Land of the Midnight sun, the Aurora Borealis, saunas and Father Christmas, Finland is a country full of stunning landscapes, natural beauty and absolutely loads to offer visitors all year round.
While you might know it as Santa Claus’ address, there is a lot more to see and do in Finland than visiting Santa. Pick one of the numerous ski resorts, enjoy the great outdoors or try something completely different like husky and reindeer rides, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice-fishing! There is plenty to do here and some of it is so unique to Finland, it will make your visit unforgettable.
Serviced apartments in Finland give you an excellent and affordable way to enjoy a home away from home in this beautiful country.
Finland enjoys hot summers and really cold winters. Unlike most destinations, it’s visited the most during winter due to its connection to Father Christmas; however, Finland is an amazing place to visit all year round, especially if you like the outdoors.
Skiing Season – December to May
Northern Lights – August to April, peaking at the beginning and end of the season
Winter – December to March – winters in Finland can see temperatures of 0°C to minus 35°C! If visiting during winter, please make sure you pack appropriate winter clothing as snowfall here can start as early as October.
Because it’s located above the Arctic Circle, in the winter, the sun does not rise for a month or more in Northernmost Finland. During this period, this area only enjoys a few hours of twilight around noon. This polar night is called ‘kaamos’ in Finnish.
Spring – April to May – spring sees light and warmth return to the country and the days start to get longer. Temperatures in the southern part of the country start to rise in April, with spring shoots coming up in May.
Summer – June to August - During most of the summer, nights are white in Finland. In the northernmost part of Lapland, northern Finland, the sun stays above the horizon for more than two months between mid-May and late July. In southern parts of Lapland, the sun stays up constantly for a month in June-July. The average temperature is around 20°C, although it can potentially hit 30°C on a really hot day.
Autumn – September to November – autumn in Finland is quite dramatic as the scenery changes into hues of red, orange and yellow. Average temperatures hover around 10°C, dropping overnight.
Finish is the official language of Finland, but most people speak a little English.
Visas are a requirement to visit Finland and you should apply for them in person at least 15 days before travelling. Please contact the Embassy of Finland in your country or a representative of the Schengen Member State for more information.
Money & Banking
Finland’s currency is the Euro (€), which is divided into 100 cents, like the American Dollar and the English Pound.
Banks and ATM machines are widely available in all habited parts of the country. Cards are widely accepted and travel cheques can be exchanged in banks and many hotels, but not used in shops or restaurants.
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping is not expected in Finland as service is always included in the bill. You can still tip if you feel you have received exceptional service, but if the recipient refuses to accept it, you should not insist as it can cause offense.
Voltage & Electricity
The voltage in Finland is 220AC (50 hertz) using two round pin plugs. If you are coming from the UK, where three blade plugs are used, you will need an adapter.
Phones & Emergency Numbers
In case of an emergency, dial 112 from any phone free of charge. This will give you access to ambulance, fire and police services.
Finnish holidays follow the Christian calendar and have a few movable dates. Please check dates near the time of travel.
1st Jan – New Year’s Day
6th Jan – Epiphany Day
End of march / Early April - Easter
1st May – Vappu – Finland’s Spring Festival, this is a big event in Finland
Early May – Ascension Day (40th day of Easter, celebrated 39 days after Easter Sunday)
Mid May / Mid June – Whit Sunday (Pentecost, celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Easter)
Friday between 19th and 25th June – Midsummer Eve
Saturday between 20th and 26th June – Midsummer Day
Saturday between 31st Oct and 6th Nov – All Saint’s Day
6th Dec – Independence Day
24th-25th Dec – Christmas
26th Dec - St Stephen’s Day
Most tourist attractions are closed during public holidays and shop opening times may alter.
The main international airport is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, near the capital Helsinki. There are also a number of regional airports, and seasonal flights to Lapland in the winter high season.
Finland has a fairly extensive rail network, which makes it easy to get around the country. You can get a train directly into Russia, with quick trains to Saint Petersburg and slower trains to Moscow, but there are no rail services directly to either Sweden or Norway.
Driving is on the right, and headlights or daytime running lights must be kept on while driving at all times, day or night. Always give way to your right unless signs state otherwise, even if it is a smaller road. If driving in the countryside, watch out for wild animals, especially at dawn and dusk - collisions with deer, moose and even bears can occur, and can be very serious. If you visit in winter, be prepared for freezing driving conditions - winter tires are required between December and February.
Long distance coaches are available throughout the country, offering a good alternative to the rail network. Buses also offer a good way to reach Lapland, as the rail network doesn't extend this far north. In most cities, you'll find a well developed local transpot networks, and the national bus provider Matkahuolto offers route planners in English.
Finns tend to value punctuality and an apology might be expected if you're only a few minutes late- more than fifteen minutes and they may not even wait for you.
Finns are generally friendly and polite, although they have no word for "please" and don't tend towards small talk so may seem taciturn or even rude.
If invited into a Finnish home, it's usually expected that you'll remove your shoes on arrival.