Foreign visitors info

If this is your first visit to Finland, we want to make your time as easy and comfortable as possible. We have therefore collected all the information you might need while staying with us.
At the bottom of the page you will also find important words you might want to use when searching f.ex. for places to eat.

Money

Finland’s currency is the Euro.
You can easily recognize a bank machine by its yellow color and overhead text that reads ‘Otto’. However, we cannot ensure credit cards other than Visa, Mastercard or American Express will work. Please google for more information about user experiences with your credit card company.
If you would like to buy currency, the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport has several money exchange points. Every big city also has a Forex (www.forex.fi) which you can use.

Store opening times

Shops are usually open from 8 AM to 9 PM during the week. Specialized stores are often open between 10 AM to 5 PM. To ensure your chance to visit please check their website for specific opening times.

Transportation

Trains
Finland only has one train company, VR. You can buy train tickets beforehand online at www.VR.fi. All major credit cards are accepted. Notice: you cannot buy a ticket on the train. If you don’t feel comfortable buying tickets online, every train station has ticket machines which provide service in English and many other languages. Depending on the city there might also be a customer service point.
Notice: Students are eligible for a student discount on all normal priced tickets. You must have a student card with information in English about your school and other personal info.
If you’re travelling in Helsinki with local trains, however, you are not eligible for the student discount.

Buses
Information on all bus and coach services can be found at www.matkahuolto.com. They offer a comprehensive list of different coach companies operating between cities and provide service in English. Tickets for certain routes can be purchased online; otherwise you can buy tickets at Matkahuolto’s service counters or directly from the driver. Either way is fine.
Notice: Some students are eligible for a student discount so show your card and see if you’re able to shake off few euros!

Finland also has its own cheap bus company, www.Onnibus.fi. Tickets are sold only on web. They take all major credit cards.

Cars
Please check with your consulate whether you are permitted to drive in Finland without a green card. If you are, you may rent a car from car rental service of your preference.

Eating and drinking in Finland

Our country is full of wonderful restaurants and places to hang out for a drink. If you have any allergies or other dietary restrictions, most restaurants are happy to hear about them in order to provide way for you to enjoy your dinner.

SIM-cards

If you want to enjoy your trip with social media or use your locator, the best and cheapest way to get around is by getting your own prepaid SIM card. Listed here are the most used ones by the Finnish mobile service provider, DNA.
DNA prepaid SIM cards are widely available from several retailers:

  • R-Kioski
  • Suomalainen Kirjakauppa
  • Post office (Posti)
  • No ID required.

You can buy top-up vouchers from R-Kioski and Posti with cash or card. You can also recharge online using international Visa/Mastercard credit cards.
The following prepaid products are available:
DNA Rajaton Prepaid: SIM card with phone calls, SMS, MMS and data
A starter pack costs 7.90 € (often discounted to 4.90 €). It contains SIM cards of 3 sizes.
The card is charged daily, deducted regardless of whether you are actually using it until the credit runs out.
Unlimited domestic phone calls, SMS and 4G costs 0.89 € per day.

DNA Super Prepaid: SIM card with phone calls, SMS, MMS and data
A starter pack costs 7.90 €, often discounted to 3.90 €.
Data has a maximum charge of 0.99 € per day with unlimited domestic data only on the days when it’s used.
These packages can be added:
100MB / 30 days / 4.90 €
500MB / 30 days / 7.90 €
1GB /30 days / 9.90 €
Unlimited / 7 days / 7.90 €
Unlimited / 30 days / 16.90 €

When you top-up your new Rajaton or Super prepaid, you will receive a 5 EUR top-up bonus.

Medicine and personal hygiene

You can purchase self-care medicine from pharmacies but for any personal prescriptions given to you by your doctor, please bring them with you. It is easy to recognise a pharmacy from its green cross symbol.

Public toilets

Along with the usual shapes of men and women, Finnish toilets may use letters N and M, depending on the sex. N is for women, M for men.

Customs to remember

No tipping
Please respect the Finnish “personal space bubble” and avoid standing closer than a 1 m radius to strangers, if possible. This obviously doesn’t matter in situations like rush hour buses.

Please avoid touching people unless you are specifically trying to get their attention. In such situations, a nudge from a sleeve or other neutral places will work.

Please avoid speaking loudly on public transportation vehicles.

If possible, maintain eye contact while discussing with Finns. Don’t feel too bad if you fail at this, it is quite intimidating at first! :)

Weather

Finnish weather can change in a matter of moments so it’s important to pack different kind of clothes just in case.

Weather during Umicon will be around -10°C degrees during the event. There might be some snowfall during the day. More accurate weather information to come a week before the event

Substances, smoking, alcohol etc.

Our events are non-smoking and substances-free (alcohol, drugs), but here is some information on consumption of tobacco outside the convention.
Nicotine products and mild alcohol-based drinks can be purchased by ages 18 years and up.
Stores are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages between 9 PM to 9 AM.
According to Finnish laws, tobacco products are not viewable at stores. To obtain them you must talk to the cashier and tell them which product you want. Upon request, cashiers will give you a list of brands with the number that goes along with.
In Finland you cannot smoke in any room which is not specified as a smoking area, which means most public buildings are non-smoking areas by default. This also applies to electronic cigarettes. However, you can find a lot of places for smoking outdoors.
More about electronic cigarettes: You can bring a maximum of 10 ml/mg of electronic cigarette fills to Finland. Exceeding the amount might get your products confiscated by customs officials when arriving so please take note if you’re going to bring any along.

Dictionary:

  • Restaurant: Ravintola

  • Pharmacist: Apteekki

  • Food stores: K-Market, Siwa, Lidl, S-Market

  • Toilet: WC, Vessa

  • Post office: Posti

  • Excuse me/Sorry: Anteeksi

  • Thank you: Kiitos

  • Woman: N(aiset)

  • Man: M(iehet)