You are currently viewing Finland: A Guide to the Culture and Customs
Rules in Finland

Finland: A Guide to the Culture and Customs


As travelers, it is important for us to immerse ourselves in the culture and customs of the countries we visit. By understanding and respecting the rules and norms of a foreign land, we can have a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience. In this article, we will explore the rules and cultural norms of Finland, a Nordic country known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich history. Whether you are planning a trip to Finland or simply interested in learning about Finnish culture, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips.

Key Elements

1. Punctuality

In Finland, punctuality is highly valued. Whether it’s a business meeting, social gathering, or public transport, being on time is considered essential. Finnish people are known for their efficiency and precision, so it is important to respect their time by arriving promptly.

2. Sauna Culture

Saunas hold a special place in Finnish culture and are considered a socializing tradition. If you are invited to a Finnish home and a sauna is available, it is customary to accept the invitation. However, it’s important to note that Finns observe strict sauna etiquette, such as sitting on a towel, maintaining silence, and respecting personal space.

3. Silence and Personal Space

Finnish people value their personal space and tend to be reserved in nature. It is polite to maintain a respectful distance and avoid unnecessary physical contact, such as hugging or kissing, with strangers or acquaintances. Additionally, Finns appreciate silence and may find loud or boisterous behavior intrusive.

4. Alcohol Laws

Finland has strict regulations regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. The legal drinking age is 18 for mild alcoholic beverages, while stronger spirits can only be purchased by individuals aged 20 or above. It is also important to note that alcohol can only be bought from state-run stores called Alko, and drinking in public places is generally prohibited.

5. Nature and Environmental Respect

Finland is known for its pristine nature and beautiful landscapes. It is important to respect the environment by not littering, camping in designated areas, and following hiking trail guidelines. Additionally, the “Everyman’s Right” allows individuals to freely roam and enjoy nature, but it is crucial to leave no trace and respect private properties.

Tips for Traveling

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Finland, here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Finnish customs and traditions before your trip. Understanding the culture will help you navigate social situations with ease and respect.
    • Subtip: Learn a few basic Finnish phrases to show your interest and appreciation for the language.
  2. Plan ahead and be mindful of the weather. Finland experiences extreme temperatures throughout the year, so pack appropriate clothing and accessories to stay comfortable.

  3. Follow public transport rules and etiquette. When using buses, trams, or trains, purchase a ticket and validate it before boarding. Give up your seat to the elderly or pregnant passengers, and keep your voice down to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

  4. Enjoy Finnish cuisine but be open-minded. Finnish cuisine may be different from what you are accustomed to, but embrace the opportunity to try traditional dishes such as salmon, reindeer, and Karelian pastries. Remember to try the famous Finnish coffee culture as well!

  5. Respect the privacy of the Finns. Finns value their personal space and privacy, so avoid asking personal questions or invading their personal boundaries. Engage in polite and friendly conversations, but remain mindful of cultural norms.

This article aims to provide valuable insights into the rules and cultural norms of Finland. However, it is always advisable to seek professional advice and consult official sources regarding the specific laws and regulations of the country. Travelers are encouraged to fully research and prepare for their trips to experience Finland in a safe and respectful manner.

By following the rules and cultural norms of Finland, you can not only have a more pleasant travel experience but also gain a deeper appreciation for the country and its people. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in Finnish culture, explore its breathtaking landscapes, and forge meaningful connections with the locals. Happy travels!