Finland is known for its peacefulness and beautiful nature. Vast forests, a unique archipelago and thousands of lakes present a striking mixture of wooded hills and waters. In addition to its mystical northern nature, Finland is also a modern Nordic country with a high standard of living and advanced economy and technology. Finland has 5.3 million inhabitants and the country’s area is 338,000 km2, of which 10% is made up of inland waters.
Helsinki is the capital city of Finland and the second most northern capital city in the world. It was founded in 1550 and its population today is approximately 565,000. Together with the neighbouring cities of Espoo Kauniainen and Vantaa, Helsinki forms the Helsinki metropolitan area with more than one million inhabitants.
Helsinki is situated on the northern shore of the Baltic Sea. The archipelago that surrounds the city with hundreds of tiny islands creates an idyllic environment for cruises, among other things. Several architectural layers and the impact of different periods can be clearly seen in Helsinki. There are many beautiful parks in the city centre, and the nearby forests offer an ideal setting for peaceful and quiet walks.
For more Helsinki info, see the website the tourist office of the city of Helsinki.
How to reach Finland and Helsinki
Finland is easily accessible< from all over the world. The best way to reach Finland and Helsinki is by plane. The Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport provides good connections to all over Europe and several international airlines offer regular flights to Helsinki.
Further information on transport
Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport is located some 20 kilometres north of Helsinki. A frequent bus service (Finnair Citybus) operates between the airport and Finnair City Terminal next to the central railway station. The fare (payable to the driver) is 5.90 € and the drive takes approximately 35 minutes. There is also a local bus connection (No 615) which operates between the airport and the Railway Station Square in the city centre. The fare is 4 €. Taxis are also available. A regular private taxi ride to the city costs 35-45 €. Taxi drivers accept major credit cards and do not expect tips. Bus platforms and the taxi stand are situated directly outside the Arrivals Hall.
Information about passport and visa requirements for entry into Finland can be found at the Website of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs -> Services -> Foreign nationals arriving in Finland -> Visa requirement in the Schengen area and travel documents accepted by Finland. If an invitation to conference is required, please contact the organiser by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish; however, you may expect that most people (particularly young people) have good knowledge of English. You should have no problems communicating in English.
The currency in Finland is the euro (€), which is divided into 100 cents. Credit cards are widely accepted in Finland. The usual banking hours are 10.00 - 16.30 from Monday to Friday.
In early May the temperature in Helsinki ranges from the midday average of 15°C to the night-time average 10°C. Occasional showers can be expected and wind from the sea can also make it pretty chilly. We suggest that you bring along some warm clothing and an umbrella or a raincoat. Please see Finnish Meteorological Institute.
The electrical current in Finland is 220V (50Hz). Plugs and sockets are of the two-pin type commonly used in continental Europe (CEE 7/16). If your equipment requires a different voltage, you will need an electrical adapter.
Please check the validity of your own insurance. The meeting organisers cannot accept liability for personal injuries sustained or loss of, or damage to, property belonging to delegates (or their accompanying persons) either during or as a result of the meeting.
Good to know
Medical care in Finland is of a high standard. Please contact the staff of the host organiser if you need the services of health and dental clinics.
In Finland tap water is safe to drink.
Tipping is not customary in Finland. Service charges are included in prices.
The summer time in Finland is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Strict smoking policy
Smoking is not allowed indoors in public places, e.g. banks, department stores, public transport, restaurants, etc.