The Finnish Winter and Long Summer Days

I think my favourite aspect of the Finnish weather is the balance between these two extremes: six months of darkness and cold followed by six months of light and warmth.


Living most of my life in Eastern Europe, experiencing the Nordic climate shouldn’t have been a big shock. However, for me, it was!

In this blog post, you will learn more about my Nordic adventures. The general information on Finnish weather will, hopefully, encourage you to come experience life in Tampere too.

A new state of mind

When the lakes freeze, Finns will start doing all sorts of winter activities all around the city. I like to go out and take photographs of how people enjoy leisure time in harsh winter weather.

When I tell someone that I live in Finland, the first thing I am usually asked is: “How do you resist the cold up there?”

An interesting fact is that Finland is located in the zone where tropical and polar air masses meet, so the Finnish weather tends to change quickly, especially in the winter months. As a result, the weather is not as cold as you may think.

Wintertime in Finland is like living in Santa Claus’s village. This is a shot from one of the old neighborhoods in Tampere.

The Finnish average temperatures are higher than that of other regions in the same latitudes, such as south Greenland. The temperature is raised mainly by warm airflows from the Atlantic, and also by the Baltic Sea.

Finland has wonderful beaches that send your mind immediately to exotic, warmer destinations. This photograph was taken in November 2020 in Yyteri Beach, Pori.

Your first year in Finland can be a bit challenging if you have never lived in a Nordic country before.

In the beginning, the lack of warmth and sun during the winter felt almost impossible to bear. Also, the first summer I experienced felt rather chilly and windy. I was feeling lost and grumpy due to the weather every day.

My dog and I experiencing -25 degrees in December 2018

At some point, I finally realised that I cannot be mad on the daily weather conditions. After all, I have absolutely no control over them. So, I decided to look at my “problem” differently and gradually shift everything to a more optimistic perspective.

Wintertime, December 2019. Tampere, Finland

Light & Landscapes

A shot from one of my walks on the frozen lake on a gloomy day at 12 pm in mid-January 2019

Since 2020, I have been working on a new photography project about Nordic weather. After deciding to accept the Finnish climate and starting my research on the subject, I became more and more mesmerised by my suroundings. I took my camera with me everywhere and observed the changing of seasons more. I simply let Finland inspire me.

Mid-August , 11pm in front of Nasijarvi Lake

I think my favourite aspect of the Finnish weather is the balance between these two extremes: six months of darkness and cold followed by six months of light and warmth.

For my project, I decided to travel around Finland from South to North. I explored its minimalistic landscapes and the changes of weather conditions while heading closer to the Arctic Circle.

August 2020, at 8:30pm. Puolanka, Finland

Summer offers amazing weather in Finland. Thanks to all the lakes surrounding you at every corner, you will definitely fall in love with this country if you arrive here between mid May – mid August.

Said to be one of the most iconic of Finland’s natural phenomenon, the Midnight Sun occurs during the summertime. During that time, there is almost continuous daylight above the Arctic Circle. I found this phenomenon also a bit confusing in my first year living here. I couldn’t sleep during the night because of the light and my entire day-by-day schedule had changed.

Midnight shot during July 2020, Tampere, Finland

However, my feelings quickly changed. The summer feels so, so, sooo long here, I almost feel I live in another dimension. I have all the time in the world to finish my daily tasks and also enjoy lots of light and have fun.

The balance of the extremes

Despite the weather, winter is one of the most popular times to visit Finland. Travelers flock to the country’s many ski resorts and also take part in wintery activities like snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and ice fishing.

When I first arrived to Finland, in 2018, I struggled with organising my studies, personal projects, work and social life. And honestly, I am still struggling from time to time.

While most of the people see winter as the time for sports and new adventures, I personally get into “hibernation mode” – and I love it! Or, at least, it makes sense for me.

What I have realised is that these 2 weather extremes are the perfect balance for me. From May to end of August, I create new art projects, go out with friends, network with new people and colleagues. I dance a lot, ride my bike, go on hikes and have a lot of fun. I am socially and creatively active.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Luiza Preda is a 3rd year Fine Art student. She is 24 and has already a BA Degree in Photography and Videography from University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her field of expertise is on Fine Art Photography and Art theory. Nowadays, she is working as a production designer trainee at TAMK, focusing on bringing her creative skills in stage design and concept design for virtual events.

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