Practical Lapland Travel Information

Here is some practical advice and travel tips that are helpful no matter to which part of Lapland you are traveling to.

Click below on the different categories to learn more.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Language

Language

Finland's two official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Many people speak very good English and occasionally other languages as well.

In Lapland, you will hear Finnish almost all the time. Sami is spoken in some places, mostly in areas further North. Many people in Lapland speak basic, if not good levels of English, .

Many older persons, however, often have limited English skills and some are hesitant to speak because they are shy or are afraid to make a mistake.

If you are dealing with someone who doesn't speak English or your native language, be patient and friendly and see if you can communicate with hand gestures or pictures on a map or brochure.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Emergencies and Health Issues

Emergencies and Health Issues

Finland's general emergency number is 112 and you can call it from any telephone to reach police, fire department, or if needing an ambulance or medical attention.

Non-prescription drugs are only sold in pharmacies in Finland so you cannot get them from any other store. Its good to travel with your own medicines just in case, especially painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol, as if you have a late night headache, you will not be able to go to the store to get them.

Contact lens solution is also only sold in pharmacies.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Phones

Phones

There are no public telephones in Lapland so mobile phones are its best to have a mobile with you at all times for safety. You can buy prepaid SIM cards at almost any Kiosk store. Finland's country code it +358.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Electricity

Electricity

Finland mainly uses 230V and frequency 50 Hz. Electrical outlets use types C and F plugs (with two round pins), like most central European countries. Converters can be bought in major tourism centers, yet its best to bring one from home if possible.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Almost everything closes in Lapland on public holidays so be sure to check if your travel dates fall in line with public holidays in Finland. If you are visiting over holidays, you can expect only a few shops or restaurants to be open and sometimes bus schedules will change, so it good to be know ahead of time.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Currency

Currency

Finland uses the Euro (€), but does not use one and two cent coins like in other euro using countries. The five cent coin is the smallest coin used.

You can exchange currency at banks, which are usually open Monday to Friday from 10:00-16:15.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Paying with Cards and Cash

Paying with Cards and Cash

Many places in Lapland accept debit, or credit cards. The most common cards accepted are Maestro, Visa, and Master Card. Other cards are accepted in many places as well (AMEX). Some stores may ask for proof of identification when paying by card.

Credit cards are not commonly used as much as debit electron cards in Lapland so you need to point out you are using a credit card sometimes when giving your card to a cashier. Otherwise they will keep trying to stick your card into the pay terminal instead of swiping it.

Cash is always good to have on you especially in more remote locations and if taking public transportation. Local buses do not accept card and although almost all taxis take card, there may be a few who do not.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Drinking Water

Drinking Water

The water in Finland is very clean and you can drink water out of any tap in general in Lapland, unless otherwise stated (not train bathrooms!). When camping or hiking, be sure to filter or boil lake and river water before consuming. Locals will tell you that you can drink from rivers and streams and this is true for the most part...but at the same time, it never hurts to be safe.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Buying/Drinking Alcohol

Buying/Drinking Alcohol

The legal drinking age in Finland is 18 years for purchase and possession of alcoholic drinks up to 22%. The legal age for purchasing spirits with more than 22% is 20.

Beers, ciders, and long-drinks are sold kiosks and supermarkets from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Spirits and wine are only sold at state run Alko stores. Alko is open from 9:00-20:00 on Monday to Friday, 9:00-18:00 on Saturdays, and closed on Sunday
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Driving & Reindeer

Watch Out For Reindeer When Driving

While driving throughout the vast distances of Lapland you will notice that there are not many police around looking for speeding cars, despite a fair number of speed trap cameras in and around villages. That said, a good reason to still keep within the speed limit is that reindeer frequently graze along the side of the roadways and sometimes cross at any moment without warning. You really need to keep an eye out for them when driving so that you don't crash into them and have an accident on the roadway.
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