In my last article, I shared the complete Travel Guide on Finland answering why, when, where and what to explore in the land of thousand lakes and midnight sun. I am sure by now you would have made up your mind to Visit Finland.
Since it is going to be your first visit to Finland, you would be pretty anxious about a lot of things. Don’t worry. Travel See Write is at your service.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR FIRST THE TIME FINLAND VISITORS
Getting a visa for Finland is not difficult. Just apply for a Schengen visa through VFS and within a week you’ll get it. However, get prepared to be quizzed for long at the immigration. Post-pandemic, due to the huge application backlog and manpower shortage, getting an appointment at the VFS centre has become a big issue. So, apply well in advance before your travel – at least two months prior to your trip.
Buy a local SIM. Preferably a data card that allows unlimited internet and local calls for a limited period. My card was for 7.50 Euros. Wi-Fi in Finland is fast and usually FREE in public spaces
Finland is an Arctic country where temperatures vary from +30 degrees to -30 degrees. Hence pack your bag accordingly.
4. Food & Drinks
Heaven for non-vegetarians but not hell for vegetarians. Vegetarian food is readily available. However, if you crave for Indian food visit Samrat, India House, Maharaja and Gandi. Renowned for its berries, you must try cloudberry. Nov vegetarians must try Reindeer meat and salmon dishes.
90% of the water is potable in Finland whether filled from a tap or lake, therefore don’t waste your money buying bottled water. Like other Nordic countries, Alcohol is expensive but surprisingly expensive wines are not.
Less population and high labour costs have propelled the Finnish service industry into self-service mode therefore don’t expect a room service like India. However, restaurant service is like anywhere else.
6. Public Transport
7. Public etiquette
Finns are modest people with a Sahara-dry sense of humour and Finnish Nightmares who give prime importance to personal space. Therefore don’t intimidate them with your over-friendly attitude. Maintain a safe distance while talking/sitting/eating with a Fin.
8. Never pet a Reindeer
The first emotion that gets evoked after seeing a Reindeer is to cuddle it but refrain from doing so. As reindeers think of petting is a sign of danger. Also, never ask a Sami how many Reindeers he owns. It’s like asking a guy his salary or a girl her age.
9. Respect the ‘Honest’ system
The entire country runs on ‘honesty is the best policy’ system where everyone does what they should do by default. There won’t be anyone checking your tram/train ticket. Be like a Finn and respect the system.
10. Don’t litter
Finns have an umbilical connection with nature and green sustainable solutions are a way of living, rather than a gimmick to attract visitors. 90% of bottles and cans are recycled in Finland. So don’t ever litter.
11. Travel VISA-FREE from Finland to Russia
12. Adventure Sports
Finland is a winter Wonderland where Fins have devised ways to enjoy winters – whether it is going cross-country skiing or snowmobile riding or Husky Safari. The real fun is outdoors. Just make sure you are dressed well.
13. Finnish Sauna
A trip to Finland is incomplete without experiencing the Sauna in the country of its birth. There are more saunas than cars in Finland so you would always find one everywhere. After a day full of adventure it’s great fun to enjoy the warmth of a Finnish Sauna. But ensure to not disturb others and be quiet.
14. Take a book leave a book
Get a taste of Finland’s obsession with libraries. Be ready to get surprised – from Open Air Libraries to libraries with Canine Reading Therapy for kids with reading difficulties.
15. Guaranteed Northern Lights sighting
If you really want to see the Northern Lights at any cost then you can actually ride a plane at one thousand euros for ten minutes that will take you above the clouds and you will definitely sight them.
I am sure that equipped with these practical tips you will surely have a great trip to Finland.
Do you have anything more to add to this list?
FINLAND WITH CLUB MAHINDRA
Mahindra Holidays is India’s largest leisure hospitality player, providing unique and memorable family holidays for over 20 years. The company is fully committed to providing a holistic family holiday experience to its ever-growing community of 211,000 members through its wide network of 77 resorts (46 Club Mahindra Resorts in India and abroad, and 31 Holiday Club Resorts in Finland, Sweden, and Spain).
Club Mahindra is committed to providing unique and memorable family Holidays at exotic locations on a pocket-friendly budget. Taking this philosophy forward, the company recently acquired Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, and made an exotic destination affordable for Indian families. With this acquisition, Mahindra Holidays is now the world’s largest vacation ownership company, outside of the US.
All Club Mahindra members can now enjoy Finnish Holidays through their membership. For Club Mahindra members the accommodation cost in Finland per day per person is between 28 euros to 90 Euros in the low season and between 38 to 130 euros in the peak season. For non-members, it costs anywhere between 40 euros to 150 euros in the low season and from 60 euros upwards in peak season.
Read more here: Finland with Club Mahindra.
- I was in Finland on the Club Mahindra’s invitation. Everything expressed above is based on my personal experience and conversations I had in the country
- Images used are either shot by me or provided by Visit Finland with due permissions