February is the last official month of winter in Finland, but in reality, it's right in the middle of the coldest season. Temperatures vary across the country, with the south (including Helsinki) a bit warmer than the north, some of which fall in the Arctic Circle. Finland benefits from the Gulf Stream of (relatively!) warmer waters, particularly in the west, which stop it from being quite as cold as some other places at similar latitudes, such as neighboring Russia. Expect snow and ice everywhere, however. The average temperature across Finland in February is 19°F (-7°C). Along with January, it's the coldest month of the year.
Another not-insignificant consideration when traveling to Finland is the number of daylight hours you'll get in any month. Although you might be used to shorter days in winter, the nights are extremely long in Finland in winter. The further north you go, the longer the nights. In Lapland, you might only get three or four hours of daylight in February. However, the days aren't as short this month as they are in December and January, making this a slightly better month to visit if you want to be able to see and do a lot.
Crowds & Costs
Northern areas of Finland are busiest with tourists in the winter, who come for the winter activities and to see the aurora borealis (northern lights), although the latter can be seen throughout the country. Many Finns from the south of Finland travel north in February and March for skiing vacations, so do book transport and accommodation in advance if you'll be visiting popular ski destinations, such as Rovaniemi or Levi.
Where to Go
While the northern lights can potentially be seen throughout the country between August and April, February is one of the best months to see them. Head north to small towns in Lapland to experience the dancing lights without the light pollution of large cities. Saariselkä, in northeastern Lapland, is a small resort town that's a great base for seeing them.
To enjoy winter activities without traveling too far from Helsinki, head to Finnish Lakeland. The large area northeast of Helsinki contains more lakes than can be counted, and these freeze in winter, so it's a great place to go ice skating. There are also cross-country skiing trails throughout the countryside.
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, ice swimming... If you're traveling to Finland in February, you might as well embrace the frozen weather. Warm up after with Finnish glögi (mulled wine) and a sauna session.
Another major attraction of Finland in February is the northern lights. Conditions are good during this month, especially in northern areas above the Arctic Circle.
Events in February
Aurora borealis. You can see the flickering colorful lights of the northern lights throughout Finland in February (and potentially any time between August and April).
Traveling to Finland in February? Check out these great itineraries
Lapland Highlights - 5 Days. Snuggle a husky, pose for a selfie with a reindeer, snowshoe through the wilderness, participate in epic snowball fights, and go hunting for the elusive, magical northern lights.
Northern Lights Road Trip from Rovaniemi to Tromsø - 9 Days. From dog sledding to snowshoeing, this adventure above the Arctic Circle covers all the region's winter activities. It ends with a couple of days in northern Norway.
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.