Backpacking in Finland

Oulu tourism


A land of thousand lakes


10 Essential Tips for Backpacking in Finland

One of your major concerns with backpacking in Finland is the costs of travel, accommodation, and the various activities you’ll want to be doing there. This is why the 6 first pieces of advice will be on organizing your finances before your trip, so that you may enjoy yourself without worrying about money once you’re in Finland. The last 4 pieces of advice are related to practical concerns like knowing what to pack, and what you don’t want to miss once you’re there.

1. Is Finland expensive for travelers?

While it is true that Finland is among the top ten most expensive countries in Europe for travelers, you should not be deterred by this. The country does have budget-friendly hotels and cultural attractions, and the cost of living is not as high as some travelers might imagine.

2. How do I get there cheapest?

Given how far up north Finland lies, and how cheap flight tickets have become, it’s probably cheapest for you to get there by flying. When compared to the costs incurred when traveling by car or by train - notwithstanding the time it takes, depending on where you’re starting from - flying usually comes out on top in terms of both cost and time efficiency. Flying is most often the cheapest and fastest way to get to Finland.


3. Where can I stay?

You have lots of options as to where you’ll stay when backpacking in Finland. One of the most common accommodations among thrifty travelers is the many cheap hostels that the country has. Another popular option is to spend your nights at AirBNB housings. 

4. Will I need a credit card?

Depending on how much money you have saved up for your trip to Finland, you may or may not need a credit card. The credit card can be used for any part of the trip, whether it’s the flight tickets, accommodation, activities, or all of these. One thing you should be careful about when using a credit card to pay for your traveling, however, is that you pay it off as quickly as you can when you get back home after your trip. Most banks would advise against accumulating credit card debt in the first place, but if you have to do it, then do it wisely.

5. What types of insurance do I need?

If you need a Schengen visa for traveling to Finland, then travel insurance is mandatory. In general, though, it’s best to have valid insurance for whenever you’re traveling.

6. How do I budget for a trip to Finland?

When organizing your finances and putting together a budget before your trip, you should consider all of the things that have been touched on above, including travel costs, accommodation costs, as well as costs for what you’ll be doing and eating in Finland. Other costs to consider include: 

  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • Shopping
  • Transportation
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7. What is the best month to visit Finland?

What time you decide to go to Finland should be adapted according to your wishes: if you want to experience the country during winter times, late November to early March is a good pick; if you instead want to go there when it’s warm, you could instead go during the summer months of June, July, and August.

8. What should I pack for Finland?

The following is a list of the most important things you should consider packing for Finland. It includes some nifty tips for saving money as well: 

  • Extra shifts of clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Cash taken out at the airport (in Euros, Finland’s currency)
  • Phone charger
  • Food for the trip, so you won’t have to pay overpriced food on the plane
  • In general, pack lightly; bring only a backpack if you can, so that you won’t have to pay for extra luggage

9. How many days do I need in Finland?

You would optimally want to aim for staying 7 days or more in Finland. This way, you’ll have enough time to experience the best of what the country has to offer.

10. What should I not miss in Finland?

Here are some of the best things you should not miss in Finland: 

  • Meeting Santa Claus in Rovaniemi.
  • Riding a sleigh pulled by reindeer.
  • Bathing in one of the almost 200,000 lakes in Finland.
  • Looking at the Northern Lights, if you’re so lucky to be there when they are most active. 
  • Spend a few nights in one of their summer or winter cottages.
  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • Shopping
  • Transportation


Everything you need to know about getting a home loan in Finland

Everything you need to know about getting a home loan in Finland

Proceeding from our previous article on “What should I know if I want to move to Finland?” we will now explain some of the requirements for getting a home loan in Finland, either upon entering the country or after living here for some time. This includes how much equity and income you need, alternative ways to be granted a loan, and more.

General guidelines and regulations for mortgage loans

Before you apply for a home loan in Finland, it helps to know about the rules and regulations that apply. Your go-to place for finding the correct information is The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), which outlines the requirements for getting a home loan in Finland.

