Finland is perhaps best known for its peacefulness and beautiful nature. Vast forests, a unique archipelago and thousands of lakes present a striking mixture of wooded hills and waters.
In addition to its mystical northern nature, Finland is also a modern Nordic country with a high standard of living and advanced economy and technology. Finland’s economy has traditionally been based on its most plentiful natural resource: wood. The forest product industries are still important, even if they face increased international competition, but manufacturing industries, engineering and high technology have also played a big economic role in recent decades.
That Finnish literacy rates are among the highest – if not the highest – in the world is a tribute to the effectiveness of the Finnish education system. The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which evaluates the educational achievement of children of school age in the OECD countries, placed Finland among the top countries in 2001, for example, and this is a status that is maintained from year to year.
Finland is officially bilingual: Finnish is the first language of 92%, and Swedish of 5.5% of the population. About 1,700 people in Lapland speak Sami (Lapp) languages.
Finland enjoys some of the most extensive and unspoilt natural environment in Europe. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘land of the thousand lakes’, but in fact there were a total of 187,888 at the last count.
Further information: www.visitfinland.com
Area: 338.145 square kilometers
Population: approx. 5.200.000
Local time: GMT + 3 hours, summer time
Finland has been a member state of the EU since 1995
Banking hours: 09.00-16.00 (Monday-Friday); closed on Saturday and Sunday
Post office (general) opening hours: 8.00-17.00 (Monday-Friday); main post office will be open every day until 21:00 (also Saturdays and Sundays).
Banks exchange all major currency, traveler’s cheques and Euro cheques.
All hotels, restaurants and supermarkets accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Diners, American Express).
The country code for Finland is +358 Helsinki city is (0)9.
Useful telephone numbers
- Emergency: 112
- Emergency police: 112
- Ambulance Service: 112
- Fire Department: 112
Finnair (member on One World)
Blue 1, SAS (member of Star Alliance)
Please check with your local embassies.
Helsinki, Finland’s capital and largest city, is situated in the south, on the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki was founded in 1550 and its current population is approximately 560,000. Helsinki and the neighbouring towns of Espoo and Vantaa form the metropolitan region which is now home to almost a million people.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is located 20 km north of Helsinki. There are more than 120 international flights arriving every day. A journey from the airport to central Helsinki takes about 30-40 minutes. Buses run between the airport and central Helsinki every 10-20 minutes.
Helsinki is a modern European cultural city whose urban cosmopolitan lifestyle exists in perfect harmony with nature. Surrounded by the sea and its own exotic archipelago, Helsinki offers visitors an endless number of possibilities. Just as Helsinki cannot be described in one word, neither can it be experienced in just one way. Helsinki really does have something for everyone.
Throughout its 450-year history, Helsinki has existed in the crosscurrents of the East and West. The colourful layers of history can be seen everywhere; a walking tour of the city centre or of the magnificent Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress will open your eyes to a fascinating past.
Today’s Helsinki is also a city of the future. Its modern architecture, cutting-edge design and high-technology have attracted international recognition for the city. Unique lifestyles and urban subcultures are all a part of this international metropolis.
Life in Helsinki is defined by starkly contrasting seasonal changes. In the summer, the warmth and permanent daylight invigorate the city. The locals worship the sun and welcome the heat with open arms.
The city offers a diverse cultural life, architectural gems and quality shopping opportunities. Dozens of interesting museums and countless other sights guarantee that time will simply fly when you visit Helsinki!
The official congress language is English.
There will be no simultaneous interpretation.
Participants can pick up their personal name badge and conference material at the registration desk, which will be open at Hotel Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa during the congress days.
Participants and accompanying persons are obliged to wear the official conference name badge on all congress occasions.
Finnair provides regular bus transportation between the Helsinki-Vantaa airport and the Helsinki city centre with a cost of approximately Eur 5. Taxis between the Airport and Helsinki city centre cost approximately Eur 30 – 40 (30 minutes).
Group taxis are also available at the Airport (Yellow Line and Airport Taxi) and cost approximately Eur 20 per person.
Letter of invitation
Official invitation letter can be requested from congress office: email@example.com
Visa and passports
EU citizens only need their national identification papers. Carrying passport, however, is recommended for EU citizens. Citizens from most other countries will need a valid travel passport. They are encouraged to contact their local Finnish embassy or consulate to enquire about the necessity of visa application.
If you plan to visit Tallinn, Estonia a passport is needed. For St. Petersburg, Russia both passport and visa are needed.