Finland is a country located in Europe with name that begins with letter F. The northern European country Finland (Suomi) stretches from the 60th to the 70th parallel: around a quarter of the country’s area is north of the Arctic Circle. The Republic of Finland borders on Russia to the east, Norway to the north and Sweden and the Baltic Sea to the west.
In the home of Santa Claus, around 340,000 km² – comparable to the area of Germany – live around 5.4 million people, over 90% are Finnish-speaking. The country is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.
Finland can be divided into five landscape areas: 1.) the coastal plains of southern Finland, where the capital Helsinki is located with around 500,000 residents; 2.) the coastal plain of Ostrobothnia in the east, 3.) the Finnish lake district with around 42,000 lakes in the interior, 4.) the Finnish hill country in the east with elevations of up to around 350 m; and 5.) the extensive forest and moorland areas of Lapland in the very north of the country. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter F.
A passport or identity card is sufficient to stay in Finland. The country belongs to the Schengen area.
Finland lies in the cold temperate climatic zone. The Finnish climate shows great differences between north and south. Spring and autumn are extremely short. The long winters – they last from October to April – are characterized by very low temperatures, especially in the months of December to February, which, however, feel less cold than the same temperatures in Central Europe due to the dry air. Summers are short; the average temperature in Helsinki in July is 18 ° C.
Day and night are subject to extreme fluctuations over the year: in winter it is almost 6 hours of light in Helsinki, in summer 18 hours; to the north the daylight scissors diverge even further.
Food and drink
Grilled sausages, mashed potatoes, sliced carrots, a dash of mustard and a glass of sour milk (piimä) are typical dishes of rustic Finnish cuisine, which is strongly influenced by the neighboring countries Sweden and Russia. Potatoes, bread, fish and meat are the main ingredients. A traditional drink is Sima – a slightly alcoholic Finnish derivative of mead.
The Finns are considered reserved. The place where they literally thaw is in the sauna: it is estimated that there are around 3 million saunas in the country, which Finns visit at every opportunity. Only babies and people with open wounds are not welcome here. The Finnish sauna is rustic and sociable and doesn’t follow any special rules. Many Finns pound their bodies with birch twigs while using the sauna. They say it makes the skin velvety soft. After the sauna, you can take a refreshing bath in a Finnish lake, whether in summer or in icy winter. You shouldn’t be surprised if sausages and flatbread are grilled in the sauna, and that some Finns drink beer when they go to the sauna – although the combination of heat and alcohol is not beneficial for every cycle.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Finland. In wooded parts of the country, tick bites can transmit early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) from March to October, and appropriate vaccination is recommended. Medical care in the cities is considered good. If you travel to remote regions of the country, you should pack a personal first aid kit with your own medicines.