While Finland is a highly hospitable country that does not have restrictive laws or customs, there are some things that visitors should avoid doing.
1. Don’t cover up in the sauna
Swim suits aren’t designed for the intense heat of the sauna and wearing towels and robes can cause overheating.
2. Don’t enter the sauna with the opposite sex
The sauna is an almost sacred tradition in Finland, and there is an unwritten rule that members of the opposite sex never enter together unless they are a married couple or a family with young children.
3. Don’t assume everyone speaks English
However, it is rude to go up to a person and immediately speak English.
4. Don’t assume everyone wants to talk
Most Finns, however, are naturally reserved, introverted, and prefer to be left alone in public.
5. Don’t feed the wildlife
Leaving food out for wild animals such as bears, wolves, and moose makes them less wary of humans, brings them towards human habitation, and results in danger to public safety
6. Don’t under-dress for the winter
Remember to pack plenty of weather-appropriate clothing and wear good shoes that can grip the ice.
7. Don’t show up unexpectedly at someone’s house
This means check if they are available so hosts can have time to tidy up and prepare a pot of coffee.
8. Don’t walk on the left side of the pavement
The left side closer to the road is frequently reserved for cyclists, joggers, and mopeds, so walking on the right side avoids a collision.