With a thousand kilometers of coastline, over 188,000 lakes and almost as many islands, vibrant modern cities, charming old wooden towns and almost 40 national parks, Finland has it all.
Key facts and figures
Republic, parliamentary democracy, member of the European Union as well as the UN, OECD and WTO.
5.5 million (2020 estimate) of which 62% live in towns or urban areas, 38% in rural areas.
Capital city Helsinki with a population of 659,000 (2021) and over a million with neighboring cities Espoo and Vantaa included. Other notable cities include Tampere (241,000), Turku (194,000) and Oulu (207,000).
Northern Europe, between Sweden and Russia.
Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland. English is widely spoken throughout the country. Sámi dialects are also spoken in northern Lapland. (Learn more about filming with Sámi people.)
Country Phone Code
Country Code: +358
Finland is known for being one of those countries that just works. Airplanes and trains run on time, restaurant bills have no hidden charges, and streets and runways are kept clear even if there was a severe snowstorm the previous night. Finland is also one of the world’s safest and least corrupt countries.
Direct flights from many European, American and Asian cities to Helsinki, domestic flights from Helsinki to other cities in the country.
Geography & Climate
338,455 km² of which 10% is water, 70% forest and 7% farmland.
1,160 km from North to South, 540 km from East to West.
Lakes and islands
187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands.
Saimaa (4,400 km²)
The highest fells
Halti (1,328 m), Saana (1,029 m), Pallas (807 m)
Finland has Europe’s largest archipelago off the southwest coast. A quarter of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle. Finland is the most heavily forested country in Europe. The country shares a border with Russia to the east, measuring 1,269 km. Its other neighbors are Sweden and Norway.
With four distinct seasons, the Finnish climate is marked by cold winters and warm summers. The temperatures vary between +25ºC in the summer and -25ºC in the winter.
Finland offers diverse landscapes and filming possibilities throughout the year thanks to its unique natural conditions–from the midnight sun and summer heat to long winters and guaranteed snow. For more information, check out the links below:
Working in Finland
Finland is a member of the European Union (EU) and Schengen Act.
For visa requirements in the Schengen area and travel documents accepted by Finland (by country), visit the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
If you intend to work in Finland, you usually need a residence permit granted by the state. However, you do not need a residence permit if you are a film worker and your employer does not have an office in Finland, and the duration of the job is no longer than three months.
Citizens of the European Union and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can freely work in Finland for a maximum of three months, after which they must register their right to reside in Finland.
Filming and Location Permits
Filming permits are usually easy to obtain and are inexpensive.
Small filming groups can work in public areas without specific permissions, so long as they do not disturb traffic or cause any other disturbance for people living or visiting the area.
In the wilderness areas, you can shoot without specific permissions but you might need one for motorized vehicles, other heavy equipment or when filming is planned to take place in a private area, such as someone’s backyard.
If you are planning to film in privately owned areas or with a large crew, we are happy to investigate whether you need a permit.
There are seven regional film commissions in Finland. If you consider shooting in Finland, one of our regional Film Commissions is an excellent first point of contact. We will help you find the most suitable and qualified crews, production companies, freelance artists and technicians that are able to do their job skillfully, to deadline and on budget.