Area: 338,145 sq km (130,559
Population: 5,183,545 (July
Population Growth Rate:
Population Density: 17.0 per sq km
Ethnicity / Race: Finn 93%,
Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%
Language: There are two official
languages: Finnish, spoken by 93.6 per cent of
the population, and Swedish, spoken by 6 per cent
of the population. About 1700 people speak Same
(Lapp). English is taught as the first foreign
Currency: The Euro is now the
official currency of 12 EU member states (including
Finland). The first Euro coins and notes were
introduced in January 2002; the Finnish Markka
was still in circulation until 28 February 2002,
when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro
(€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations
of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins
are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50,
20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
Religion: 85 per cent Evangelical
Lutheran, 10 per cent others including Finnish
Orthodox, Baptists, Methodists, Free Church, Roman
Catholic, Jews and Muslims.
Time: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from
last Saturday in March to Saturday before last
Sunday in October).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Continental two-pin plugs are standard
Health: Hepatitis A occurs.
Cases of diphtheria have been reported. Campers
and trekkers should take precautions against tick
bites and consider immunisation against tick-borne
Tipping: A 15 per cent service
charge is included in the bill in hotels. Restaurants
and bars have 14 per cent service charge weekdays
and 15 per cent weekends and holidays. The obligatory
cloakroom or doorman fee is usually clearly indicated.
Taxi drivers, washroom attendants and hairdressers
are also tipped.
Customs: Visiting Finland is
like stepping into a refreshing shower on a hot
day. Even in the cultured capital, Helsinki, the
air is clean, and the countryside has a cool but
seductive beauty. The western coast is fringed
with countless islands, while the southern Saimaa
district is drenched by myriad sapphire lakes.
Here you can sail, fish, or take a relaxing sauna
– followed, of course, by a dip in the lake.
In Kuusamo, there are ancient forests where bears
and wolves roam, where succulent berries grow,
and where lichens glisten on the trees lining
the waymarked walking trails. And in Lapland,
far to the north, the indigenous Sami people still
tend their reindeer herds – when they’re
not surfing the Internet, that is: Finland is
one of the most technologically switched-on countries
in the world.
During winter, luscious snows create a sporting
wonderland crisscrossed by ski trails, while in
warmer weather you can watch an opera at Savonlinna,
go canoeing, river rafting or gold panning, or
simply join the Finns as they dance the tango
under the midnight sun.
Location: Northern Europe, bordering
the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland,
between Sweden and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 64 00
N, 26 00 E
Total: 337,030 sq km
Water: 31,560 sq km
Land: 305,470 sq km
Coastline: 1,126 km (excludes
islands and coastal indentations)
Maritime claims: continental
shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 12 NM; extends to continental
shelf boundary with Sweden
Territorial sea: 12 NM (in the
Gulf of Finland - 3 NM)
Climate: cold temperate; potentially
subarctic, but comparatively mild because of moderating
influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic
Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
Terrain: mostly low, flat to
rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low
Elevation extremes: lowest point:
Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Halti 1,328 m
Natural resources: timber, copper,
zinc, iron ore, silver
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from manufacturing and power plants
contributing to acid rain; water pollution from
industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat
loss threatens wildlife populations
Geography - note: long boundary
with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national
capital on European continent; population concentrated
on small southwestern coastal plain
Telephone: Full IDD is available.
Country code: 358. Outgoing international code:
990, 994 or 999. For international number enquiries
and tariff information within Finland, callers
should dial 020 208.
Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800
Main operators include
Fax: Many hotels and businesses
have fax facilities. Also available in post offices
Internet: ISPs include:
Public access is available in Internet cafes.
There are also many Internet booths in Helsinki.
Telegram: These can be left
with the nearest post office or hotel desk.
Post: Letters and postcards
sent by airmail usually take about 3 days to reach
destinations within Europe. Stamps are available
from post offices, book and paper shops, stations
and hotels. Visitors can have mail sent to them
via Poste Restante, Central Post Office, Mannerheimintie
11, 00100 Helsinki, which is open Mon-Fri 0800-2100,
Sat 0900-1800, Sun 1100-2100. Generally, post
offices are open Mon-Fri 0900-1700, closed Saturday.
During winter many town offices are open 0900-1800.
Press: There are over 200 daily
newspapers, with the most popular including: Aamulehti,
Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti.
Seura and Apu are weekly illustrated news magazines
and are two of several periodicals. Kauppalehti
is one of the leading business newspapers. There
are no English-language newspapers published in
Finland, but most UK and US daily newspapers are
available as well as international papers in many
Radio: BBC World Service Website:
From time to time the frequencies
change and the most up-to-date can be found online.