photo © Visit Vaasa
Tourism Vaasa and Travel Guide Vaasa
With almost 20 museums, numerous museums, art galleries and a city orchestra, Vaasa can lay claim to being the cultural heart of Ostrobothnia. A visit to Vaasa is always a rewarding experience, especially when you arrive during the Vaasa Choir Festival or the Korsholm Music Festival.
Nature lovers know Vaasa for Terranova, which introduces the wonderful Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will delight in the Nature Trail at Öjberget which takes in the Öjbergsmossen bog, a giant’s pot hole, a ‘devil’s field’ and a dwarf pine-covered meteorite crater. At Meteoria Söderfjärden, among other things, is a bird-watching tower in the middle of the most important resting area for cranes in Finland.
Tourist Attractions in Vaasa
The city of Vaasa is located on the west coast of Finland, at the narrowest point of the Gulf of Bothnia, a mere 80km (or 4 hours by ferry) from Umeå in Sweden. The city can trace its beginnings to the 14th century when Korsholm Castle was built near the village of Mustasaari, which was granted city status in 1606. In 1611 it was renamed Vasa, or Vaasa in Finnish, to honour the Swedish royal lineage.
Activities in Vaasa Region
There are a wealth of activities to choose from in Vaasa, whether you are of the fit and adventurous mood, or seeking something more relaxing. Nature lovers can explore the Kvarken archipelago, or choose one of the many hiking paths or tours. One of the most popular tours is the Nature Trail at Öjberget, where you can take “A walk from the Öjbergsmossen bog to a giant’s pot hole and over a devil’s field to the dwarfed pine tree covered meteorite crater rim of Söderfjärden”. You can go bowling, hunting, climbing, cycling, parachuting, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, or play tennis or golf. Families can enjoy the Tropiclandia Theme Park with its amazing selection of water rides and chutes. In winter the usual pursuits are available, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, taking a snowmobile safari, or even ice-fishing in the sea.
A must see is Terranova, which introduces the wonderful Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is undergoing extremely fast uplift, at least by geological standards. The archipelago, which contains some 5,600 islands, is rising at a rate of about 8mm per annum, which is enough to create 1 square km of new land every year. The archipelago also has the distinction of being Finland’s first World Natural Heritage site. Another very unusual attraction in the area is Meteoria Söderfjärden, which is located in the centre of an impact crater, and which houses an exhibition telling the 520 million years long story of Söderfjärden.
Cultural Experiences in Vaasa
Vaasa has an abundance of museums to explore. These include the Vaasa Museum of Labour, Vaasan Sotaveteraanimuseo (War Veterans Museum), the Maritime Museum, Car & Motor Museum, Brage Open Air Museum, the Ostrobothnian Museum, Tikanoja Art Museum, KUNTSI Museum of Modern Art, Library Museum, Sundom Local Museum, and the Nelin-Cronström Home of Art.
Vaasa also has a rich calendar of events which includes the Vaasa Choir Festival, an annual 5 day international event. Visitors might also take in a performance by the Vaasa City Orchestra, who perform in Vaasa City Hall. Since 1983 the Korsholm Music Festival has brought leading Nordic and international artists to perform in one of Finland’s most recognised chamber music festivals, with music ranging from baroque compositions to classical chamber works and new music.