Welcome to Vaasa
The 17th-century town was named after Swedish royalty: the noble Wasa family. But 200 years later it was in Russian hands. The Old Town burned down in Vaasa’s Great Fire of 1852 – caused by a careless visitor who fell asleep and dropped his pipe – and the new city was built from scratch, 7km away from the cinders.
Vaasa has long been a family-holiday playground, with plenty of outdoor recreation and easy access to the Kvarken Archipelago. It's a cultural centre too, with three universities and a thriving arts scene, exemplified by its excellent museums.