Finland Driving Guide – SPEND LESS, DO MORE
Finland has it all – from the incredible scattering of islands in Europe’s largest archipelago, to the hilly countryside of Lapland. With midnight sun in the summer, and the allure of the Northern Lights in winter, Finland possesses a wealth of rare beauty and truly distinctive ambience.
Bordering the beautiful Baltic Sea, modern Finland is an ideal destination for travellers looking for something different. There is so much to do, without spending a lot.
Helsinki to Turku – great day drive
Helsinki is one of the cultural hot spots of Northern Europe – an ideal holiday destination for art lovers; those prefer the vibrant nightlife, and outdoor enthusiasts. At the eastern end of Helsinki, is Punavuori, home to the most inspirational array of bars, vintage shops, boutiques, galleries and more.
The best day drive from Helsinki is to lively Turku, a city filled with plenty of events and things to do. A mere 165km, it is a pleasant trip with lots to explore along the road. The main sights in Turku include the Aura riverfront, market square, castle and cathedral.
Cruising the Bothnian Coast from South to North
Cruising through summertime Finland is wonderful fun and a unique adventure. A good place to start is the 900km-long Bothnian Coast Road, along the Gulf of Bothnia. Consider doing the whole route over 3 days.
Not the fastest route, but definitely the most scenic combining sea, nature and culture in the form of charming coastal towns, lively cities, old wooden parish villages, maritime national parks, small roadside cafés and much more. Don’t forget to share your incredible experiences along the way.
Rauma is the southernmost city on the Bothnian Coast Road. Sammallahdenmaki and the wooden buildings of Old Rauma are the main attractions. The next stop, Pori, has the Bothnian Sea National Park stretching off its coast. The 6km Yyteri beach in Pori is a great place to take a break. A visit to Pori Jazz Festival in mid-July, is a highlight. From here Vaasa is an hour’s drive north. Known as the sunniest city in Finland it is a fantastic place to overnight.
Less than two hours up the road from Vaasa lies Kokkola. The Neristan wooden town of Kokkola is full of charming houses, cute shops and friendly people.
On the way to Oulu, stopping at the sand dunes in Kalajoki offers a refreshing beach break. Oulu is the biggest city in the region and another great place to overnight. In summer you will get caught up in the numerous festivals.
At the northern end, the city of Tornio is nestled on the shores of both the Torne River and the Bothnian Bay. Tornio is often referred to as the Gateway to Lapland and an amazing place to end the trip.
Winter driving in Finland – Rovaniemi to Ivalo (Inari-Saariselka) in Lapland
In Northern Finland, winter lasts nearly six months. Staying indoors waiting for the thaw isn’t an option, and so Finns find a multitude of ways to enjoy winter. Skiing is always popular, as are other winter sports, or even a reindeer or husky-pulled sleigh ride.
Situated at the junction of the Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers on the Arctic Circle, in the midst of a rugged wilderness, is Rovaniemi, Lapland’s capital city. On route the 288km from Rovaniemi to Ivalo, you can stop at the friendly village of Sodankyla for a taste of local winter cuisine. In Finland’s Inari-Saariselka region you are surrounded by the Arctic nature and the Sami culture. Remember not to miss the Northern Lights in Finland, which is best viewed in the Kilpisjarvi region in Lapland.
In Finland there is never a dull moment, and we believe you should spend time doing more, without spending more. To find the best deals and choices for rental cars and accommodation you need not look further than Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels.
Your Cheaperthancars Team
Driving Tips – Finland
Finland, famous for its beautiful countryside, cold winters, and hot saunas, offers much to see on a road trip. The following guide will help you as you traverse the region.
Be sure to take the proper documentation with you when you go. You’ll need:
You may also need:
Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations
Speed Limits and Fines
Speed limits will be posted in kilometres per hour. As a general guideline, here are the usual speeds:
For standard speeding offenses up to 20 km/h over the speed limit, the fines are 100-115 euros. However, for excessive speeding, the fine can be based on your net monthly income. Also, if your speeding is dangerous, the police can take your license on the spot.
The legal alcohol level in Finland is 0.05%, which is the equivalent of one drink for the average person. For aggravated drunk driving, the limit is 0.12%. For being over the basic limit, you can face one of the following penalties:
For aggravated drunk driving, the penalties are harsher, as you can face up to 2 years in jail, and the penalties are based on how intoxicated you are. The police can stop you for a Breathalyzer test and then take you into a police station for a blood test.
Parking times are marked with different kinds of texts, indicating when you must pay for parking:
Time limits will be posted in minutes or hours. During times not marked, parking is free. In some areas, you’ll use a parking disc to indicate when you left the car, though you don’t need to use one in paid areas.
Do not park:
Taking a road trip in Finland should be relatively stress-free. The roads are in good condition, and traffic is generally not an issue.