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Tips for travellers driving, walking or cycling in Finland

The Finnish Road Safety Council has compiled a series of short guides highlighting some of the key points a traveller should be aware when visiting Finland – whether by car, on foot or by cycle. The guides are aimed especially for travel service providers, rental companies, cities and municipalities to use in their communication towards visitors, but can be used as a self-study material too. Available in English.

What to expect when visiting Finland on foot, by bike or by car?

When visiting Finland, it is vital to know and respect the road rules. Harsh conditions can be a safety risk especially in winter. These short guides explain some of the key points a visitor should know when hitting the road in Finland. Please take note that they are not a comprehensive list of all the current legislation and regulations. The goal is to prevent accidents in travel and tourism and make sure visitors stay safe.

Top safety tips for driving in Finland

  1. Plan your route. Prefer main roads. Be careful when using Google Maps or a similar tool – they are not always up to date on impassable roads – especially in winter. Check where to stop for fuel along the way.
  2. Check the weather forecast and take warnings seriously. Avoid driving in bad weather.
  3. Speet limits set the maximum, not target speed. Choose your speed according to the weather and conditions on the road.
  4. Don’t become a road hazard. Do not stop in the middle of the road for photos. Stop only at a safe place like a lay-by.
  5. Wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are buckled up too.
  6. Snow, sleet and ice can cause extremely dangerous road conditions in Finland. Slow down and increase your following distance if the weather is bad. Make sure you drive with lights on.
  7. Respect private areas and road closures. Off-road driving is forbidden.
  8. Stay on your own lane. Some roads are extremely narrow.
  9. Take wildlife warning signs seriously. Watch out for reindeer in reindeer husbandry area.
  10. If you have an accident, call 112. Be prepared, in remote areas it may take a while before help arrives.

See the whole guide here: Driving in Finland (Opens in a new window)(pdf)

Top safety tips for cycling in Finland

  1. Plan your route. Prefer cycle paths. Use ready-made resources like Bikeland.fi. Cities and muncipalities have a lot of regional cycle routes to offer. Avoid roads with higher columes of traffic such as main highways.
  2. Whenever possible, ride in designated bike lanes or paths. If there is no cycle path, cycle on the verge or on the right side of the road. Cycling on the pavement is not allowed (except for children under 12).
  3. On the road cyclists ride one behind the other, not side-by-side, and comply with the same rules as motorists.
  4. On cycle paths ride on the right, overtake from the left. Give way to cycles etc. coming from the right unless there is a sign indicating otherwise.
  5. Find out where you can stop for rest and food when cycling long distances. In Finland there can easily be over 100 km between points of service.
  6. Check that your cycle is equipped with mandatory equipment: reflectors, a bell and lights: a red in the rear and a white in the front. Use a helmet.
  7. Be visible especially when riding during low-light conditions or at night.
  8. Respect signs forbidding cycling.
  9. Slow your speed when approaching an intersection or a road crossing.
  10. Stay on top of weather reports and take warnings seriously. Postpone your journey, if the weather gets rough.

See the whole guide here: Cycling in Finland (Opens in a new window) (pdf)

Top safety tips for walking in Finland

  1. Use pavements and footpaths.
  2. Walk on the left side of the road facing the traffic if there is no pavement.
  3. Only cross streets at designated areas like a pedestrian crossing. Look both ways before you cross. Do not jaywalk. Be extra careful when crossing the road in the dark.
  4. Be mindful of other road users and mind your luggage. Remember you are sharing the road – do not block the street.
  5. Don’t rely solely on Google Maps etc when plotting a route to your destination. Respect private areas.
  6. In the dark it is crucial to be seen. Wear reflectors or a reflective vest and increase your visibility.
  7. Stop in a safe place before taking photos or checking your route. Do not let mobile phones distract you.
  8. If an emergency vehicle approaches with emergency lights flashing and/or sirens on, stay off the road.

See the whole guide here: Road rules for pedestrians (pdf)

For further information:

Renting an e-scooter?

When using rental e-scooters, obey the same traffic rules as cyclists. Use paths and lanes intended for bicycles, not on footpaths. If there is no cycle path, an e-scooter user must ride on the street not on the pavement.

Remember it is not allowed to ride an e-scooter with a passenger. Check for more rules concerning e-scooters.