Living in Finland | A-Z

Wondering what it is like to be living in Finland? You have come to the right place.

Nature, wellbeing, Northern Lights and alcohol. Finland is known for many things. In this blogpost I will go through over 20 things that are typical for Finland. This post is written by me, who has been living in Finland for over 20 years.

All alphabetised for your convenience. Hope you enjoy it!

living in finland

A-Z on what it is like to be living in Finland

forest finland
finland nature sea

Alcohol. Yes, Alcohol is a big part of the Finnish culture. The legal drinking age in Finland is 18 and at 20 one can buy even stronger beverages from Alko. We have a big vodka scene and of course…

Beer. There are also plenty of smaller breweries in Finland.

turku view with glass

Coffee and cuisine. According to Telegraph, people in Finland drink most coffee in the world. As for the Finnish Cuisine? There are some dishes that are Finnish but overall Finland offers a very broad selection of restaurants and ingredients. In Helsinki you can get a sushi burrito, salmon pizza and Korean Food. Rye-bread and Karelian Pastry are some examples of Finnish food.

Darkness and design. If you are wondering what it is like to be living in Finland, you should know that it is very dark here during a large part of the year. In the Northern parts of Finland the sun never rises during winter. In Finnish, this phenomenon is called kaamos. And in the Southern parts of Finland, there are only some hours when the sun is up during winter. Of course, in contrast, this means long days during the summer!
As for design, Finland is known for e.g. Marimekko, Iittala and Fiskars.

turku åbo summer
Turku (Åbo) in the summer.

Euro. This is the currency that is used in Finland as of 2002. Before the currency was the Finnish Markka.

Forests, fells and Fazer’s Blue. Finland is pretty scattered and we like our personal space. This way there is plenty of room between you and your neighbour. Because there is a lot of wood in Finland, 72% of the total area, wood products such as paper are some of the biggest exports. What about Finnish mountans? There are actually only fells in Finland. Fazer’s Blue is a classic when it comes to Finnish chocolate, and so delicious!

Games. Maybe you have heard of Angry Birds, Clash of Clans or Cities: Skyline? These are games developed in Finland.

Happiness and heavy metal. Finland has been one of the top ranked happy people for the recent years and many reasons why Finland is a great country. Still it is worth mentioning that in 2015 that around 70 out of 1000 people were on antidepressants. As for the music, Finland can be described asthe heavy metal country”.

Independence. Finland has been independent since 1917 when we declared independence from Russia and Finland’s Independence Day is on December 6th.

finnish forest summer

Jääkiekko. This is Finnish and means ice hockey (jää = ice and kiekko = puck) which is a very popular sport in Finland. However, this is not the national sport. The national sport is pesäpallo (baseball-ish game).

Karelian rice pie. A very good pastry one has to try when in Finland. Often served with some egg butter – a favourite for sure.

Lakes. Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes. There are almost 190 000 lakes in Finland (that are over 500 square meters).

finnish archipelago
sunset in finland

Moomin and mobile data. The cute characters are famous around the globe. (Even went to an exhibition in Seoul as well!) As for the mobile data in Finland, it is quite cheap to get unlimited data – which is so comfortable!

moomin statue tampere
This Moomin statue you can find in Tampere.

Northern Lights. Many know Finland because of the Northern Lights, or so called Aurora. In the Northern part of Finland, Lapland, they are visible around 200 nights per year.

Overweight. More people are overweight in Finland if you compare to decades ago.

park finland

Parks. There are many National Parks in Finland. And you can visit these parks freely (there might me some few restricted areas).

Quality. Finland is known for its Nokia 3310 and Kone elevators.

early spring finland
finnish nature bird home

Religion and reindeer. The national church in Finland is the evangelical Lutheran church. Over the past few years the Church membership has however been declining, see the stats here. And the reindeer? Is delicious food in Finland!

winter in turku

Santa Claus and sauna. Finland is also known for being the home of Santa Claus. Some try convincing that he is from other countries but of course he is from Finland. Sauna (commonly very hot saunas, not like Turkish saunas) is also common in Finland and are used all year around. Some say you do not wear clothes in the sauna but, honestly, if there is a big group going to the sauna then people can wear swimsuits or their towel (point here: not always naked).

As a Swedish-Speaking Finn I feel compelled to point out that we exist! And no, we are not Swedish but we speak Swedish fluently.

Tap water. There is drinkable clean tap water in Finland. Now this is definitely a thing one should be more thankful for (you will miss it if you do not have it anymore).

University. A lot of people go to the university in Finland. Oh, and the education is (almost) free in Finland.

Voting rights for women. Finland was one of the first to let women vote; in 1906 women got the right to vote in Finland.

Well-being. Finland offers help to those in need, e.g. in Finland student get a student allowance.

winter by aura river

Xylitol. While xylitol was discovered before, the benefits of xylitol was found in Finland, more precise in Turku.

Yearly Presidential Ball. Every year when it is Finland’s Independence Day you can watch the presidential ball on TV and see the welcoming, interviews and performances. And of course see how all the invited people dress.

Zoo. There are plento of zoo’s in Finland, e.g. the Helsinki Zoo.

Bonus: In Finland we can also use the letters Å, Ä and Ö. Here are three last words:

Åland, or Ahvenanmaa in Finnish. An independent island in Finland that is located between Finland and Sweden.

Älskling. This means loved one in Swedish. Did you know that Valentine’s Day is also called Friend’s Day in Finland?

Ö. Ö means island in Swedish (saari in Finnish) and there are plenty of them in Finland’s archipelago!

That was all of the things in this list, I really hope you enjoyed it!

(And of course there are plenty more – such as summer houses, salmiakki, jaloviina, free press etc. – and if you have any more things, just leave a comment)

Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy this post? Please share or comment what you think. It took me quite a while to write this post so I am glad to hear your comments on it 🙂

Bonus: Did you notice how the images go from summer to winter? This is to symbolise that there are four seasons in Finland.


  1. After reading this article I am in love with the country cannot wait to visit it soon and experience it by myself and not just through blogs, I have been trying to plan trips to Finland but it gets cancelled due to some reasons but now I have to plan it very carefully without getting my trip cancelled.

    1. Sounds like a great plan! Finland should definitely be on every travellers bucket list! Hope you get to travel there soon.

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