Jewellery, hand-woven Ryijy carpets, furniture, glass, porcelain, ceramics and fabrics are just a few of the handicrafts Finland is known for. The shopping center in the basement of Helsinki Central Station is open Mon-Fri 08:00-22:00 (Sundays and public holidays 12:00-22:00). In the port of Katajanokka you can buy glassware, porcelain, natural wood items and fabrics. Duty-free shopping: Travelers who do not live in Scandinavia or EU countries can claim back the VAT on departure. The shops issue special vouchers that can be redeemed at the following customs offices: Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Mariehamn, Vaasa and Rovaniemi airports; on Silja Line, Viking Line ferries, Vaasaferries and Polferries and at the border crossings to Sweden, Norway and Russia. Shop opening hours: Mon-Fri 09.00-18.00, Sat 09.00-15.00. From June to August most shops are open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm and also on Sundays.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Finland in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
Potatoes, meat, fish, milk, butter and rye bread are the staple foods; however, Finnish cuisine has also incorporated influences from the culinary arts of France, Sweden and Russia. Excellent fish specialties are on the menu everywhere, including pike, trout, perch, whitefish, salmon and Baltic herring. Almost all fish are available all year round, crayfish (a Finnish specialty) in July and August. Smoked or fresh reindeer meat is recommended. Local specialties include kalakukko, a fish and pork pie in rye flour batter, and karjalan piirakka, pierogi filled with rice pudding or potatoes. stews, Pastries and yeast pastries such as Buchteln are also popular. In the restaurants (Ravintola) international dishes and Finnish specialties are offered. The prices are relatively cheap. Children’s menus are often available at half price. Inexpensive lunches are available in Kahvila or Baari (inns). The tourist office provides information about the gourmet trails. The two- to four-day trip takes you through a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from large hotels to inns to farms; preference is given to smaller restaurants. There are three other gourmet trails in Lapland, Lappi à la carte. Drinks: Some restaurants serve alcohol of all kinds, some only serve beer and wine. Specialties are berry liqueurs such as mesimarja (arctic raspberry), lakka (cloudberry liqueur), Polar (lingonberry liqueur) and Finnish vodka (ice cold to eat). Class III and IV A Finnish beer is excellent. Drivers must observe the blood alcohol limit (0.5‰); Violations will be severely punished. Spirits are only sold to persons over the age of 19.
Most hotels and motels have modern facilities, all usually have saunas and many also have a swimming pool. Room prices vary from region to region, with hotels in Helsinki and Lapland being the most expensive. Service is usually included in the hotel bill (15%). Advance booking is recommended in summer. The Tourist Office provides detailed information. Finncheque hotel vouchers, available at certain travel agencies and agencies outside Finland, can be used to travel from hotel to hotel during the summer (May 12 – September 30). They are particularly recommended for those traveling by car and can be redeemed at over 100 hotels. There are three different categories (see below). Only the first night can be booked in advance, the next hotel room is booked free of charge in the hotel of the previous day. Less comprehensive hotel check systems from other providers grant similar perks. Numerous hotels offer discounts for weekend guests or groups. Details from the Tourist Board or the Finnish Hotels and Restaurants Association, Merimiehenkatu 29, SF-00150 Helsinki. Tel: (09) 622 02 00.
There are around 350 campsites, around 200 of which are affiliated with the Finnish Tourist Board (blue and white sign with a tent in a C). The best time for camping holidays is between May/June and August/September, depending on whether you are in the south or north of the country. Many campsites also rent cabins for 2-6 people with cooking facilities and fridges, some with heating, washing facilities and toilets. Campsites are divided into five categories. The prices depend on the respective category and are calculated per family. Cooking and laundry facilities are also included in the price. There are around 300 campsites with electricity for caravans. Top campsites are leisure centers and amusement parks for the whole family with attractive children’s entertainment programs in the high season in July. Camping outside of campsites is only allowed with the special permission of the property owner. International Camping Card (FICC) holders do not need a Finnish Camping Card. A list of all campsites is available in bookstores and R kiosks in Finland. The Camping & Hostels brochure can be requested free of charge from the Finnish National Tourist Board. The Finnish Campers Union can be contacted at the following address: Tulppatie 14, SF-00880 Helsinki. Tel: (09) 47 74 07 40. (Internet: www.camping.
Other accommodation options
There are about 105 youth hostels (Finnhostels) that z. T. are only open in summer. Around 50 youth hostels are available all year round. Some of the hostels serve as student residences during the semester. Depending on the equipment, four categories are distinguished. In addition to dormitories, there are also »family rooms« (2-4 beds). Meals are not generally served, however refreshments and coffee are available and cooking facilities are available in some hostels. There is no age limit. Bed linen can be rented. Discounts for holders of the international youth hostel card. The Camping & Hostels brochure with a list of all Finn hostels is available free of charge from the Finnish National Tourist Board. More information from the Finnish Youth Hostel Association: Suomen Retkeily Magagärgestö (SRM RY), Yrjönkatu 38B-15, SF-00100 Helsinki. Tel: (09) 565 71 50. (Internet: www.srmnet.org) Bed and breakfast, half board or full board are available at over 500 farms. The farms are mostly near lakes or rivers; guest rooms are often simple but clean, with a family bathroom available. Full board, half board or bed and breakfast are possible. Some farms offer guest cottages or apartments with fridge and cooking facilities for self-catering. Full board consists of two main meals, coffee twice a day and sauna twice a week; Children receive a 50-75% discount. The majority of farms are located in central and eastern Finland, some are also found along the coast and on the Åland Islands. Categories: 1-5 stars.
82.5% Lutheran, 1.1% Russian Orthodox, other Christian denominations (1.1%), and Jewish and Muslim minorities.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: When greeting someone shakes hands. The forms of politeness hardly differ from those in the rest of Europe. On formal occasions, guests should wait for the host’s kippis or skol (“cheers”) before drinking. Casual clothing is appropriate in most cases. Tipping: 15% service charge is already included in the hotel bill. Restaurants and bars charge 14% service charge on weekdays and 15% on weekends and public holidays. Taxi drivers, hairdressers and toilet staff do not expect tips. Tipping is not customary in Finland. Smoking: There is an absolute ban on smoking in gastronomic facilities. Only on terraces and in rooms where food and drinks are not served, smoking is permitted. Smoking is also prohibited on public transport and near minors.
Best travel time
Moderate climate, but strong temperature fluctuations. warm in summer; mild weather in spring and autumn. Very cold winter (November – mid-March). Snowfall in the north from mid-October to mid-May, during the short arctic summer the sun shines up to 16 hours a day. Heavy snowfall in winter. July is the warmest month in Helsinki with an average of 17.7°C. In the north it stays dark for two months in winter. The best travel time for summer vacationers is in the months of June and July, and winter sports enthusiasts will find the best conditions for their preferred winter sports in Finland from February to mid-April.
Area (sq km)
5,540,720 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Member of the EU
Main emergency number