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17 Top Finland Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

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If you’re searching for a country that boasts everything from smart, modern cities to clean, expansive nature, Finland could be your perfect match. This northern European country has become an intriguing destination for travelers keen on exploring beyond the larger, more popular destinations that many think of when they dream of a trip to Europe.

Below, you’ll find some essential items that should be on your packing list when planning a trip to Finland. We’ll also answer some FAQs for those looking to gain some additional insights before traveling here.

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What to Pack for Finland – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Gone are the days of rummaging through a massive (and messy) suitcase, searching for that one item that always seems to be buried. I have been traveling internationally for more than ten years, and only within the last few years did I start using packing cubes. The organization you get with these cubes is life-changing when you’re living out of your suitcase on a daily basis. As a bonus, I also value the amount of compression that these packing cubes provide. They allow you to condense the volume of your clothes in order to fit more into a confined space. Don’t miss out on these!

    Packing Cubes

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  • 2. Wool Socks

    Fall, winter, and even spring in Finland can bring chilly temps. As with most European cities, you’ll be walking a lot when in Helsinki. Think your feet might get cold when out walking for the next few hours? Wear some wool socks. Any chance that your feet could get wet? Wear some wool socks. If you also decide to venture up into the Arctic, you will undoubtedly want some wool socks to help insulate your toes!

    Wool Socks

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    This is a big one for any traveler who will be connecting to public Wi-Fi (hello, all of us). Airports, hotels, cafes – they all put our devices at risk when we connect to a public domain. A Virtual Private Network like this one will not only protect you and your computer from cyber insecurities, but it also allows you to essentially hide your location. This is great if you want to continue a series on Netflix that isn’t available in Finland, for example. You may also find that you can book better deals on flights and hotels if you are using a VPN that is not location-dependent.


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  • 4. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Helsinki is notoriously windy in the winter, and breezy in the spring and summer. You may also find your fair share of rain in the colder months with its maritime climate. I have been through a handful of different umbrellas that buckle and collapse at the slightest gust of wind. Not this one! I actually used this on my last trip to Helsinki in December, and it held up wonderfully.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 5. Packable Rain Jacket

    No matter where I travel, I always bring a packable rain jacket. You’re more likely to see snow in the winter in Finland, but fall and spring will almost guarantee a good rain storm from time to time. Something like this can easily be rolled up and stored in a light daypack, and you’ll never be sorry you had it. Remember, just in case.

    Rain Jacket

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  • 6. Power Adapter

    We live in a technological era where being able to use (and charge) our electronics is needed for daily life. Finland operates on a 230V supply voltage and most commonly uses the type C plug with two round prongs. Both the plug and voltage differ from the North American one, so you will absolutely need a power adaptor in order to charge your phone or camera, and to also use items like straighteners and curling irons. This particular one is compact and has all the options that you’ll need when traveling internationally.

    Power Adapter

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  • 7. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    Again, did I mention we live in a technological era? This portable charger has saved me (and my phone) countless times when on the road. I use a lot of Google maps when in a foreign country, but it does tend to drain your phone battery pretty quickly if it is always running. This charger is literally the size of a lipstick case, and because of that, you can easily take it with you in your purse or a day pack.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 8. Daypack

    One of the best things you can bring with you when out exploring a new city is a simple daypack. I always throw a water bottle in there along with a rain jacket, a portable charger, and some snacks. It’s an excellent place to store any cool souvenirs you find when out exploring, too.


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  • 9. Travel-Sized Hand Sanitizer

    Whether you’re on a plane, riding a bus, or kayaking along Finland’s shores, it’s never a bad idea to keep your hands clean (and therefore keep you healthy, too!). Helsinki has a great food scene, and I’m always eager to clean my hands a bit before I dive into a warm cardamon bun or sip some salmon soup. Especially as we emerge out of a pandemic, I think keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer to go is a smart bet.

    Travel-Sized Hand Sanitizer

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  • 10. Lifestraw Water Bottle

    Finland’s water is pretty pure and safe to drink, but if you’re keen on summer camping in the Finnish Lapland, it would be a good idea to have a way to purify your water from a stream, just in case. This water bottle is pretty cool in the sense that it has the ability to filter 99.9 percent of all dangerous bacteria – without any need to boil the water. Finland has a lot of forests to explore, so I think having this trusted water bottle when away from the cityscapes could prove to be quite helpful if ever needed.

    LifeStraw Water Bottle

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  • 11. Neck Wallet

    In general, Finland tends to be a very safe country. However, that doesn’t make it completely free of any petty crime. If you’re wandering through a busy square or a bustling street market, the chance of someone trying to steal your wallet or passport goes up. Thankfully, the HERO Neck Wallet is an excellent solution to helping prevent any lost or stolen items. The neck wallet is discrete and remains tucked away under your shirt, out of reach of others. It’s a great option to keep your most important valuables safe and hidden when in a crowded area.

    neck wallet

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  • 12. Warm Hat

    Because of Finland’s northern location within Europe, you will experience cooler temps for many months of the year. Don’t let that deter you, though, because their summers are amazing. However, a solid hat that keeps your head and ears warm will never go unnoticed. Whether you’re out walking for hours around Helsinki, or are up adventuring in the Arctic, you’ll want to pack a warm hat for most months.