The guidelines and regulations for mortgage loans can be divided into three sections: General provisions, Mortgage loans, and Creditworthiness criteria:

  • The general provisions section provides information on the purpose of the guidelines and regulations, who they apply to, what they apply to, and how they should be read.
  • The mortgage loans section is divided into two subsections: One subsection pertains to mortgage loans granted by banks while the other subsection pertains to credit unions.
  • The creditworthiness criteria section provides information on eligibility requirements for getting a loan as well as what happens if you cannot meet the requirements.

We now proceed to answer some of the most common questions regarding home loans in Finland.

How big is the down payment?

The down payment in Finland is usually quite low for first-time home buyers and can be expected to be around 3-5% of the purchase price. If you take out an ASP loan, it goes up to 10%, and if you have already owned a home before, this normally goes up to 15%, which means that you need 3-5 times as much in savings to be able to get the loan.

In one of Finland’s neighboring countries, Norway, a down payment of 15% is actually expected by first-time home buyers as well, raising the requirements for securing a loan. Asking family members for help to cover the down payment has therefore become more and more normal – a process that goes by the name “Realkausjon.” We will describe this in more detail in its Finnish and English forms below.

How much collateral is needed for a home loan?

In most cases, you need collateral equal to 70% of the home’s market value. If the home loan exceeds 70% of the value, you will need to provide some other form of collateral. An alternative is to ask a family member to provide the collateral you need through their property – this is called “Omaisuuden Turvallisuus” in Finnish, and “Security Property” in English. The person providing the security property is the one who will be at risk if the borrower is unable to pay down the loan.

What are the best banks?

There are many banks that offer home loans in Finland and they have different features. For example, some banks are only available for Finnish citizens while others are open to all EU citizens. If you are a foreigner looking for a bank that offers home loans, you can consider well-known ones like Nordea, Danske Bank, Aktia, or smaller local banks, depending on what area you live in. 


what to know when moving to finland

Finland has a lot to offer for expats. It is the third most stable country in the world, has one of the best education systems, and is one of the happiest countries in the world.

The cost of living is also low, which means you can save more money for retirement or your next vacation. The government provides free healthcare, so you don’t have to worry about paying high health care premiums.

There are many reasons why you should move to Finland, and here’s what you should know if you do!

Step-By-Step Guide to Moving to Finland

Finland has a lot of advantages for foreigners who are looking for a new home. It is a safe country with high living standards and good healthcare. The country is also known for its education system, which is one of the best in the world. If you want to move to Finland, here are some tips on how to do it:

1) Get a residence permit

Finland is a country of extremes. It’s cold in the winter, but it’s warm in the summer. The people are polite and reserved, but also outgoing and friendly. Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, but it also has one of the most expensive living costs. Finland is home to some of Europe’s best ski resorts, but it also has some of Europe’s worst road conditions.

The key to understanding Finland is to understand that it’s both very different from other countries and yet very similar at the same time.

2) Find a job

Finland is a great place to live and work. It has a high quality of life, low crime rates, and low levels of pollution. In addition, Finland has one of the most competitive job markets in the world.

In Finland, it’s easy to find a job as long as you have the right qualifications and skillsets. The Finnish government provides a helpful guide for newcomers that will help them find a suitable job in just a few steps.

There are three ways to find work in Finland: through your network, online jobs listings, or at an employment office. The Finnish government website also provides information on how to apply for unemployment benefits if you’re not able to find work after looking for some time.

The Finnish labor market is one of the most competitive in

3) Learn the Finnish language

Finland is a Nordic country that is located in the northernmost part of Europe. The population of Finland is 5.5 million people and the official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Finnish, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, is spoken by 91% of the population.

The Finnish language has many similarities with other languages in Europe because it shares a common ancestor with languages like Estonian, Hungarian, and Turkish. It also shares similarities with Scandinavian languages like Swedish and Norwegian due to its geographical proximity to these countries.

