Top Choice Castle in Savonlinna


Standing immense and haughty, 15th-century Olavinlinna is one of the most spectacularly situated castles in northern Europe and, as well as being an imposing fortification, is also the stunning venue for the month-l…
Top Choice Museum in Varkaus

Mekaanisen Musiikin Museo

‘You must understand’, says the personable owner, ‘it’s not a normal museum; more a madhouse’. A truly astonishing collection of mechanical musical instruments ranges from a ghostly keyboard-tinkling Steinway to a r…
Top Choice Church in Petäjävesi

Petäjäveden Vanha Kirkko

Thirty-five kilometres west of Jyväskylä, pause at Petäjävesi to see the wonderfully gnarled Unesco-listed wooden church. Finished in 1765, it’s a marvellous example of 18th-century rustic Finnish architecture with …
Gallery in Kuopio

Kuopion Taidemuseo

This features mostly modern art in temporary exhibitions, but also displays permanent works. Look out for paintings by local Juho Rissanen (1873–1950), whose realistic portraits of working Finns contrasted with the …
Museum in Kuopio

Kuopion Museo

In a castle-like art nouveau mansion, this museum has a wide scope. The top two floors are devoted to cultural history, but the real highlight is the natural history display, with a wide variety of beautifully prese…
Museum in Kuopio

Kuopion Korttelimuseo

This block of old town houses forms one of Kuopio’s delightful museums. Several homes – all with period furniture and decor – are very detailed and thorough and the level of information (in English) is excellent. Ap…
Museum in Kuopio

Suomen Ortodoksinen Kirkkomuseo

This museum holds an excellent collection of items brought here from monasteries and churches now in Russian-occupied Karelia. It was being renovated at last visit, but reopens in 2015.
Museum in Kuopio

VB Valokuvakeskus

Excellent summer exhibitions grace this photographic centre, devoted to Victor Barsokevitsch, one of the pioneers of Finnish photography.
Convent in The Finnish Lakeland

Lintula Convent

Finland’s only Orthodox convent, Lintula is very quiet. It’s serene and that is well worth the short detour, and it’s only open to visitors outside of summer by appointment.
Museum in Jyväskylä

Alvar Aalto Museo

Alvar Aalto, a giant of 20th-century architecture, was schooled in Jyväskylä, opened his first offices here and spent his summers in nearby Muuratsalo. The city has dozens of Aalto buildings, but stop first at one o…