For many foreigners, Finland, which, by the way, the Finns themselves call “Suomi”, is the birthplace of Santa Claus, who lives on the Korvatunturi mountain in Lapland. However, most tourists come to Finland not to meet Santa Claus – they are primarily interested in Finnish nature, fishing, and first-class Finnish ski resorts.
Geography of Finland
Finland is located in Scandinavia in northern Europe. Finland borders Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east. The Gulf of Finland separates Finland from Estonia. In the west and south, Finland is washed by the Baltic Sea.
86% of the territory of Finland is occupied by forest, in which pines, spruces and birches mainly grow. The Finnish landscape is mostly plains and hills with some mountains. The biggest peaks in Finland are Mount Halti (1328 m) and Mount Ridnitsohkka (1316 m).
Finland is a country of “a thousand islands and lakes”. Indeed, this is a true statement, because in Finland there are 179,584 islands and 187,888 lakes. The largest lake in Finland is Saimaa.
Most of the Finnish islands are located in the southwest of the Turku archipelago, and the Åland Islands are located further from the coast.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Finland is Helsinki, which is now home to about 600 thousand people. Helsinki was founded by the Swedes in 1550.
Finland has two official languages - Finnish and Swedish. The Saami language has a special status in the country.
Over 78% of Finns are Lutherans (Protestants) belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. More than 1% of the Finnish population consider themselves Orthodox Christians.
State structure of Finland
According to computerminus.com, Finland is a parliamentary republic, headed by the President, elected by direct universal suffrage for 6 years.
Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Parliament (Eduskunta), which consists of 200 deputies. Members of the Finnish Parliament are elected for 4 years.
The main political parties in Finland are the Social Democratic Party, the True Finns Party, the Center Party, the Union of the Left, and the Green Party.
Climate and weather
Finland is located at the same latitudes as Siberia and Greenland, but this Scandinavian country has a much milder climate due to air currents from the Atlantic. The climate in Finland is continental and maritime in coastal areas. Winters in Finland are cold with a lot of precipitation (snow) and summers are warm.
The warmest month in Finland is July (average air temperature is +22C), while the coldest months are January and February (average air temperature is -9C).
Average air temperature in Finland:
- January – -8C
- February – -7С
- March – -5С
- April – +3С
- May – +11C
- June – +9C
- July – +14С
- August – +17C
- september – +15C
- october – +11C
- November – 0С
- December – -4C
Sea in Finland
In the west and south, Finland is washed by the Baltic Sea. The Gulf of Finland separates Finland from Estonia, and the Gulf of Bothnia separates Finland from Sweden. The temperature of the Baltic Sea largely depends on the warm current of the Gulf Stream. The average water temperature of the Baltic Sea near the coast of Finland in winter is about 0C, and in summer – + 15-17C.
Rivers and lakes
Finland is a country of “a thousand islands and lakes”. Finland has 179,584 islands and 187,888 lakes. The largest lake in Finland is Saimaa.
Many tourists come to Finland to go fishing. In Finnish rivers and lakes, grayling, rainbow trout, pike, perch, whitefish are found in large numbers. There are a lot of salmon in the rivers of Lapland. For fishing in Finland, you need to obtain a special permit (for this you need to pay a certain amount of money).
But, of course, fish in Finland are also caught in the Baltic Sea (perch, sea trout, salmon, whitefish).
History of Finland
People on the territory of modern Finland appeared in the Stone Age. Around 5000 B.C. people in the territory of modern Finland already knew how to make pottery. In 2500 B.C. agriculture appeared in the coastal regions of Finland. In the Bronze Age, the inhabitants of Finland had contacts with different tribes of Scandinavia, which is confirmed by archaeological finds.
Although Finland is located in Scandinavia, the ancestors of modern Finns can hardly be called Vikings. Historians refer to the Vikings as the military squads of the ancestors of modern Danes, Swedes and Norwegians.
In 1155, the first missionaries from Sweden arrived in Finland, and the country is part of the Kingdom of Sweden.
In the 16th century, among the Finnish nobility, the main language was Swedish, and Finnish was spoken by local peasants. During the Protestant Reformation, Finns gradually become Lutherans. In 1640, the first Finnish university was founded in Turku.
In the XVIII century, as a result of two wars between Sweden and Russia, the territory of modern Finland was occupied by Russian troops.
In 1809, as a result of another war between Sweden and Russia, the lands of Finland became part of the Russian Empire.
On December 4, 1917, after the October Revolution in Russia in 1917, the Finnish Senate signed the Declaration of Finnish Independence, which was approved by the Parliament on December 6. Thus the Republic of Finland was formed.
