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Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2006
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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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished on February 3, 2012 by D. E. Adamson
Oh yes, Lonely Planet does it again with another fabulous travel guide. A necessity for your European trip.Published on January 6, 2010 by Ambular
I'm a Christmas investigator. This book confirmed and inspired me to visit Finland, especially Lappland.Published on September 17, 2009 by Joseph Sauerzapf
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. Read morePublished on February 13, 2008 by Frequent Flyer
Provides good basic information on plenty of spots (even the tiny ones not on the most popular routes). Read morePublished on May 9, 2007 by A. Siwczuk
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. Read morePublished on March 13, 2007 by E. L. Hulse