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Capital: Helsinki

Finland is situated in the far north of Europe. Bordered to the west by Sweden, to the north by Norway, to the east by the Russia and to the south by the Gulf of Finland, it is the fifth-largest country in Europe.

Visiting Finland is like stepping into a refreshing shower on a hot day. Even in the cultured capital, Helsinki, the air is clean, and the countryside has a cool but seductive beauty. 

Finlandís rich, sometimes turbulent, history is revealed in its buildings: onion-domed Orthodox churches speak of the days when it was part of Russia.

Language: There are two official languages: Finnish, spoken by 93.4 per cent of the population, and Swedish, spoken by 5.9 per cent of the population. English is taught as the first foreign language.

Electricity: 220 (230) volts AC, 50Hz. Continental two-pin plugs are standard.

Climate: Temperate climate, but with considerable temperature variations. Summer is warm with relatively mild weather in spring and autumn. Winter, which lasts from November to mid-March, is very cold. In the north the snow cover lasts from mid-October until mid-May, but, in the brief Arctic summer, there may be up to 16 hours of sunshine a day. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with snow in winter, but the low humidity often has the effect of making it seem warmer than the temperature would indicate. The Twilight season lasts for two months in the north during winter.