5 Fun Facts About Finland

5 Fun Facts About Finland

I am certainly no expert on Finland, but after spending a few days there I realized how little I knew about the Finns and uncovered these fun facts:

#1 Finland Fun Fact:  Prisoners are allowed to use the sauna once a week:  The sauna experience is considered a necessity in Finland for well being, so prisoners are allowed to use the sauna. BUT ONLY once a week!  They are in jail after all.

oulu finland smoke sauna

Prisoners in Finland are allowed to use the sauna – but only once a week!

#2:  Most food allergy friendly place I’ve ever visited:  I have a gluten allergy which can make it difficult to find gluten free food when traveling, but it was incredibly easy in Finland.  Many menus indicated which items were gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian, including the restaurant at Helsinki Airport!  All of the restaurants we visited including Sokeri-Jussin Kievari served me gluten-free bread. This is often not the case in most restaurants in other places in the world (especially in Germany).  Plus it was really good gluten-free bread, which is a rarity.

oulu finland reindeer meat

Finland is the most food allergy friendly country I’ve ever visited!

#3:  Karaoke is very popular in Finland:  I discovered this while staying at Hotel Iso-Syöte. We headed to the hotel’s karaoke bar after dinner.  It turns out karaoke is very popular and karaoke bars are everywhere, so if you want to become a Finn for a day, karaoke should be on your list.

#4:  Finns Love Black Licorice:  This was a pleasant surprise as I love black licorice and it’s really hard to find in Germany.  An assortment of black licorice candy is readily found and it even shows up in Salmiakki, a Finnish drink that tastes like salty black licorice. Think Sambuca, but stronger.

#5:  Oulu and Iso-Syöte are great places for adventure holidays in Finland:  Before my trip to Finland, I had never heard of Oulu or Iso-Syöte, but they are great places for an adventure or outdoor holiday.  I did everything from dog sledding to  snowmobiling, to snowshoeing to ice fishing. In summer canoeing, kayaking and hiking are popular activities.   GoArctic! can arrange these activities for you.  There are also multiple flights a day from Helsinki to Oulu making it very accessible and affordable.

dog sledding iso syote_2 huskies

Dog sledding is just one of many outdoor adventures awaiting you in Finland.

Bonus Sixth Fun Fact About Finland?  You tell me.  I’ll select the best Finland Fun Fact and add your fun fact here along with  a link back to your blog.  Leave your comment below.

Addition:  There were so many great fun facts about Finland submitted that I couldn’t choose one winner, but four winners!  Congrats to Leigh from Hike Bike Travel, Mette from Italian Notes, Jennifer from Jdomb’s Travels and Christina from Jandal Road.  Check out their fun facts in the comment section below.  Thanks to everyone for participating!

 

 

 

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.
2015-03-16T09:58:40+00:00

16 Comments

  1. CN Heidelberg June 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Ooh, jealous – definitely want to visit Finland sometime but my husband is less keen.

    Re: black licorice, I see that everywhere in Germany! Or is there some special kind and all the ones here don’t suffice?

  2. Leigh June 6, 2012 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Finland is the only country in the world that broadcasts news in Latin – how’s that for a fun fact!!

  3. Italian Notes June 6, 2012 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Great list Laurel. You could also have added the screaming men choir, wife carrying race, mosquito slapping competition and other wacky contests Finns organise to lighten up their winter darkness and make us all smile.

  4. Jennifer Dombrowdki June 6, 2012 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Love this list! My fun fact is from Rovaniemi, Finland:

    The Santa Claus’ Main Post Office has received nearly 15 million letters from 198 countries since 1985. At Christmas time, Santa can receive around 32,000 letters daily. The letters are first sorted by country and then opened. Christina Elf made me an honorary elf and we opened some letters from the United States and a very special wish list from a group of school children in Poland.

  5. Christina June 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Hey Laurel, really liked this Finland post. I lived in Finland for a while while studying, and I found it to be a fantastic place full of odd stuff. As for special equipment, on the way to uni every morning, people had reflector pads in their hands or attached to the palm of their gloves. Why? Well, first of all it’s really cold (-35 in Jyväskylä), and very dark for most of the day. When you stand at a bus stop in these cold temperatures, you really don’t want the bus to just pass you by. So you stretch out your hand and wave your reflector!
    You also get these ear clips out of felt and fleece that you can clip directly over your ear to keep them toasty, underneath your regular hat.
    But I guess another fun fact would be that Rovaniemi is where you want to go in the winter – this is where Santa lives, after all, in Lapland.

  6. Paige AllOvertheMap June 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    This is great! Here’s my fun fact: the Finnish language is not an Indo-European language, and is in the same linguistic family as Hungarian (though the two are not currently similar).

  7. Zhu June 7, 2012 at 3:56 am - Reply

    What really surprised me a few years ago when I visited on a stopover was the price of hotels (ouch!) and the fact that there were vritually no payphones anywhere. Everyone apparently has a Nokia… not so great for travelers who want to check which hotel has rooms available!

