Finland Travel Guide
Finland Travel Guide – plan your trip to Finland with our travel guide including how to get around, things to see and do, what and where to eat and many more.
Finland is a country located in northern Europe and is known for its natural beauty and rich culture. The country is a unique destination for tourists as it offers a mix of modern and traditional experiences. Finland is known for its pristine lakes, dense forests, and vast open spaces that offer a unique wilderness experience.
Travel to Finland
One of the main attractions in Finland is the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis is a natural light display that is best seen in the northern hemisphere during the winter months. Finland offers some of the best opportunities to witness the Northern Lights as it is located close to the magnetic North Pole. Visitors can book a Northern Lights tour to experience this phenomenon in the wilderness.
Finland is also known for its traditional Finnish sauna. The Finnish sauna is an important part of Finnish culture and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can experience the sauna at many locations throughout the country, including hotels and resorts. The sauna experience in Finland includes relaxing in a hot room, followed by a plunge into a cold pool or lake, and then returning to the hot room to repeat the cycle. This traditional experience is a must-do for tourists visiting Finland.
Best time to go to Finland – the 4 seasons in Finland
The best time to visit Finland depends on what you want to experience during your trip. Each season in Finland offers its unique activities and attractions.
Summer in Finland runs from June to August and is the warmest time of year, with temperatures averaging around 20°C to 25°C. During this time, visitors can experience the famous Midnight Sun, where the sun does not set below the horizon for several weeks. This period also offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
Autumn in Finland runs from September to November and is a great time to visit for those who love colors. During this period, the leaves on the trees turn beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow, creating a stunning landscape. Visitors can also experience the Northern Lights during the autumn months.
Winter in Finland runs from December to February and is known for its snow-covered landscape and winter sports activities. Visitors can go skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, or experience the thrill of husky and reindeer sleigh rides. Winter temperatures can drop to -20°C or lower, so make sure to pack warm clothes.
Spring in Finland runs from March to May and is a time of change as the snow melts, and nature comes back to life. During this time, visitors can experience the awakening of nature, and the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights still exists until April. Temperatures start to warm up, making it a great time to visit for outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing.
Visa and entry requirements for Finland
Whether or not you need a visa to travel to Finland depends on your nationality and the purpose of your visit.
If you are an American citizen, you do not need a visa for tourist or business visits to Finland, as the United States is part of the visa-free Schengen agreement for stays up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
If you are a citizen of another European Union country, you can travel to Finland without a visa and stay as long as you like.
If you are a citizen of a non-European Union country, you may need a visa to enter Finland. The requirements and application process vary depending on your nationality, purpose of visit, and length of stay. You can check the visa requirements and application process on the website of the Finnish embassy or consulate in your country.
So, if you are an American citizen or a citizen of a European Union country, you do not need a visa to visit Finland for tourist or business purposes. If you are a citizen of a non-European Union country, you may need a visa, and it is advisable to check the requirements before planning your trip.
How to get around Finland
Getting around Finland is relatively easy, and there are several options available for visitors, including:
Public Transportation: Finland has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains that connect major cities and towns. You can buy tickets at train stations, bus stations, or onboard buses.
Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular option for visitors who want to explore Finland’s countryside and remote areas. Several international and local car rental companies offer rental services at major airports and cities.
Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Finland and are a convenient way to get around in cities and towns. You can hail a taxi on the street, call a taxi company, or use a ride-hailing app like Uber or Bolt.
Cycling: Cycling is a popular way to get around in Finland, and there are many cycling routes and trails throughout the country. You can rent a bike from a local rental shop or take a guided cycling tour.
Ferries: Ferries connect the Finnish islands in the Archipelago Sea and the Gulf of Finland. You can take a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia, or Stockholm, Sweden, for an enjoyable and scenic journey.
Explore Finland’s regions
Located in the northernmost part of Finland, Lapland is famous for its snow-covered landscape, the Northern Lights, and winter sports activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and husky sledding. In summer, visitors can experience the Midnight Sun and enjoy hiking and fishing in Lapland’s national parks.
This region is located in the southern part of Finland and is home to the capital city of Helsinki, which offers a mix of modern and traditional Finnish culture. Visitors can explore Helsinki’s historical landmarks, museums, and galleries, or enjoy a day trip to the nearby Espoo archipelago.
Located on the southwest coast of Finland, the Turku Archipelago is a beautiful area of thousands of islands. Visitors can take a ferry to explore the islands, go fishing, kayaking, or visit the Archipelago National Park.
