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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for quick information...
When I took a 4-day trip to Finland I brought this and Insight Guide Finland (Insight Guides). Once in the country, I mainly relied on this book to make last-minute travel decisions and such, and the information I used turned out to be quite accurate. For the most part I was satisfied with it, but it is certainly not an all-in-one travel guide. There are very few...
Published on December 1, 2008 by Miner2341

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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does its job, even if one is wont to grumble about the rip-offs it might lead you into
Having moved to Helsinki last August and traveled around a bit, I've used the 5th edition of the Lonely Planet guide to Finland for several months now, mainly in the south of the country. I found the guide useful, but certain aspects of it invite comment.

LONELY PLANET FINLAND does cover all of the standard sightseeing objectives in the country, including...
Published on March 11, 2007 by Christopher Culver


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does its job, even if one is wont to grumble about the rip-offs it might lead you into, March 11, 2007
This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) (Paperback)
Having moved to Helsinki last August and traveled around a bit, I've used the 5th edition of the Lonely Planet guide to Finland for several months now, mainly in the south of the country. I found the guide useful, but certain aspects of it invite comment.

LONELY PLANET FINLAND does cover all of the standard sightseeing objectives in the country, including museums and natural areas outside of the largest cities. And while maps are often problematic in Lonely Planet guides, I found no errors at all in this one. The activities recommended in cities like Helsinki are spot-on, free of kitsch routes and putting travelers in good contact with the locals. The author clearly thinks that most people will be in the south of Finland in the summer, since visiting places like Suomenlinna wouldn't be all that interesting in the cold and dark time of the year, but this I suppose is a reasonable assumption. And since the guide was written by a single person, Andy Symington, it is more coherent in its rating of destinations and activities than the often self-contradictory guidance of collaborative Lonely Planet efforts.

But while the book is a good companion once one has settled in at one's destination, quite objectionable is its guidance on lodging and travel, with so much inexplicably geared towards wealthy travelers. Finland has a high cost of living, true, but it can be a very cheap destination for the backpacker. You know, that demographic that Lonely Planet has historically targeted. The inclusion of hotels that charge 200 euro/night or more is simply ridiculous; travelers that would fork over that much are much more likely to buy the simpler Berlitz, Fodor's, or Frommer's guides. Even recommendation of so many hostels and guesthouses in each locale seems unnecessary. Basically the entire country is now covered by free Internet hospitality services like Hospitality Club and Couchsurfing, so there's no need to pay for lodging and tours when chances are some kind local will give it to you all in exchange for just interesting conversation and cultural exchange. Similarly, coverage of the north of the country seems excessively concerned with expensive guided tours and safaris.

The preference for expensive lodging is mirrored by the exclusive attention paid to Finland's notoriously pricely train and bus systems. I was happy to see that the Directory of the Finland guide lacks the scary "hitchhiking is never entirely safe and we don't recommend it" text the publisher favours, and in fact the author is fairly positive about it. Unfortunately, this kind look towards hitchhiking doesn't actually translate into giving tips on it. Cutting out the luxury hotel listings that no one will use anyway would free up space for simple advice like "In Tampere, the most popular place to hitchhike towards Helsinki among local students is Viinikka crossroads, a ten-minute walk south from the bus station."

If you are going to Finland to visit just a couple of cities and have already secured lodging and know how to travel cheaply, you should have no problem printing out some information about basic sightseeing from freely available resources on the Web. I found Lonely Planet Finland a decent investment, but only because I've gone out to see many places around the country.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for quick information..., December 1, 2008
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This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) (Paperback)
When I took a 4-day trip to Finland I brought this and Insight Guide Finland (Insight Guides). Once in the country, I mainly relied on this book to make last-minute travel decisions and such, and the information I used turned out to be quite accurate. For the most part I was satisfied with it, but it is certainly not an all-in-one travel guide. There are very few pictures, and very little attempt is made to describe the country; entries are rather encyclopedic in style, like many of the other Lonely Planet guides. It works well for practical information, but I would not recommend relying entirely on this guide for planning a visit to Finland.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2009 Edition is a Great Book, But if all You are Visiting is Helsinki, Get Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania Book Instead, May 15, 2010
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James N Simpson (Gold Coast, QLD Australia) - See all my reviews
The 2009 edition is great (note Amazon has lumped together the 2009 guide with reviews and ratings of older versions as well). Guides change dramatically in quality over time so I don't understand why they do this, but rest assured the 2009 edition (one with reindeer pulling a guy pretending to be an airplane on the cover) is very, very good. It extensively covers pretty much everywhere you're going to want to travel to in Finland, with, maps of tourist areas of cities and towns, info on what to see there, how to get there and places to stay (not comprehensive if you're backpacking you'll still want to check out the websites of Hostelling International, BUG and Hostelworld to find all the hostels and read reviews, book them and so on). Pretty much everywhere from the remote north to the south is in here.

However if the only destination in Finland you have time to visit is Helsinki, you would be better off buying Lonely Planet Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania as that guide includes an excursion chapter to Helsinki, since it is just a short boat ride across from Tallinn in Estonia. That book's Helsinki chapter is pretty much exactly the same as the Helsinki pages in Lonely Planet Finland. There's a few less hotel and dining listings but other than that it's exactly the same. If you hadn't considered catching a short ferry ride to Tallinn you should change your plans right now even if all you are going to do is a day trip!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Finland, November 24, 2007
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This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) (Paperback)
I used this text heavily over the course of a month and a half spent in Finland this past summer. As with anything dated, prices have changed for some things. That said, the book was my one stop reference for most everything I needed on the trip. It's what you expect from a Lonely Planet guide (good detail on the cities, logical organization, excellent transportation section).

