VISA AND OTHER PROCEDURES
Portuguese citizens only need to show a citizen card to enter Finland. Brazilian citizens must be in possession of a passport but do not need a visa.
No vaccine or prophylaxis is normally considered indispensable for Finland.
If you are visiting Finland – and especially Finnish Lapland – during the dead of winter, make sure you are physically fit and have the necessary clothes and equipment. On the coldest days in Finnish Lapland, temperatures easily drop below -30°C.
Take your European Health Insurance Card with you so that you can enjoy healthcare at a reduced cost and with special conditions, in case you have any unexpected problems.
For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. In FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).
TRIP TO FINLAND
A TAP (tel: 707 205 700) flies several times a week directly from Lisbon to Helsinki for €200 round trip.
The main company for Finnish domestic flights is Finnair which have normal high prices for their routes. Finnair also launches Happy Hours in which flights considerably decrease in value with massive discounts for children – up to 70% – and teenagers. At Happy Hours they take place well in advance of the date of travel and last for a short time.
The main Low Cost airline is bluexnumx. At the time of this text, he was flying from Helsinki to Kuopio, Oulu, Rovaniemi and Vaasa.
With sufficient advance notice, in certain periods, it is possible to buy the Helsinki-Rovaniemi section for just €50 or €60, cheaper than a train ticket.
Finnish trains Valtion Rautatiet VR they are modern, functional, punctual and an excellent alternative to airplanes. They work with 1st and 2nd class, with sitting compartments and bed. A return ticket costs an average of €20 and €14 per 100km respectively in 1st and 2nd class. Children under the age of 17 pay half-ticket and under the age of 6 free of charge but without their own seat.
Like trains, buses are fast, comfortable, functional and more convenient than trains for traveling between small towns. Tickets for long-distance and express buses are operated in a very functional way by the company Courier.
It mainly applies to crossing rivers and lakes, and just look at the Finnish territory on the map to see that Finland is full of them. Hundreds of boats with routes connecting various villages on the banks of these lakes also allow foreign visitors who so wish to travel through a large part of the country's territory. The most emblematic routes are Tampere-Hämeenlinna, Savonlinna-Kuopio, Lahti-Jyväskylä and Joensuu-Koli-Nurmes.
Various types of ferries connect different villages and islands – especially around Turku – and the province of Aland. Other important sea routes are the very short Helsinki-Suomenlinna, Turku-Naantali and Helsinki-Porvoo.
Renting and driving a car in Finland is as simple as it is expensive. A small utility vehicle costs from €60 per day with 100km included and, as a rule, a value in cents for each extra km traveled or €80 to €90 with unlimited km. In Finland, it pays off to share the rental with more travellers. Even with the roads completely icy, the ever-increasing sophistication of snow and ice tires makes – sudden braking aside – driving in Finnish winter easier than it sounds.
Finland is a destination for most of the year. An exception will have to be made for the period between late November and mid-March when the cold is at its worst – down to -40°C in Finnish Lapland, almost guaranteed to be below 0°C in Helsinki. The daily light period is the shortest, with darkness setting in at 15 pm in Helsinki and lasting 20 to 22 of the 24 hours in the much higher latitudes of Rovaniemi and mainly Inari.
The equinox months of September and March are considered the best months to admire the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle but you can always see them in August and late April.
Finnish autumn includes another period – short and usually without snow – very interesting to visit the country, the golden-yellow foliage days that the Finns call ruska. Depending on the latitude in the country and weather conditions it can take place anywhere from September to mid-autumn.
The end of spring and summer bring warmer temperatures. In a very different way, these are other good times to explore Finland.
More information on Finish Meteorological Institute, Auroras Now e Aurora Service
The currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR). Finland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, even if not as expensive as its Scandinavian neighbors to the west. ATMs are plentiful and credit and debit card payments are widespread.
The cheapest hotels and hostels cost €50 per night for a double room, average hotels start at €100 per night, campsites charge from €10 to €20 per tent per night. At the opposite pole, Finnish Lapland's best ice hotels charge many hundreds of euros a night.
Food is on par with accommodation. Wherever you are, you will have a hard time paying less than €25 – €30 for a full meal. Food in supermarkets is expensive.
Fast and very functional even in the desolate extremes of Finnish Lapland. It is very likely that there are free connections all over the place including almost every public library in the country. Internet cafes are not common in a country where people always have Internet at home, at work and on their phones.