Travelling to Wonderful Finland

There are many ways to travel to Finland. The Russian border stretches all the way across the Eastern side of the country. The Southern tip and the West coast are both surrounded by water. The North-West is connected with Sweden, and at the Northern tip Finland touches Norway.

The best way to travel into the country is to imagine it as an island. There are no direct connections to the Finnish rail system from Southern Europe. Though Russia borders Finland for thousands of kilometers, the only significant railway connections to Helsinki are from St. Petersburg and Moscow. Also, of course, you can travel from Russia to Finland by bus or ferry.

Following is a list of topics covered on this page, giving all the travel information you need:

  • By air, train, car & ferry, or drive only – What is the best way for you?
  • Population and currency. How to convert currency?
  • Calling to Finland
  • What do you need to know before traveling to Finland?

If you are under 26, consider buying the International Student Card and save up to 50% on travel-related purchases like accommodations, museums or transportation.

How long does it take to travel to Finland? How about costs?

A Transatlantic flight from New York, U.S.A. to Helsinki takes about 11.5 hours. You can check out other examples of flight durations and costs. A ferry boat trip from Northern Germany to Helsinki takes about 24 hours. You can also travel to Finland by car or bus. Getting from St. Petersburg to Helsinki by train takes 4.5 hours. There are of course many more options of railway connections with Finland. Find more info about train travel to Finland and Railpass options here.

Border crossings

Finland borders Russia, Norway and Sweden. The beauty when traveling to and from Finland via Sweden, or Norway is that you can cross over from country to country anywhere you like. There are no restrictions. Declare your goods if needed! See the Finnish border guard Rajavartiolaitos for more information about border crossing locations and restrictions.

Mobile phones and calling

Bring your mobile phone along when you travel to Finland. It may work or not, depending on the phone. However, make sure you do some research before going. Usually, you need to get a pre-paid SIM-card or a new subscription when you get to Finland. Finland uses GSM, GPRS, 3G (4G) and EDGE. Local phone operators include TeliaSonera, Saunalahti, Elisa and DNA.

For information on calling to Finland use this handy tool to call abroad.

Current time in Finland and time differences

All Finland cities and regions share one time zone. Just remember that in Finland, there is also a "fall backward" and "spring forward." In other words, we set our clocks back an hour in the fall, and move them forward one hour in the spring.

What to have or know before traveling to Finland?

Travel documents

For a resident of the EU (European Union) no visa is required to enter Finland and you can stay up to 3 months. Make sure you have a passport with you.

Do you need a visa to travel to Finland?

Citizens of which countries are/are not required to have a visa to enter Finland? Browse the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland website to see. First, click on the link of your specific country on Formin.fi to see what it says under the heading "Visa required."

For example, an American citizen will need:

  • A passport
  • A visa if you are visiting Finland for longer than 90 days (3 months)
  • A plan – know where you are going, or what you want to see. Where you will stay, and how long you will stay for.

The first thing you may want to do is check the current visa situation directly from the website of the United States Embassy or send them an email if you have any further questions.

Currency

Right now, the main currency used in Finland is the euro. Here is a picture of a handful of euro bills. To find out what 100 dollars is in euros, type the following into your Web browser search box without the quote marks: "convert 100 dollars to euros".

money-cash-currency-in-finland.jpg

If you have not converted money into Euros and are already in Finland, find the nearest Forex Bank. Forex Banks buy and sell currency as well as give cash for American Express checks. Forex signs are usually yellow in color. You'll loose less money using Forex compared to converting your currency at a traditional bank in Finland.

Voltage and cycles in Finland

Here, the voltage is 230 Volts at 50 (Hz) cycles. Most devices, such as electric shavers, iPods, computers and cell phones can be plugged in anywhere in Finland and your charger will work. You will need a plug adapter to fit the outlet you see in the picture. If you need a voltage converter for 100 Watts or higher consider a 100 Watt Voltage Transformer which will cost you about 15-25 U.S. dollars.

If you require Voltage conversion for larger appliances use a transformer for voltage that’s larger than 100 Watt. For smaller electronic goods use a Travel Kit Voltage Converter. The converter fits in your pocket and is much less bulky than the transformer. When you buy your adapter make sure it fits into this socket.