    Warm Hat

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  • 13. Touch-Screen Gloves

    Back to Finland’s cooler temps. You likely don’t need gloves during the fall or spring, but you’ll absolutely want them in the winter. Prior to the invention of touch-screen gloves, you either needed to suck it up and let your designated phone hand freeze in order to use it, or you had to pull your glove on and off, and on and off again. With wearing these gloves, there’s no need to take them off when it’s freezing outside just to use your phone. I found them very helpful when I was north of the Arctic Circle in December.

     Touch-Screen Gloves

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  • 14. Wool Base Layers

    To go along with the wool socks, you’ll absolutely love having some wool base layers for your entire body when out in the elements. I always wore base layers when I was most recently there in December, but I’ve been known to throw them in during the fall months too. They’re usually thin enough to wear under jeans and a sweater, but they’re oh-so-warm.

    Wool Base Layers

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  • 15. Sleep Mask

    On the flip side of Finland’s colder, darker months, their summers are full of near 24-hour daylight. Sometimes, that can make it hard to sleep if your body is telling you it’s midnight, but your eyes are looking up at the sun. It’s an interesting phenomenon for sure. Having a simple, but cozy sleep mask like this one will ensure you’re able to get to sleep when you need to.

    Sleep Mask

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  • 16. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    This Quick Dry towel is light, durable, and super packable. If you happen to be traveling through Finland in the winter, you’ll want to experience a true Finnish sauna. If you’re there in the summer, there are plenty of lakes to dive into. Either way, having an extra towel for these activities is quite helpful, and with its quick drying capabilities, it’ll be ready for the next adventure in no time.

    Blue travel towel

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  • 17. Travel Insurance

    Travel insurance is a must whenever going abroad. So many unexpected things can happen and it’s best to be prepared so your trip doesn’t get ruined. It’s always good to have travel insurance that will cover you in case of accidents, illnesses, theft, or travel cancelations. We like to use to compare policies from top companies to find the best option for our family and travel plans.

    Travel Insurance

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What to Wear in Finland

Helsinki, and Finland in general, is a very trendy country where locals likes to dress well when going out for an evening. They also value functionality when out trekking in nature or exploring one of their thousands of lakes. Because of this, I like to bring a few nice outfits if going out for coffee or out for dinner and drinks later on. If you plan on going camping, trekking, hiking, or sailing, then it goes without saying that good athletic shoes and clothing in general will suit you best for more of Finland’s natural adventures.

Particularly if you are traveling through the country in the winter, then layers are key. Always have a good pair of wool base layers and socks to match. From there, you can wear your jeans and a sweater on top, or continue to pile on the layers as needed. This should all be underneath a solid winter coat, of course!

What Women Should Wear in Finland? – (Click to expand)

As mentioned earlier, the Fins are trendy but practical. Most importantly, make sure you will be warm. Women should bring their base layers, socks, boots, sweaters, gloves, scars, and a good insulated jacket. Fill the rest of your clothing list with fun outfits for going out at night or just spending an afternoon in a cat café, for example. And regardless of what time of year it is, always pack a swimsuit. You never know when you’ll encounter a sauna or a natural lake!

What Men Should Wear in Finland? – (Click to expand)

Similarly to a women’s packing guide, men will also want to ensure that they are warm and comfortable. Bring all those same base layers with good winter boots and a coat. A few button- down shirts and some jeans or khakis will also make you fit right in with the locals if going out. And because experiencing a Finnish sauna should be on everyone’s bucket list when traveling here, men should absolutely bring a pair of swim trunks.

Dressing for the Seasons

SPRING – March, April, May

Temperatures start to warm up in the southern regions of Finland, though you’ll still find some snow north of the Arctic Circle this time of year. Bring a packable rain jacket and layers as you experience both warmer and cooler days during this time of the year. If you plan to head up to the Finnish Lapland, pack your base layers and some good boots.

Typical temperature: Mid 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the early spring days, but reaching up to mid 50’s in the later spring months.

SUMMER – June, July, August

Summer brings warm, comfortable temperatures with near 24-hour daylight in the northernmost regions. You may want to bring a pair of shorts, and definitely your sunglasses! Pack some pants and light layers though for the days that get a little cooler. Finland experiences very little rain in the summer months.

Typical temperature: Mid 60 degrees Fahrenheit to low 70’s.

FALL – September, October, November

Autumn in Finland is beautiful! This season is ideal for foraging and exploring the northern forests. The country is also filled with beautiful fall foliage. Temperatures start to drop again, especially by November. So bring your layers, and maybe even a wool sweater and pair of wool socks. If you want to venture to Lapland, packing your base layers wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Typical temperature: Mid 50 degrees Fahrenheit in September, but this will drop to the mid 30’s by November.

WINTER – December, January, February

Winter brings cold temperatures with crisp, snowy landscapes. You can expect dustings of snow even in Helsinki, but the Finnish Lapland will experience much more regular snowfall. Pack your warm snow boots, wool base layers, sweaters, socks, hats, and gloves. Don’t forget your swimsuit though as I feel that winter is the best season to experience a Finnish sauna!

