Overlooking the Gulf of Bothnia, Vaasa is a bilingual city where both Finnish and Swedish are spoken. It was once an important place of governance when Finland was part of Sweden and a significant seafaring port. Modern-day Vaasa is home to fine museums and Finland’s longest bridge, located on the doorstep of the Kvarken Archipelago.
Things to do in Vaasa
Stroll through the ruins of Old Vaasa, which was burned down during a devastating fire in 1852. One of the few structures that survived is St. Mary’s Stone Church, a 17th-century house of worship that’s been restored numerous times throughout history. Also visible are the foundations of a 14th-century castle, a ruined clocktower and the memorial stone from the Old Trivial School.
One of Vaasa’s more modern landmarks is the impressive Replot Bridge, which stretches more than 1,000 metres between Raippaluoto and Mustasaari. This cable-stayed bridge is the longest in Finland and can be explored on foot, by bicycle or by car. The island of Replot forms part of a larger archipelago designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a popular fishing destination.
For a cultural fix, Vaasa boasts several excellent museums, including the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art and the Vaasa Maritime Museum. Also worth visiting is the Brage Open Air Museum, which represents a typical Ostrobothnian farmstead of the late 19th century. If you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the Wasalandia amusement park or the Tropiclandia water park.
Getting around Vaasa
Vaasa Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has regular flights to Helsinki and Stockholm. Regular trains connect to the Vaasa railway station and buses travel throughout the city. Ferries connect from Vaasa to Holmsund in Sweden.