photo © Visit Vantaa

Shopping in Finland

Like all Nordic countries, Finland wouldn’t be considered as a cheap place for shopping, but for high quality goods it must rank as one of the best in the world. The country has garnered international acclaim in the field of design, and its glassware, homeware, ceramics and furniture are much sought after.

Finland is also famous for its traditional handicrafts, in particular Sámi jewelry, hunting and fishing knives, and handwoven ryijy rugs which are an art form unique to the country – the weaving of these rugs was developed as a folk are in the late 19th century. Visitors are also charmed by the traditional Lappish cups carved from birch wood, known as kuksa. Genuine handicrafts from Lapland can be identified by the Duodji label which shows that the item has been produced in a regional craft workshop. Finland is also known for its furs and animal skins, especially reindeer skins.

Visitors to Finland would be wise to check out the winter wear available, especially for children. The winters here can be severe, yet no matter how cold it is you’ll see kids romping happily no matter where you go thanks to the excellent clothing available. The same applies to footwear, and indeed to adult clothing.

Currency Information: Finland is part of the EuroZone, which means that the currency here is the Euro, denoted by the € sign. Notes come in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5.

Currency Exchange: Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, post offices and at bureaux de change (the most ubiquitous being the Forex chain) which usually have better rates than the banks, and are open longer.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs: Shops, restaurants, bars and cafés accept all major international credit and debit cards, and you’ll find ATMs in every town and even in small villages, easily identified by their bright orange ‘Otto’ sign.

Duty-free: Anyone permanently resident outside the EU can claim a refund of 12-16% on goods that cost more than €40 at the time of departure from the EU. Retailers (look out for the ‘Tax Free for Tourists’ sign) will provide a cheque that can be redeemed at airports, ports or major land borders.