14 days in Finland, Riga & Amsterdam Itinerary

14 days in Finland, Riga & Amsterdam Itinerary

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Riga, Latvia
— 2 nights
Helsinki, Finland
— 3 nights
Rovaniemi, Finland
— 2 nights
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
— 4 nights


Riga, Latvia — 2 nights

Paris of the North

Often referred to as "The Paris of the North," Riga offers thriving nightlife and some of the best collections of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe.
Let the collections at Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and KGB Building capture your imagination. Visit St. Peter's Church and Riga Cathedral for their historical value. And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Old City Riga (Vecriga), make a trip to Riga Town Hall Square, browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Centraltirgus), and kick back and relax at Jurmala Beach.

To find where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Riga travel route builder website.

Baku, Azerbaijan to Riga is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Baku to Riga is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Baku in December, expect Riga to be a bit cooler, temps between 3°C and 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Helsinki.
Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Helsinki, Finland — 3 nights

Daughter of the Baltic

Finland's largest and most populated metropolis, the maritime town of Helsinki boasts varied architecture, a lively cafe culture, and plethora of picturesque natural delights.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Sea Fortress Suomenlinna and Kamppi Chapel of Silence. Do some cultural sightseeing at Helsinki Cathedral and Temppeliaukio Church. There's much more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Uspenskin Cathedral (Uspenskin Katedraali), wander the streets of Katajanokka, see some colorful creatures with Dive Finland Oy, and take in the exciting artwork at Galleria Sculptor.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Helsinki travel route planner.

You can fly from Riga to Helsinki in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Riga in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Helsinki, with lows of -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) so you can fly to Rovaniemi.
Historic Sites · Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

Rovaniemi, Finland — 2 nights

Official Hometown of Santa Claus

An urban center set amongst the great Arctic wilderness, Rovaniemi serves as the capital of Lapland province.
On the 31st (Sat), find something for the whole family at SantaPark - the Home Cavern of Santa Claus, take an in-depth tour of Arktikum, and then stop by Your Piece Of Finland. Keep things going the next day: get in on the family fun at Moomin Snowcastle, see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, then have fun at Santa Claus Office, and finally make a trip to Santa Claus Village.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Rovaniemi trip planner.

You can fly from Helsinki to Rovaniemi in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In December, Rovaniemi is slightly colder than Helsinki - with highs of -6°C and lows of -13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to fly to Amsterdam.
Theme Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands — 4 nights

Venice of the North

Known as one of the greatest small cities in the world, Amsterdam charms visitors with its cool and cozy atmosphere.
Take a break from the city and head to Boat Tours & Water Sports and Zandvoort aan Zee. Visit Museum Het Rembrandthuis and De Duif for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Amsterdam: The Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery (in The Hague) and Frans Hals Museum (in Haarlem). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Anne Frank House, explore the world behind art at Van Gogh Museum, don't miss a visit to Leidseplein, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Heineken Experience.

To find more things to do, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Amsterdam tour builder tool.

Traveling by flight from Rovaniemi to Amsterdam takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Rovaniemi to Amsterdam due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Rovaniemi in January, things will get much warmer in Amsterdam: highs are around 7°C and lows about 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Fri) to allow time for the flight back home.
Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:

Finland travel guide

Architectural Buildings · Landmarks · Military Museums
Land of a Thousand Lakes
Combining vast Nordic wilderness with bustling hip cities, Finland offers something to delight and surprise all its visitors. Generally speaking, the northern region is populated by unspoiled pine forests, glistening blue lakes, and a plethora of interesting wildlife, while the south is home to the nation's thoroughly modern urban centers. Although Finland holds the title of most sparsely populated county in the European Union, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in cities like Helsinki, Espoo, and Tampere are often packed with fun-loving Finns. Do bring your dancing shoes, but don't forget your hiking boots either--you'll want to make use of the country's 37 national parks, spread throughout this "Land of a Thousand Lakes."

Lapland travel guide

Landmarks · Nightlife · Safaris
The wild expanses of Lapland promise spectacular scenery, adventure, and rich cultural experiences. As the country's northernmost region, it sits well above the Arctic Circle. Despite also being the largest region, in Lapland just 3.4 percent of the Finnish population calls this great stretch of land home, leaving plenty of room for pristine lakes, dense forest, and seven unspoiled national parks. An abundance of well-marked trails await hikers of all levels, while more remote and rugged adventures beckon experienced explorers. Music is of particular importance in these parts, so try to catch a concert or dance performance during your stay.