You'll Only Witness These Wacky Happenings in Finland

Skinny dipping in Finland
Skinny dipping in Finland | © Ville Hyvönen / Flickr
Jessica Wood

Finland is a country greatly admired by outsiders for its accomplishments in every field, from technology to the arts. But its people and culture can also be viewed as crazy and eccentric. It is the country which enjoys tar-flavored ice cream, has a national day for failure, and broke the world record for skinny dipping, among other strange happenings. These are just some of the weirdest news stories and everyday events which could only happen in Finland.

Wild Moose Running Through Town

Wild animals such as moose, wolves, and bears generally stay away from human habitation, but occasionally you will hear of a confused animal wandering into town. Most of the time they are harmless and will simply head back to where they came from, but occasionally they can be a menace. In 2016, a young moose was found wandering around central Helsinki, but was unfortunately shot after it charged through the streets and smashed the window of a bank.

Moose crossing a road

Queuing For Hours For a Free Bucket

Running Into the President at the Supermarket

Could you imagine running into Donald Trump picking up his weekly groceries? How about Theresa May at the January sales? One bizarre thing about Finland is that the small population causes a degree of informality, even among the most powerful and influential members of society. It’s not unknown for people to run into the President at the grocery store, and former president Tarja Halonen is a big fan of sale shopping. The Archbishop of Turku is reportedly a frequent visitor of the local Indian restaurant, and if you time your visit properly, you might just end up sitting at the next table to him.

Tarja Halonen

Having a Sauna at a Burger King

McDonald’s may have its elusive szechuan sauce, but its rival Burger King has something even rarer—a working sauna in one of its own restaurants. A branch of the chain in central Helsinki has a built-in sauna which customers can rent, intended for business meetings. (Yes, Finnish people have business meetings in saunas.) It is decorated with Burger King’s color scheme and even has branded towels. It just goes to show how important the sauna is in Finland.

Burger King in Helsinki train station

Playing Soccer in a Swamp

If someone invites you for a game of soccer in Finland, check first where you will be playing. There is an entire sport based around playing soccer in swamps. It makes sense, as Finland has a lot of swampy ground, plus it adds another level of challenge to the game. While the game can be highly competitive, even the championship teams play mostly for fun and try not to take it too seriously.

Swamp soccer
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article