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Ten Reasons to Love Finland

Since we started traveling around with this blog, we visited many places. From the Faroe Islands to Chile… We loved most of the areas we enjoyed visiting, but our heart has a particular space reserved for a country that doesn’t receive much love from people in general.

Of course, the country we are speaking of is Finland, and we love Finland.

We love this northern country so much that we created this list of reasons to love Finland. Some might be familiar to some people, but we bet there might be some surprises here and there.

Below, we start our list of reasons to Love Finland

But first, remember that Finland doesn’t exist

But the first reason to love Finland is odd since it’s a global conspiracy that says Finland doesn’t exist. Yeah, you read this right. No Helsinki, Porvoo, Oulu, Turku, or any of those cities exist. The country is a lie perpetrated by the Russians and the Japanese for fish. Vice Magazine even wrote an article about it a couple of years ago, trying to understand its reasoning.

The weirdest part of this conspiracy theory is that the people from Finland believe that they are Finnish. But, in reality, they are from parts of northern Estonia, Western Russia, and the Eastern Part of Sweden.

We visited all these three places and like to believe that Finland was also there, but… It doesn’t make any sense.

Visiting Santa Claus in Finland

Everybody knows that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, but since the North Pole is on top of the water, it might be a little complicated to build a house there even if the water there is frozen most of the year. Due to this logistical problem, Santa Claus lives in Finland, the only place to meet the real Santa Claus.

Initially, Santa Claus lived in Korvatunturi, but he moved to Rovaniemi some time ago. It’s in this city in Lapland; he greets his visitors all year round. But, if you don’t feel like going north to see him, you can do like we did and visit his summer cottage in Espoo!

We did this a couple of years ago, and you should also do this!

If you love Finland, you love Metal.

Since we are both metalheads, the first thing we knew about Finland was the heavy metal scene. Finland has 630 metal bands per million people and leads Europe and the World by a lot, as shown on the map here.

Bands like Amorphis, Beherit, Nightwish, Impaled Nazarene, Lordi, and Children of Bodom are famous worldwide. We even visited the infamous place that gave its name to Children of Bodom.

But our favorite metal band from Finland is none of those mentioned above. Our favorite metal band from Finland is made of dinosaurs and is called Hevisaurus! We even enjoyed meeting the lead singer, Herra Hevisaurus, in Helsinki 2015. In the video above, you can see it’s easy to love Finland since they are the only country we know of with a heavy-metal band for kids!

Jokamiehen Oikeus is the right for every man to roam

There is a term in Finnish that goes like this: Jokamiehen Oikeus, and it means Everyman’s Right. With this in mind, everyone in Finland has the right to its constitution to walk freely in nature, anywhere you might want to go.

We did this when we explored the archipelagos around Porvoo and in Åland, and we can easily say that it’s a fantastic privilege to enjoy such a beautiful country by doing this.

In Finland, the forests offer you berries and mushrooms, which belong to everybody. Also, it means you can pitch a tent and enjoy the lakes for free without worry. Which is something unusual to have.

Lakes and Forests all around Finland

Finland is known worldwide as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, which is untrue since it has 188.000 lakes. Finland has so many lakes that its water and land mass is the largest of all countries in the world.

But what surprised us the most about Finland is how green the country is. In our travels through the country, we saw how beautiful their forest are and how the people enjoy walking around and exploring them. This beautiful forest covers over 70% of Finland. And we even took some black-and-white pictures in one of their most beautiful parks.

More than any other European country, this area is more extensive than Italy! Another reason to love Finland.

Sidewalk Safari is showing a few of the greenest places in Finland here, like the Siikalahti Nature Reserve, Parikkala Sculpture Park, and more.

Finland is also the World leader when it comes to quality of education!

The country has held first place in OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment for several years, for free. Everything changed around 40 years ago when a vast education reform defined the rules still being followed today.

Guess who's the surprise greeter at the National Archives of Finland? Yep, you got it – a teeny, tiny mouse! And I call it the Helsinki's Wise Mice. 

In Finland, children don’t start school until they’re seven years old, and they rarely take exams or have homework until they are well into their teens. Also, they are not graded or measured in any way during their first six years in school. This results in 93% of them graduating from high school and 66% of the students going to college, the highest rate in Europe!

Even the mice there are well-educated.

If you think about coffee, remember Finland.

The first time we went to Finland in winter, we understood why it seems like the country is consistently leading in coffee consumption worldwide. Every meal we had was followed by a few cups of coffee. It also kept our bodies and hands warm while we learned everything about Herrankukkaro.

On average, Finland consumes up to 12kg of coffee per person every year. Almost three kilos more than the second place, Norway. According to a blog about coffee culture in Northern European countries, 14% of men and 6% of women reported consuming more than 10 cups daily! It’s too bad the coffee they drink there is not as strong as the ones we use.

Maybe this is why they consume so much of them!

Crazy Sports? Finland!

Finland is also home to some of the craziest sports ever. From the air guitar competition every summer in Oulu to the Wife-Carrying World Championship that is already on its 22nd edition!

One of our travel dreams is to go to Oulu in the summer and see the air guitar championship with our own eyes. Maybe it will happen soon enough, but you have to look at the video below to understand why this is the place to be.

From Angry Birds to Nokia, Finland is the land of the future.

When you think about technology, Finland probably doesn’t cross your mind. But it should be since they have worked online since the early 90s. Finland is the country that invented the first Internet browser with a graphical user interface! This first browser was called Erwise, and it was released to the public in April 1992 as the combined master’s project of four Finnish students of the Helsinki University of Technology.

But this is not it. Another Finnish-born invention is the Molotov cocktail, Angry Birds, the heart-rate monitor, Linux OS, and, of course, the sauna. Which is the word that most people use when they think about Finland!

But people should think about skate as well since Alvar Aalto, one of the leaders in Finnish Design, can be traced as the source of the project that created the skate bowl. This is for real!

Finland has the best Design.

At least for us, one of the first things that cross our minds when we think about Finland is Design. When we think about Finland, we think about the beauty and function of the Finnish Design. For us, Finland is home to one of the most significant design cultures in the world.

When we went to Finland for the first time in September 2014, we knew we had to see where Finnish Design is made. On our last day in Helsinki, we visited the Arabia Factory, and everyone interested in Finnish Design should do the same.

We even wrote an article about it!

We love Finland, but we’re unsure about Finnish as a language.

One reason that most people don’t love Finland is their language. It’s one of the weirdest languages we ever heard, and this is why we love it so much. It doesn’t follow the most popular European languages like French, English, or Spanish.

Finnish follows the Finnic language family tree and, together with Estonian, is the most popular language in this branch.

What we love the most about the Finnish language are the weird-looking words like saavuttamattomasta, which almost looks like a cat walking over a keyboard but means inaccessible. This is Finnish, and it’s the main reason why we will never live in Helsinki.

But we love Finland either way and hope you love it a little more now.

Our Ten Reasons to Love Finland

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts