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Finland - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Finland.
Safety and security
Safety and security
The crime rate in Finland is low; however, petty crime (such as pickpocketing and bag snatching) occurs, particularly during the tourist season, from April to September. Be especially vigilant at automated banking machines, at Helsinki’s railway station, metro and Esplanade, and on trams.
There is a threat of terrorism. On August 18, 2017, an attacker stabbed passers-by in central Turku. Local authorities are investigating the attack as a terrorist incident. Further attacks cannot be ruled out. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
The Finnish Security Intelligence Service has raised the country’s threat level to Elevated. Expect an increased security presence in areas that may be considered prime targets.
Demonstrations occur periodically and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Driving can be hazardous in winter. Icy road conditions are common and may cause road closures, particularly in northern areas. Be wary of moose wandering on major highways.
The public transportation system (bus, train, tram and subway) is extensive and very efficient.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents are secure at all times, especially on public transportation.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Finnish authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return ticket or proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
Finland is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
If moving to Finland, you must authenticate important documents (such as your marriage certificate or long-form birth certificate for any accompanying children under the age of 18). Once authenticated, the documents must be legalized by the Embassy of the Republic of Finland in Ottawa.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Measles in Europe - December 5, 2017
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Outbreaks of measles are ongoing.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious complications for some people.
You are at increased risk of measles infection if you have not had the illness or if you are not up to date on your vaccinations.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
- It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
- It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
- Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
- A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
- Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good medical care is widely available in Finland.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Canada and Finland are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Finland to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Finnish authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Finland.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Finland, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect a jail sentence and a heavy fine.
Some substances that may be legal in other European countries, such as khat, are prohibited in Finland.
You are allowed to bring in medicinal, homeopathic and anthroposophical products for personal use from countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA)—comprising European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein—for a maximum of one year’s treatment, and from non-EEA countries for a maximum of three months’ treatment.
If required, you must be able to prove that the medicinal product is intended for personal medication. The intended use of prescription medicine must be confirmed by a prescription or medical certificate issued by a person authorized to do so. You must bring the required documents when importing the medicinal product into Finland.
You are allowed to bring in medicinal products classified as narcotic drugs from the Schengen states for personal use for a maximum of 30 days’ treatment (for a description of the Schengen area, see Entry/Exit Requirements). For importation from a Schengen state, you are required to produce a certificate indicating entitlement to import a medicinal product having a particular trade name. The certificate and the prescription for the purchase of the medicine must be issued in the state where the importing person normally resides.
You may import a refill of a medicinal product classified as a narcotic drug, but only after the treatment period of the previously imported medicinal product has expired. From non-Schengen states, you are allowed to bring in medicinal products classified as narcotic drugs for personal use for a maximum of 14 days’ treatment.
You must be at least 18 years of age to drive a car in Finland.
An international driving permit is recommended.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 percent. Drivers who register this level of blood alcohol or above may be arrested immediately.
The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless fitted with a hands-free device. Low-beam headlights are obligatory at all times. Winter tires are mandatory between December 1 and February 28.
For more information, consult the European Commission’s Road Safety website.
The currency is the euro (EUR).
Credit cards are widely accepted and automated banking machines are widely available.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union and you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU country sites, visit the European Commission’s cash controls website.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Severe cold weather and deep snow cover occur in winter.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Helsinki - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Helsinki and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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