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Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world with global recognition for its high standard of living and education system. Finland is home to many visitors all year round with its striking nature, quiet life, outdoor activities, business and entertainment opportunities.

Finland travel guide

General Information

Continent: Europe
Capital of Finland: Helsinki
Area: 338.424 km²
Country Code: FI
Language: Finnish and Swedish
Annual Average Temperature: 13 to 17 °C
The difference between GMT: GMT+2
Telephone Code: +358
Domain Extension: .fi
Currency: Euro
Socket Type: C, F 230 V


The Capital of Finland

The capital of Finland is Helsinki, which is the largest city of the country in terms of population.

Finland Currency

The official currency of the country is the Euro.

Official Language

Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Approximately 90% of the population speaks Finnish.

Common Phrases:

Good morning: Hyvää huomenta

How are you?: Mitä kuuluu?

Excuse me/Sorry: Anteeksi

Thank you: Kiitos

Please: Pyydän

Hi/bye: Hei hei

Location

Finland is a Northern European country, surrounded by the Russian Federation in the east, Norway in the north, Botni Bay in the west, Sweden in the northwest and the Baltic Sea in the south and southwest. Sweden, Norway and Russia are neighboring countries to Finland.

Regime

Finland is a parliamentary democracy. Since its independence in 1917, Finland has been governed by coalition governments, with a few exceptions.

Population

As of 2019, the population of Finland is approximately 5.6 million.

Local Time

Finland is located in the (GMT + 2) time zone.

Nature in Finland

Finland is a country rich in forests and forest products. In Finnish Lapland vegetation is tundra. 2/3 of the Finnish territory is covered with pine, spruce and birch forests. According to the area, Finland is the most forested country in Europe.

Climate of Finland

Finland, one of the coldest Scandinavian countries, has long and cold winters and short, mild and moderate rainy summers.

Economy and Livelihood

Automobiles, automobile spare parts, furniture, home textiles, electronics, forestry, metal processing and telecommunications are the country's main sources of income.

Best Time to Visit Finland

Summer is the best time to visit Finland. The days are long, the weather is warm and the scenery is great in June, July and August terms. In addition, Northern Finland has sunshine day and night in June and July. That is why the phrase "Midnight Sun" is used. You can enjoy the sun that appears in the sky 24 hours a day.

On the other hand, you should prefer autumn or winter to see the northern lights (aurora borealis). Northern lights are best seen from 23 September to 21 March. It is important that the sky is clear in order to see the northern lights more clearly. In addition, the darkness of the sky allows you to see the northern lights more vividly. 22:00-02:00 are the best times of the day for that. Kakslauttanen, Inari, Saariselkä, Ivalo, Luosto, Nuorgam, Rovaniemi and Utsjoki are the best places to see the northern lights in Finland.

Travel to Finland

One can go to Finland by air, land and sea. The fastest and the most comfortable way to travel between Finland and Turkey is the airway. The distance between Istanbul and Finland is approximately 4000 km. If you plan to travel by plane, you can complete the journey in approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes. Helsinki International Airport is one the most important airports in the country. Thanks to Helsinki flights, you can easily arrive to Finland and visit the country as you wish.

 

Transportation in Finland

In Finland, the railway transport is operated by VR. You can buy tickets from the VR’s website, train stations or inside the train. There are many bus companies in Finland. You may get bus tickets from Matkahuolto’s offices or on their website.

Bus routes connect almost all Finnish residential areas. Every Finnish city has a bus station and bus stations are close to the train stations. On the other hand, across Finland, there is metro only in Helsinki.

Cycling plays an important role in urban transport and there are many special routes for bicycles in Finland.

Transportation to Finland Airports

Transportation to the airport is very easy, especially in big cities such as Helsinki, Tampere or Kuusamo. It is possible to use taxis and buses, as well as airport shuttle services that depart at certain times. You can also benefit from car rental services to improve local transportation.


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Places to Visit in Finland

Finland has many places to visit from modern cities and small towns to natural beauties and unusual geographies.

