Common tourist mistakes to avoid in Finland
Finland is known for its unique blend of natural beauty, northern lights, and modern technology, making it a much-coveted destination for travelers from around the world. Finland has its own list of social etiquette that travelers should abide by. That being said, there is a list of things a tourist should never do when in Finland. Here's your guide to smart travel in Finland.
Phone etiquette in public places
In Finland, it is discourteous to use your phone loudly in public settings including cafés, restaurants, libraries, museums, and art galleries. Finns value a peaceful atmosphere in such places. Furthermore, it might be seen as bad manners or a lack of social skills. So it is crucial to be mindful of when and where it is appropriate to use your phone.
Covering up in saunas
In Finland, going commando in the sauna is the norm! Nudity is considered to be a natural aspect of the Finnish sauna experience, which is meant for people to relax, unwind, and purify their bodies. It is, for this reason, men and women have separate saunas. Expect to get invited for saunas, but if you are not comfortable in the nude, decline politely.
Reindeer might seem cuddly and friendly creatures and are abundant in various regions of Finland. However, it is not advisable to pet them. Since they are wild creatures, reindeer may act irrationally or even dangerously if they feel threatened. Between September and November, avoid wild reindeer completely since the males are very hostile during this period and compete for mating rights.
Don't assume everyone wants to talk
Most Finns are naturally reserved, introverted, and prefer to be left alone in public. Look out for signs that someone doesn't want to talk like if they are reading a book, looking at their phone, or simply busy eating. In Finland, saying "Hello" to a stranger occasionally leaves that person wondering for months what you were trying to say!
Not respecting nature
Finns take pride in their country's clean and pristine environment, and tourists who do not respect nature can detract from that sense of pride and cultural identity. They place a high value on preserving and protecting their forests, lakes, and other natural resources. Moreover, some natural areas in this Scandinavian country are protected, and tourists who engage in harmful activities could face legal consequences.