Euro is the official currency in Finland. Make sure you have some euros in your pocket before you arrive in Finland. Two reasons: first, Finland does not have currency exchange retails like other countries have where you can find exchange shops in almost every corner. Finnish currency exchange market is monopolized and you can exchange your money at either Forex shops (there are handful of them) or specific banks in Finland. Finally, currency exchange rates are very high here especially at the airport. Thus, before moving to Finland, make sure that you have enough cash in euros to get you to survive at least for few days.
Tech goods (all sorts of electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, phones, adapters, convertors, mouse, USB and so on) are expensive in Finland. Make sure to get your primary tech needs sorted before moving in Finland; otherwise, you will be spending most of your money on electronics.
It is no secret that Finland is damn cold! Your winter clothes back in LA will not do any good here. Clothing like many other things is expensive in Finland. Buying winter clothes anywhere else than Finland will be a smart move! Ensure you have good outdoor clothes, so you will be warm anywhere in Finland. Top priority winter clothes to bring include inner wears, thick socks, hat, gloves, jacket, trousers, scarf, and boots.
There are many hills, slippery roads, lakes, and mountains in Finland. Make sure to get some tricks like how to walk in the snow, how to go for fishing and so on. Start from here: Slipping In Snow: Here is How to Avoid a Slip-Up in the Snow
Medical costs in Finland are expensive if you do not have any insurance. It is also lengthy to see a doctor as you will need to wait in the queue for days. There are few private hospitals in Finland and they are quicker than the public hospitals but they are expensive. Before getting on the plane, you want to go for a check-up in your home country as well as to get your doctor to write your prescription drugs (including eye related information like lens types) on a paper in a clear (international) way so you can get the exact same ones here by showing the paper in pharmacy. However, most of the popular international drugs like Zoloft and Prozac etc. are not available in Finland. Copy Finnish-versions of these drugs are available but their effects are nowhere close to the original ones that you can find back at your home country.
Alcohol is another thing that is expensive in Finland. A bottle of Jack Daniels will cost you over 30 euros. It is better to have your alcohol fix before you land on any airports in Finland as (for example Helsinki) airport is expensive and you will not find any diversity there.
Even though Finland is one of the world’s top places in supplying paper, it is incredibly expensive in Finland. For example, printing 100-business cards will cost you over 70 euros whereas it would cost you less than $10 in the US. If you are on a business trip to Finland, make sure you have enough business cards, good briefcase, and other stationery needs.
The government runs the show in Finland. You want to make sure you give your one day to handle all your bureaucracy related items such as opening a bank account, registering with KELA (to get government benefits including healthcare and social security), TE office (for unemployment benefits from the government). Start from here: New Kela Service Enables Using Online Services with Cellphone
Before moving to Finland, you want to make sure that you know what’s going on in the country from politics to arts. One of the best places to get your news fix is FINNBAY as we provide more news than any other competitors out there. By being the only English-language news agency in Finland born-and-raised, we are proud that we are the only ones (so far) WSJ, the Economist, the UN, OECD etc. reference us as a Finnish source. ;) Have a safe travel and make the most out of your time when you are in Finland!
Interested to learn more about Finland? Check out these:
- Finland: Travel Books To Read Before You Go
- 10 Facts About Expat Life in Finland
- 10 Things Finnish Girls Like When…
- Finland 101: An Introduction to Living and Working in Finland
- 10 Things a Finnish Man Has Taught Me…