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Helsinki’s apparent low profile is pure illusion. In 2012, the city was World Design Capital.
Discover the Jugend style
Which is the Finnish formula of art nouveau, visible in the national Theatre and Museum (Ateneum). The fortress of Suomenlinna, World Heritage Site, traces back to Russian and Swedish influences; and the great Lutheran Cathedral is an overwhelming luminous icon. Let's not forget the Senate Square, which is the starting point to see the rest of the city.
Do as Finns do
All roads lead to Kauppatori, the central square that includes the market. Helsinki is a great cultural destination and the KIASMA (museum of contemporary art) is just an example. And following the scandinavian tradition, there’s also a very popular amusement park: Linnanmäki!
Culture and Business
Make sure you have your identity card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, take care of your visa or other necessary documentation ahead of time.
In Finland, there are large variations in the climate from north to south. In the summer, the temperature is around 17ºC and in the winter there is snow and average temperatures of around -6ºC, reaching -30ºC in the north. In the north, there are two months in which the sun does not set in the summer, and in the winter there are two months in which the sun does not rise.
GMT + 2
Geography & politics
Finland is a member of the European Union and is located in northern Europe, in the Finnish-Scandinavian region, which includes Scandinavia. The majority of its population lives in the south of the country. Finland is a parliamentary republic with the central government based in Helsinki.
Tipping & paying
Credit cards are a very common method of payment, and are available at most sites. There are also ATMs, but it is always helpful to have some money with you. Finland is part of the eurozone, so the currency in use will be the Euro (EUR). It is not customary to leave a tip since the bill in restaurants already includes a service charge.
Languages & useful phrases
Finnish and Swedish are both official languages of the country, with the mother tongue being Finnish for more than 90% of the population. Learn some terms in Finnish: "hei" = hello; "Kiitos" = thank you; "Anteeksi" = sorry.
What you should do
Learn a little about Finnish culture so you can talk - Finns have a strong sense of national identity. Learn a few words in Finnish if you can, the Finns will be happy to have made the effort.
What you shouldn’t do
Do not overlook the value of words. Finns value the way they use them and their meaning. They are modest, honest and trustworthy people who enjoy direct and uncomplicated communication - do not interrupt. Do not be late for meetings, it's a sign of disrespect.
What to wear
Choose a formal and conservative style with a suit and tie for men and a suit or dress for women.
When meeting someone for the first time, greet him or her with a handshake. If you are invited to someone's house, bring a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers as a way of saying thank you and remove your shoes as you enter.