July is the middle of summer in Finland and the warmest month. The average July temperature across the country is 63°F (17°C), but in reality, it can get much hotter than this, especially in southern and central Finland. Heat waves in the 70s and low 80s°F (high 20s to low 30s°C) aren't unheard of. Generally, the north will be cooler than the south.
Arguably more significant than the temperatures is the number of daylight hours in July. The longest days are in late June, but July isn't far behind. The brightest places with the longest hours are in the north, but it doesn't truly get dark further south, either.
Crowds & Costs
July (as well as June and August) is the peak month for travel in Finland. Finland is never a low-budget destination, but you can expect to pay the highest prices in summer. Not only do many international travelers like to visit at this time, but Finns themselves take long vacations from late June. Cottages in the countryside—particularly Finnish Lakeland—are often booked out in July. On the other hand, cities like Helsinki and Tampere tend to be much quieter as Finns leave in droves. Many summer cultural festivals (like music and dance) are held in smaller towns and cities rather than the main metropolitan areas.
Where to Go
Off the Finnish coastline, which runs along the south and western parts of the country, is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. Explore islands and inlets that are particularly accessible from Helsinki and coastal Turku (also home to the medieval Turku Castle). Alternatively, head to Lakeland, in southern-central Finland. Thousands of lakes cover a large area—too many to count, in fact. It's a favorite summer vacation spot with locals from nearby cities. Find a cottage in a small town or base yourself in a nearby city for day trips: Tampere is on the western side of Lakeland, while Joensuu is in the northeast.
Southern and central Finland are more comfortable than northern Finland in the summer. The mosquitos in Lapland can be a real nuisance and may spoil the experience of being outdoors. Bring repellant for southern areas, too, though. If you'd like to experience Finland's biggest cities—such as Helsinki, Espoo, or Tampere—without too many other people around, July is a good month to go. Many locals leave for the countryside.
What to Do
Join the locals and get outside to enjoy the lush nature and the long, relatively warm days. Hike between lakes in the Lakeland area, followed by a refreshing swim and a sauna. Cycle along some (or all) of the 155-mile (250 km) Archipelago Trail around the Turku Archipelago. Sail or paddle a canoe on lakes and inlets around the coast. Visit one or more of the 41 national parks in Finland.
If you do make it to Lapland, join the hunt for the salmon-colored cloudberries. These can only be found in parts of Arctic Lapland for three weeks in July when cloudberry-mania hits (see more below). Music lovers of all persuasions will find a concert or festival to suit their tastes in July, from classical chamber music to folk to heavy metal (see more below).
For more information on cloudberry culture, read this article.
Events in July
Organ and Aria Festival, Espoo. Lovers of classical music have plenty to enjoy in Finland in June. This festival starts in June and runs into August.
Tangomarkkinat, Seinäjoki. This dance festival in early July celebrates everything related to the tango, from the dance itself to the music, singers, and composers.
Ilosaari Rock Festival, Joensuu. Join heavy rock enthusiasts at one of Europe's longest-running events of its kind. It's held over 2-3 days in mid-July.
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Kaustinen. The biggest folk music festival in the Nordic countries is held over about 5 days in mid-July.
Pori Jazz Festival, Pori. One of the best-known jazz festivals in Europe is held in the western coastal town of Pori over a week in early-mid July.
Helsinki Pride. Held in late June and early July, the LGBTQI community in Helsinki and Finland celebrate with cultural events and a parade.
Traveling to Finland in July? 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.
Highlights of Estonia & Helsinki - 14 Days. See a different side of Europe with this unforgettable adventure to the northern Baltic region and the Nordic country of Finland.