Lohja: A Slice of the real Finland
By Molly McPharlin | Photos: Visit Lohja
Located just half an hour from Finland’s capital, Lohja provides much to those who wish to explore the landscape and culture of the country without travelling too far away from Helsinki. Indeed, Lohja is the perfect day trip destination, offering majestic lakes, quirky independent shops, and even the experience of a traditional Finnish sauna.
Jarkko Koskenmäki, the head of tourism for Lohja city, feels that Lohja is first and foremost a lake town. “Lohja is part of an area comprised of almost 200 lakes and bodies of water. It’s a truly unique place for tourists to explore and enjoy. We have a floating restaurant, Lauttaravintola Kaljaasi, wonderful views of the water, and enjoyable concerts given by the Lohja city orchestra. For history lovers, there are fantastic museums and some of the largest medieval churches in Finland, such as Pyhan Lauri Kirkko. Lohja is also the location of the childhood home of Elias Lönnrot, the linguist and folklorist who compiled the Finnish national epic, Kalevala.”
Koskenmäki feels that all seasons offer something exciting in Lohja. “In the summer, the city is filled with outdoor events and theatre performances. These continue inside during the autumn. The forests and waters around Lohja are full of opportunities for mushroom and berry picking and fishing. In wintertime, several events are organised, including a traditional Christmas market.”
There is also a Santa’s grotto for those travellers who are interested in having a true Santa experience in Finland.
For visitors wanting to experience an authentic part of Finland, Koskenmäki believes that Lohja is a real example of Finland in miniature. “Lohja is the image that many people have of Finland as the land of thousands of lakes. It also has an abundance of cultural offerings, including theatre groups and music ensembles. For accommodation, there are small, personable hotels or the luxury of Lohja Spa.”
For the future, Koskenmäki hopes that Lohja will continue to build upon its reputation as a popular tourist destination. “Lohja has convenient regular bus links to many towns and cities and is only a 30-minute drive by car from Helsinki city centre. Fast, efficient train travel is coming too. City guides and regional guided tours are also readily available. For a chance to get out of the big city and experience all the possibilities Finland has to offer, Lohja is the ideal place.”
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email