25 Interesting facts about Finland

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What do you know about Finland? Here’s a list of 25 Interesting facts about Finland and the Finns that you probably didn’t know!

Further down in the article, you can also read some fun Finland facts as well as more general information such as total population, biggest cities, highest mountain, biggest lake etc. 

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you. How many of these facts about Finland did you already know before reading? Share your result in the comment section at the end of this article!

1. Finland is ranked #1 as the happiest country in the world

The latest UN report stated that Finland is now the happiest country in the world. The Nordic countries are in general always at the top, but Finland made a big climb this year from number 5 to number 1.

happiest people in the world

Photo: Shutterstock

2. It can be very expensive to drive faster than the speed limit

The Speeding fines in Finland are calculated on the violator’s total income. This means that millionaires can face fines of up to 100 000 when driving faster than the speed limit.

3. Unique Finnish Sports

Heard about any of these sports? In Finland, they are totally legitimate sports. Check out the video below to see what to expect at the Wife-carrying championship!

  • Wife-carrying championship
  • Mosquito hunting competition
  • Mobile phone throwing
  • Swamp Football
  • Air Guitar

4. There are 187,888 lakes within Finnish territory

That’s a lot of lakes, so no wonder that the country is sometimes referred to as “the land of thousands of lakes”.

5. And the average Finn consumes 12 kilos of coffee each year

The Nordic countries are famous for being heavy coffee-drinkers and the Finns are not an exception. How many cups per year is hard to estimate, but the average Finn will consume as much as 12 kilos of coffee annually!

6. Heavy Metal is huge in Finland

In fact, there are more Heavy Metal bands per capita here than anywhere else in the world. In 2006, the Finnish Heavy-metal band Lordi took over the Eurovision Song contest when they won the competition with their song “Hardrock Halleluja”.

Some other notable Finnish Heavy metal bands and artists are Nightwish, Apocalyptica, Ensiferum, HIM, Amorphis and Children of Bodom.

finnish heavy metal

Photo: Olga Steckel / Shutterstock.com

7. Finland also has the world’s highest annual consumption of milk per capita

The Finns also drink a lot of milk. In fact, they have the world’s highest annual consumption of milk per capita!

8. There are more Saunas than Cars

Heard about the Finnish Sauna tradition? If you have, then you will probably not be as surprised by this fact about Finland, but yes, there are more Saunas than cars!

Even Burger King in Helsinki has a Sauna.

sauna

9. Finnish is not similar to the Scandinavian languages

Danish, Norwegian and Swedish is quite similar and when making a small effort it’s not hard to understand the 3 of those languages, even though they are not exactly the same.

Finnish however, is something completely else. The Finnish language is part of the Finno-Ugric language group and is way more similar to Estonian than the Scandinavian languages, even though it neighbors the Scandinavian countries.

It’s not even an Indo-European language, it belongs to the Uralic language family, which makes it quite unique and cool since most European languages are a part of the Indo-European language tree!

10. Finland has free education, even at the university level

One of the things Finns should really pride themselves with is the fact that they offer free education for students, even at university level. This also applies to international students from EU/EES.

Non-EU-nationals can also enjoy free tuition fees if the classes taken are taught in Finnish or Swedish, or doctoral studies in any language.

11. The Finns love Salmiakki (Salty Licorice)

So do I, and I want to say thanks for creating this amazing candy. Salmiakki is truly the best!

salmiakki - finland facts

Photo: Shutterstock

12. The Finnish Passport is one of the best

Finns can pride themselves on having the third best passport in the world, just shortly behind Germany, Singapore, and Japan.

This means that they can visit the most of the countries in the world without getting a visa.

13. Northern Lights, Midnight Sun & Polar Night

These spectacular events can all be experienced here. During the winter, you can see the Northern Lights, and also experience the Polar night in the Northern parts of the country. It’s the darkest months of the year and for several weeks the sun won’t rise.

And the opposite occurs during summer when the sun never sets, also known as the midnight sun.

Northern lights

14. Finland was the first country in Europe to give all women the right to vote

As one of the most gender equal countries in the world nowadays this fact might not come as a huge surprise, but at the time they allowed women to vote back in 1906, this was definitely something special.

New Zealand and Australia did allow women to vote a couple of years before, but it was here in Finland that all women no matter social status could fully vote, and also stand for parliament.

15. Freedom to Roam – The Right to Public Access

Just like the neighboring Scandinavian countries, you can enjoy the freedom to roam and have the right to public access. Which basically means that you can forage mushrooms, berries and flowers, camp, walk and enjoy nature as long as you don’t litter.

finnish right to public access

Photo: Shutterstock

Bonus Fact: The coldest temperature measured was -51.5 degrees Celsius

If you travel here during the winter months, make sure that you bring a warm jacket. While you probably won’t have to face the record low temperature, the average temperature in Helsinki during the winter months is still -5 degrees Celsius.

The coldest temperature measured in the country was back in 1999 in Kittilä where the temperature went all the way down to -51.5 degrees Celsius (−60.7 °F).

