Two people snow shoeing with aurora borealis in the background.

What is normal in Finland that is strange in other countries?

Posted By : Anita/ 32 4

What is normal in Finland that is strange in other countries?

Last time I talked about things that tourists should know before coming to Finland. This time I will touch on the topic of differences in cultures using the example of Finland.

There are many different cultures and traditions in the world. Each country is unique and has its own characteristics. It must be remembered that some things are normal in one country, while in another they are strange and unacceptable.

So is Finland. This large country has its own culture and traditions that can surprise the tourists who come here. Read this article to avoid culture shock in Finland.

Things that are normal in Finland, but strange in other countries.

Greeting differ from country to country. So in Asian countries, people bow to each other when they meet as a sign of respect. However, in Finland, when people meet, they can just say hello, shake hands, hug and even kiss on the cheek. It all depends on the level of closeness of the relationship.

In many countries it is normal to come later than originally planned. For example, Venezuelans or Italians enjoy a relaxed pace, so it is difficult for them to get used to the Finnish lifestyle. However, Finns are pretty punctual, they do not like being late. Therefore, it is worth remembering this when traveling to this country.

Finns are quite straightforward people and the main thing for them is to get the message across. Therefore, in serious conversations, they will immediately start with the main thing. For example, in business dealings in many countries, negative feedback is often accompanied by several positive ones. However, in Finland it is different, here people will immediately say what the problem is and what should be fixed. The main thing is not to confuse this with rudeness, since the Finns do not want to offend anyone, it is just normal here.

In some Asian countries, it is normal to slurp while eating. This is an indicator of delicious food and so people show that they liked a dish. However, things are different in Finland. Finnish children are taught to eat quietly, as it is considered etiquette behavior.

When visiting a Finn.

If a Finn has invited you to his/her home, for example, for dinner, then it would be good to thank him/her at the end of the evening. However, in many regions of India this is considered indecent. Good to know about that and refers to each other with understanding.

In many European countries, it is customary to take off shoes when entering a house.  Same in Finland, people are very careful about the cleanliness of their houses and take off their shoes before entering the house. Tourists should be aware of this before going to visit a Finn.

Sauna is a big part of Finnish culture, serving not only for wellness, but also a place for discussing business or even political issues. In the local business world, it is normal for colleagues or business partners to go to the sauna together and negotiate in a relaxed atmosphere. Of course, this does not happen all the time, but it is useful to learn.

 

It is necessary to be able to adapt to the environment and the new society in order to communicate effectively with representatives of different cultures. To do this, people do not need to be afraid to change their way of thinking and be able to put up with the inevitable inconveniences.

As a result, learning new things always brings a lot of positive emotions. And that’s why traveling to new countries is so exciting and delightful.

 

 

Horse sleighing in the snow while watching the starry sky.

What should tourists know before coming to Finland?

Posted By : Anita/ 38 0

What should tourists know before coming to Finland?

A high standard of living, good ecology, beautiful nature and many opportunities for travel and recreation – all this attracts tourists from all over the world to visit Finland. (Check out my last blog on the reasons for traveling to Finland.) However, travelers need to be aware of a lot of things to have a great holiday.

In addition to the obvious tips, such as checking the weather in advance and preparing a visa, there are others that tourists often do not know about.

What should a tourists know before coming to Finland?

 

There are a few rules to be aware of in Finland.

Smoking in public places is prohibited in the country. In Finland, smoking is allowed only at home (not on the balcony, since the smoke can get to neighbors) and outdoors, outside public places.

Those who plan to visit Finland by car will have to keep the utmost attention on the roads. In the northern regions, moose and deer often cross the roadway.

Finns love pets and take good care of them. However, unlike some other European countries, pets are not allowed in all cafes, restaurants, and shops. The same about hotels. (When booking a hotel, you should clarify this issue.). In hotels that provide such services, the owners of the pets usually have to pay extra. The trains have carriages in which people can travel with animals, which is indicated by stickers on the cars.

Urban transport is developed, especially in large cities. After paying for your ticket, do not forget to take it with you and keep it until the end of the trip. In the subway and trams, you can often find controllers who will check them. If you plan to use public transport frequently, it is worth purchasing daily tickets.

The waters in Finland are very clean, so do not be surprised if you get tap water in a bar or restaurant.

 

Tips for tourists.

Finland has excellent opportunities for a beach holiday. There are a lot of places where you can sunbathe and swim, as well as the local beaches are one of the cleanest and most well-groomed in Europe. Many Finns like to come to these beaches in the summer on boats and stay there overnight.

As souvenirs from Suomi, tourists bring designer products made of glass, ceramics, wood and metal, national Finnish dolls, the famous Fazer chocolate. The symbol of Finland is the elk, and figurines made from it are in great demand. Moomin figurines are no less popular.

Finnish cuisine is not exotic and complex, it is fresh, high quality and natural. Potatoes, smoked salmon, vegetables, and rye bread will look like a typical Finnish dish. I advise to try the fish, as it is incredibly tasty here. Restaurants with national cuisine are ubiquitous.

 

The main thing upon arrival in Finland is to take warm clothes with you and a good mood for travel. Share your travel tips for this fabulous northern country.

A man relaxing in a jacuzzi watching the northern lights.

Reasons for traveling to Finland.

Posted By : Anita/ 49 1

Reasons for traveling to Finland.

 

Hey! This is Anita, the Ecotravellers’ new trainee. I am the first international student in this company! I am very happy to be part of the team and I hope to bring something new to the company.

This post will be useful for those who are choosing a place for their next trip or for those who still have doubts about whether to go to Finland. So why visit Suomi? What are the reasons for traveling to Finland?

 

Why visit Finland?

