Finland is known as a nation of people who can be described as open-minded and sincere. It’s for a reason the country ranks in the number one spot for happiness and satisfaction.
Although there are endless reasons for visiting, it’s easy to get tangled up in trouble if you haven’t done your homework. To lend you a helping hand, we’ve decided to go ahead and prepare the checklist for you:
DO: Enjoy the Finnish sauna in your natural layers
Not only do the Finnish people not frown upon entering the sauna completely naked, this is their tradition. Technically speaking, you could cover up, but this is not the social norm there.
Photo: Anne Nygård/Unsplash.
DON’T: Pressure a taxi driver into playing music of your choosing
If the taxi driver refuses to put on a CD of your choosing, it has nothing to do with poor manners. Rather, it’s a case of having to pay royalties to the authoring musician, which would eat into the driver’s profits gathered from the ride. And, as you’ve probably guessed, failing to pay the royalties is illegal!
DO: Gamble away to your heart’s desire
Gambling is a huge part of the Finnish lifestyle and many Finns view it as an act of patriotism. If you’re planning to give it a shot yourself, this is probably one of the best online casinos in Finland that offers an experience that’s up to the Finnish standards.
DON’T: Turn off your headlights during the day
You’d think that the constant 24h sunlight that occurs during the summer in Finland would excuse you from having to keep your headlights turned on while driving, but no. According to the Finnish law, you are required to leave them on regardless of how visible the roads may be.
DO: Explore a private forest without the landlord’s permission
You can even pick the berries and mushrooms you find there without worrying. This is due to a concept referred to as 'everyman’s right' that allows you to explore privately-owned forests without restrictions under the condition that you don’t bother the landlord.
Photo: Christiaan Huynen on Unsplash.
DON’T: Get caught with a gun at your place
Even though Finland is known for having a strong hunting culture, the Finnish gun control laws are far from lenient. If you absolutely must keep a gun at your place, please double-check with the local authorities and keep it safely locked at all times.
DO: Smoke on the terrace of a restaurant
Smoking outside is legal. However, be advised that Finns are not fond of smoking in general. Always be respectful of non-smokers and if there is a “no smoking” sign, you know what not to do. As for marijuana, you’ll always be fined if caught smoking it in public.
DON’T: Buy alcohol after 9PM
Although alcohol is technically legal in Finland, you are only allowed to buy it at certain times of the day (which is between 9AM and 9PM). If you can’t quench your thirst at night, a licensed bar might be your only option.
DO: Celebrate failure
While celebrating something negative would yield a raised eyebrow in some countries and get you thrown in jail in others, it turns out there is a time and place for everything. Every 13th of October, Finland celebrates what’s called the Day of Failure. The moral of the story is that there are many ways to learn, but sometimes you need to make some mistakes first.
DON’T: Forget to pay the candy tax
As crazy as it sounds, there is a candy tax in Finland. This was introduced for the purposes of decreasing dental expenses and encouraging people to take better care of their dental health. Strangely enough, bottled water is also taxed under the very same law.
Finland is a great place to visit. As long as you keep the above things in mind, you should be fine to keep exploring until your legs can no longer carry you.