● Population: 5.4 million
● Capital: Helsinki
● Geographic size: 338,000 km2, of which 33,000 km2 is water
- Helsinki (634 509 inhabitants; Helsinki metropolitan area: 1.25 million)
- Espoo (273 216)
- Tampere (227 832)
- Vantaa (218 170)
- Oulu (200 117)
- Turku (187 391)
● Lakes: 188,000
● Islands: 180,000
● National parks: 40
● Archipelago: The largest in Europe is situated off the southwest coast of Finland. Parts of the archipelago make up Åland, an autonomous Swedish-speaking province.
● Weather: Four seasons with stark contrasts between them; snowy winters with the Northern Lights and the polar night, warm summers with white nights and the Midnight Sun.
● Type of state: Independent republic since December 6th, 1917.
● Head of state: President of the Republic, elected every six years. Current president is Sauli Niinistö.
● Joined the EU: 1995
● Currency: Euro
● Official languages: Finnish and Swedish
- 91 % speak Finnish as their first language, while 5.4 % speak Swedish. Sámi is the mother tongue of roughly 1,700 indigenous Sámi people in northern Lapland.
● Time Zone: GMT + 2 hrs
● Traffic and driving: Right-hand traffic, no road tolls. Headlights must be used at all times. Snow tires are obligatory from December to February.