The difference in climate between northern and southern Finland is never as evident as it is in April. While the snow is thawing and spring flowers are blooming in the south, northern areas still seem quite wintery. Average temperatures across the country are 38°F (3°C). Finland's spring season is short, and April is wedged in between winter and summer. But with the increasingly long days (the spring equinox is on March 21), there's a feeling of celebration and optimism in the air, however cool that air remains in April.
Crowds & Costs
April isn't a busy time for travel in Finland. While some people still head north for snow activities, the gradual thaw from south to north makes some outdoor winter activities dangerous or not possible (think, ice skating on thawing lakes!) Northern ski resorts will likely remain open in April but are much less busy than in previous months.
If Easter falls in April, you might find more domestic tourists in some popular resort towns in Lapland over the holy weekend. The cities are also not especially busy in April.
Where to Go
If you're attracted to Finland as a destination for its snow sports, head as far north as you can in April. Thawing snow and ice in southern and central parts of Finland put many winter activities off-limits, but much of Lapland and the Arctic Circle still experience rather wintery conditions in April. With increasingly long days, this could be a good time to get outdoors and enjoy the last of the winter snow. Combine northern Finland with parts of northern Norway for the ultimate Arctic adventure. The Käsivarren and Tarvantovaara Wilderness Areas, in far north-western Finland, are attractive winter destinations and not far from the Norwegian city of Tromsø.
Although a quick city break in Finland might not be possible for many travelers (Helsinki isn't very accessible from New York or even London!), it is an easy place to add to a longer trip around Scandinavia or the Baltic countries. While the weather in Helsinki, Tampere, or Porvoo isn't especially appealing in April, this is a good time to enjoy some cultural activities in these cities.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking, ice skating, snowmobiling, reindeer sleigh rides, dog-sledding, and ice swimming are some outdoor activities you can enjoy in northern Finland in April. Chase them with Finnish glögi (mulled wine) and a warming wood-fired sauna.
While April isn't the optimal month for chasing the Northern Lights, if you're unable to visit Finland in the real winter, there's still a chance to see the Aurora borealis in April. The colorful display of lights is potentially visible around the country between August and April.
Events in April
Easter, nationwide. Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in Finland. If Easter falls in April, popular tourist areas will likely be busier, with domestic travelers getting away for a long weekend. You may see children dressed up as witches over the holy weekend.
Reindeer Racing Championships, Inari. This fun event takes place on frozen Lake Inari in far northern Lapland. The reindeer are trained in traditional ways. The festival is sometimes held in late March.
April Jazz Festival, Espoo. This festival west of Helsinki features Finnish and international musicians. It's held over two weeks in late April.
Walpurgis Night, nationwide. Held on April 31 and May 1, Walpurgis Night marks the feast day of 8th-century Christian Saint Walpurga. It coincides with Vappu (Labor Day), on May 1, to create a mini holiday period. Expect to see bonfires and street parties in some smaller towns.
Traveling to Finland in April? Check out these great itineraries
Discover Finland's Golden Triangle: Helsinki, Tampere, Turku - 6 Days. Learn about the role these cities played in Finland's history and how, today, they are the economic and population center of the country.
Lapland Winter Activities - 5-Days. Spend five days on snowshoes and skis, making your way across a winter wonderland that spans both Finland and Norway.