Finland – the undiscovered gem of the Nordics for LGBTQIA+ travellers

Credits: Mika Ruusunen


Press release, Helsinki, 2 May 2023

For visitors, Finland offers a rare combination of vibrant urban culture, the serenity of the natural world, and of course, many saunas for all - Finland is one of the most LGBTQIA+ friendly countries in the world.
Credits: Mika Ruusunen

The happiest country in the world welcomes you to discover its breathtaking nature and the happiness-inducing lifestyle of the Nordics. Boasting four distinct seasons and landscapes ranging from the world’s biggest archipelago to the mindful calm of Lapland and vibrant capital Helsinki – Finland truly is the gem of the North. A gem that is for everyone.

"Not only is Finland a safe travel destination, but also an extremely beautiful one. The peace, calm, and vastness of nature are unparalleled. From Helsinki, the capital of Finland, it only takes an hour to the middle of a national park", says Hannu Medina, Founder of We Speak Gay and Gay Travel Finland, blogger and expert on LGBTQIA+ travel.

According to the 2021 Williams Institute report, which surveyed people from across 175 countries, owing to its progressive outlook and policies that protect the LGBTQIA+ community against discrimination, Finland is a very minority-aware country. In fact, Finland is one of the safest and most LGBTQIA+-friendly countries in the world.

"Finland belongs to the leading nations in the world when it comes to legislation that protects LGBTQIA+ rights. The recently passed law that defends the rights of transgender people, lifts Finland into a small group of merely 20 countries that have passed such a law. This is progression in its prime," Medina continues.

Medina leads We Speak Gay, a service and community for companies and events willing to commit to creating safer spaces for everyone to feel included, valued, and respected. A resident of Helsinki, Medina himself is looking forward to an exciting summer in the city.

"Yet, while Finland is often seen as an oasis for peace and calm, it does also turn up. The number of gay bars is internationally on the decline in most big cities, but not in Helsinki. Our numbers are going up, and we are in fact getting the largest gay club, DTM, in Finland in the Meatpacking District in Helsinki this summer," Medina sums up.

Credits: Satu Mali

Pride Festivals in Finland

Celebrate with Pride in Finland. Pride festivals have become a permanent part of summer in larger cities such as Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku, but also in smaller cities of the country as there are over 40 pride events around Finland. Check in to make sure your travel dates coincide with the parades or festivals’ weeklong activity program. At these celebrations, all are welcome!

The Tom of Finland exhibition, Helsinki

Kiasma is filled with masculine beauty. The Tom of Finland exhibition, opening on the 28th of April in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, highlights Touko Valio Laaksonen’s artistic mastery, establishing him as a major figure in 20th-century contemporary art and visual culture.

Restaurant Kuori, Turku

Eat your heart out in Turku. Kuori is a female and LGBTQIA+-owned vegetarian and vegan restaurant located in Turku. The restaurant opened in 2016 and offers passionate menus composed of raw ingredients, unisex toilets, and Sex Wednesday parties.

Tom of Finland
Credits : Tom of Finland Foundation
Åland Pride
Credits: Rebecka Eriksson
Restaurant Kuori
Credits: Reetta Vahanen

Aurora Holidays, Utsjoki

Travel with the LGBTQIA+ friendliest operator in all of Lapland. Located in Utsjoki, Aurora Holidays offers visitors once-in-a-lifetime experiences of Northern Lights chasing and outdoor activities in the Finnish Lapland.

The Island of Lonna, Helsinki

Enjoy the archipelago on Lonna. The island of Lonna, located a short ferry ride away from Helsinki CBD, is dedicated to creating good moments on the seaside. Whether it be relaxed food, blissful sauna experiences, or a serene break from the city bustle, Lonna has it all.

Naawa - Nature Awakening, Korppoo

Get into nature. Naawa - Nature Awakening specializes in nature tourism offering accommodation in the lush archipelago nature. At the nature camp, you can spend the night in luxurious Tentsile-tree tents, enjoy an authentic wood-fired sauna or have a delicious meal by the fire.

Hotel Helka, Helsinki

Everyone is welcome at Helka. Founded by one of the oldest women’s organizations in Finland, YWCA of Finland, Hotel Helka in Helsinki is still committed to reducing inequality – while providing a good night’s sleep.

Island of Lonna
Credits : Julia Kivelä
Hotel Helka
Credits: Hotel Helka

The Arctic Lighthouse Hotel, Hailuoto

Relish the sound of silence. The Arctic Lighthouse Hotel, located in Hailuoto, is nestled at the foot of a still functional lighthouse. The hotel is truly a unique and utterly fascinating venue that welcomes all visitors to Hailuoto to experience the awakening of nature.

Savonlinna Opera Festival, Savonlinna

Take in the tunes at Savonlinna Opera Festival.The month-long festival held in Olavinlinna, a towering medieval castle by Finland’s largest lake, is strongly committed to making Finland even more emphatic, inclusive, and LGBTQIA+ friendly.

Serlachius Art Sauna, Mänttä-Vilppula

Enjoy the heat at Serlachius Art Sauna. Serlachius Museums Gustaf and Gösta offer unique experiences of art, architecture, and industrial history in the Art Town Mänttä-Vilppula. The museums are committed to treating everyone with respect while providing safer spaces to take in the art – and the heat of the art sauna.

Savonlinna Opera Festival
Credits : Timo Seppäläinen
Serlachius Art Sauna
Credits: Art Sauna Serlachius

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About Visit Finland

Visit Finland, a unit of Business Finland, is a national authority on tourism and an active force in promoting international travel to Finland. Its main goal is to develop Finland’s international image as a destination. Visit Finland supports the travel industry through research and helps businesses and groups develop products and services for the international market. For more information, please visit