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How to Pick the Best Finland Guide Book (TOP 5 by a Finn)

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When it comes to finding a Finland guide book, there are surprisingly many options even though Finland isn’t the most popular travel destination.

Travel planning and learning about a new country should be fun. With great resources, it’s a joy. But what isn’t a rush of exhilaration is the research you need to do to find those right resources.

As my mission is to help you with all things Finnish, I have done the hard work for you. I have spent the last couple of weeks researching the most popular Finland guide books on the market.

Before making this post, I considered 12 different Finland travel guides overall and read over 50 user reviews on the internet. From a local’s perspective, it was great fun testing these books to see how well they knew their stuff.

I narrowed it down to the five best Finland guide books. I will tell you the exact reasons why I recommend these books. I don’t want you to waste your time nor money on a travel guide that doesn’t fit your needs. I want you to get the best Finland guide book for you!

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Why Do You Need a Finland Guide Book?

If you are wondering why you should invest in a guide book in general, take it from me who just read a massive pile of Finland guide books.

An excellent guide book will inspire, educate and entertain you. If you are planning a Finland trip, a guide book will help you immensely and save you a lot of time because you have all the details already researched.

Overall, Finland guides are well-written and offer a good “big picture” view to Finland. The most significant differences between books occur when it comes to practical travel planning.

The 5 Benefits of Having a Finland Guide Book

  • Gives you new ideas
  • Get researched advice and travel tips
  • Saves you a lot of time if you are travel planning
  • Always works – even in the Finnish winter and without batteries
  • Something concrete which brings back good memories

The Best Free Finland Primer

Download here my 14-page Finland Starter Kit packed full of tips about Finland and Finnish culture!

You’ll get immediate access to the kit by signing up for my helpful emails which help you get to know Finland wherever you are. I never spam and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Finland guide books recommendations by Her Finland blog

How to Choose the Best Finland Guide Book?

Here are the questions that you should be asking to find the best Finland guide book for you.

#1 What type of information are you looking for? Guide books have different target audiences.

Some are broad offering travel inspiration while other books include detailed planning help. Some books have long descriptive chapters about Finnish history, film, and music while others use their pages for destination overviews.

#2 What’s the publication date? Information dates quickly, so always check the publication date.

Especially the food scene and logistics evolve fast. You want the newest info if you are travel planning. Even if you aren’t planning for a trip, old photos and yellow pages are not going to tickle your wanderlust. My advice: always get the newest edition if you can!

#3 What kind of user you are? Hard copy never fails unless you forget it somewhere. A guide book is a great place to store all your Finland notes. I love a real book.

On the hand, E-format is excellent on the road, doesn’t add luggage and never has a too tiny font to see. However, you can have some IT problems.

#4 What kind of Finland trip will you have? If you are visiting relatives who want to show you places, you might not need to do heavy travel planning. In this case, a guide with more culture travel approach might suit your needs better.

#5 Can you travel at home? Sure! Armchair traveling is the best. You only need your imagination. Do you know the following famous quote?

“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”

I bet she just read a fantastic guide book. Guide books aren’t only for travel planning; they are food for our imagination and make lovely gifts!

TOP 5 Finland Guide Books by a Local

Here are my local’s picks for the best Finland guide books. These books cater to different audiences and interest levels, are well-written, fun and full of tips related to their topic.

The Best Finland Guide Book for Travel Planning

Lonely Planet Finland is an incredible book.

Let’s first talk content. When you are travel planning, the guide needs to go into the details. This book gives you actionable ideas on what to do and all the tools to create your own trip.

The recommendations are written in a way that tells me that the authors have tested the things themselves and are not relying on the information provided by Finland regional tourism boards.

The sentences are easy to read and inspiring. The print is small but the columns are narrow, and the font choice is excellent. I eagerly gobbled up the book.

Lonely Planet Finland Guide Book Review by Her Finland blog

I love the structure of Lonely Planet Finland. First the highlights and itinerary ideas, then the details of every destination.

Lastly, the book dives into the historical and cultural chapters which are just the right size. The well-organized layout makes a reader’s life effortless.

Compared to other Finland travel books, Lonely Planet Finland is surprisingly light due to the smart paper quality. It doesn’t come with a lot of pictures, but I didn’t miss them at all.

So yes, the editorial team of Lonely Planet Finland has done a marvelous job. I warmly recommend this book to any traveler planning a trip to Finland! This guide is also available as an e-edition.

The Second Best Finland Travel Guide Book for Travel Planning

I have to say that this is a double win for Lonely Planet.

The earlier 2015 edition of Lonely Planet Finland is my second favorite pick for a travel planner. That is if you cannot get the newest edition, I mean.

The editorial team is different, but also in this book, you can feel the author’s (Andy Symington) love for Finland.

The newer edition has more to it with the pull-out map, improved “Travel with Kids”-section and updated detailed recommendations which are great. That being said, the 2015 edition still wins the other books by a fair share.

An Additional Travel Planning Tip for a Finland Visitor

The Lakeland area is huge in Finland. If the Lake Saimaa area is a bit too far away for your trip, you can also consider the lake Päijänne area, which is considerably closer to Helsinki.

The Best Finland Guide Book for the Armchair Traveler

Insight Guides Finland is a fantastic book for an armchair traveler.

It has beautiful (and accurate!) pictures showcasing different Finnish regions, Finnish lifestyle, and Finland in all seasons. The book made me feel right at home.

Insight Guides Finland comes with a lot of cultural and historical information. It’s not an old book as it’s a 2017 edition. The book has all the places I would recommend too.

