Finland is located in northern Europe. Not much is known about Finland’s early history. In about 100 AD there was a tribe called “Finnis”. For some reason, the Vikings avoided Finland. In the mid-12th century Sweden conquered and Christianized Finland’s pagans. In the 19th century, Finland freed themselves from Sweden, only to fall under the control of the Russians. Finland was able to gain independence during the Russian Revolution. Like many other northern European countries, Finland is a modern welfare state.

de_0068_finland - Summer panorama of Helsinki, Finland


Finland is the host of a wide variety of attractions. It’s capital city is a great place to start, particularly it’s downtown core. If you are interested in visiting Helsinki, you can visit the capital city’s official website. If you are interested in castles, you can go see the Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna, the Hömeenlinna Castle in Hömeenlinna, or you can check out the world’s biggest snow castle in Kemi. While you’re there, take the icebreaker cruise.

Do you find yourself wishing your talent at air guitar could be recognized? Why not go to the Air Guitar World Championships while in Finland?
Have you ever thought, halfway up the stairs with your wife over your shoulder, “I deserve a trophy for this”? Then, you should check out the Wife Carrying World Championship. Other notably odd events include the Mobile Phone Throwing Championship, and the Swamp Soccer World Championship.

Are you a heavy metal fan? Then there are a plethora of festivals for you. Check out the Nummirock festival, the Tuska festival and the Sauna festival. If metal is a bit too heavy for you, why not check out Finland’s largest rock concert, Provinssirock. Other notable festivals are: Tangomarkkinat (tango music), Vauhtiajot (motorsport and rock), RMJ (pop and disco), Ruisrock (rock), Konemetsä (electronic music), Pori Jazz, Ankkarock (rock) and Flow (indie/electronic/urban).

de_0069_finland - Finland. Imatra in winter

Local Food & Drink

Here are some of the specialties to expect during your time in Finland: Baltic herring, gravlax (salted raw salmon), smoked salmon, vendace (fried local fish, karelian stew), liver casserole, loop sausage, meat balls, reindeer, swedish hash, makkara (sausage), aura cheese (blue cheese), breadcheese (cheese curd), piimä (buttermilk drink), viili (kind of like yoghurt), pea soup, karelian pies (rice porridge or mashed potato pastry), porridge, fish pie, blood sausage, rye pudding.

Do you enjoy dessert? Then Finland is the right choice for you. Finland is known for its pastries, coffee bread, tarts, donuts, fresh berries, jams, dessert soups, pudding, chocolate, and licorice. Popular drinks in Finland include a wide variety of berry juices, pommac (soda made from mixed fruit), coffee, tea, beer, vodka, cider, wine, mead, and Finnish moonshine (stay away from the moonshine).

de_0070_finland - Aurora Borealis in Inari, Lapland, Finland


Finland has a very low crime rate. Bicycles being stolen are pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a tourist while in Finland. There are a few incidents of pickpocketing, but the locals feel safe enough keeping their purses and wallets in plain view; their doors unlocked; and their babies left outside shops in their strollers (keeping the dog company) while they browse around. Most likely, Finland is safer than wherever you are from.
Having said that, avoid youth on Friday and Saturday nights. They can get quite unruly. Another issue that you may come in contact with, although not really a concern for tourists, is the issue of racism. This has to do more with immigration. So, as long as you’re not planning on living in Finland and taking advantage of all the sweet government-funded programs and services that the locals pay half their wages in taxes for, you should be fine.
112 is the emergency number in Finland. This gets you the police, the fire department and the ambulance. One of your only main concerns in Finland is the cold. If you go out hiking, make sure you dress warmly. There are a lot of lakes in Finland. Try not to fall into them. If you do, keep your clothes on to stay warm. There is one poisonous snake in Finland. It’s the European Adder. If bit, seek medical attention right away. The bugs in Finland can be quite annoying, and vicious, during the spring and summer seasons. Most notably, are the mosquitoes, the gadflies, and the deer keds. The former apparently makes some sort of high pitched whining noise when chasing after its pray. The latter two are known to take big chunks out of your skin that can last up into a month.