List of banks in Finland. Banks are usually open Mon-Fri 9:00–16:30 (office hours may vary regionally) and closed on weekends. Foreign currency and travellers’ cheques can also be exchanged at the currency exchange offices at the Helsinki Central Railway Station, open Mon-Fri 8:00–20:00 Sat-Sun 9:00-19:00, and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, open daily 5:30–21:00. There are also exchange offices in the largest cities.
The Finnish currency unit is the euro (EUR) divided into 100 cents (cent). The coins in use are: 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. The notes are: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.
Traveller’s cheques are accepted at all banks, travel agencies and hotels as well as in some major shops. The Eurocheques are accepted in banks and some shops.
International credit cards
Most international credit cards (Visa, Eurocard, Access, Mastercard, Diner’s Club, American Express) are accepted in most Finnish hotels, restaurants, car rentals, department stores, gas stations, and many more. Check first at the cash registry.
The electricity current in Finland is 220 volts (230 volts) and 50 Hz. The plugs are two-pin continental sizes. Emergencies Dial 112 for an emergency. Other emergency numbers and instructions can be found in telephone books and directories or by asking your hotel porter.
The Helsinki Card is a bonus card for tourists with unlimited travel on Helsinki public transportation (bus, tram, train and metro), free sightseeing , and free entry to major museums and sights in and around Helsinki, plus a guide book with maps in five languages. The Helsinki Card can be bought online, at several sales points in the city centre of Helsinki or from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (Airpro Travel Services 24H). Online tickets and more information: http://www.helsinkicard.com
Lost and found
Lost and found items are best inquired for at the local police station, in Helsinki at the Pasila police station by calling +358 295 477 912 or visiting at Pasilanraitio 13, 00240 Helsinki Mon-Fri 09-11am, or at the Lost & Found International.
Medicines are sold only at pharmacies (apteekki). Note that the chemists sell only cosmetics. Many pharmacies have long opening hours and the pharmacy at Mannerheimintie 96 in Helsinki has 24-hour service, tel. +358-300 20200 (0,49 €/min. + local net charge). All hospitals have doctors on duty around the clock. There is an increasing number of private practices and hospitals, which also provide for most dental care.
Passports and visa requirements
When arriving in Finland, a non-Finnish citizen must carry a passport. They will also need a visa unless they are exempt from the visa obligation under EU regulations. Finland is a Schengen member state. The Schengen member states have jointly agreed about the rules concerning the movement of third-country nationals in their territories and decided which countries’ citizens are required to present a visa. More information at the Ministry of Foreigh Affairs website. As a rule, foreign nationals who require a Schengen visa for travel to Finland are requested to apply it from either the nearest Finnish mission or a mission of another Schengen country representing Finland in visa matters. The application must be lodged not earlier than three (3) months prior to the planned visit.
Post offices and mail
The post offices are open Mon-Fri 9:00–18:00 Stamped mail can be posted in the yellow (economy) or blue (Priority) mailboxes for collection. Stamps are available at the post offices, most bookstores, paper shops, kiosks, and railway and bus stations.
Major cities have public transportation services. Helsinki public transportation has bus, tram and metro lines; there are also tourist tickets available. Passenger train services connect the major cities and the trains are clean and comfortable.
Coach services in Finland form an integrated system and cover more than 90% of all public roads. Coach timetables are usually adapted to rail, air and sea connections.
Sauna and swimming
There is one sauna for every three people in Finland and visitors will find them everywhere – in hotels, private homes, on board ships, and holiday villages.
The Finnish specialties are handicrafts, jewellery, hand-woven “ryijy” rugs, furniture, glassware, porcelain, ceramics, furs and textiles. There are plenty of young designers’ products available. More information on shopping in Finland here.
Anyone permanently residing outside the EU and Norway can shop tax-free in Finland, thus saving up to 17% on purchases over EUR 40. Stores with Tax-Free Shopping signs will provide the customer with a Tax Free Form. Upon leaving EU territory, travellers can claim VAT that varies according to product. Tax-free purchases must be taken out of Finland and may not be used before leaving the country.
Alko Inc. is a trading chain specializing in alcoholic beverages. Alko has a monopoly over retail sales of all beverages containing over 4.7% of alcohol by volume. Alko shops are open Mon-Fri 9:00/10:00–18:00/20:00 and Sat 9:00–18:00.
Taxis can be obtained by phone, picked up at taxi stations or flagged down on the move. All taxis have an illuminated yellow sign “taksi” or “taxi”. The taxi is vacant when the sign is lit. The fares a regulated by law, so there is no risk of overcharging. The basic far is EUR 5,90 (weekdays) EUR 9 (nights and weekends), and the cos per kilometre is EUR 1,6 – 2,23 depending on the number of passengers.
Calls from Finland: By direct dialing, choose either a) the international prefix (00, 990, 994 or 999), b) the country code, c) the trunk code (without the general prefix 0 or to Spain 9), and d) the subscriber’s number. Calls to Finland: To call Finland from abroad dial a) the international prefix of the country you call from, b) the country code 358 to Finland, c) the trunk code without the prefix 0, and d) the subscriber’s number. Calls in Finland: To make a call in Finland, the trunk code is used with the prefix 0.
The time in Finland is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The time difference between Eastern US Standard Time and Finnish Standard Time is 7 hours. Then Finland is 3 hours ahead of GMT. The 24-hours timetable is followed.
Service is basically included in all prices. However, it is all right to reward exceptionally good service by giving a tip. The usual 10-15% of the charge will do fine. Also it is customary to tip hotel and restaurant doormen and porters.
Finland offers a variety of exciting tours from adventure holidays to escorted luxury tours all year around. For more information, contact your travel agent or http://www.visitfinland.com or http://www.visithelsinki.com.
Vaccination certification requirements
There are no vaccination requirements for international travellers.