|Still current at: 07 January 2011
Updated: 10 December 2010
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary (removal of reference to cabin crew strike). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in Finland.
(see travel advice legal disclaimer)
Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. For more general information see Terrorism Abroad.
Safety and Security - Crime
Crime levels remain relatively low. The tourist season attracts pickpockets in crowded areas. You should observe sensible precautions such as keeping your personal belongings, including passports and money, secure. See our Victims of Crime page.
Safety and Security - Local Travel
The public transport infrastructure is of a very high standard and very punctual. You can buy a variety of bus, train, tram and metro tickets at stations (bus, train, tram and metro), news kiosks and shops all over the country. Helsinki City Transport offers a service that allows you to order a text message ticket to your mobile phone. Within the Helsinki city area you can rent city bicycles in the summer (available for a token fee). Better quality bicycles are available for hire from other outlets.
Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel
In 2009 there were 281 road deaths in Finland (source: DfT). This equates to 5.3 road deaths per 100,000 of population compared to the UK average of 3.8 road deaths per 100,000 population in 2009.
Driving in Finland during the winter months can be hazardous. Icy road conditions are common. If driving in Finland, your car must be winterised and winter/snow tyres (either studded or non-studded) are a legal requirement from 1 December to 31 March.
The local transport system is good and traffic is light. Drinking and driving is also a serious offence and you can expect a lengthy prison sentence. The drink drive limit in Finland is 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (lower than the UK).
See Driving Abroad.
Safety and Security - Local Travel - Air Travel
EU Aviation Regulations
The revised EU-wide security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 are also being implemented in Finland. For more details about this see Airline Security
Safety and Security - Political Situation
Finland Country Profile
There are no unusual local laws. As in the UK, Finns take drug offences seriously and you can expect a prison sentence. Khat is illegal in Finland and those who try to import it are summarily deported. See our Your trip page.
Entry Requirements - Visas
Visas are not required to enter Finland. You need a passport to enter Finland. As a British national, you can stay as a visitor for three months. After that, you should contact the local Finnish Police for a residence permit.
Entry Requirements - Passport Validity
You should be in possession of a valid passport; there is no minimum validity required.
You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Finnish nationals. It also does not cover you for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. For more general information see European Health Insurance Card.
The Finnish law on organ donation changed in August 2010. As a rule, organs, tissues and cells may be removed in Finland for the treatment of another person if it can be assumed that the deceased would not have objected to the measure when alive. If someone you know has died in Finland, it is advisable to contact the hospital immediately if you know of any reason as to why the deceased would have objected to the possible removal of organs.
Cards for permission / refusal to donate your organs under the following link (available in Finnish only): http://www.stm.fi/sosiaali
For the full text of the new law in English. Please visit: http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki
The Finnish health system is generally good though, as with the NHS, there are occasional problems over access to or speed of treatment.
General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas see our When Things Go Wrong page.
General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.
General - Emergency number
The telephone number for emergencies is 112.
General - Passport
If you lose your passport in Finland, you should contact the British Embassy in Helsinki (contact details below).
General - Extremes of weather
Finland, and in particular the north of the country, does get affected by severe cold weather during the winter months. Temperatures can be extremely low and if you visit in winter come prepared for these harsh conditions. The spring and summer months can be very pleasant and temperatures are generally on a par with the UK.
General - Money
The currency for Finland is the Euro. Legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU nor to those travelling within the EU.
General - Consular Assistance Statistics
Most visits to Finland are trouble-free. 10 British nationals required consular assistance in Finland in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 March 2010 for the following types of incident: one death; two hospitalisations; and five arrests, for a variety of offences. During this period assistance was also requested with regard to lost or stolen passports (28 cases).