As a member of the EU, Finland does not require visas from citizens of other EU countries.

Finland is also a member of Schengen area of the EU, where visa policies are unified. Citizens of Australia, Japan, North and Central America and most of South America can enter the Schengen area for 90 days without a visa. Visitors from most other countries require a visa.Highslide JS

The same visa allows entry to any Schengen country. The Schengen area consists of most EU members and the EEA (Norway and Iceland) but not Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK.

PUBLIC ORDER For personal safety Helsinki is one of the most peaceful Baltic capitals. Normally the only people who pester visitors are locals trying to give directions.

The central area is impressively clean. The summer dress code is relaxed.Highslide JS

Unfortunately, Finnish drivers are rarely courteous, and it is wise to be careful crossing roads. Even Finnish bus drivers are not renowned for their people-skills. The friendliest ones often turn out to be recent immigrants.

A few drunks on park benches and beggars kneeling in the street are an eyesore rather than a danger. The drunks are mostly old Finnish men while the beggars are generally Roma from eastern Europe.

Some of the summer visitors are thieves. Pickpockets operate in crowded areas.Highslide JS

FOOD & WATERHelsinki tap water is pure and tastes good. Buying bottled water is actually counterproductive because water that has been on a shop shelf for a few days often has a higher bacterial count than water from the tap.

Snacks from kiosks are subject to the same health regulations as restaurant food. Uncooked fruit and vegetables bought from market stalls are of course best washed before eating.

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