Typical temperature: Low 30 degrees Fahrenheit to low 20’s in the southern regions, but northern regions can get into the negatives.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity? – (Click to expand)
Snow sports:
The most important thing is to dress warm. All of those same items I have previously mentioned such as snow boots, wool socks, base layers, sweaters, hats, and gloves are essential. If you need heavier duty Arctic snow suits or other equipment, you will be able to rent all of that when in Finland.

City outings:
If going out sightseeing during the day, or out to dinner and drinks in the evening, wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be doing a lot of walking – as with most European cities. I would also recommend wearing layers in case the temperature changes, especially as the sun starts to set.

What NOT to Bring to Finland

  • 1.DON'T Bring Cash

    When I was in Finland, I rarely encountered a situation where cash was preferred. Credit cards are widely acceptable here and are the preferred method of payment – even for taxis!

  • 2.DON'T Pack Flip Flops/Sandals

    Because Finland tends to have weather that is on the colder side for most months, as well as generally cooler temperatures even in summer, sandals and flip flops really aren’t that necessary. I’d rather bring a good pair of lightweight tennis shoes.

  • 3.DON'T Pack Unnecessary Valuables

    I think it goes without saying that when traveling in general, you want to limit the amount of valuables you bring with you. Whether that be excessive jewelry, expensive accessories, or other items that could be lost or stolen, probably best to leave them at home if you won’t really be needing them on your trip.

  • 4.DON'T Take Excessive Snow Gear

    I encourage you to bring your own base layers, sweaters, and boots, but just know that most destinations in the Arctic will have equipment you can rent. They will have everything from Arctic-grade snow suits, to boots, and even skis. Save yourself the hassle and just rent any additional equipment when in Finland.

  • 5.DON'T Take Instant Coffee

    Finland has the highest coffee consumption per capita, so you know the coffee here is good. Sometimes I’ll bring instant coffee packets for my room when traveling, but I found that in Finland it was unnecessary. Cafes are readily available on every corner.

  • 6.DON'T Bring Pepper Spray

    Finland is one of the safest countries in the world. You may be inclined to bring extra safety gear, such as pepper spray, especially if you’re traveling alone. This is completely unnecessary here, plus it’ll save you the headache of dealing with airport security.

What NOT to Wear in Finland? – (Click to expand)
Because Finland does experience all four seasons, there aren’t many specific items that you just shouldn’t wear. I think the most helpful advice is that even in the summer, it doesn’t get that hot. You shouldn’t fill your suitcase with only sandals, shorts, and tank tops. Maybe bring just one of each of those, but you’ll be better off with some pants, shirts, and a light jacket or sweater during the summer months.

FAQs about Finland

  • 1. Is Finland a safe country to travel to?

    Is Finland a safe country to travel to?

    I mentioned earlier that Finland is one of the safest countries in the world. Everything from crime, to natural disasters, and even political corruption are low or nonexistent in Finland. You’ll also be pleased to know that health and hygiene are held extremely highly, so rates of food poisoning are also extremely low. Overall, Finland is extremely safe and is a great option for those who are just starting to travel and want to visit one of the safest countries in the world.

  • 2. Will I be able to get by with speaking English?

    Yes. Although the official language in Finland is Finnish, most Finns speak fluent English thanks to their excellent school system. You are essentially guaranteed to find someone who speaks English in the young and middle-aged group, but if you are in a remote village and you are interacting with older Finns, there is a chance that you could encounter a language barrier. Throughout my travels, I never had a problem communicating in English.

  • 3. When is the best time to travel to Finland?

    When is the best time to travel to Finland?

    Any time of year is great. If you want a snowy adventure or want to do snow sports, then winter would be best. Springtime is also excellent for skiing. Want to experience the midnight sun? Then go in summer. Fall also offers excellent foraging and Autumn foliage. Finland is beautiful and unique during each season. You can’t go wrong no matter the season!

  • 4. Is there good transportation within Finland?

    Finland has excellent public transportation in the form of trains and buses. You can reach near all major cities by their efficient train system. Within Helsinki, for example, taxis, Ubers, and buses are widely available. You can also rent a car to get to more remote areas.

  • 5. Is Finland expensive?

    Is Finland expensive?

    Finland is generally more expensive than many other countries in Europe. For example, you’ll pay more for coffee or a meal in Finland than you would in Italy, but you’ll still be paying less than what you would in Switzerland. It can be expensive but if you’re looking to travel on a budget there are hostels, affordable public transportation, and affordable restaurants that can help you save money.

  • 6. Is Finland accommodating if I have dietary restrictions?

    If you have dietary allergies or choose to eat vegetarian or vegan, you’ll have no issues being accommodated in Finland. There are many dining options, and you’ll likely always see alternatives for food options at restaurants.

  • 7. Should I tip when in Finland?

    Should I tip when in Finland?

    Tipping is not customary in Finland. If you receive excellent service, you are more than welcome to leave a tip, but this is not expected. You are also never required to tip for taxi use. Many people often round the bill up to the nearest dollar to leave as a tip.