Although Finland is 338,144 km², making it the 8th largest country in Europe (after Russia, Ukraine, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Germany), it is also the most sparsely populated country in the European Union, home to just 5.3 million people. When travelling in Finland you can therefore expect to cover large distances, often through landscapes devoid of human habitation, especially in Lapland.
However, such distances are never a problem in Finland, as the country has an excellent modern infrastructure. The country's rail network is extensive, efficient, and comfortable. Roads and motorways are kept in excellent condition, and once away from Helsinki traffic is light by other European standards. There are over 20 airports with scheduled passenger service on commercial airlines, in Finland, with a handful of airlines operating internally.
Finland's many lakes, islands and canals are linked by an extensive network of canal boats, vintage steamers, and ferries - large and small, and traveling around the coast among the many beautiful archipelagos is also possible by cruise and ferry. The national bus company, Matkahuolto, offers long-distance coach connections to practically all parts of Finland. Bus is also the only way to travel in Lapland, as the rail network doesn't extend to the extreme north. Every town in Finland runs its own local bus service from the town centre to neighboring districts.
With 22 airports operating throughout the country with scheduled passenger service on commercial airlines, flying is a convenient, albeit sometimes expensive, way of getting around Finland. There are six airlines with flights within Finland, most of which fly from Helsinki to the many regional airports.
One of the most relaxing ways of seeing the great natural beauty of Finland is to take a cruise, whether through the mysriad islands and skerries of its unique archipelagoes, or across the multitude of navigable lakes, canals and rivers, in a choice of canal boats, vintage steamers, and both large and small ferries.
There are 15 car rental companies that have offices or locations in major Finnish cities.
For many visitors coming to Finland, a guided tour is the easiest way of combining their accommodation, dining, and area of interest into a package holiday.
Finland has excellent public transport, both locally and nationally. Trains are modern and comfortable, and usually on time - even during the worst of the winter weather. The entire country is linked by a comprehensive bus and rail network.
In Finland, the taxi industry is heavily regulated by the government, so you can be certain that they'll be comfortable, safe, and expensive. All taxis can be identified by the yellow 'TAKSI' sign on the roof.
In almost every town in Finland you'll find a local tourist office or bureau. Usually keeping normal office hours, these bureaus provide free brochures and maps of the town or region, and details on all the best attractions.