I agree with the previous reviewer in one case: there's not much on hitch-hiking or couchsurfing (the latter of which I've done-- Finland has quite a few couchsurfers). I guess the difference is that I don't expect this from a guidebook, and I suspect the typical guidebook buyer doesn't either! There are more (and better) online places to get this information. [...].

In all, a very satisfying guide and rarely wrong or inaccurate. Worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good enough, May 9, 2007
This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) (Paperback)
Provides good basic information on plenty of spots (even the tiny ones not on the most popular routes). Sometimes little overexcited about the atmosphere or the value of certain sights or cites. The information about pricing and eating joints is outdated in several cases which - on the other hand - forces you to start exploring by yourself. Generally useful especially for your fist trip to Suomi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information with a lack on enthusiasm, March 13, 2007
This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Paperback)
I've found the information in this book very handy, but I couldn't help but feel that the author and his predecessors didn't enjoy their time in Finland. Ok, ok, so I've been bored in Finland too. But that's why I buy a guidebook... to turn me on to those hidden gems in the country that I might not have noticed otherwise. This book left me feeling that there weren't any hidden gems... there are obvious gems and then some boring industrial wastelands. But apart from this lack of enthusiasm for the country, I didn't notice any wrong information and the sections on major cities have turned out to be extremely handy (especially the maps).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lonely Planet - Ultimate Travel Advisor, February 13, 2008
By 
Frequent Flyer "Ted" (Alexandria, Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) (Paperback)
Lonely Planet Finland is for the 'real' traveler, no matter what their budget. Everyone visitng Finland sees Helsinki, but there is so much more to discover about the Country. This book is a must to read before traveling, & take along to consult often during the trip.

For example, I 'discovered' Lapeenranta (you can even cruise to Russia from this town if you plan ahead), which is a lovely town on a huge lake & full of history. Also, I was 'guided' to Ylamaa, a short distance from Lapeenranta, for a visit to Jewel Village. Here you can purchase a piece of beautiful Spectrolite jewelry after seeing it created by grinders working with this very unique gem-stone.

Don't want to rent a car? Lonely Planet provides amazing & really useful bus & train information for travel throughout the country. The list of accommodations (including prices & ammenities) & advice on finding a great or unusual place to eat is absolutely unbeatable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lonely Planet travel guide, February 3, 2012
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Lonely Planet travel guides have been the best travel guides I have ever used. They are full of useful information for every aspect of a trip. I have always appreciated the wide range of places to stay and places to eat from economy to luxurious. They have never let me down, and this one is no exception. I wouldn't visit a new country without a copy of the Lonely Planet guide.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Guide, March 13, 2011
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This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Paperback)
As the author of Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants I was invited to present my book at an international conference in Turku, Finland. In preparation for my first trip to Finland, I purchased The Lonely Planet as a guide book. The book provided a wealth of information about the history of Finland, the Finnish culture, points of interest and helpful hints for tourists. My sister and I used it everyday as we planned our sight seeing activities in Turku and Helsinki. Definitely make room for this book in your Finland travel gear!
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as inspiring as the cover would indicate!, August 29, 2004
By 
Craig MACKINNON (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lonely Planet Finland (Paperback)
To put this review in context - my wife and I travelled to Sweden and Finland this summer. She has family in both countries who we visited and stayed with. Much of the time was spent in rural Finland (Kuusamo and region). Our home is Thunder Bay, which is a small pulp-and-paper city (100 000) in rural Ontario.

The Lonely Planet guides are well-known (at least among my travelling friends) as including a little bit of everything - culture, entertainment, restaurants, and places to stay. Because Finland is a young and sparsely-populated country, it turns out that there aren't a lot of castles or museums or cathedrals to see, and those that are there are not as impressive (generally) as their counterparts in Sweden. No, the reason to go to Finland, according to this guide, is the nature, parks, wildlife, etc.

Normally this kind of thing is very inspiring, and the book makes it sound interesting. However, this is exactly the kind of thing we can do at home - provincial parks, downhill and cross-country skiing, and moose crossing the road are all part of our normal existence. Why would we go to Finland to experience these things? This is the nature of the country, of course, which the editors of the Lonely Planet series cannot control. However, reading the book did not give me any particular desire to go to Finland had I not been planning to go anyways. It seems like the editors may as well have summed it up as "It's a great place to live, although a little dull to visit." In reality, the country is much more interesting than the book would have led me to believe.

Having badmouthed the general aspects, I do want to praise the section on Helsinki. Here the guidebook shines and we toured the city and the sites based on the well-documented walking/biking tour. It is a fantastic way to view the city and made the purchase cost of the book well worthwhile. We saw much more of the city than we would otherwise have been able to. Likewise, as visitors to Scandanavia will likely have noticed, there is a dearth of mid-range eating places (pubs, "family restaurants", etc.) in Scandanavian cities, so we relied on this book to find a place to eat, which again was exactly as described. In that restaurant, we were planning our next move when in walked another couple with the same guidebook, sitting at the table next to us. Obviously they were finding the book useful as well!
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Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide)
Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) by George Dunford (Paperback - April 1, 2006)
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