take you out to an island in the...

Museum in Oulu

Pohjois Pohjanmaan Museo

The Museum of Northern Ostrobothnia in the city park has almost too much information to take in at first bite. It covers the earliest habitation of the region through to the 20th century, including plenty of...

Museum in Kuhmo

Kuhmon Talvisotamuseo

Situated 4.5km southeast of central Kuhmo, by the Hotelli Kalevala, this Winter War museum documents that bitter conflict in the Kuhmo area, mostly through maps and excellent photographs (descriptions are...

National Park in Central Finland

Riisitunturi

Consisting of fells and hillside bogs, this 77-sq-km national park 58km northwest of Kuusamo offers spectacular views and rewarding hiking, including several loop trails for day walks. A 29km trail crosses the...

Museum in Kuhmo

Tuupalan Museo

At this house-museum, traditional Karelian red-painted wooden farm buildings have been fitted out to depict traditional Kuhmo life at the turn of the 20th century for wealthy families and their servants. It’s a...

Park in Oulu

Hupisaaret Park

Just north of the city centre on the Hupisaaret Islands, connected by small bridges, this great park has bike paths, museums, greenhouses and a summer cafe. An observation deck looks out over the 750m-long...