Finland is typically known for winter, Northern Lights, lakes, and – perhaps most of all – successful rally drivers. But what else is there to Finland? What makes this country voted the happiest in the world year after year?
One important factor is the close connection Finns have to nature. This connection not only enhances well-being and (literally!) lowers blood pressure, it has also been a source of creativity for centuries. If you’re looking to find unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences, look no further than Finland.
Sauna – source of endless inspiration
There is nothing more Finnish than sauna; many Finns think you can’t grasp Finland or its culture without bathing in a sauna. Sauna is good for nearly everybody – it relieves stress and has many proven health benefits. When you relax, you create room for thoughts and creativity (plus, you can’t take your mobile phone in a sauna, so there are literally no distractions!).
Finland is full of interesting and design-inspired public saunas to visit. Read more about must-see public saunas in Finland here. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly ok to wear a bathing suit.
Moomins – unique world created by Tove Jansson
Generations of Finns have grown up – and learned about life – with the Moomins. Tove Jansson, the creator of the unique characters, published the first Moomin story in 1945. Since then, these lovable creatures have become iconic and it’s hard to miss them in Finland.
“The world is full of great and wonderful things for those who are ready for them.” Quote from Moominpappa
Finnish design and architecture – creativity from nature
You might have heard of some of Finland’s most famous design brands, such as Marimekko, Iittala, and Fiskars. Architecture buffs will recognize the classic design of Alvar Aalto, and the works of contemporary Finnish architects making a splash in the world of modern wooden design.
What all these brands have in common is a close relationship to nature. It is visible in the floral patterns of Marimekko, in the design of Iittala glassware – even down to their names! – and in the down-to-earth materials used in public buildings, such as the new Oodi Library in Helsinki. If you’re looking to find more design inspiration, don’t miss the Iittala and Arabia Design Centre, Löyly Sauna in Helsinki, or the Serlachius Art Museum and brand new sauna in Mänttä.