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What you need to know about living in Finland
Finland is a picturesque Nordic country known for its lakes, snowy landscapes, saunas, ice bathing, and the magical Northern Lights. It’s the perfect destination if you wish to have amazing nature, culture, and a high-quality lifestyle.
Work in Finland
Finland has a thriving expat community and excellent working conditions. Finnish business culture is known for its honesty and straightforwardness, with meetings often taking place over meals or coffee.
The average net salary is around €2823 per month. The major industries include technology, forestry, healthcare, and design.
Work in Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital of Finland and it offers numerous job opportunities, especially in sectors such as technology, design, and healthcare. The city and people are welcoming towards expats, and there are big expat communities – especially in the central regions.
Taxes in Finland
When you have secured a job in Finland, you need to sort out some essential paperwork . You need to acquire a personal ID number (henkilötunnus) and an electronic ID card (henkilökortti), that needs to be linked to your mobile phone . These procedures and documents are crucial for various administrative processes and tax purposes. Finland has an income tax rate starting at 17%, along with a municipal tax rate starting at 14.45%.
Popular cities in Finland
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Life in Finland
Imagine waking up to the midnight sun during the summer months, or experiencing the dancing Northern Lights in the winter skies. Finland’s landscapes are a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. There are big forests, lakes, and national parks, so you’ll have many opportunities for hiking, skiing, canoeing, and even ice swimming. You will find amazing design, culture, markets, and food in Helsinki, Explore the Helsinki Cathedral, and enjoy salmon dishes and mouth watering cinnamon buns.
Basic facts about Finland
Finland is situated in Northern Europe and shares borders with Sweden, Norway, and Russia.The official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Finland has a distinct four-season climate, including long summer days and snowy winters.
5 fun facts about Finland
- Land of a Thousand Lakes: Finland is often referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes,” but in reality, it has more than 180,000 lakes.
- Sauna culture: Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture, with approximately two million saunas in the country – more than enough for the population!
- Excellent education: Finland’s education system is renowned globally for its effectiveness and innovation.
- Midsummer magic: Midsummer, known as “Juhannus,” is a significant celebration in Finland, marked by bonfires and festivities.
- Santa Claus’s residence: The town of Rovaniemi in Lapland is considered the official hometown of Santa Claus (for some countries). This place attracts visitors from around the world.
Finnish culture is rooted in a deep connection with nature, equality, and a strong sense of community. Family is very important, and Finland is proud of its high levels of gender equality and tolerance. The country’s stunning landscapes, including the captivating Northern Lights, have inspired much of its art, music, and literature.
Typical food in Finland
Finnish cuisine reflects the country’s natural surroundings. It’s simple, hearty, and delicious. Typical dishes include fish, especially in coastal areas, and reindeer meat in Lapland. Some of their traditional dishes include:
- Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian Pasty): A thin rye crust filled with rice porridge or mashed potatoes, a Finnish comfort food.
- Kalakukko: Originating from the Savonia region, this traditional fish pie features layers of fish and pork encased in dense rye crust.
- Ruisleipä (Rye Bread): A staple, dark and dense rye bread, often served with butter, cheese, or cold cuts.
- Lohikeitto: A creamy salmon soup infused with vegetables and dill, representing the coastal influence on Finnish cuisine.
- Hernekeitto: A pea soup traditionally enjoyed on Thursdays, often accompanied by a dollop of mustard.
Finding accommodation in Finland
Finding accommodation, especially in Helsinki, can be a challenge due to high demand. Prices vary depending on the neighbourhood, ranging from €1000 to €1200 for a one-room apartment in the city centre. Online platforms like Mbl.is and Rent.is can be helpful in your housing search.
Cost of living in Finland
In Finland, the cost of living reflects its high-quality lifestyle. Monthly groceries may cost around €150, impacted by Finland’s limited growing season and reliance on imports. Public transport is a vital aspect of Finnish life and a monthly pass costs around €89. Mobile rates average at €0.14 per minute. Fitness membership costs approximately €52, while a cinema ticket is around €11.50. A pint of beer at local establishments is priced at €8.26. Overall, the cost of living in Finland aligns with its reputation for quality but may require budgeting.
Despite the expenses, expats are drawn to Finland’s exceptional welfare benefits, natural beauty, free education, and complementary healthcare.
Expats in Finland
An increasing number of expats are making this Nordic country their home. The friendly locals, who are proficient in English, contribute to a welcoming atmosphere. Expats from Asia, Europe, and America are drawn to Finland because of the unique blend of modernity and tradition. Expats in Helsinki often create a lively community, sharing experiences and supporting one another – you can find many expat groups on social media.
How to learn Finnish
While most Finns speak English fluently, learning some basic Finnish phrases will give you a better local experience and understanding of the local culture. Various online courses are available for those interested in delving deeper into the complex but fascinating Finnish language.
Still not convinced about Finland?
Finland has a society that values equality, sustainability, and well-being. With excellent healthcare, efficient public transport, and a high quality of life, Finland provides a nurturing environment for personal growth and happiness.
Finland is one of the prime locations in the world to witness the stunning natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. The northernmost regions of Finland, such as Lapland, offer optimal conditions for viewing the Northern Lights due to their proximity to the Arctic Circle. The best time to see the Aurora Borealis in Finland is during the winter months, particularly from September to March, when the nights are dark and the skies are clear. It is an unforgettable experience to witness the dancing colors of the Northern Lights in the Finnish wilderness.
Finns are also known for their love of saunas, and in Finland, there are over 3 million saunas for a population of just 5.5 million people! Saunas are not just a place to relax and unwind; they’re a way of life.
Finnish culture is also rich in traditions, from the enchanting Kalevala epic to the captivating music of Sibelius, and the iconic Midsummer festivities with bonfires.
Finland’s education system consistently ranks among the best in the world, with an environment that values creativity and critical thinking. Finland is the birthplace of the game phenomenon Angry Birds, which is a testament to the country’s innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
No, you do not need a work permit to work in Finland as an EU citizen. If you work there you will need a Finnish personal identity code as well as a tax card. You can read more here.
Finland has a predominantly temperate climate characterised by four distinct seasons. The climate varies across the country, with the northern regions experiencing colder temperatures and longer winters compared to the southern parts. Summers in Finland are generally mild to warm, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). Winters can be cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing, and snow is common. The spring and autumn seasons bring milder temperatures and colourful foliage, making them popular times to visit.
Finland’s public transport is well-working with good long-distance connections as well as commuting within the cities. The main form of transport in Finland is trains and buses, and within the cities there are also trams. The prices of tickets have become cheaper over the years. You can buy tickets using the HSL mobile app, in ticket machines, and R-kiosks in the city. “Helsinki card” holders are able to travel for free on buses.
Yes, Finland consistently ranks among the top countries in terms of quality of life, education, healthcare, and overall happiness. The country’s well-functioning welfare system, clean environment, and strong emphasis on work-life balance contribute to a high standard of living. Additionally, Finland offers a safe and stable society, with a low crime rate and a strong sense of social cohesion.
Yes, food and drinks in Finland tend to be relatively expensive compared to many other European countries. The cost of groceries, dining out, and alcoholic beverages can be higher than average. Prices can vary depending on the location and type of establishment. In general, dining at restaurants or cafes can be more expensive, while cooking at home and purchasing groceries from supermarkets can help manage food costs. It’s also worth noting that alcoholic beverages, particularly those sold in bars or restaurants, are subject to high taxes, contributing to their higher prices.