Helsinki

Helsinki, the capital and largest city of Finland, offers various historical, cultural and outdoor beauties. The city center that was built in neoclassical style has wide streets, aesthetic boulevards and numerous parks.

Kemi

Kemi, located in Lapland, is among the most interesting cities in the country. The ice castle, the symbol of the city, is rebuiit with different forms every year. The Ice Castle hosts weddings and live music performances. Guests can stay in the snow hotel if they wish. At Kemi you can take part in arctic expeditions with breathtaking icebergs tour. After a flight to Helsinki, you may reach Kemi after a long bus ride (720 km). You can travel to Kemi from Helsinki by train, bus, night train, car or plane.

Turku

Turku on the coast of southern Finland was the capital of Finland for most of the 19th century and is thought to be the oldest city in the country. Although Helsinki has served as its capital for many years, Turku is still an important city in Finland and is home to numerous historical sites and cultural landmarks. The 13th century Turku Castle, Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova twin museums are among the most important places to see in Turku. The distance between Helsinki and Turku is approximately 160 km. You can easily travel between the two cities by train, car or bus.

Tampere

Although it is the third largest city, Tampere is still not a large urban area and more like a community of neighborhoods than a large metropolis. To understand Tampere's history and heritage, you should definitely visit Vapriikki, a museum complex with the Natural History Museum and the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame. Outdoor recreation, such as skiing and hockey, is incredibly popular in Tampere, but less athletic ones can stroll through open-air centers such as Duck Park or Hatanpää Arboretum. The popular Särkänniemi Adventure Park, located on the edge of the city, features an aquarium, a planetarium, a children's zoo, an art museum and an observation tower. The distance between Helsinki and Tampere is 177 km by drive. In addition, Finnish Railways (VR) departs every 30 minutes between Helsinki and Tampere.

Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is home to a number of spectacular attractions. In the city, you can visit Santa Claus Village, Santa Park, Korundi House of Culture, the Pilke Science Center and the Jätkänkynttilä Bridge. The distance between Helsinki and Rovaniemi is about 700 km. The driving distance is 826 km. You can travel this long distance by plane. If you have time, you can also choose to travel by train and bus.

Porvoo

Porvoo, Finland's second oldest town, is known for its unique and picturesque wooden houses. While strolling through the cobbled streets of Old Porvoo, also known as Vanha Porvoo, you can be enchanted by the wooden architecture. You should visit the 11th-century Porvoo Cathedral, discover the local art and culture at the Porvoo Museum and try the delicious local pastries in the city's iconic Brunberg shop. Helsinki is very close to Porvoo (53 km). You can travel between the two cities by car, bus or train.

Levi

Levi is one of the best choices for both outdoor enthusiasts and skiers. Located in Lapland, Levi has miles of trails for skiing and snowboarding. There are also unlimited opportunities for unusual activities such as reindeer safaris, ice fishing expeditions and relaxation in the large outdoor saunas. Nightlife in Levi is a great draw for Finnish residents, so you can't leave until you discover all of the bars, lounges and clubs in Central Levi. The distance between Helsinki and Levi is about 1000 km. Traveling by plane between these two cities is one of the most sensible choices. It is also possible to travel by night train, car or bus.

Where to Stay in Finland?

The glass igloo and aurora cabins offer the most exclusive, most enjoyable stay experience in Finland. Glass igloo or aurora cabins are also the most comfortable way to watch the northern lights. The igloos in Finland are clustered in Rovaniemi, Saariselka, Levi, Inari. You can also prefer city hotels to enjoy the nightlife, shop and walk around of the country.


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What to Eat and Drink in Finland?

 

Rye Bread

Rye has very valuable in Finnish food culture. Breads prepared from Rye are frequently preferred on the breakfast. This sourdough bread, called “Ruisleipa” in Finland, is a delicious and heavy dense type of bread that can also be enjoyed alone.