The Lakeland region in central Finland is famous for its countless lakes and beautiful forests. Visitors can go boating, fishing, or swimming in the lakes, or visit the town of Mikkeli to explore its museums, galleries, and cultural events.
Located in western Finland, Ostrobothnia is known for its beautiful coastline and the Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, go fishing, or take a boat tour to explore the archipelago.
Located in northern Finland, Oulu is known for its lively atmosphere, beautiful parks, and outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy cycling, hiking, or fishing in the nearby rivers and lakes, or visit the Oulu Museum of Art and Science Center.
The Åland Islands are an autonomous region of Finland, located in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden. Visitors can explore the islands’ beautiful nature, including the archipelago and the Kastelholm Castle, or enjoy sailing and fishing in the Baltic Sea.
Explore Finland’s cities
Helsinki: The capital city of Finland, Helsinki is a vibrant city with a mix of modern and traditional Finnish culture. Visitors can explore Helsinki’s landmarks, such as the Helsinki Cathedral and the Temppeliaukio Church, or enjoy shopping and dining in the city’s many restaurants and cafes.
Turku: Located on the southwest coast of Finland, Turku is the oldest city in Finland and is known for its medieval architecture and the Turku Castle. Visitors can also explore the nearby Turku Archipelago or visit the Turku Art Museum.
Tampere: The third-largest city in Finland, Tampere is known for its industrial heritage and the Tampereen Tehtaanpuisto district, which features the largest collection of early 20th-century industrial buildings in Scandinavia. Visitors can also enjoy the city’s museums, parks, and outdoor activities.
Oulu: Located in northern Finland, Oulu is a lively city known for its beautiful parks, outdoor activities, and cultural events. Visitors can explore the city’s museums, such as the Oulu Museum of Art, or enjoy hiking, cycling, or fishing in the nearby rivers and lakes.
Rovaniemi: Located in Lapland, Rovaniemi is known as the “official” home of Santa Claus and offers a range of winter sports activities, such as skiing and snowboarding, as well as husky and reindeer sleigh rides.
Vaasa: Located on the west coast of Finland, Vaasa is a beautiful city known for its Art Nouveau architecture and the Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore the city’s museums, such as the Tikanoja Art Museum, or take a boat tour to explore the archipelago.
Lahti: Located in southern Finland, Lahti is known for its winter sports activities, such as skiing and ice skating, as well as its cultural events, such as the Lahti International Writers’ Reunion.
Kuopio: Located in eastern Finland, Kuopio is a lively city known for its beautiful scenery, the Puijo Tower, and the Kuopio Market Hall. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, fishing, and boating in the nearby lakes and forests.
Jyväskylä: Located in central Finland, Jyväskylä is known for its beautiful lakes and forests and its modern architecture, such as the Alvar Aalto Museum. Visitors can also explore the nearby Jyväskylä Art Museum and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing.
Pori: Located on the west coast of Finland, Pori is known for its beaches and the Pori Jazz festival, one of the largest jazz festivals in Europe. Visitors can also explore the city’s museums, such as the Pori Art Museum, or enjoy hiking and cycling in the nearby Yyteri Beach area.
Culture and way of life in Finland
The culture and way of life in Finland are unique and influenced by its history and geography. Finnish culture is known for its emphasis on simplicity, honesty, and equality, and the Finnish way of life values the natural environment, family, and education.
Finnish people are known for their love of nature and outdoor activities, and the country offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures such as skiing, hiking, and fishing. Finland’s long winters also make it a perfect place for winter sports, and many Finns enjoy activities such as ice skating, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing.
Finland also has a rich tradition of music, art, and design, with many famous Finnish artists, musicians, and designers known worldwide. The Finnish language is also an essential part of the country’s culture, and many Finnish people take pride in their language and the unique sound of Finnish.
Finnish people are known for their reserved nature and value privacy, but they are also friendly and welcoming to visitors. The Finnish way of life places importance on equality, and Finland is known for its progressive social policies, such as its education system, which is ranked as one of the best in the world.
