Exercise normal safety precautions in Finland. Use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the news and other sources for changes to local conditions.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Europe. The Finnish government assesses the domestic terrorism threat level to be 'elevated', which is level two of four. Report any suspicious activity to police and follow the advice of local authorities. See Safety and security.
- Finland has increased its surveillance and border controls to ensure visitors or residents have the required entry documentation. Carry your passport and/or Finnish residency permit when crossing borders, even within the
Schengen area. See Entry and exit.
- Australia has a Consulate in Helsinki headed by an Honorary Consul. It provides limited consular assistance (not including visa and immigration services or the issue of passports). The Australian Embassy in Sweden provides full consular assistance to Australians in Finland.
Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
Entry and exit
Finland is part of the Schengen Area, along with a number of other European countries. This allows you to enter Finland without a visa in some circumstances.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest
Embassy or Consulate of Finland for the most up-to-date information.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.
Ensure you get an entry stamp in your passport from border control staff when you first enter the Schengen area.
Always carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible. You can either:
The currency of Finland is the Euro.
Declare cash of €10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling between Finland and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes notes and coins, money orders, cheques and traveller's cheques. If you fail to declare your cash or you give incorrect information on entry to, or exit from, Finland, you will be fined. You do not need to declare cash if you are travelling to or from another EU country.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Europe. In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in a number of European cities. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years.
The Finnish Security Intelligence Service assesses Finland's terrorist threat level to be 'elevated' (level two on a four-point scale).
On 18 August 2017, a stabbing attack occurred in central Turku. Finnish police consider the incident as terror related.
- Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
- Exercise particular caution around locations known to be possible terrorist targets.
- Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
- Monitor the news for any new or emerging threats.
- Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities.
- If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so.
Terrorism threat worldwide
Civil unrest and political tension
You might encounter protests or demonstrations in Finland.
- Monitor the news and other sources for information about possible demonstrations.
- Avoid crowds, protests and demonstrations as they may escalate into violence.
- Follow the advice of local authorities.
Finland has a low incidence of serious crime but petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is more common.
- Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly at popular tourist attractions, museums, restaurants, major transport hubs and other public places.
- Carry only what you need for the day. Leave other valuables, including your passport, in a secure location.
- Monitor local sources of information on crime.
During 2015, there was a significant increase in the number of refugees entering Finland through its northern border with Sweden. As a result, in September 2015, the Finnish Government increased border surveillance to ensure travellers entering Finland have the required entry documentation. These strengthened border controls remain in place.
Monitor border conditions by checking local news sources and asking transport providers directly.
Finland's roads are generally in very good condition but can be dangerous in winter due to icy conditions. Long, dark nights during winter can reduce visibility on the roads.
Finland has some road rules Australian drivers may not be familiar with:
- vehicle headlights must be on at all times, including during daylight hours
- winter tyres must be fitted from 1 December (or the first onset of snow, whichever is earlier) until 31 March, or beyond if roads are still icy.
Finnish Road Administration travel and traffic website for detailed information on road conditions across Finland.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Finland.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our
Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
More information: Arrested or in prison
Penalties for drug offences, even for possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and imprisonment.
Drivers caught with a blood alcohol level reading above the legal limit of 0.05 may be subject to immediate arrest.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography
- child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
More information: Staying within the law
Dual nationals who are registered residents of Finland may be required to complete national service obligations. For further information, visit the
Finnish Defence Forces website.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy, including any adventure or extreme sport activities
- you are covered for the whole time you will be away.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor. Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to.
You are allowed to bring into Finland up to a three-month supply of medicine (legally acquired prescription, self-cure medicines and homeopathic products) for personal use. Take prescription medicines to cover your entire stay in Finland (up to three months) so you remain in good health. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. If you plan to stay in Finland beyond three months, identify early in your stay a doctor and pharmacy that can re-supply your prescription medicines when needed.
Prescribed narcotics are more highly restricted. Visit the
Finnish Customs Authority for more information.
Travel in forest areas and to the Aland Islands brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn (March to November).
The standard of medical facilities in Finland comparable with Australia. Emergency services are limited in remote areas. The main hospitals are located in the Helsinki, Tampere and Turku area. English is widely spoken.
A reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and Finland covers Australians who visit Finland for fewer than 90 days. Under the agreement, you can access emergency medical services but treatment of existing health conditions is not covered. This arrangement does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. See Travel insurance.
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer, or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
- Firefighting and rescue services: 112
- Medical emergencies: 112
- Police: 112 - always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia has a Consulate in Finland headed by an Honorary Consul. The Consulate provides limited consular assistance (not including visa and immigration services or the issue of passports). You can get full consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
Australian Consulate, Helsinki
Ms Anja Aalto
Museokatu 25 B 23
Tel: +358 10 420 4492
Australian Embassy, Stockholm
Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Telephone: +46 8 613 2900
Facsimile: +46 8 613 2982
Sweden Embassy Facebook
Embassy website or Facebook page for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you are unable to contact the Consulate or Embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
Finland experiences extremely cold winters and heavy snowfall, including in major metropolitan areas. This may cause extended transport delays and a temporary shutdown of infrastructure.
You could also encounter severe storms, rockslides, floods and strong winds.
If there is a natural disaster, use common sense, monitor the media, and follow the advice of local authorities.