With vast tracks of deep green forests, cobalt blue lakes and a capital city steeped in Scandinavian style, there's much more to this Nordic beauty than snow and saunas. Roam free in the wild national parks, be enchanted by the simplicity of small, fishing villages, appreciate modern art and design in Helsinki and gaze skyward at the dazzling Northern Lights… it's all possible in Finland.
Finland Tours & Travel
All our Finland trips
Articles on Finland
Our budget travel guide to Scandinavia
Posted on Tue, 20 Sep 2016
Often, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of travel to Scandinavia is the cost. Not anymore, baby.Read more
At a glance
|Capital city:||Helsinki (pop: 570,000)|
|Time zone:||(GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)|
Best time to visit Finland
Finland has pleasant summers, with July being the warmest month (temperatures usually average around 15°C). Outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking and fishing are popular during summer and spring. In Lapland midsummer is also the time of the midnight sun, a phenomenon where the sun barely sets. Winter runs from November to March and during this time expect plenty of snowfall - perfect for skiing, snow boarding, snowshoeing and sledding. With temperatures regularly hitting -20°C, Finland's winters are particularly cold, so pack accordingly if travelling at this time.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Culinary Delights of Finland
1. Karelian Pasty
This traditional, savoury pie can be found widely throughout Finland. Featuring a rye crust filled with rice and served with egg and butter, this is a simple yet tasty snack ideal for vegetarians.
Finland is home to some of the world's best fresh produce, and the variety of berries on offer is astounding. Blessed with ideal climatic conditions for berry-growing, visitors can expect to snap up superior tasting, fresh cloudberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and lingonberries, See them offered fresh at markets and shops, served alongside meals in sauces, jams and spreads or baked in delicious pies.
These baked cabbage rolls are a standard entry on most Finnish restaurant menus. Featuring ground beef, rice, onion and cream wrapped in cabbage rolls and served with cranberry or lingonberry sauce, they may be hard to pronounce but they sure are easy to eat.
Finland has a proud heritage steeped in fishing, so it's no surprise that the quality of seafood is very high. This simple meal of salted salmon doesn't need any dressings or condiments as the pure, natural flavours of the salmon are the main attraction.
These sweet bread treats have numerous varieties, from cinnamon, to almonds and raisons. Typically eaten with a coffee, pulla are an inexpensive cafe snack - a great, budget choice in a notoriously expensive country.
FAQs on Finland
Bottle of beer = 4-6 Euro
Bottle of mid-range wine = 10-12 Euro
Basic café lunch = 10-15 Euro
Dinner at a mid-range restaurant = 20-30 Euro
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 6 Epiphany
Mar 29 Good Friday
Mar 31 Easter Sunday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 9 Ascension
May 19 Whit Sunday
Jun 22 Midsummer
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 6 Independence Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 St Stephen's Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Finland/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Finland Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Finland
1. Be considerate of Finland’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some of the local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
|Riding with Reindeer||Robert M Goldstein|
|Wonderful Women by the Sea||Monika Fagerholm|
|Seven Brothers||Aleksis Kivi|
|The Summer Book||Tove Jansson|
|A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940||William Trotter|