5 x Fun facts about Finland and the Finns

  • The first prize in the wife-carrying championship is the wife’s weight in beer
  • In Finland when someone earns their Ph.dD, they get a top hat and a sword
  • There’s a resort where you can sleep in a glass igloo and watch the northern lights
  • The Finnish Capital Helsinki has a Burger King restaurant with a Sauna
  • In Finland, they have ‘National Sleepy Head Day’, where the last person in a family to wake up is thrown into a lake or the sea by the rest of the family.

5 x Finland facts for kids

  • Angry Birds was created in Finland
  • The Brown Bear is the country’s national animal
  • In Rovaniemi, you can visit the Santa Claus village
  • You can also visit the Moomin Valley
  • Riding a Hobby Horse is a sport 

General Facts about Finland

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Finland that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 5.4 million
  • Capital: Helsinki
  • Life expectancy: Men 78 years, women 83 years
  • Highest Mountain: Halti – 1,324 m above the sea
  • Land area: 338,424 km2
  • Largest Lake: Suur-Saimaa (4400 km2)
  • National Day: 6 December (Independence Day).
  • Government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • President: Sauli Niinistö
  • Primary minister: Juha Sipilä
  • Currency: Euro
  • Official language: Official languages are Finnish (spoken by 88.9%) and Swedish (5.3%). Sami is also recognized as a regional language.
  • Official Website: Finland.fi
  • Member of EU: Yes.
  • Member of Nato: No
  • National song: “Maamme”
  • Time zone: EET (UTC+2) Summe (DST) – EEST (UTC+3)
  • Country Number/Prefix:
  • Country Code: FI

Helsingfors

Biggest Cities

If you’re looking for facts about Finland, it might also be interested to know about the biggest cities.

  • Helsinki
  • Espoo
  • Tampere
  • Vantaa
  • Oulu
  • Turku
  • Jyväskylä
  • Lahti
  • Kuopio
  • Pori

The Finnish Flag

The blue is a symbol for all the lakes and the white color is a symbol of the snow in the winters. This version of the Finnish Flag has been the official national flag since 1918.

finland flag facts

Map of Finland

map finland

Photo: Shutterstock

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How many of these facts about Finland did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

June 24th, 2018|

THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG

Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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11 Comments

  1. Emmi 06/24/2018 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I knew almost all of these facts about Finland, but I didn’t know that we drank so much milk.

  2. Robert 06/24/2018 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    It’s independence day, not national day! Otherwise, good article!

  3. Peggy Rider 06/24/2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    I have a friend that lives in Finland and she sends me pic. of the beautiful northern lights and other pic. of the beautiful buildings , railway and shops i love it and the airports are amazing . we don’t have things as beautiful as you all do , would love to go there some day . GOD bless you all

  4. Julia 06/24/2018 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I’m from Lahti! That was many fun facts about Finland! Thank you for sharing

  5. Yeba 06/25/2018 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Bit nitpicky but imporrant correction: Finland is NOT part of Scandinavia. The area is called Fennoscandia (basicly Scandinavia+finland).

  6. Kattis 06/27/2018 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Finland is ”the land of a thousand lakes” and we have two official languagues in Fin, otherwise i loved the article!
    Makes me wanna go back home and visit this summer 😍

  7. Toni Ironimp Joronen 06/27/2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Well… Suur-saimaa is actually a combination of hundreds of smaller lakes.. but yeah.. it’s very common to count them as one big lake.. for all the tourists: never stay in Helsinki or any other tourist attraction.. visit the whole country! Travel along the plains of Ostrobothnia, follow the culture road of green gold in Savo and Karelia region, visit the small and quiet towns around this country, spend a night in the woods and camping sights. Just fucking avoid the major cities as much as possible. The real Finland starts after kehä 3. All the forests and lake areas. Rent a cottage by the lake with a beach sauna. Enjoy one of the purest breathable air in the world. Relax on the bench of sauna and dive into the warm lake or icy waters of avanto. Dip your self into the snow after sauna and relax even more in sauna after returning from the pile of snow. There is a lot more stuff to do here than stay in tourist attractions. But you must always respect the nature here. If you do then nature respects you. So welcome to the land of thousands of lakes! Enjoy!

  8. Sandra T 06/28/2018 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Love your article. Just add in a small thing, country Number/Prefix: +358.. Tip for traveling within Finland: South – North direction by bus/train (from Helsinki to Rovaniemi) and by plane (from Helsinki to Ivalo), however from East – West direction no direct bus, train or plane (always need a transit)

  9. Virginia O’Rear 06/28/2018 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    😍😍😍 Thanks for all that information about Finland as I am sure most of us are all enlightened. . The education is obviously a plus and I so appreciate the Finns’ love of nature. The sauna bit would have a lot to get used to as by my New England upbringing modesty is where I am all about but who knows it may be ok but in this modern era, it could lead to lots of trouble. Thanks again for your information.😍😍😍Mom’
    M

  10. Timothy Gouldson 01/31/2019 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Looking for any information on the Tammi family

  11. Monica 09/14/2019 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I knew all of the facts, because I am from Finland! ;P

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