Fun experiences and things to see in Finland
Experience the Northern Lights
Experiencing the Northern Lights is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Finland. The Aurora Borealis is a natural light display that occurs when charged particles from the sun collide with the Earth’s magnetic field. Finland’s location in the northern hemisphere makes it one of the best places in the world to see this stunning natural phenomenon, especially during the winter months when the nights are long and dark. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including snowshoeing, skiing, and dog-sledding, while keeping their eyes peeled for the dazzling lights dancing across the sky. With its breathtaking beauty and otherworldly atmosphere, the Northern Lights are an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Visiting Helsinki is a must for anyone travelling to Finland. As the country’s capital city, Helsinki is a bustling hub of Finnish culture and history. Visitors can explore the city’s famous landmarks, such as the stunning Helsinki Cathedral, or visit the unique Temppeliaukio Church, which is carved into solid rock. The city also offers a variety of dining and shopping experiences, with a range of traditional Finnish cuisine and modern fusion restaurants, as well as unique boutiques and high-end fashion stores. With its combination of historical landmarks, modern cityscapes, and vibrant culture, Helsinki is a city that has something for everyone.
Go skiing and snowboarding
For anyone who loves winter sports, Finland is the perfect destination. With long, snowy winters, the country is a haven for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. There are a variety of ski resorts throughout the country that offer slopes and trails suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and more. Many resorts also offer amenities such as ski schools, equipment rentals, and cozy lodging options, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a fun-filled winter getaway. With its stunning scenery and wide range of winter activities, Finland is a top destination for anyone who loves to ski or snowboard.
Explore the Finnish wilderness
For those who love the great outdoors, Finland is a must-visit destination. The country boasts vast stretches of pristine wilderness, including dense forests, pristine lakes, and untouched wilderness areas. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and more. The Finnish wilderness is home to an abundance of wildlife, including bears, elk, and wolves, making it a unique and unforgettable destination for nature lovers. Whether you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or simply immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, exploring the Finnish wilderness is an experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Visit Santa Claus Village
A visit to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is a magical experience that is sure to delight visitors of all ages. The village is a popular attraction that allows visitors to meet Santa Claus in person, visit his post office, and even take a ride on a reindeer sleigh. In addition to meeting Santa, visitors can enjoy a range of other activities, including exploring the village’s various shops and restaurants, learning about Finnish culture and history at the nearby Arktikum museum, and taking a tour of the nearby Arctic wilderness. With its charming atmosphere, fun activities, and unique sense of magic, Santa Claus Village is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Finland.
Enjoy Finnish sauna
Finnish sauna is a quintessential part of Finnish culture, and visitors to Finland can enjoy this unique experience at various locations throughout the country. Sauna is a place where Finns traditionally go to relax and unwind, and it is believed to have numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. Many hotels and resorts throughout Finland offer saunas for guests to enjoy, and there are also public saunas available for those who want to experience this essential Finnish tradition. Visitors can enjoy a range of sauna experiences, including wood-burning saunas, lakeside saunas, and even mobile saunas that can be towed to different locations. With its unique cultural significance and numerous health benefits, Finnish sauna is an experience that every traveler to Finland should try.
Explore Finnish museums
For anyone interested in history, art, or culture, Finland’s museums are a must-visit destination. The country is home to many excellent museums, including the Ateneum Art Museum, which houses a collection of Finnish art from the 19th century to the present day, and the National Museum of Finland, which showcases the country’s history from prehistoric times to the present day. Visitors can also explore the Sibelius Museum, which celebrates the life and work of Finland’s most famous composer, Jean Sibelius. Other notable museums include the Design Museum, which focuses on Finnish design and architecture, and the Museum of Finnish Architecture, which showcases the country’s unique architectural heritage.
Visit Olavinlinna Fortress on the rocky shore of Lake Saimaa
Located on a rocky shore of Lake Saimaa, the fortress is one of the country’s most iconic landmarks and a popular tourist attraction. The fortress was built in the 15th century to protect the Savo region from invading forces, and today, visitors can explore its historic walls and towers, learn about its rich history, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding lake and countryside. Olavinlinna Fortress is also home to the world-renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival, which takes place every summer and draws music lovers from around the world.
Go ice floating on the lake
During the winter months, when the lakes freeze over, visitors can don a warm survival suit and float on the surface of the icy water. The sensation of floating on the ice is unlike anything else and allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of Finland’s winter landscape. Ice floating is also said to have health benefits, including reducing stress and boosting circulation. Visitors can enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience in a variety of locations throughout the country, including Helsinki and Lapland.
Explore the Ranua Wildlife Park
The Ranua Wildlife Park is an exciting destination for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Finland. Located in Lapland, the park is home to over 50 species of animals that are native to the Arctic region, including polar bears, lynx, reindeer, and arctic foxes. Visitors can explore the park’s trails and exhibits, learning about the animals and their natural habitats. The park also offers a range of activities, including guided tours, animal feeding sessions, and even the opportunity to meet some of the park’s resident animals up close.