Review of Finland Guide Book by Insight Guides

But, this guide is not that detailed as Lonely Planet Finland. That’s why I wouldn’t use this book for travel planning.

Insight Guides Finland is a beautiful travel inspiration and big picture travel planning book. This would be my pick to buy for someone who hasn’t been to Finland and is wondering what’s it like.

The Best Finland Guide Book for the Busy Helsinki Visitor

What is tiny and packed full of useful information about Helsinki? It’s Lonely Planet Pocket Helsinki. This travel guide has everything needed for a great Helsinki visit.

Pocket Helsinki is easy to use and read. I love the practicality – the pull-out map and the two self-guided walk suggestions are fantastic. The latest edition is from 2018 which makes it accurate when considering the restaurant recommendations.

Helsinki guide book review by Her Finland blog

The information is identical to the Helsinki section in Lonely Planet Finland. So, if you need a tiny guide, are going to have a short Helsinki visit and don’t have time to read much, Pocket Helsinki is perfect for you.

On the other hand, if you are visiting Helsinki but would love to read more about Finland and all things Finnish, I recommend buying Lonely Planet Finland.

Additional Tips for a Helsinki Visitor

The Best Finland Guide Book for the Curious

“A Finn can get extremely angry or ecstatically happy without the use of any facial expressions or change in tone of voice. He will only wave his hands when drowning.”

Xenophobe’s guide to the Finns has me hooked on page one. When I was reading this book, I burst out laughing so many times that I stopped counting. This book is hilarious, extremely well-written and very authentic.

Finland Guide book about Finns - a local's recommendation

The book tells about the little hidden cultural things so well that I start feeling… Yup! A witty fellow Finn, Tarja, wrote it. She pins down Finnish stereotypes exceptionally well and, what I love the most, with Finnish humor.

This book is fast to read, and the topics flow seemingly together. I always admire when an author can do that. Xenophobe’s guide is a must if you want to understand how Finnish society and minds work!

The Best Finland Guide Book about Sisu

The Sisu Book by Joanna Nylund is a marvelous and thorough deep dive into the Sisu power word.

This book covers an astonishing amount of Finnishness from letting our babies nap outside in their prams in freezing temperatures to deep discussions like do you need to think positively in order to be able to tap into sisu.

This book is a gem, and I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in deeply understanding Finnish culture!

Finland Guide book about Sisu - A review by Her Finland blog

Finland Guide Books as Gifts

Here are my book bundle recommendations!

The perfect combo for a cultural travel planner:

The perfect combo for a cultural armchair traveler:

The perfect combo for a busy and curious Helsinki visitor:

Best Finland Guide book - recommendations by Her Finland blog

These Marimekko items make your gift complete. Colorful Finnish design notebooks and pencils maximize the cheerful determination you need both in traveling and everyday life.

The Marimekko Notebook Collection includes three notebooks covered with different iconic colorful prints. Each notebook is super light and perfect to carry in a bag so that those unexpected brilliant ideas are captured immediately.

The Marimekko Pencil Package has ten poppy-printed pencils, two of each color: green, blue, red, yellow and black. These joyful pencils instantly spark creativity and are a practical yet lovely way to incorporate a piece of Finland into everyday life.

My Best Finland Guide Books Review Video

Click this video to check out my review video about these books!

What else would you like to know about Finland travel books? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for more information about Finnish culture? Check out some of my other posts:

Warm wishes from Finland, 

Hello there!

I’m Varpu. One blonde,
Finnish engineer driving this site.

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About Varpu
I’m the founder of Her Finland. I love cultural tidbits, aha moments, Finnish folklore, and cinnamon buns. My newest interest is learning bird songs. Read more about me..

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Risha Walker

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

I love the city of Helsinki, this is an amazing place to visit. Thanks for your beautiful travel guide. I want to come back here again and again.

Varpu Pöyry

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Hei Risha! Thank you so much for commenting and letting me know, kiitos!


Monday 28th of October 2019

I am very surprised to know things about Finland. Thanks for sharing this valuable book.

Varpu Pöyry

Monday 4th of November 2019

Thank you so much, I'm glad to hear that!

Tad Marshall

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Thank you for assembling this information and for giving us your insider’s insights into what is good and why! I bought everything you suggested except the (redundant) Helsinki guide (included in the Lonely Planet Finland book). I tried to use your links to buy them, but I bought Kindle versions. My luggage is too heavy already.

You might want to correct one error ... where you wrote “My advice: always get the newest addition if you can!” you meant to use the word “edition”, not “addition”.

I’m starting in Helsinki in late August 2019 and I want to see what I can beyond that city, so your guidance is very helpful!

Varpu Pöyry

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Hei Tad! I'm so glad you found this post helpful. These guides are excellent! Thank you so much for letting me know about the Kindle links and about that typo. :D As English is my second language (I started learning when I was 10), I really appreciate the help. <3 I'm so excited to hear that you will soon be in Helsinki!


Friday 10th of May 2019

Thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Great.

Varpu Pöyry

Friday 10th of May 2019

Glad to help! It's great you guys liked it!

Rich Mattson

Thursday 9th of May 2019

Thanks so much for doing the "leg work" to sift through all the various choices that would confirm a visitor planning a trip to Finland, plus compiling your own very helpful "Finland Planner Kit". I'll certainly be passing on your material to other family members as we plan for a family reunion next year in Finland. Kiitos for a job well done!

Varpu Pöyry

Friday 10th of May 2019

Kiitos Rich! It was my pleasure! I was really impressed by these books and it was so much fun doing the research from a local perspective!

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