The one minute summary on Finland

This is it: one minute to the best info on Finland. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Finland, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It gained complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it successfully defended its independence through cooperation with Germany and resisted subsequent invasions by the Soviet Union – albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, Finland transformed from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro single currency at its initiation in January 1999. In the 21st century, the key features of Finland’s modern welfare state are high quality education, promotion of equality, and a national social welfare system – currently challenged by an aging population and the fluctuations of an export-driven economy.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Finland
  2. Does my current phone work in  Finland ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Finland
  3. Local food you should try in  Finland and No miss drinks in  Finland

Now, cheers to the most Finland aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Finland?

History Saint Olaf’s Castle, the world’s northernmost medieval castle, built in Savonlinna by Sweden in 1475 Not much is known about Finland’s early history, with archaeologists still debating when and where a tribe of Finno-Ugric speakers cropped up. Roman historian Tacitus mentions a tribe primitive and savage Fenni in 100AD and even the Vikings chose not to settle, trading and plundering along the coasts. In the mid-1150s Sweden started out to conquer and Christianize the Finnish pagans in earnest, with Birger Jarl incorporating most of the country into Sweden in 1249. Finland stayed an integral part of Sweden until the 19th century, although there was near-constant warfare with Russia on the eastern border and two brief occupations.

Finland Look  photo

Photo by nurpax

After Sweden’s final disastrous defeat in the Finnish War of 1808-1809, Finland became in 1809 an autonomous grand duchy under Russian rule. Russian rule alternated between tolerance and repression and there was already a significant independence movement when Russia plunged into revolutionary chaos in 1917. Parliament seized the chance and declared independence in December, quickly gaining Soviet assent, but the country promptly plunged into a brief but bitter civil war between the conservative Whites and the socialist Reds, eventually won by the Whites. During World War II, Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union in the Winter War, but fought them to a standstill that saw the USSR conquer 12% of Finnish territory.

Finland then allied with Germany in an unsuccessful attempt to repel the Soviets and regain the lost territory, was defeated and, as a condition for peace, had to turn against Germany instead. Thus Finland fought three separate wars during World War II. In the end, Finland lost much of Karelia and Finland’s second city Vyborg, but Soviets paid a heavy price for them with over 300,000 dead. After the war, Finland lay in the grey zone between the Western countries and the Soviet Union. The Finno-Soviet Pact of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance committed Finland to resist armed attacks by “Germany or its allies” (read: the West), but also allowed Finland to stay neutral in the Cold War and avoid a Communist government or Warsaw Pact membership. In politics, there was a tendency of avoiding any policies and statements that could be interpreted as anti-Soviet.

This balancing act of Finlandization was humorously defined as “the art of bowing to the East without mooning the West”. Despite close relations with the Soviet Union, Finland managed to retain democratic multi-party elections and remained a Western European market economy, building close ties with its Nordic neighbours. While there were some tense moments, Finland pulled it off: in the subsequent half century, the country made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy featuring high-tech giants like Nokia, and per capita income is now in the top 15 of the world. After the implosion of the USSR, Finland joined the European Union in 1995, and was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.

The one minute summary for Finland geography

Unlike craggy Norway and Sweden, Finland consists mostly of low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills, with mountains (of a sort) only in the extreme north, while Finland’s highest point, Mount Halti, rises only to a modest 1,328m. Finland has 187,888 lakes according to the Geological Survey of Finland, making the moniker Land of a Thousand Lakes actually an underestimation. Along the coast and in the lakes are—according to another estimate—179,584 islands, making the country an excellent boating destination as well. Finland is not located on the Scandinavian peninsula, so despite many cultural and historical links, it is technically not a part of Scandinavia. Even Finns rarely bother to make the distinction, but a more correct term that includes Finland is the “Nordic countries” (Pohjoismaat). Still, the capital, Helsinki, has a lot of Scandinavian features, especially when it comes to the architecture of the downtown, and another Scandinavian language, Swedish, is one of the two official languages of the country.

Best places to see in Finland

A selection of top sights in Finland: Central Helsinki, the Daughter of the Baltic, on a warm and sunny summer day The Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, 15-minute ferry trip from Downtown Helsinki. A Unesco World Heritage Site. The historical sites of Turku and the vast archipelago around it, best viewed from the deck of a giant car ferry. Pottering around the picturesque wooden houses of Porvoo, Finland’s second-oldest town Renting a car and exploring the Lake Land of Eastern Finland, an area dotted with around 60 000 lakes with a similar number of islands, which in turn have their own lakes… Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna, Finland’s most atmospheric castle, especially during the yearly Opera Festival Hämeenlinna Castle in Hämeenlinna is Finland’s oldest castle. Built in 13th century. Relaxing at a sauna-equipped cottage in the lake country of Eastern Finland Icebreaker cruising and the world’s biggest snow castle in Kemi Seeing the Northern Lights and trying your hand sledding down a mile-long track at Saariselkä A ride on the historical “Linnanmäki” wooden roller coaster (Helsinki). Unlike modern designs, only gravity keeps it on the track, and it requires a driver on each train to operate the brakes.