Go hiking in one of Finland’s national parks
Finland is home to 40 national parks, each with its own unique landscapes and ecosystems. Visitors can explore trails that wind through dense forests, across rugged mountain terrain, and along pristine lakeshores. Many of the parks offer guided hikes, camping facilities, and other amenities to make visitors’ experience more comfortable and enjoyable. Hiking in Finland’s national parks also provides opportunities to observe wildlife and experience the tranquility and serenity of the country’s natural environment.
See the midnight sun during summer months
In Finland, during the summer months, the phenomenon of the “midnight sun” can be witnessed due to its location close to the Earth’s northern pole. The sun remains visible above the horizon throughout the night, creating a unique and breathtaking experience for those who visit the country during this time. In Lapland, which is located in the northernmost part of Finland, the midnight sun can be seen for up to 73 consecutive days. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking in the natural beauty of Finland’s stunning landscapes, all under the never-ending light of the midnight sun.
Take a reindeer sleigh ride through the snow
Visitors can wrap up warm and embark on a journey through the beautiful Finnish countryside, pulled by a team of reindeer. The ride takes place amidst a peaceful and tranquil setting, with only the sound of the reindeer hooves and the gentle jingling of the sleigh bells breaking the silence. This activity is a perfect way to immerse oneself in the Lapland wilderness and experience the traditional way of travel in the Arctic regions. After the ride, visitors can warm up by a cozy fire and enjoy a hot drink and Finnish snacks, while learning more about the local culture and traditions.
Tour Turku Castle, Finland’s oldest castle
The castle, located in the city of Turku, is the oldest surviving medieval castle in Finland and dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and chambers, including the Great Hall, the King’s Hall, and the Chapel, which features beautiful murals and stained-glass windows. The castle also houses several museums, displaying artifacts and exhibits related to the castle’s history and the Finnish culture. The guided tours allow visitors to learn about the castle’s role in the country’s past, including its use as a military fortress, a royal palace, and a prison.
Visit Seurasaari Island Open-Air Museum
The museum is located on Seurasaari Island in Helsinki and consists of a collection of traditional Finnish buildings, including farmhouses, churches, and schoolhouses, that have been transported from various parts of the country to the island. Visitors can explore the buildings and learn about the customs and lifestyle of the Finnish people, as well as see demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as spinning, weaving, and woodworking. The island itself is also a beautiful natural setting, with walking trails and scenic views of the sea.
Enjoy sausages and sinappi by an open fire
Enjoying sausages and sinappi (mustard) by an open fire is a beloved Finnish tradition that is perfect for a cozy outdoor meal. It is common to have sausages, often called “makkara” in Finnish, grilled over an open fire while enjoying the beauty of nature with friends and family. The Finnish-style sausages come in various types, from classic pork sausages to reindeer and elk sausages, and are typically served with sinappi, a sweet and tangy Finnish-style mustard. This outdoor grilling experience is popular throughout the country, and there are several designated grilling areas and campsites in public parks and nature reserves where visitors can grill their sausages and enjoy the outdoors.
Visit Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
Suomenlinna Sea Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Helsinki, Finland. Built in the mid-18th century, the fortress is spread over six interconnected islands and was designed to protect the city from naval attacks. Today, it serves as a popular tourist destination and a unique living district, with over 800 residents. Visitors can explore the fortress’s historic structures, tunnels, and fortifications, as well as enjoy picturesque views of the sea and surrounding islands. Additionally, Suomenlinna hosts a range of cultural events, including music festivals and art exhibitions, throughout the year.
Where to stay – Top 10 iconic and most luxurious hotels of Finland
Hotel Kämp, Helsinki: This five-star hotel is located in the heart of Helsinki and is known for its elegant decor, luxurious amenities, and excellent dining options.
Hotel Haven, Helsinki: Located in the historic district of Helsinki, Hotel Haven is a luxurious boutique hotel that offers personalized service, stylish accommodations, and modern amenities.
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Rovaniemi: The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel is a unique hotel located in the heart of Lapland’s wilderness, offering luxurious, cozy accommodations and stunning views of the Northern Lights.
Santa Claus Holiday Village, Rovaniemi: This five-star hotel is located in the Santa Claus Village and offers luxurious accommodations and easy access to Lapland’s winter sports activities and outdoor adventures.
Klaus K Hotel, Helsinki: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Helsinki and features unique, stylish accommodations and excellent dining options.
