Finland in Northern Europe is a Nordic country by the Baltic Sea bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia, and its capital is Helsinki. The country is known for being the Happiest Country in the World. It has the world’s best education system and the cleanest air. It’s also known for its sauna rituals, reindeers, Nokia, Santa Claus’s village and sometimes called the Country of a Thousand Lakes.
Finland is a land of many contrasts.
In summer, you will find that the sun does not set, while the opposite happens in winter, where the sun disappears for months. This period called ‘Kaamos‘ is a mystical period between December and January. If you’re lucky, though, it’s the time to see the colourful Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) creating a magical nightscape.
One of the unique ways to experience the Aurora Borealis is to sleep in an Igloo surrounded by nature. It’s a fantastic experience.
For another nostalgic experience, you can meet the ‘real’ Santa Claus in Rovaniemi at the Arctic Circle! Here, children and adults (or the inner child) can enjoy an intimate meeting with Santa and revel in the enchanted atmosphere of the perfect winter wonderland.
One of the primary cultures of the Finnish lifestyle is a Sauna ritual. There are over 2 million saunas in Finland, nearly every household has one, and it is very much a daily or weekly ritual for the locals. Going into a sauna is usually done naked, and the Finns don’t find anything awkward about it – to them, nudity is natural, but if you are not comfortable, you can wear a swimsuit.
The sauna culture originated from those working in the fields in harsh conditions. Coming home to a sauna was a welcomed relief to soothe aching muscles and cleanse the mind and body by relaxing in darkness and silence. This ritual has remained until today and provides for great therapy.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit Finland is from June to August, when it’s the warmest climate and the days are long. In winter, you can enjoy a snowy wonderland followed by a Finnish steaming sauna. Of course, the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are showcased across the sky between August and April if you are lucky to see this phenomenon.
The Finland climate is predominantly subarctic. Winter in Finland varies from three to seven months, depending on location, but it’s generally cold, dark and snowy between December, January and February.
In November and March, the weather is also cold, with temperatures often between -20°C to below 0°C; with Northern Finland, temperatures can reach as low as -30°C.
Midsummer in Finland takes place at the end of June, and it’s a time of celebration for the Finns, typically spent with friends and family away from the city, perfect for parties and festivals.
The highest summer temperatures range from 32°C to 35°C, and the Finns definitely maximise their short summer season during this time.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish.
Currency: Euros (EUR)
Banks & ATMs:
The Finnish banking industry consists of government banks, commercial banks, savings banks, and branches of foreign banks.
ATMs are readily available at most major malls and tourists locations.
Plugs and Sockets:
There are two associated plugs, types C and F.
Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and
Plug type F is the plug that has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Finland operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Finland is statistically the least dangerous place on earth.
Helsinki-Vantaa airport is the largest and the central hub for most international flights, and Finnair is the national carrier for Finland.
American Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, and Iberia fly to Finland
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