This section provides an introduction for people who want to move to Finland but don’t know how to learn Finnish or what they should expect when they arrive there.

4) Find accommodation

When you first move to Finland, chances are you’ll first have to get a small apartment or dorm to rent while you find out whether you want to live there. Meanwhile, there are plenty of places to store your furniture and other belongings while you settle down. After all, you will most likely not be able to fit everything you have in your house or apartment right now into your new place, until you find a bigger one.

Below are some of the things you should look for in a good self-storage, according to a checklist from

  • Location: Is the storage close enough to where you live (or, in your case, will be living)?
  • Price: What is the best self-storage in terms of price and quality?
  • Reviews: Does the storage have positive reviews?
  • Size: Will you be able to fit all your furniture and belongings in the storage rooms they provide?

Things to Know About Finland

To help make your move to Finland a bit more seamless – and so you’ll know what to expect – let’s take a look at some facts about the Finns, their education system, and healthcare.

How Finns Spend Their Free Time

The Finns are a hardworking people with little free time. But they do have some, and they spend it in many different ways.

Some work on hobbies like photography or making music. Others go to the gym or spend time with their friends and family. Still others enjoy quiet afternoons reading or walking in nature. Whatever the activity, most Finns find ways to enjoy their free time outside of work.

Quality of Education

The Finnish education system is one of the best in the world. It has been ranked as the second best education system in the world by, just after Switzerland.

The Finnish education system is divided into three levels: basic, upper secondary and tertiary. Basic level covers pre-school and primary school, whereas upper secondary level covers vocational or academic courses at either upper secondary general schools or vocational upper secondary schools. Tertiary level includes universities and polytechnics.

Healthcare & Social Security

The Finnish healthcare system is financed through taxation and mandatory health insurance. The social security system includes unemployment benefits, maternity benefits, parental benefits, sickness benefits and disability pensions. The government ensures that all Finnish citizens have equal access to healthcare and social security regardless of their income or background.

We hope you’ll have a great time and life in Finland!

Is Finland Expensive as an Expat?

Finland is a popular place to live for expats. With beautiful natural scenery, affordable day trip opportunities, and great culture, it’s no wonder why so many people are drawn to the country. At the same time, however, Finland is also an expensive country to live in. It is not hard to see why, with the high quality of life and abundant nature that the country has to offer.

There are some ways that the cost of living in Finland can be reduced though:

  • Moving outside of Helsinki and living in a smaller, cheaper town
  • Selling your car and relying on public transportation
  • Hiring a moving company instead of doing it yourself

As with moving to any other country, you can save a lot of money by doing simple things like finding more modest housing and choosing simple modes of transportation. You’d be surprised at how much you could reduce the cost of living in Finland by finding these small opportunities to save.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Finland?

That depends on whether you’re moving on your own, or whether you’re also bringing your family over. A single person is estimated to live comfortably on about $1,000 per month, whereas an entire family of four will probably need more like $3,000 to $3,500 per month. These numbers vary based on housing, lifestyle, and personal standards of luxury.

Is it easy to immigrate to Finland?

Finland is a country that embraces immigrants. It is not hard to immigrate there, and the country has an open-door policy. To immigrate to Finland, however, you must be a European Union citizen and have a valid passport. You also need to be able to speak Finnish or Swedish. The reason for this is that you won’t be able to integrate into the country if you aren’t able to speak the language.

Are houses in Finland expensive?

House prices in Finland vary, depending on where you are in the country. In the south, for example, you’ll find the most expensive houses, with prices as high as $2,350 per square meter. Meanwhile, in the west of Finland, you’ll be more likely to find house prices at $1,750 per square meter. This is why you should always do some research before traveling to another country – and especially when deciding where to live. Doing so could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

What is a good salary in Finland?

The average annual income for a Finn is €30,000, which is about $38,000, but the average salary ranges from €19,000 to €60,000. Salaries are usually higher in professions that require high levels of education or skill sets that are sought-after. If you earn anywhere between $35,000 to $45,000, you will be able to live quite comfortably in Finland.