| TOMORROW's GLOBAL VOICE
- Finland is a
modern Western country located in
the north of Europe with a total
land area of 338 000 sq.
kilometres. It is a land of
forests and lakes with clean
cities, prosperous countryside
and lots of open space and
Between Sweden and Russia you
will find this modern country of
high living standards, advanced
technology and stable democracy.
Finland is the link between East
and West with cultural influences
from both areas and is a member
of the European Union.
The area was first settled by the
Finns some 2500 years ago. After
the Crusades in the 12th century
Finland became a part of Sweden.
During the period from 1809 to
1917 it was a self-governing
Grand Duchy under Russian rule,
proclaiming independence in 1917.
The population is over 5 million.
There are two official languages
in Finland : Finnish is spoken by
93 % of the population and
Swedish is the mother tongue for
6 % of the population. Finland is
a very accessible country for
foreign visitors since fluency in
English is quite high.
The closeness of nature greatly
influences the Finnish way of
living. You will be surprised to
find natural designs in an urban
setting. One can only admire the
magnificent nature and its impact
on culture, arts, designs,
culinary and sports.
The time in Finland is 2 hours
ahead of Greenwich mean time
(GMT). The time difference
between Eastern US Standard time
and Finnish Standard time is 7
and Finnish summer
The charm of the summer season is
a unique characteristic of
Finland. After the harsh Arctic
winter the relatively short
summer is beloved and long
awaited. Nature adorns the
landscape, from June to September
all is bright and verdant, the
trees are green, the meadows are
in full bloom and the lakes and
sea gleam in deep blue. The mean
temperature in July is +20 C°
(69 F) and there are more than 15
hours of daylight in Southern
- Helsinki, the
capital of Finland is a lively
city with half a million
inhabitants and more than one
million people live in the
metropolitan area. Helsinki was
founded in 1550 and it has been
the capital since 1812.
The city has a beautiful location
right at the Gulf of Finland
which creates a lovely seaside
atmosphere throughout the
downtown area. The sea and the
string of islands in front of it
are dominant features of the
Helsinki is a human-sized city
and very safe for visitors.The
facilities are superb, services
excellent and it is very easy to
get around.All major shops are
located in downtown area within
easy access. Finnish design
products such as glassware,
textiles, jewellery and
woodenware make excellent
souvenirs. The shops are open
from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. Major departrnent
stores have longer opening hours
until 9 p.m.
In Helsinki there is naturally a
wide selection of restaurants for
your culinary delight.The menus
reflect the season and during the
summer you can enjoy fresh
berries and fish.
It is no surprise that Helsinki
has been selected as one of the
European Capitals of Culture for
the year 2000 !
information and airport transfer
Major international airlines fly
direct to Helsinki International
Airport from most major capitals
and cities in Europe, USA and
Helsinki is also easily
accessibie by boat from Sweden,
Germany or Estonia and by train
Downtown Helsinki can be
convenientiy reached from
Helsinki International Airport by
bus or taxi. Finnair buses depart
at 20-minute intervals.
Finland is a member of the
European Union and visas are not
required for citizens of
EU-countries. A valid passport is
required. Citizens from other
countries are kindly advised to
contact the nearest Finnish
embassy for further information.
The official carrier of the
Convention will be Finnair.
Finnair has special summer rates.
For more information, please
contact your nearest Finnair
office or your travel agent.
Travel insurance is
recommended.This should cover
trip cancellations, flight
insurance, loss of luggage etc.
for the length of your trip. For
more information, please contact
your travel agent or insurance
Standard electric current in
Finland is 220V (50 Hz). In case
your equipment requires different
voltage, an electrical converter
The currency of Finland is the
markka ( FIM) which divides into
100 pennies. Most Finnish
services accept major credit
cards. Travellers' cheques are
accepted at banks, travel
agencies, hotels and many shops.
Banking hours are Monday-Friday
9.15 a.m.-4.15 p.m.
Tipping is not expected in
transportation in Helsinki
The public transportation system
of Helsinki includes bus, tram
and metro services. A single
ticket is valid for one hour
inside the Helsinki city border.
Taxis are readily available, have
meters indicating the fare and
tips are unnecessary.