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In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Visit the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Diplomatic Representations
Visit the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
IATA Travel Center

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Efficient and integrated bus, metro and tramway services, suburban rail lines and ferry services to Suomenlinna Islands are operated in Helsinki.
Taxis are available on the taxi stations in all big cities and one of those stations can always be found next to the railway station. Taxi drivers are reliable and usually speak English but the cost may be quite expensive.
Maps of Urban Networks
Helsinki City Transport, links to bus, tram, and metro route maps
Map of the Helsinki Metro
Tampere Public Transport, links to bus route maps

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Helsinki - Malmi (HEM) 11 km / 7 miles EUR 15 EUR 1.5 / 20 min - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Finnish trains are spacious, comfortable and clean. The Finnish railway company VR operates an extensive rail service around Finland. There are 6000km of rail networks with modern rolling stock. The Pendolino fast train runs at a maximum speed of 220kph and operates on all main routes. There are also night trains and car-carrier trains, regional trains, InterCity trains and express trains. Rail travel is fairly cheap and efficient.
There are over 40,000 daily bus departures and timetables are adapted to fit rail, air and ship services. In Lapland, buses are the major means of public surface travel.
The airline company Finnair has a wide service of domestic flights. The longest distance Helsinki-Ivalo (1125 km) takes only 1.5 hours.
Rail Companies
Finnish railways (VR)

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Finnair Major yes Yes
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Major yes Yes
Blue1 low cost yes Yes
Ryanair low cost no Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

The main roads are in excellent condition and are passable at all times. However, during the winter months icy road conditions are common and therefore winter tires (either studded or non-studded) are a legal requirement from the beginning of December until the end of February. When driving at night (particularly around dusk) incidents of moose or reindeer being struck by vehicles are common, causing severe damage to the vehicle and injury, sometimes fatal, to the occupants.
It is relatively easy for foreigners to drive a car in Finland. There are usually no big traffic jams (excluding Helsinki area) and some street signs, especially sights, are written in English too.
Road Maps
Finnra road map
Maps for searching places, routes and services provided by
Find an Itinerary

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Different Forms of Tourism

Museums and examples of ancient architecture remaining from the reign of the Swedish Empire. Castles are found for example in Turku, Hämeenlinna and Savonlinna.
Museums, concerts, cinema, etc. During the summer there are a lot of different international music festivals such as Savonlinna Opera Festival, Pori Jazz and Provinssirock.
Landscape of lakes, rivers, forests, meadows and fells. Midnight sun, polar night and northern light. See also the UNESCO world heritage sights in Finland.
Many churches and cathedrals scattered all across Finland reflecting the strong Finnish Lutheran following, as for example the Orthodox monastery of Valamo.
Original Finnish sauna can be found everywhere. There are also many spas.
187 888 lakes, tens of thousands of summer cottages, long coastline with plenty of beach and holiday resorts by the Baltic Sea. The most well-know is perhaps Yyteri beach with six kilometers of sand and dunes.
Winter Sports
Lots of alternatives. See a detailed list here.
Outdoor Activities
Click here for specific information.
Finland is a country of modern design such as Marimekko, Iittala and Arabia. Helsinki offers a wide range of possibilities for shopping for everyone. Click here for more information on Finnish fashion, design and shopping in Helsinki.
Tourism Organizations
Finnish Tourist Board

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No specific vaccination required.
International Hospitals
There are no international hospitals but Finnish hospitals, health care centres and private clinics are at service for foreigners in case of emergency and it is easy to get service in English there. Moreover, after moving to Finland, a foreigner is generally covered by the Finnish social security , with health care as one of the benefits.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
The World Health Organization website devoted to Finland
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
The Travel Advice of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Travel Advice of the US Department of State
The Current Travel Warnings of the US Department of State

Emergency Numbers

Fire, ambulance and police 112
Poison aid centre 09 471 977
Marine emergency 0204 1000

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Helsinki (GMT+2 in the winter, GMT+3 in the summer)
Summer Time Period
From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Summer is warm with average temperatures around +20°C. July is the warmest month with temperatures up to +30°C. Winter, which lasts from November to mid-March approximately, may be very cold with temperatures up to -30°C.
For Further Information
Finnish Meteorological Institute

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Even if eating out has over the years become much more common in Finland, proper home-cooked food is still appreciated. Typical daily meals are meat balls, minced meat in sauce, meat loaf, macaroni casserole, steaks, and broiler in various forms. The potato still plays an important role in the Finnish diet, even if it has partly been replaced by pasta and rice. Rye bread has maintained its daily position at the Finnish table. Click here for more information on the gastronomy.

Some seasons and festivities such as the Christmas Eve, the First of May and Easter all have a traditional menu. These menus are served in Finnish homes, schools and many restaurants.

Finns drink coffee anywhere and at anytime. More coffee per person is drunk in Finland than anywhere else in the world. In general drinking habits mainly follow Scandinavian and European practices. Consumption of alcohol at lunchtime is less common in the business world than it used to be.
Dietary Restrictions

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Domestic Currency
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
Foreign currency and traveler’s cheques can be exchanged in banks and at "bureaux de change" at ports, stations and airports. There are also lots of ATMs everywhere and they are very easy and safe to use.
Possible Means of Payment
Credit card is the most common means of payment. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, as are Eurocheque cards.

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Official Language
The official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is spoken by 92% and Swedish by 5.5% of the population. .
Other Languages Spoken
Sami (Lappish) is the mother tongue of approximately 1,700 people in Lapland.
Business Language
English is the business language. The knowledge of English is very good throughout the country.
Getting Some Knowledge
Click here to learn some basic Finnish vocabulary and phrases.
The Tampere University of Technology proposes a short introduction to the Finnish language.
Free Translation Tools
Translation Guide : Translation of text and web pages
InterTran : Translation of text
Sunda : Translation of text
Finnish English Dictionary : Translation of words : Translation of words (in Finnish)

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
Sokos Hotels; Cumulus Hotels
Visit Finland; Lomarengas; Omenahotel
Visit Finland; Lomarengas Cottage booking

Camping Finland

Visit Finland
To Find an Apartment
Céline Relocation Service (for expatriates especially)
SKV (both agencies and private rentals, in Finnish only) - Finland
Finland Forum (both agencies and private rentals, in Finnish only)
To Find a Job
The Employment Office

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Last Updates: February 2015