From November 1939 to March 1940, the Finnish-Soviet war continued, as a result of which Finland had to return part of its territory to the USSR. Wanting to return the lost lands and acquire new territories, Finland entered the war against the USSR on the side of Germany in 1941. However, in 1944 Finland withdrew from the war and made peace with the USSR.
In 1955, Finland became a member of the UN, and in 1991 it was admitted to the EU.
Finland is the birthplace of Santa Claus (aka Joulupukki, in Russia and Ukraine he is known as Santa Claus). Every Finnish child is sure that Santa Claus lives on the Korvatunturi Mountain in the town of Savukoski in Lapland. There are a lot of reindeer in Lapland. Indeed, why shouldn’t Santa Claus live where his reindeer are?
Finns celebrate Christmas from 24 to 26 December. A traditional Christmas dish is rice pudding.
Now more than 140 different countries have borrowed Finnish Christmas traditions, and every year they are becoming more and more popular.
The main products of Finnish cuisine are fish, meat, mushrooms, potatoes, rye bread, vegetables, dairy products. Swedish, German and Russian culinary traditions have had a noticeable influence on Finnish cuisine.
We advise tourists not to leave Finland until they have tried the following local dishes:
- Mammi – oven-baked porridge with milk and sugar;
- Kalakukko – fish baked in bread;
- Mustamakkara – blood sausage with lingonberry jam;
- Mykyrokka – soup with dumplings;
- Lihapullat – salmon fish soup;
- Perunamuusi – mashed potatoes;
- Leipäjuusto – cow’s cheese;
- Hernekeitto – dried pea soup;
- Kaalikääryleet – cabbage rolls with beef or pork.
Traditional alcoholic drinks in Finland are Lakka (berry liqueur), Kilju (Finnish homemade vodka), and Sahti beer.
Sights of Finland
The Finns have always been very careful about their history. Therefore, we advise tourists in Finland to definitely see:
- Suomenlinna Fortress in Helsinki
- Port of Rauma on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia
- St Olaf’s Castle
- The old church in Petäjävesi
- Museum of Finnish Architecture on the island of Seurasaari
- Helsinki Cathedral
- Koli National Natural Park
- Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki
- Castle of the Knights in Turku
- National Museum of Finland in Helsinki
Cities and resorts
The largest Finnish cities are Helsinki, Tampere, Vantaa, Espoo, and Turku.
Finland is known for its great ski resorts. Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Finland every winter to ski in this Scandinavian country. The top ten ski resorts in Finland include, in our opinion, the following:
- Levi (Levi)
- Ruka (Hand)
- Pyha (Pyuha)
- Yllas (Yllas)
- Talma (Talma)
- Himos (Himos)
- Tahko (Tahko)
- Pallas (Pallas)
- Ounasvaara (Ounasvaara)
- Luosto (Luosto)
Tourists from Finland usually bring products made of wood, glass, deer horns and skins, scissors, clothes, dishes, glassware, Sami hats with national ornaments, children’s slippers from Lapland, Lapland folk dolls, Lapland sweaters and pullovers, plaid from reindeer wool, Santa Claus figurines, Sami beads and bracelet, Finnish knives, Finnish fishing set, Finnish berry liqueur.
Small Finnish shops close a couple of hours earlier.
Ukrainians need a visa to enter Finland.
Currency in Finland
Finland is part of the European Union, and therefore the euro is in circulation in this country.
In Finland, American Express, Diners Card, MasterCard, Visa and Eurocheque cards are widely accepted.
Import and export of currency in Finland is not limited. Customs regulations in Finland are the same as in other EU countries.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of Finland in Ukraine:
Index – 01034, Kiev, st. Streletskaya, 14
T: (044) 278-70-49
F: (044) 278-20-32
Email. e- mail: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in Finland:
Finland, Helsinki, Vahaniityntie 9 00570
T: (10-3589) 228 90 00
F: (10-3589) 228 90
01 address: [email protected]
One phone for all emergencies – 112
There is no difference with Ukrainian time. Those. if, for example, in Helsinki it is 09:00 am, then in Kyiv it is also 09:00 am.
The tradition of tipping in Finland is not widespread – the cost of services, as a rule, is already included in the bill. However, in restaurants and cafes it is customary to round the bill to the highest round number. So, with a bill of 27.10 euros, they pay 30 euros, but if the service was excellent. Those. in Finland, tips are only left if the service was at the highest level.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Finland, but health insurance for 35,000 euros is required.
Finland has a very low crime rate, but tourists still need to take the usual precautions against theft. In winter, driving on Finnish roads is dangerous due to poor visibility.
When fishing, be sure to wear a life jacket, and do not fish while standing from the boat.