Hotel St. George, Helsinki: This luxurious five-star hotel is located in Helsinki’s city center and offers elegant decor, comfortable accommodations, and exceptional dining options.
Långvik Congress Wellness Hotel, Kirkkonummi: This luxurious spa hotel is located in the scenic coastal town of Kirkkonummi and offers luxurious accommodations, an award-winning spa, and exceptional dining options.
Naantali Spa Hotel, Naantali: This luxurious spa hotel is located in the charming coastal town of Naantali and offers beautiful views of the archipelago, luxurious accommodations, and an award-winning spa.
Hotel Levi Panorama, Levi: This luxurious ski resort is located in the Lapland wilderness and offers luxurious accommodations, excellent dining options, and easy access to the ski slopes and winter sports activities.
Hotel Katajanokka, Helsinki: This unique hotel is located in a former prison in Helsinki and offers luxurious, stylish accommodations, excellent dining options, and a fascinating glimpse into Finnish history.
Food and drinks
Food specialities of Finland
Finnish cuisine is unique and influenced by its geography, history, and climate. Finnish food is known for its simple and wholesome ingredients, such as fish, berries, mushrooms, and grains, as well as its emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. Here are some of the most popular Finnish food specialties:
Karelian pies: These savory pastries are made with rye flour and filled with rice porridge or potato, and they are often served with butter and egg butter.
Kalakukko: This traditional Finnish dish is made by stuffing a fish (usually whitefish or salmon) into a rye flour dough and baking it in an oven.
Smoked salmon: Finland’s cold, clear waters are perfect for salmon fishing, and smoked salmon is a popular Finnish delicacy.
Rye bread: Rye bread is a staple of Finnish cuisine and is often served with butter and cheese or as part of a traditional Finnish breakfast.
Sautéed reindeer: This dish is made by sautéing reindeer meat with mushrooms, onions, and cream and is often served with mashed potatoes or lingonberry sauce.
Karjalanpaisti: This traditional Finnish stew is made with beef or pork, root vegetables, and spices and is slow-cooked for several hours.
Lingonberry jam: Lingonberries are a popular Finnish fruit and are often used to make jam or as a topping for desserts and meats.
Finnish pulla: This sweet bread is made with cardamom and is often served as a snack or with coffee.
Mushroom soup: Finnish forests are full of mushrooms, and mushroom soup is a popular dish in Finnish cuisine.
Cloudberry dessert: Cloudberry is a rare Finnish berry, and it is often used to make desserts such as cloudberry jam or cloudberry pie.
Top 10 restaurants in Finland
First up is Georgian House in Helsinki. This restaurant is known for its traditional Georgian cuisine and its warm atmosphere. The head chef, Giorgi Kapanadze, has been cooking since he was a child and his dishes reflect his passion for food. He specializes in traditional Georgian dishes such as khinkali (dumplings) and khachapuri (cheese-filled bread).
Next on our list is Kievari Kahdet Kasvot, also located in Helsinki. This restaurant specializes in modern Finnish cuisine with a twist. Head Chef Jukka Sipilä takes traditional Finnish recipes and adds his own unique touch to them. Popular dishes include reindeer tartare with pickled mushrooms and smoked whitefish with dill sauce.
Santa Fe Restaurant is another great option located in Helsinki. It offers Mexican-inspired dishes made from fresh local ingredients. Head Chef Alejandro Pérez creates flavorful dishes such as tacos al pastor and enchiladas verdes that will have you coming back for more!
Ravintola Suomenlinnan Panimo is located on an island just outside of Helsinki. This brewery-restaurant serves up delicious craft beers along with classic Finnish dishes like herring salad and salmon soup. The head chef, Jussi Vähäkangas, creates unique beer-infused dishes that will make your mouth water!
Oliven is a Mediterranean-style restaurant located in Helsinki’s city center. Head Chef Toni Mäkinen creates flavorful dishes inspired by Greek and Italian cuisine using only the freshest ingredients available. Popular menu items include grilled octopus with lemon vinaigrette and roasted eggplant with feta cheese and olives.
Finnjävel Salonki is a cozy restaurant located near the harbor in Helsinki’s old town district. Its menu features classic Finnish comfort food such as meatballs with mashed potatoes or salmon soup served with rye bread. The head chef, Janne Laine, puts a modern spin on these traditional recipes to create something truly special!
ORA is one of the most popular restaurants in Finland due to its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine. Head Chef Antti Vahtera uses local ingredients to create unique flavor combinations that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters! Popular items include reindeer carpaccio with lingonberry jam or smoked salmon tartare with horseradish cream sauce.
