Finland Quick Facts
Population: 5.3 million
Languages: Finnish (91.5%) and Swedish (5.5%) are official languages.
Main Religion: Christianity
Currency: Euro (I USD = 0.78 EUR)
Size: 338,145 sq km or twice the size of Florida or slightly smaller than Germany.
Location: Northern Europe.
Neighbors: Norway, Russia and Sweden.
Climate: Cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes.
Best Time to Visit: June through August.
Today Finland is celebrating Independence Day. It became independent from Russia on December 6, 1917.
Many visitors to this arctic country claim that Finland has a certain mystique about it. The country is anyway disproportionately accomplished: According to The Prosperity Index published in October 2009, Finland is the world’s most prosperous nation, in 2007 a Reader’s Digest study determined Finland to be the Best Country To Live In. And in the past few years Finland has also been ranked a leading country in the following areas: Competitive economy, least corrupt, most sustainable environment, academic abilities of 15 year olds, readership of newspapers, investments into research & development, and the use of internet. And it has managed all of the above while offering the longest vacations in the world (togerther with Brazil and France)!
Finland is also known for its design and a couple of weeks ago the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design appointed Helsinki World Design Capital 2012.
The world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, was delivered from a Finnish shipyard in October.
The country has a diversified industry and is one of the world centers of telecommunications technology – Finland is home of Nokia.
For the traveler there are many ways of exploring the mystique of Finland:
• The cosmopolitan capital Helsinki,
• the exotic and mountainous Lappland in the north,
• the lake country with 60,000 lakes in the center of Finland and
at the southwestern coast the worlds largest archipelago is located with over 80,000 islands.
Go in the summer and you will not only stay warmer, but also see more, since in the summer daylight is almost endless but in the wintertime days are extremely short.
So what is the catch? Finland is very expensive!
More photos after the jump…