If you’re here because your planning a Finland travel getaway then you’re in the right place! I’ve compiled all the necessary information to kick-start your itinerary to this marvelous Nordic country. This is my handy Finland travel guide that details everything you need to know about the country in a hindsight.
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A relatively untouched part of the world, Finland offers its visitors some of the most beautiful landscapes they could ever dream of.
The northern regions of the country remain wilder than the populated southern regions of the country. But no matter where you go, you are never far from some of the most breathtaking views of your life.
Finland’s complex history has paved the way for a cultural haven. Many of the cities boast multiples museums for art, history, or science. Taking inspiration from their beautiful surroundings, the people of Finland try their hardest to give back to the world through both ingenuity and positivity. This resonates throughout the cities, where visitors feel welcomed into this mystical world.
A SMALL HISTORY OF FINLAND
Very little is known about Finland’s prehistory and early history. However, there is a written record that even the Vikings were so afraid of the native tribes that they wouldn’t get off their boats.
Throughout most of history, Finland belonged to either Sweden or Russia. It started in the 1150s when Sweden began conquering its surrounding areas.
After Sweden and Finland went to war with Russia in the early 1800s, Russia came out victorious and gained power over Finland. Just after WWI in 1917, Finland declared independence from Russia.
After a brief civil war, Finland emerged as a republic. From there, Finland continued to grow and is now one of the leading nations in education, environmentalism, and happiness.
FINLAND IS WELL-KNOWN FOR…
- As the happiest country in the world for a few years now!
- It’s epic healthcare system that beats no other when it comes to free services and overall treatment.
- The world-renown educational system is not only for free but also of good quality!
- Equality between genders. Finland pioneered achieving equality which opened opportunities for both genders to excel in their chosen field. FACT: Finland’s parliament as of 2021 seats powerful, strong, and smart women!
- Thousand beautiful and enchanting lakes. Finland’s nickname as “The Land of A Thousand Lakes” is a little misleading…Finland is actually the land of 187,888 lakes!
- Nokia, the original mobile phone manufacturer was founded in Finland.
- Moomin, a creation of Tove Jansson – well-loved by Finnish kids and a popular tourist attraction in Finland!
- Because Finland is located so far north, during the northern summer months of June and July, the sun never sets. This is because of the tilt of the axis. While the sun may appear like it is setting when it should be nighttime, the sun never actually sets.
- Finland has the lowest population density in the EU, sitting at 18 people per square kilometer.
- Finland has more heavy metal bands per capita than any other country at a deafening 54 bands for every 100,000 people. There’s even a dinosaur heavy metal band for children!
GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION
HELSINKI is the capital city of Finland.
EURO is the local currency of Finland.
FINNISH and SWEDISH are the two official languages in Finland.
WHERE IS FINLAND LOCATED?
Finland is located in northeastern Europe within the Scandinavian region. Finland is sandwiched in between Sweden on the west and Russia on the east while sharing a border with Norway to the north. Finland has a rather extensive coastline with the Baltic Sea to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west.
WEATHER IN FINLAND
When people think of Finland, they immediately think of cold, dark winters with little to no sun. This is not the case. Finland is a gorgeous, naturally rich country with much to offer, even in the colder winter months. If you want to travel to Finland to get an overall sense of the country, the best time to visit would be between March and June. However, every season has something unique to offer every traveler.
- Winter activities in Finland: It is dark throughout most of the winter, so it can limit an adventurer’s possibilities. However, the beginning and ends of the winter are perfect for skiing, snowshoeing, and dogsledding. Even more, if visitors look skyward, they have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights.
- Spring activities in Finland: In southern Finland, the snow has begun to melt and springtime festivals are underway! This is a perfect time to take in the Finnish wilderness or tour the countryside to see a few of the thousands of lakes that Finland has to offer.
- Summer activities in Finland: The endless summer days! Many locals use the summer to go to festivals, going out with friends, and exploring the cities and countryside. The constant sunshine creates a very freeing atmosphere; travelers are likely to stumble upon some local celebration.
- Autumn activities in Finland: As the weather begins to cool again, something magical happens in the wilderness. It isn’t just the American New England that explodes into various shades of red, orange, and yellow. Autumn is the prime time for hiking and fully embarking through the Finnish wilderness. The more adventurous travelers can go mountain climbing and capture some photos of that mythical fall foliage.
TRANSPORTATION IN FINLAND
Transportation goes smoothly an relatively always on time in Finland. The best ways to get around would be by train, bus, or renting a car. If you’re short in time, flying would be the best.
IMPORTANT FINLAND TRAVEL FAQ’s
- Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
- What type of electric plug do they use? Type C, E, and F. Read this post for more information about travel adapters.
- Neighboring countries? Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, and Russia.
- Do you need a visa for Finland? In order to enter Finland, you need to have a valid Schengen visa. If you’re a citizen of the EU group of countries, you can enter Finland without a visa. However, if you’re a citizen of Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia – you can stay in Schengen areas for 90 days. Check out our detailed guide on how to apply for a Schengen visa – read it here.
- Where to book your flights to Finland? Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
- Do you need travel insurance for Finland? Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
- Is Finland an expensive country? Finland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. In fact, it ranks in the top ten after Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland. Prepare your budget well if you’re visiting.
- What is there to do in Finland in February? You can go skiing, catch the Northern Lights, and do various winter activities!
- When can you see the Northern Lights in Finland? Yes, you can! You have to visit the Northern part of Finland, and you can clearly see this natural phenomenon between September and March.
- What do they eat in Finland? You can check our post about foods to try in Finland – you can read it here!
- What clothes to wear in Finland in February? February is the peak of winter in Finland. You must come prepared for the cold! Read our post about what to wear for winter – check it out here. You can also check our guide on what jacket to buy and as well what travel shoes to wear!
- What do they drink in Finland? Finnish people are huge beer drinkers. On top of that, they also consume a lot of milk.
- What is the best time of year to go to Finland? All year round is a good time to visit, but depending on what activities you want to do, that can absolutely depend. November to March is winter, April to May is spring, June to August is summer, and September and October is autumn.
WHERE TO GO IN FINLAND?
Finland has a plethora of unique destinations to visit and each one offers exciting things to do and attractions to see. Here are some of the amazing things in Finland we have covered that might interest you: