Autumn falls quickly in Finland, so while the summer may linger in more southern parts of Europe, September is quite fall-like. The further north you go, the earlier in the month you'll see the colors of foliage turning yellow, red, and orange. The average temperature across the country in September is 50°F (10°C); generally, northern areas are much cooler than the south. Fall is also quite a wet season in Finland, so expect cloudy skies and rain some of the time.
Crowds & Costs
September is not a busy time for travel in Finland, sandwiched as it is between the appeal of summer's long days and winter's snow sports. Finland is quite an expensive place to visit year-round, but if you need to keep costs lower, September might be a good time to get a deal on flights and accommodation in Finland. Keep in mind that some smaller towns, especially those away from major tourist attractions, may be closed for the winter season by September.
Where to Go
Pick September for a quick city break. This month is a good time to visit Helsinki and other cities in southern and central areas, such as Tampere or Turku. The cold weather and short days of late fall and winter haven't crept in yet, and the locals are back in town after their summer vacations, bringing a liveliness back to urban life. There are several great festivals held in Helsinki (see more below).
To see spectacular fall foliage, head north to Lapland, where autumn's advance starts earlier than in the south. Finns call this time ruska-aika, or the time when the trees turn. It's an especially beautiful time for photography enthusiasts to head north. In September, you may also get lucky and see the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights) in Lapland.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
As long as you dress appropriately for the cooler and potentially wet weather in September, you can enjoy the great outdoors during this month. Enjoy shorter hikes or bike rides along the western and southern coasts or between lakes in Finnish Lakeland. Alternatively, September is a decent time to embark on a longer, multi-day hike in far-northern Lapland. Some routes cross the border into northern Norway and Sweden to make the most of the whole region's spectacular scenery.
While spotting the Northern Lights is generally more reliable in winter and spring, you can see them in fall, too, especially around the autumn equinox (September 21). Head north to rural parts of Lapland for the best chances of seeing this magical natural phenomenon.
Events in September
SAMPO Festival, Helsinki. This puppet festival is held at the end of August/beginning of September. It includes puppet troupes from around the world. It's not just for kids, but all members of the family will find something to entertain and delight.
Helsinki Festival. The largest multi-arts festival in Finland is held over two weeks in late August and early September.
Loviisa Sibelius Festival, Lovilsa. The small coastal town of Loviisa hosts a popular chamber music festival for several days in early September, named after Finland's best-known composer, Jean Sibelius.
Helsinki International Film Festival. Shorts, documentaries, animations, and feature films from Finnish and international filmmakers are shown over two weeks in mid to late September.
Traveling to Finland in September? Check out these great itineraries
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.
Hiking in Northern Norway and Finland - 10 Days. Trek on a variety of hiking trails in northern Norway and parts of Finland, traversing lush valleys and craggy mountain peaks, wide expanses of tundra, and clear glacial rivers.