Fact file: Finland

Did you know?
Finns call Wednesdays pikku viikonloppu, or 'little weekend', and party to break up the working week.
Language
Finnish and Swedish
Visas
None required.
Getting there
Direct flights from the UK to the capital Helsinki.
Flying time from London
Two hours 50 minutes
Getting around
Superb network of domestic trains, buses and air connections.
Currency
Euro
Costs
Pint of beer £1.50-£2.50 depending on the region, roll of film (36) £2.70, moderate restaurant meal £4.50, litre of petrol 60p, short taxi ride about £6. Prices will vary.
Weather
Finland is warmer than other countries on a similar latitude due to the Gulf Stream. Summers are usually warm - max 20C (68F) - and dry but it can dip to a chilly 10C (50F). Winters are cold and dry. Snow starts in October and is gone by the end of March, apart from Lapland, where you might find snow as late as June. It never gets really dark during the summer.
Time difference
Two hours ahead of GMT
International dialling code from the UK
00 358
Voltage
220 volts, 50Hz - plugs are standard two-pin European so take an adaptor.
Opening hours
Shops open 9am-8pm weekdays and until 3pm on Saturdays, Sunday opening is only between June and August. Banks open weekdays generally 9.15am-4.15pm, and post offices open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday only.
Health - Before you go
No jabs needed. Finland and the UK have a reciprocal medical agreement for emergency healthcare so take an EHIC form (from post offices).
Health - When you are there
If you need medicines, go to a pharmacy (apteekki) as chemists only sell cosmetics. Tap water is fine to drink but beware natural water from rivers and streams - it may not be as pure as it looks. Mosquitoes are rampant in Lapland during June and July so take insect repellent.
Warnings
In towns, watch out for normal hazards like pickpockets, especially in markets or festivals. In the country, it's easy to get lost and there aren't many people to ask the the way, so take a good map and use it.
Emergency
Police national emergency, Tel 10022. British Embassy, Itainen Puistotie 17 00140 Helsinki. Tel: 00 358 9 2286 5100.
Customs
The Finns are a quiet lot and don't go for small talk so don't be upset if no one talks to you.
Pets
May move between Finland and the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. This takes several months to set up so see your vet for details.
Tipping
Service is generally added to bills, so tipping is not necessary.
Tourist office
Finnish Tourist Board, PO Box 33213, London W6 8JX. Tel: 020 7365 2512 (Information and brochures).


Telephone

+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

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