I am often asked this question when I talk about my travels in Finland. Indeed, at first glance, there is nothing special there what mainly attracts tourists: there are no luxurious palaces, antique ruins, huge waterfalls, and so on. However, believe me, Finland is an unusual and charming place!

 

Reasons for traveling to Finland.

One of the main reasons to visit the country is Finnish stunning wildlife. You may have already heard that Finland is a land of thousands of lakes. Moreover, more than 70% of Finland is covered with magnificent forests, it is more than in any other country in Europe! The Finns are very concerned about the environment preservation. The best way to appreciate the delights of living in nature is to stay in an eco-friendly accommodation such as the Igloo.

Here everyone will find activities of interest. There are many sports facilities in the country that are available to everyone for free. There are huge parks with cycling and jogging tracks. In summer, there are an unusually large number of cyclists, runners, and Nordic walking enthusiasts. Ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Finland, although there are other sports too, such as biathlon, skiing, and snowboarding.

Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture and a national treasure. There are about 2 million saunas in the country with a population of 5 million people, on average, every Finnish family has one. The modern variety and convenience of saunas allows you to satisfy any whim, there is even a sauna in the Ferris wheel booth right in the center of Helsinki.

Finland is rich in historical monuments, museums, wonderful architectural works. Despite Finland’s small size, there are hundreds of museums that cannot be visited in one trip. Every house and every street in Helsinki are already history!

Finns are very friendly, polite, and welcoming, and they will always come to the rescue if something happens. The crime rate in Finland is very low, you can walk everywhere at night without fear of a hooligan attack or robbery. Respect for other people’s property, opinion and life explains the low crime rate.

The polar lights and white nights are wonderful and fantastic phenomena. In winter, the aurora borealis glitters enchantingly with lights over the sparkling white of the snow. And in summer, the sun sets behind the horizon for literally half an hour, and if the weather is clear, then the rays paint the sky and clouds in bright pure colors.

Moomins are beloved characters of children and adults all over the world. If you are traveling to Finland with children, be sure to make a route to get to famous places, one way or another connected with these cute creatures. The journey promises to be truly magical.

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is one of the main attractions, and for many people it is the main reason for traveling to Finland. Here letters from children from all over the world get into, here Santa learns about the innermost wishes and dreams of millions of people. If you want to see Santa Claus, learn about his life and work, get acquainted with the friendly elves, you do not have to wait for Christmas and New Year. Santa’s residence is open all year round and in summer visiting it is no less interesting and exciting than in winter.

 

I have just told you about a few reasons for travelling to Finland, but I assure you there are many more! This fabulous country is worthy of the attention of every traveler. Next time I will tell you what you need to know before traveling to Finland and share some tips with you.

If you have not planned your trip yet, and you want it to be memorable, then contact us.

Green northern lights above a wintery forest.

Unique accommodation around Finland

Posted By : Maria Ojajärvi/ 135

This year has been full of opportunities. Travelling around the world has been easier than ever. I have been travelling to different locations every day – virtually. Situations change and you have to be willing to jump out of your confortable zone. In March I really had no clue about any Zoom meetings but now I´m zooming everyday!

I have always dreamed about travelling. I have wanted t travel more , I have wanted to travel to those countries I haven´t been to before and volunteer more with animals. I have travelled a lot and it has been a way of finding sun when here in Finland it is dark and cold. Nowadays I dream about travelling. We have now seen that it´s not a self-evident thing that you can travel at all.

Though Finland is a small country you have to plan carefully where you are going since there might only be one bus a day to that direction. Few months ago I decided I will travel around Finland with a train. I planned a tour going around Tohmajärvi, Paltamo and Oulu.

Travelling with a train in Finland

I took a train to Tohmajärvi. The views from the train are very nice and you get to see a lot just sitting in the train. This is an ecological and confortable way of moving around in Finland. Not so many have ever heard about Tohmajärvi. I think one of the best things that you find here is silence. You can sit on the dock for hours and look at the lake and you might not see anyone passing by. The accommodation in the cottages is very confortable and the cottage has all you need – a very good bed and the wooden scent. Riitta, the lady in charge of all this, wants to help her customers feel like home and she is also a very good cook. This is why you can relax easily, go to the sauna and sit in the hot tub chilling. Ecotravellers Finland has a huge collection of different kind of accommodation around Finland. This is one unique option for accommodation – and an excellent one if want to relex next to unspoiled nature and cuddle a small dog!

My next stop was in Paltamo. The train stopped in the middle of nowhere and without transportation to the hotel I would have been alone at the train station. There were no taxis and no one besides me. The Birdhouse hotel on top of Kivesvaara hill offers you stunning sunsets. I didn´t want to miss a moment and luckily everything has been thought very carefully. You can admire the same view from the living room or from your own sauna! The breakfast is so delicious and fresh. I really felt like staying here for longer time. This is an ideal place for relaxation with amazing views! In the winter time it is also possible to see the northern lights – like in the picture! If you are interested in travelling to Paltamo check out our tour.

Movable glass igloo

My last stop was in Oulu. I walked from the train station and had my AuroraHut glass igloo waiting for me. There are two options to choose from. You can move with your glass igloo and even park it for a while and go sightseeing. So cool! I wanted to take the movable AuroraHut. I drove along Oulu River and admired the sunset from my movable terrace.  It is very easy for anyone to drive the glass igloo with a remote control. You will get guidance, instructions and you can call if you need any help. Go swimming and take the pictures – I bet your friends have´t done this. After finished driving I still had sauna and hot tub waiting for me. The glass igloo has curtains so it´s also easy to sleep inside. If you don´t want to move the glass igloo it is not a must – and then it is also a bit cheaper for you. Try it yourself or with a friend!