Venue & Hospitality
Conference Dates: April 25-26, 2019
Hotel Services & Amenities
- Audio/Visual Equipment Rental.
- Business Center.
- Business Phone Service.
- Complimentary Printing Service.
- Express Mail.
- Meeting Rooms.
- Office Rental.
- Photo Copying Service.
- Secretarial Service.
- Video Conference.
- Video Messaging.
- Video Phone.
- Baggage Storage.
Finland has had a turbulent history. Occupied by the Swedes and later the Russians, the country was finally granted independence in 1917. A number of hallmarks of this colorful past remain scattered throughout the country, in the form of captivating ruins, meandering cobblestone streets, and towering fortresses.
However, Finland is most famed for its incredible natural beauty. Crystal clear lakes, stunning island archipelagos, and towards the north, pristine winter wonderlands dominate the landscape. Meanwhile, modern cities and towns stay in tune with the times by offering world-class dining and accommodation options. Here’s a look at the top tourist attractions in Helsinki, Finland.
A beautiful seaside town, 130 kilometers west of Helsinki, Hanko is a bilingual beach-blessed port town of about 10,000 people. Because of its location, Hanko has been contested for more than a thousand years. The Swedes and the Russians fought several battles here in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1809, the Russians took over several Swedish forts. The town itself wasn't officially founded until the 1870s and later served as a key transit point for Finns leaving for the United States during the starvation times. The Finns and the Russians fought a very bloody battle here in 1941. The architecture of the town speaks to its history with a mix of Swedish and Russian styles. It's full of excellent cafés and restaurants.
Skiing in Levi:
Visitors come to Levi for its incredible skiing. The world-class slopes are nearly empty most of the year, lines for the chair lifts are non-existent, and the area generates regular snowfall. Facilities in Levi are modern and clean. There are a number of dining and nightlife options that cater to the skiers at Levi Resort, and even if skiing is not your cup of tea, there are many other snow-related activities in the vicinity, including snowmobiling, husky and reindeer safaris, and snow shoeing. Visitors should not miss visiting Levin Iglut Resort while in the area, famous for its glass-roofed igloos.
Experience a Finnish Sauna:
Finnish houses are unique in the sense that almost every home has a sauna. This is truly a national tradition. In fact, the Finns invented the concept. Saunas are a wooden room, attached or apart from the home, heated by steam from hot rocks. The classic experience includes shedding your clothes, entering the steamy room, and jumping in a lake or river afterwards. It is polite to have a shower before entering the sauna. Even if you don’t know any locals to join with, many resorts offer this classic Finnish experience for guests.
The small city of Rauma was founded in the 1300’s, making it one of the most ancient towns in Finland. The old section of the township is characterized by colorful, historical buildings and winding, cobblestone streets. Many cafes and restaurants line the recently restored Market Square in the old town. The area is well-known for its traditional bobbin lace making trade, and there is an annual Lace Week to celebrate this traditional local skill. In addition to these points of interest, a number of churches with celebrated frescos dating back to the Middle Ages and beyond are well worth taking some time to explore.
This magnificent castle has been standing since the late 13th century. Along with Turku Cathedral, which was built at the same time, it is the oldest occupied building in Finland. The impressive structure overlooks the Aura River and has become Turku’s most iconic building. Originally constructed as a military fortress, it changed hands many times throughout medieval era. Today, Turku Castle is one of the most visited museums in Finland and renowned for its grandeur. During the summer months, there are daily tours of the castle. If visitors are exploring on their own, they will need at least half a day to truly make the most of this amazing spot, as the castle is filled to the brim with twisting passages, period furniture, multiple exhibits and outdoor courtyards.
Sami Culture in Inari:
The Sami people are the only officially recognized aboriginal people living within the European Union. Many have maintained their traditional livelihoods, which consist of hunting and gathering, small-scale farming, and reindeer herding, although they have recently made a shift towards tourism and handicrafts. Inari is the focal point for the Sami people. It is the place to go to learn about their fascinating culture and traditions. It is here in Inari that the Sami parliament lives, which governs over their linguistic and cultural operations. Inari is also home to the Sami Museum, Sami Cultural Centre, and welcomes visitors to traditional reindeer farms. Outside of the municipality lie multiple, sprawling wilderness parks.
Founded in the 1880s, Korkeasaari Zoo is one of the oldest in the world, and holds a foremost place for its exceptional breeding programs for endangered species. They have been especially successful with breeding snow leopards and other big cats, such as the Amur and Siberian tiger. As in any good zoo, the environments have been designed to be as close as possible to natural habitats, and nearly 1,000 plant species grow here to replicate the native environments of the 150 different animal species. The zoo is open all year-round, and visiting the tropical houses is one of the favorite things to do in Helsinki in the winter. The zoo is on an island.
Lake Saimaa is the largest lake in Finland, and home to well over ten thousand islands. The area has been aptly nicknamed Lakeland. Made up of winding waterways, lush green islands and dense forests, it is extremely popular with Finnish cottagers, and visiting tourists; with kayaking and trekking being the area’s most popular activities. The region has a rich history with steamboats, which were used as transport before cars became widely available. However, these days the area is all about slowing down and simply enjoying the pristine landscapes surrounding Lake Saimaa.
Hämeenlinna is located on Lake Vanajavesi, 100 kilometers north of Helsinki, and is easily accessible by both bus and train. A relatively small city, Hämeenlinna is one of the oldest settlements in Finland and sits at the heart of the historic province of Häme. There has been a city here since the early Viking Age, and the medieval Häme Castle is located here. It was built in the late 13th century by the Swedes who were then competing with both the Danes and the Russians for access to the resources of Finland. The city is a lovely place to visit. It is known for its excellent schools, the birthplace of Jean Sibelius, and the location of Finland's first railway line.
During the Swedish reign in Finland, the Swiss built Suomenlinna Fortress upon six islands. It was designed as a military fortress and is strategically located at the entrance of Helsinki Harbor. Construction started in the 18th century, and the fortress was ruled over by the Swiss, Russians, and Finnish. After the Finnish were granted independence in 1917 they renamed the fortress Suomenlinna Fortress, which translates to the Fortress of Finland. Today, over 800 inhabitants live in Suomenlinna, mostly operating within the tourism industry.