Kaskis is another great option if you’re looking for something different from traditional Finnish fare. This restaurant serves up contemporary European cuisine prepared by Head Chef Tuomas Koski using only locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Popular menu items include seared scallops with cauliflower puree or braised beef short ribs served over creamy mashed potatoes!
Finally, we have Baskeri & Basso which offers an eclectic mix of French bistro classics and modern Nordic flavors all under one roof! The head chef, Henri Huttunen, creates delicious dishes such as duck confit served over potato gratin or pan-seared sea bass served over sautéed spinach – all made from scratch using only the finest ingredients available!
Shopping, taxes and tipping in Finland
In Finland, taxes and service charges are typically included in the listed price of goods and services, including when shopping and dining out. This means that the price you see on the menu or in the store is the final price you will pay, and there is no need to add additional taxes or service charges.
When dining out, tipping is not a common practice in Finland, as service charges are already included in the price. However, if you feel that the service was exceptional, it is acceptable to leave a small tip. The amount of the tip is typically up to the individual and can range from a few euros to 10% of the total bill.
When shopping, there is no need to tip, and the listed price is the final price you will pay. Finnish VAT (value-added tax) is included in the price of goods, and the current rate is 24%. However, visitors to Finland who are residents of countries outside the European Union may be eligible for a VAT refund for purchases over a certain amount.
What not to do in Finland, things to avoid
Finland is a country with a unique culture and way of life, and visitors should be aware of certain customs and etiquette to avoid unintentionally offending the local people. Here are some things to avoid when visiting Finland:
Don’t be loud: Finnish people value privacy and quietness, and visitors should avoid being loud or causing a disturbance, especially in public places.
Don’t talk loudly on public transport: On public transport, such as buses or trains, it is common courtesy to speak quietly or avoid talking altogether to avoid disturbing other passengers.
Don’t be late: Finnish people value punctuality, and visitors should make an effort to be on time for appointments or meetings.
Don’t skip the sauna: Sauna is an essential part of Finnish culture, and visitors should try to experience the Finnish sauna during their visit. However, it is important to follow the rules and etiquette of the sauna, such as not wearing swimwear and showering before entering the sauna.
Don’t litter: Finland is known for its pristine nature, and visitors should avoid littering or leaving trash behind when visiting parks or natural areas.
Don’t wear shoes indoors: It is customary to remove shoes when entering someone’s home or a public building, such as a library or museum.
Don’t be overly friendly: Finnish people are reserved by nature, and visitors should avoid being overly friendly or intrusive.
Safety and security in Finland
Finland is generally considered a safe country with a low crime rate. However, visitors should take common-sense precautions to ensure their safety and security during their stay. Here are some tips for staying safe in Finland:
Be aware of your surroundings: Like in any other country, visitors should be aware of their surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas or public transportation.
Keep your valuables safe: Visitors should keep their valuables, such as passports and money, safe and secure, and avoid leaving them unattended in public places.
Take care when using public transport: Visitors should be aware of their belongings when using public transport, such as buses or trains, and avoid traveling alone late at night.
Follow traffic rules: Finland has strict traffic rules, and visitors should follow them when driving or walking to avoid accidents.
Respect nature: Finland is known for its beautiful nature, and visitors should respect it by not leaving trash behind or damaging the environment.
Take precautions in winter: During the winter months, visitors should take precautions to avoid accidents on slippery roads and sidewalks and dress warmly to avoid hypothermia.
Be cautious with alcohol: Alcohol consumption is common in Finland, but visitors should be cautious and avoid excessive drinking to avoid accidents or conflicts.
Final travel advice
Electricity and charging: Finland uses the European standard two-pin plug with a voltage of 230V. Visitors from other regions may need to bring a power adapter. Most hotels and public places offer charging stations for electronic devices.
Cash and card payments: Cash is still widely used in Finland, but most places also accept major credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. It is a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases, especially in rural areas.
Cost of living: Finland is considered to be a relatively expensive country, and visitors should be prepared for higher prices for food, accommodation, and transportation compared to many other European countries. However, visitors can save money by taking advantage of free outdoor activities, such as hiking or skiing, and by using public transportation instead of taxis.
Language: Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland, but many Finns speak English, especially in tourist areas. Visitors should not have difficulty communicating in English.
Climate and weather: Finland has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cold winters. Visitors should be prepared for cold weather and snow during the winter months and bring appropriate clothing and footwear.