Game Meats

Meat from hunting animals is another popular food in Finnish cuisine. Finns use a lot of game meat, especially venison, in their cooking. These meats can also be consumed as a grill in the dishes.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberries are among the most popular and consumed fruits of the country. Magnificent pies are prepared from this fruit. These pies may be one of the most beautiful pies you have ever eaten.

Salmon and Herring

Cold sea fish are indispensable for Finnish dishes. Herring and salmon are very oily and delicious. These two fish species are consumed almost daily in Finland. The unique dishes made with these fish are both healthy and satisfying.

Glögg

Glögg is one of the best drinks you can consume on Finnish nights. Glögg, a drink of wine, vodka and gin mix, is perfect for warming and especially for protection from the Finland’s cold.

What Are The Famous Dishes?

Lihapullat

Swedish-style meatballs served with mashed potatoes are delicious. Meatballs that are prepared in the form of balls are also indispensable elements of Finnish food culture and you can see these meatballs frequently throughout the country.

Salmiakki

Salmiakki, one of the Finland's traditional foods, is a salty food similar to toffee. This delicious snack made with liquorice will be an ideal choice for those who like original flavors.

Korvapuusti

Korvapuusti, also known as cinnamon bun, is one of Finland's traditional flavors.

Leipajuusto

Leipajuusto, made from cow, reindeer or goat milk, is a special Finnish taste. Leipajuusto, also known as bread cheese, is mostly served with coffee.

Piirakka

Piirakka, which is mostly prepared with rice but sometimes filled with ingredients such as carrots or potatoes, is one of the pastries that you can try in Finland. Rye flour, a traditional material, is used in the production of Piirakka.

Shopping in Finland: Best Souvenirs to Buy

Reindeer is among the symbols of Finland. You will be able to consider some special gifts such as deer models, special souvenirs, earrings, necklaces or bracelets made from deer horns. In addition, you can choose deer motif sweaters, gloves, scarves and Santa Claus trinkets.

Things to Know Before Visiting Finland

In winter you can benefit from daylight quite a bit. Of course there is hardly any night in the summer, and during the dark, the sky usually looks like twilight. Remember that Finland is a very cold country. Always take your thermal clothing, gloves, beanie and scarf with you.

Nightlife in Finland

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is one of the places where nightlife is quite fun. The city has many bars, nightclubs and events. Not only cozy bars and electro nightclubs, but also music concerts in Finland have a surprising reputation. When the nights never end, the entertainment continues until morning.

Holidays in Finland

  • Christmas (25-26 December)
  • New Year (1 January)
  • Epiphany (6 January)
  • Vappu (1 May)
  • Midsummer Eve (19 June)
  • Midsummer Day (20 June)
  • İndependence Day (6 December)

Festivals in Finland

  • Midsummer Festival (Saturday between June 20th and 26th)
  • Flow Festival (Helsinki, 14th to 16th August)
  • Pori Jazz Festival (Kirjurinluoto)
  • Flow Festival (Helsinki)
  • Baltic Circle Festival (Helsinki)

Visa Requirements

Finland is located in the Schengen area. You can apply for a Schengen visa at the visa office. After you have submitted your application online and send your documents, you can get your Schengen visa.

You can learn the details of the Finland visa application process from the "Finland Visa Guide" article.

FAQ About Finland

What are the emergency numbers in Finland?

Emergency, Ambulance, Police and Fire Department: 112

Is there a Turkish representative in Finland? Where?

Yes, there is a Turkish representative in Helsinki.

Address: Puistokatu 1B A3, 00140 Helsinki / Finland

Number: Embassy: +358 9 612 26 100, Consular Section: +358 9 612 26 161

Fax: Embassy: +358 9 612 26 150, Consular Section: +358 9 612 26 162

E-mail: embassy.helsinki@mfa.gov.tr

Is it necessary to know Finnish?

Finns speak mostly fluent or at least understandable English. If you speak English, you should not have any difficulties.

When and where can I see the Northern Lights?

Northern lights can be seen every night between August and April in the Northern Lapland region. Auroral activity usually peaks at the beginning and end of the season.

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