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Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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...for the adventurous traveler who wants to live like a native.' --Real Simple Magazine, June 2005

About the Author

LONELY PLANET aims to cater for every independent traveller, whatever the destination, whatever the style of travel and whatever the phase of the journey. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Country Guide
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 5 edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740597915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740597913
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,567,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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