  8. InsideJourneys June 10, 2012 at 6:46 am - Reply

    These are really fun! Especially the one about the sauna.
    I bet I can find a fun fact in the book about living in Finland that my Finnish friend gave me.

  9. Laurel June 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    WOW! I’m seriously impressed with all the Finland knowledge! Will be tough to choose a winner – there just might have to be more than one!

    @CN Heidelberg – I never see black licorice here. I must be looking in all the wrong places.

  10. eileen ludwig June 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    My fun thing for Finland was taking a Ferry boat there which was like a cruise book for a 6 or 8 hour trip. Don’t remember the length of time but it was great.

    Well, I wondered about that other comment section tribbrer and then found this normal one here

  11. Juliann | Browsing the Atlas June 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    These are great fun facts. I keep hearing about Finland lately, and am now thinking that I need to plan a trip there sooner rather than later.

    Maybe I’ll discover that not liking black licorice is a misdemeanor crime and they’ll throw me in jail long enough for a sauna and gluten-free bread and water. 🙂

  12. Laurel June 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    @Juliann – Finland it’s a great place and love your comment, made me laugh 🙂

  13. Brea July 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    These are great! I think I need to plan a trip there, gluten-free friendly and they love karaoke?! Doesn’t get much better than that. Living in Southern Germany (Stuttgart) I don’t come across these things very often. Thanks for sharing!

  14. mariel April 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    i have a cool fun fact it is……. Donald Dock comics were band in Finland because Donald Duck doesn’t wear pants. it is weird i know but true! lol 🙂 pick me i am aweesome!

    • Laurel August 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      @Mariel – Really? Had no idea! Love it!

  15. saana January 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    ha hey @mariel, that’s not true 🙂 we actually have some donald duck artists in finland and pretty much everyone has been ordering the comics for a while in their life, like my family since they first started getting published in 1951 – nudity isn’t a taboo in finland, anyway, and i don’t know any reasons why anything would be banned here for that. We’re a pretty open country, we don’t sencor naked bodies or curse words or alcohol cos it’s pretty much normal for us, church is no longer a big part of our life so our morals are on the level we decide to put them ourself.

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5 Fun Facts About Finland

I am certainly no expert on Finland, but after spending a few days there I realized how little I knew about the Finns and uncovered these fun facts:

#1 Finland Fun Fact:  Prisoners are allowed to use the sauna once a week:  The sauna experience is considered a necessity in Finland for well being, so prisoners are allowed to use the sauna. BUT ONLY once a week!  They are in jail after all.

oulu finland smoke sauna

Prisoners in Finland are allowed to use the sauna – but only once a week!

#2:  Most food allergy friendly place I’ve ever visited:  I have a gluten allergy which can make it difficult to find gluten free food when traveling, but it was incredibly easy in Finland.  Many menus indicated which items were gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian, including the restaurant at Helsinki Airport!  All of the restaurants we visited including Sokeri-Jussin Kievari served me gluten-free bread. This is often not the case in most restaurants in other places in the world (especially in Germany).  Plus it was really good gluten-free bread, which is a rarity.

oulu finland reindeer meat

Finland is the most food allergy friendly country I’ve ever visited!

#3:  Karaoke is very popular in Finland:  I discovered this while staying at Hotel Iso-Syöte. We headed to the hotel’s karaoke bar after dinner.  It turns out karaoke is very popular and karaoke bars are everywhere, so if you want to become a Finn for a day, karaoke should be on your list.

#4:  Finns Love Black Licorice:  This was a pleasant surprise as I love black licorice and it’s really hard to find in Germany.  An assortment of black licorice candy is readily found and it even shows up in Salmiakki, a Finnish drink that tastes like salty black licorice. Think Sambuca, but stronger.

#5:  Oulu and Iso-Syöte are great places for adventure holidays in Finland:  Before my trip to Finland, I had never heard of Oulu or Iso-Syöte, but they are great places for an adventure or outdoor holiday.  I did everything from dog sledding to  snowmobiling, to snowshoeing to ice fishing. In summer canoeing, kayaking and hiking are popular activities.   GoArctic! can arrange these activities for you.  There are also multiple flights a day from Helsinki to Oulu making it very accessible and affordable.

dog sledding iso syote_2 huskies

Dog sledding is just one of many outdoor adventures awaiting you in Finland.

Bonus Sixth Fun Fact About Finland?  You tell me.  I’ll select the best Finland Fun Fact and add your fun fact here along with  a link back to your blog.  Leave your comment below.

Addition:  There were so many great fun facts about Finland submitted that I couldn’t choose one winner, but four winners!  Congrats to Leigh from Hike Bike Travel, Mette from Italian Notes, Jennifer from Jdomb’s Travels and Christina from Jandal Road.  Check out their fun facts in the comment section below.  Thanks to everyone for participating!

 

 

 

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.
2016-01-04T22:16:56+00:00

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