Discovering Finland: 10 Curiosities That Will Surprise You

Finland, known for its stunning natural landscapes, traditional saunas and innovative design, is a Nordic country full of charm and mystery. In addition to its famous lakes and northern lights, Finland is home to a number of interesting tidbits that are not so well known. In this article, I will take you on a journey through 10 surprising facts about Finland that will make you appreciate even more the rich culture and uniqueness of this Scandinavian country.

1. Name Day

In Finland, birthday is not as important as “Nimipäivä”, or Name Day. Every name has its own day in the calendar and is celebrated all over the country. This means that it is common to congratulate someone on their Name Day even if it is not their birthday.

2. The 187,888 Lakes

Finland is known as the “land of a thousand lakes”, but it actually has 187,888 registered lakes. This means that there is one lake for every 26 inhabitants, making it a paradise for nature lovers and water activities.

3. Sauna Country

The Finns have a strong tradition of saunas and it is estimated that there are more than 2 million saunas throughout the country, which means that there is approximately one sauna for every 2.5 people. Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture and are considered a place to relax, socialise and purify the body and soul.

4. Public Right of Access

Like other Nordic countries, Finland has a “Public Right of Access” law, which ensures that everyone has the right to roam and camp in nature, as long as they respect private property and the environment.

5. Christmas Capital

Rovaniemi, in the Arctic Circle, is known as the “Christmas Capital” and is home to Santa’s official office. Visitors can send letters to Santa and cross the Arctic Circle at Santa’s Village.

6. The Finns and their Passion for Hockey

Ice hockey is more than a sport in Finland; it is a national passion. The Finns have produced many world-class hockey players and the national team has been successful in international tournaments.

7. The Lucky Symbol: The Four-Leaf Clover

In Finland, finding a four-leaf clover is considered a symbol of good luck and fortune. Finns often keep them as amulets or special gifts.

8. Forests and unspoilt nature

Almost two-thirds of Finland is covered with forests, making it one of the most forested countries in Europe. The unspoilt nature and rich biodiversity offer visitors a unique opportunity to connect with nature.

9. The City of a Thousand Names

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is known as the “city of a thousand names” because it is known by different names in different languages. For example, in Swedish it is called “Helsingfors” and in Latin “Helsingia”.

10. The Night Silence

In certain areas of Finland, especially in the Lapland region, you can experience “white silence” during the winter, where the snow muffles all sounds, creating an atmosphere of absolute tranquillity and calm.


Finland is a country full of curiosities and wonders that make it a unique and intriguing destination to explore. From its passion for saunas and hockey to its rich biodiversity and unique traditions, Finland offers an unforgettable experience for travellers. These 10 curiosities barely scratch the surface of all that this Scandinavian country has to offer. Next time you find yourself enjoying a traditional sauna or marvelling at its stunning lakes, remember these tidbits that make Finland an exceptional and enchanting place. Embark on a journey through the magic of Finland and discover all that this beautiful country has to offer!