Finland, Travels

On Cottage Culture in Finland

If you’re about to travel to Finland, skip the city break in Helsinki, skiing holiday in Lapland or island tours on the coastal region, and book yourself an original Finnish summer cottage for a week or two. And how do you know the cottage is an original one, and not purpose built for tourists? Well, there are a few defining questions you can ask:

1) does the cottage have electricity

2) is there any kind of Internet connection

3) is there an indoor toilet

If the answer to each question is no, book the cottage now for it is the real thing!

If you have a chance, also check in advance how far the nearest neighbours at the cottage would be – the further the better – and of course, make sure there is a wooden heated sauna by a lake. Lake is as essential for the experience as a chord is for Benji jump; it makes ‘cottaging’ (Finnish ‘mökkeily’) a notch more extreme when you dip into the lake stark naked straight from a 100-degree sauna.


Make sure all food stuff is bought for the whole duration of your stay. No excuses to pop into the nearest village for the missing mustard. If a trip to a shop must be done, please stay in your cottage mode with un-combed hair, baggy hoodie and shaggy pants. A trip to the village shop doesn’t include chit chat with the cashier: you are on a cottage holiday, act like it.

Also, make sure not to charge your phone, and just in case, leave your charger behind.

Embrace the quietude and solidarity.

TV is forbidden but radio is allowed. Tune into Yle channel at nine o’clock, and you get the perfect program called “The Boulevard of Memories” (Muistojen Bulevardi) to go with your morning coffee.

A few packing tips:

Pack woollen socks.

Pack binoculars and a deck of cards.

Pack a pile of books – different genres for different moods.

And finally, pack some pens and paper for more creative outbursts – you never know what kind of a Rousseau the nature might bring out of you.


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