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General Information


Finland is three (3) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in summer, an hour ahead of Central European Time and seven (7) hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.


1 euro = 100 cents.
Coins: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 Euros.
Bills: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros.

You may exchange your money in banks, money exchange points or at hotel receptions there is also an
exchange service point in the Athletes' Village. International credit cards may be used in most hotels, shops and restaurants. An ATM machine is across the street from the Athlete Village.


Tipping in restaurants and taxis is optional. A service charge is always included in your restaurants bill even though it is not marked separately in the receipt.


You may drink tap water in Finland however bottled water might be better for athletes.


In Finland the voltage is 220 V and all sockets have two-pin plugs. Appliances from the U.S. will need a transformer and an adapter.


Due to the high number of cell phones, public telephones can be hard to find outside the town centers.
Public telephones work with coins or telephone cards which may be purchased at the kiosks and most of
the shops. Some of the telephones also accept international credit cards. In Finland, cell phones function via GSM and UMTS (WCDMA). Only cell phones made for these systems will function. Those wishing to bring their cell phones to Finland should contact their telecom company to determine if an international agreement has been signed with Finland permitting temporary use of the Finnish network.

Emergency Numbers

General Emergencies 112
Ambulance and fire 112
Police 10022

Opening hours Weekdays Saturday Sunday
Banks 9.30 a.m. - 4.15 p.m.
Post Offices in general 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Small Shops 9/10:00 a.m. - 5/6:00 p.m. 9/10:00 a.m. - 1/2:00 p.m.
(depends on the shop)
Department Stores 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 9:00 am - 6:00 p.m. 12:00 noon-6:00 p.m.


Citizens of non EU-countries are eligible for tax-free returns upon leaving EU territory. Purchases must be made in shops displaying the Tax-Free sign. The minimum total sum of purchased goods must be 40 euros. Upon leaving a EU territory, travelers can claim VAT that varies according to product but does not exceed 16 percent. Further information:


Finland is a right-hand driving country. Everyone traveling in a car or a van must use a seat belt, whether
they are in the front or the rear seats. Whenever a vehicle is driven, its dipped headlights or daytime running lights must be on, even during daytime. It is prohibited to talk on a mobile phone without a hands-free device when driving. Drunk driving (a blood alcohol level of at least 0.5 mg/litre) is a punishable offence regardless of the road or location. The town speed limit in Helsinki city centre is 40 km an hour (25 miles per hour) and elsewhere in urban area 50 km an hour (31 miles per hour) unless there is a sign that dictates otherwise. In rural areas the speed limit is 80 km per hour (49 miles per hour) unless there is a sign that indicates otherwise.

Calling a Taxi

In Espoo: +358 (0)100 7300
In Helsinki: +358 (0)100 0700


Smoking is not permitted in the Stadium tribunes or inside the buildings in the Athletes' Village. Smoking is also prohibited in all public domains such as airports, stations, buses or the metro.
Restaurants separate smokers from non-smokers.


One notable effect of Finland's northerly position on the globe is that the four seasons of the year are clearly distinct from one another. The climate is marked by cold winters and warm summers. The most common feature of Finnish summer is the light at night. In the mid-summer sun barely sets at all. In August the sun rises in the early hours and sets at about 9:00 p.m. The mean maximum temperature in the Helsinki region in August is 21C or about 70F. The mean number of rainy days is 12 and the mean relative humidity is 77%. Although August is the warmest month of the year, it is advised to pack a raincoat, umbrella and a warm jacket or pullover!

Sunrise: Aug. 1 - 2:59 a.m.
Sunset: Aug. 1 - 9:52 p.m.

Online weather conditions in Finland are provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute:


To purchase tickets, please visit ("Buy your ticket here" section) or or call Ticket Service Finland Ltd. +358 600 10 909 (2/min + Inc.).

Other events during the Championships

July 27- Aug 7: URB05 City Festival with urban arts, street dance, hip hop, theatre, poetry, concerts and
clubs. Performances from Finland and abroad. Art museum Kiasma.

August 5 : Helsinki City Marathon: Helsinki City Marathon is the second largest marathon event in Scandinavia. Over 6800 runners from 32 nationalities participated in Helsinki in 2004.

August 6-7: Ankkarock: Rock festival in Vantaa, Korso. In the programme e.g. The Cardigans (SWE),
Backyard Babies (SWE), Danko Jones (CAN), Zen Caf, Maija Vilkkumaa, Timo Kotipelto, Kotiteollisuus, The 69 Eyes, Timo Rautiainen Trio Niskalaukaus, Scandinavian Music Group and The Crash.

