Finland Travel Basics

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Finland: Modern Scene, Unspoiled Scenery

A prosperous, educated, and technologically advanced society on the top of the world, Finland is home to a unique culture formed by Nordic, Russian, and European influences and a fiercely independent spirit. This guide will help you appreciate this often-overlooked country, and direct you to resources that will help you plan a trip.

Finland Travel Basics

Finland is the home of modern cities and untouched wilderness, endless nights and midnight suns, fine arts and ancient culture. Whether you’re looking to walk around an historic European city, relax in a sauna, or discover the wild outdoors, Finland offers unique possibilities to travelers.

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  • Lapland, Finland’s northernmost province, is part of the Sapmi nation, which also covers parts of Norway, Sweden, and Russia. Some links will reference travel sights in Sapmi; bear in mind that some of these sights may not be in Finland.
  • If you do your own search for travel in Finland and Finnish-language sites, look for a small British Union Jack, usually on the top right of the page. Clicking this will direct you to the English-language version of the site.

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Finland Travel Requirements

Finland is a very modern and safe society, with laws and entry requirements typical of countries in the European Union. The people are generally polite, pleasant, and forgiving of visitors unfamiliar with their language and customs. Nevertheless, learning the basics of Finnish culture will make your trip more enjoyable for you and the locals you meet.

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  • You are not obligated to tip in Finland. Service charges (typically around 15 percent) are usually built into your bill, and tips are customarily given only if the service was exceptional.
  • Because of Finland’s northern location, the hours of daylight vary widely, depending on the time of year. Lapland, for example, has 24-hour days during June, but less than an hour of daylight in December.
  • The currency of Finland is the Euro, which replaced the Markka in 2002.
  • For information on obtaining visas, disease control, air safety, and other information that applies to all travel, please see the findingDulcinea Travel Web Guide.

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Getting to Finland

Whether by plane, train, boat, or car, Finland is simple to get to if you know what you’re doing. Make the most informed decision with help from these links.

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  • Finland has more than 20 airports, located in all parts of the country. It should be easy to find flights from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to destinations all over Finland.
  • Cruises are a fun alternative for those entering Finland from other parts of Europe. Spending a night on a ship with restaurants, shops, casinos, and other activities is a lot more memorable than staring at the seat in front of you on a plane.

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Finland Hotels

Finland offers a wide variety of lodging options, from classic luxury hotels in Helsinki to rural cottages in the great outdoors.

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  • Finnish hotels tend to be clean and safe but they are very expensive. Hostels might be the best option for budget-conscious travelers.
  • The “Where will I stay?” and “How do I book a vacation?” sections of the findingDulcinea Travel Web Guide have additional information on lodging options.

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Getting Around in Finland

With efficient highway and train systems, getting around Finland is easy for well-informed travelers. This page can help you make the best decisions so you spend less time traveling and more time having fun.

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  • Helsinki is the only city in Finland with a subway system. Public transportation in other cities consists mainly of buses.
  • Finland is a car-dependent country with a high-quality road and highway system. Renting a car may be your best option for traveling in places other than Helsinki.
  • ExpressBus is a bus service that covers the entire country and offers more routes than the train service. Unfortunately, its Web site, ExpressBus, is entirely in Finnish and of little use to the average reader. Keep ExpressBus in mind, however, if you are in Finland and looking to travel from city to city.

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For Finland in general …
For Helsinki …
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Finland Travel Blogs and Forums

The most useful information on traveling oftentimes comes from other travelers, many of whom have aired their views online.

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  • Travel reviews from newspapers are more reliable, but blogs and user comments can be very candid and useful, too. Don’t let the opinion of one user deter you from trying a particular experience, however.
  • Many writers and users include their e-mail addresses on these sites; don’t be afraid to e-mail them and ask about their experiences.

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