Time Zone: GMT + 2 April to October
GMT + 3 November - Ma
Driving side: Drivers drive on the right
Languages: Finnish, Swedish
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Emergency #: All Emergencies 112
Finland Local Customs
If visiting a private home, a gift of wine or other spirits will be greatly appreciated.
Finland Popular Destinations
Suomenlinna Island - a ferry ride from Helsinki is a must. Explore the fortress ruins, but remember to arrange a picnic basket and enjoy a relaxing day.
Turku - dating back to the 13th century, Turku is the oldest city in Finland. It has a spectacular castle to visit as well as the folk museum. It has many riverside bars to relax at and is often used as a base for exploring the southern coastal region which is dotted with medieval churches, castles and manors.
Kuopio - is a lovely city in the northern Lakeland area. Surrounded by forests and lakes, there is plenty to see and do. Most importantly there is the world's largest smoke sauna near the Hotel-Spa Rauhalahti. From the sauna you dip into the lake which is breath-taking in the true sense of the word. The sauna can be reached by ferry from Kuopio harbour. If you are there in June, be sure to catch the Dance Festival.
Lapland - much further north and into the arctic circle you can experience the midnight-sun, Santa's post office or you can even experience dog or reindeer sledding safaris (expensive and only in winter). In December you can take the kids to the Santapark - a Christmas Theme amusement park - for kids only.
Moving Around Finland
The rail system offers a good service to major places such as Turku and Helsinki - website - www.vr.fi
The buses and coaches cover the areas that trains don't, especially in the north - websit - www.matkahuolto.fi.
By Bicycle one can leisurely explore Finland. They are easily hired from some hotels, holiday villages, camp sites and tourist offices.
National festival and holidays
The Pori Jazz Festival - held in July for about 2 weeks. Most performances are free.
The Sovonlinna Opera Festival - held throughout June. Performers gather here from around the world, including touring productions from Covent Gardens.
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