August 12-13: Koneisto-festival: The first electronic music festival in Finland and the Nordic countries,
Koneisto takes place at the Cable Factory and presents all genres of electronic music, including over
a hundred recognized artists from Finland and abroad.

August 7-13: Vantaa Baroque: International baroque music festival. The theme for Vantaa Baroque in
2005 is Bach.

Facts about Finland

  • Republic of Finland (Finnish name Suomi)
  • Independence since 1917, EU member since 1995
  • President Tarja Halonen - the President is elected every six years,
    the 200 members of Parliament every four years.

Total Area

  • 338,000 km2, of which 69% is forest and 10% water
  • 187,888 lakes, 5,100 rapids and 179,584 islands
  • Europe's largest archipelago, including the semi-autonomous province of land


  • 5.2 million
  • 17 inhabitants per square kilometre
  • 67% live in towns or urban areas, 33% in rural areas
  • Average life expectancy: Women: 81,8 - Men: 75,1
  • Average household size: 2,2 persons. 54% of the households live in single-family houses; 46% in apartment blocks.

Principal Cities

  • Capital - Helsinki (560,000), Espoo (230,000), Tampere (199,000), Vantaa (182,000),
    Turku (174,000) and Oulu (124,000)
  • Approx. one million people live in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

Official Languages

Finnish (spoken by 91.3%) and Swedish (5.4%), English is spoken by many of the children and young adults.


85.6% Lutheran and about 1% Orthodox


73% of the population aged 25 to 64 have completed upper secondary or tertiary education and 33% (the
highest percentage in EU countries) have university or other tertiary qualifications.

Working Life

  • 78,9% of women are employed outside the home
  • average earnings (2004): men 2 660 Euros, women 2 140 Euros
  • average working week: 38,1 hours
  • unemployment rate 9%


68% of Finnish households own a personal computer and 56% have an internet connection. 96% of households have cell phones.


Electronics and electro technical goods 27.5% of exports, metal and engineering products 27.1% and forest industry products account for about 26.5%/

Finland just a click away!

General Pages

Information about Finland provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in English: Pages of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland:
Pages of the Mission of Finland to the United Nations:
Statistical information about Finland provided by the Statistics Finland:

Tourism & Travel

Pages of the Finnish Tourist Board:
Information about the Finnish culture and cultural events in Finland:

City of Espoo (Home of the Athlete Village and Practice Tracks)

City of Helsinki

City of Vantaa

News in Finland

The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE):
Helsingin Sanomat:

Sports Pages

Finnish Athletics (Suomen Urheiluliitto):
Finnish Sports Federation (Suomen Liikunta ja Urheilu):
Finnish Olympic Committee:
Olympic Stadium:


The host for the Athletes' Village of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, the city of Espoo is experienced in accommodating athletes. Since the 1952 Olympic Games the best of athletes have stayed in the Otaniemi Athletes' Village. It is much more than just a home for international athletes and serves as housing during the school year for the students of the University of Technology situated at Otaniemi. It is known as a large centre of science and technology. Otaniemi accommodates nearly 14,000 students, over 6,000 scientists and numerous important R & D companies in technology with over 5,000 employees, and is a high tech campus. It is the center for the Finnish technological
Know-how. Espoo is also a city of outstanding architecture. The best-known architectural works internationally are the garden city of Tapiola, and the exclusive campus area of Otaniemi, the latter designed by architect Alvar Aalto. In walking distance of Otaniemi, Tapiola offers diverse shopping and tourist services, as well as various cultural experiences. In many respects, Espoo is unique among Finnish cities. During the last few decades the city has grown faster than any other city in Finland. Now a big city of more than 230,000 people, 50 years ago Espoo was a rural municipality with no more than 30,000 residents. Despite its rapid growth, Espoo has remained a city close to nature, from the archipelago down south to the large forests up north. Espoo's best example of outdoor life is the Nuuksio National Park, which offers a unique opportunity for experiencing the essence of Finnish wildlife in close proximity to the Capital City. Sustainable development is therefore considered important in Espoo.
Espoo is a youthful and multi-faceted city of many possibilities. Despite its growth into the second biggest city of Finland, Espoo has remained close to the beautiful nature.

Tourist Information

Espoo Convention &Marketing
Tapiola, Keskustorni 10th floor , FIN-02100 Espoo
Tel. +358-9-8164 7230
Fax +358-9-8164 7238

Espoo in Brief:

  • Population: 230 000
  • Finnish-speakers: 86 %
  • Swedish-speakers: 9 %
  • Total area: 528 km2
  • Coastline: 58 km
  • Educational level the second highest in Finland


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