Facts about Finland
Finland is a Northern European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia. Its capital, Helsinki, occupies a peninsula and surrounding islands in the Baltic Sea. The Northern Lights can be seen from the country's Arctic Lapland province, a vast wilderness with national parks and ski resorts. There you can also meet Santa Claus every day!
During January and February, there is almost always snow in northern and eastern Finland. Even if there’s little snow in Helsinki, there’s often up to a metre or more on the skiing slopes of Lapland.
Yes, it may get cold in Finland in the winter. The temperature can range from 0 to -25 Celsius in Helsinki. (32 to -13 Fahrenheit) But you can relax – we Finns are used to this kind of weather, so everything runs smoothly and punctually! Throw on your winter jacket, put on a warm hat and thermal gloves. Don’t forget to tuck your gloves into your sleeves and zip your jacket ALL the way up. Don’t forget a neck warmer or a scarf. Slip into your winter footwear and you are ready to go!
If you speak English, you should not have any difficulties as most Finns speak fluent (or at least understandable) English.
Finland is one of Europe’s safest countries in terms of health and hygiene. You can drink tap water. No vaccinations or inoculations are required before arrival. Finnish pharmacies are well stocked with all the basic medicines, but note that some medicines that are available in stores and supermarkets in other countries – such as Aspirin and various ointments – are only available in pharmacies in Finland.
Anyone permanently resident outside the EU and Norway can shop tax free in Finland, thus saving about 12 (max. 16) per cent on purchases of over 40 €. Only stores with “tax free shopping” signs will provide customers with a cheque covering the VAT refund; this can be cashed upon leaving the last EU country visited.
Most shops are open until 6 pm or 8 pm on weekdays and close between 3 pm and 6 pm on Saturdays. Some are open until 6 pm on Sundays, while others are closed. Bigger supermarkets are open until 9 pm and smaller ones until 11 pm on weekdays, and 6 pm and 11 pm on weekends, respectively. Exceptions occur on public holidays, bank holidays etc.
American Express, Diner’s Club, Eurocard, Access, Master Card and Visa are accepted in hotels, restaurants, larger shops, and department stores. Visa Electron is also accepted in many shops and department stores.
Most bars stop serving at 1.30 am and close at 2 am. Night clubs stop serving at 3.30 am and close at 4 am at the latest. The sale of alcohol to persons under 18 years of age is prohibited by law.
A person aged 20 can buy alcoholic drinks of any kind from an Alko (state monopoly) store. Customers may be asked to show a passport, identification card or driving licence as proof of age. Beer and cider is sold in supermarkets and other food stores until 9 pm every day. Wines, liquors and spirits are sold in Alko stores. Most Alko stores are open from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 8 pm, and 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays.
Facts about Helsinki:
Located between East and West, Helsinki is full of surprises just waiting for you to discover. Helsinki is home to the 18th-century sea fortress Suomenlinna, the fashionable Design District and diverse museums. While in Helsinki you can experience Finnish food, design, architecture, beautiful nature – and sauna! The city is easily approachable, literally. The public transportation system is one of the best in the world – with that one adorable metro line, which will take you very close to our venue Cable Factory from downtown in just few minutes.
The Helsinki Archipelago consists of over 300 islands. There are 6 national parks less than 2 hours away from Helsinki and countless other nature sites to visit.
We will be so happy to have you in Helsinki!