Finland Currency Exchange Guide

Discover the enchanting allure of Finland, a pristine Nordic paradise where natural beauty and rich culture converge. From the mesmerising Northern Lights to the vibrant coastal cities, Finland offers a diverse range of unforgettable experiences. Immerse yourself in the land of a thousand lakes, vast forests, and charming wooden towns. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Finland’s enchanting landscapes and warm-hearted people are ready to welcome you with open arms.

General Finnish Currency Information

What is the currency in Finland?

The official currency in Finland is the Euro (EUR).

What do Finnish euro notes & coins look like?

Portuguese euro notes

As one of the Eurozone countries, Finland takes great pride in circulating the exquisite Europa series of banknotes. Unveiled in phases over several years, the €5, €10, €20, and €50 notes made their grand entrance between 2013 and 2017. The €100 and €200 notes joined this illustrious family on May 28, 2019. Drawing inspiration from Europa, a legendary figure in Greek mythology featured in two security elements on the banknotes, this series masterfully highlights Europe’s rich and diverse cultural tapestry. The enchanting portrayal of Europa symbolises the continent’s unity and human essence and is inspired by a vase exhibited in the renowned Louvre Museum in Paris.

Portuguese euro coins

When it comes to designing its euro coins, Finland adopts a uniquely creative approach. The €2 coin, embellished with cloudberries and cloudberry flowers, exudes a distinctively Nordic charm. Upon closer inspection of the €1 coin, one can admire the elegance of two swans soaring through the air. The majestic heraldic lion dominates the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50-cent coins, representing Finland’s rich and storied heritage. Each coin embodies a meaningful aspect of the country, transforming these pieces of currency into true works of art.

Economy

Finland boasts a highly industrialised, mixed economy with a per capita output on par with Western European powerhouses like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. At the heart of this Nordic nation’s economic success lies its diverse blend of industries, with the service sector taking the lead by contributing an impressive 72.7% to Finland’s GDP. Hot on its heels are manufacturing and refining at 31.4%, while the primary sector chimes in at 2.9%.

Manufacturing takes centre stage as Finland’s key economic sector, with major industries including electronics (21.6%), machinery, vehicles, and other engineered metal products (21.1%), forest industry (13.1%), and chemicals (10.9%). The country is also blessed with an abundance of natural resources, such as timber, minerals, and fresh water. Finland’s forestry, paper factories, and agricultural sectors are particularly significant for rural residents and receive roughly €2 billion in annual taxpayer support, highlighting their political sensitivity and vital role in sustaining the nation’s economic well-being.

Brief currency history

Introduced in 1860 by the Bank of Finland, the Finnish markka replaced the Russian ruble at a rate of four markkaa to one ruble. Initially linked to the value of silver, Finland later embraced the Latin Monetary Union’s gold standard between 1878 and 1915. Before the markka, both the Swedish riksdaler and the ruble were used concurrently. The markka faced significant inflation during its history, particularly during World War I and World War II. To reset inflation, the markka underwent a redenomination in 1963, with the new markka valued at 100 old markkaa.

Joining the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1948, Finland pegged the markka to the US dollar. Following the agreement’s disintegration in 1971, the markka transitioned to a basket of currencies as its reference point. High inflation persisted from 1971 to 1985, prompting market liberalisation throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The “strong markka policy” of the 1980s and early 1990s led to an exceptionally high nominal value for the markka. Consequently, Finland was considered the most expensive country in the world in 1990, according to the OECD’s Purchasing Power Parities report.

In 1991, the markka briefly adopted the currency basket ECU as its peg, only to withdraw two months later with a 12% devaluation. A severe recession struck Finland in 1992, prompting the abandonment of the fixed exchange rate and the floating of the markka. This resulted in a substantial decrease in the markka’s value, leaving many entrepreneurs burdened with insurmountable foreign currency debt. With low inflation during its time as a floating currency, the markka joined the ERM system in 1996 before ultimately becoming a fraction of the euro in 1999, with physical euro money introduced in 2002.

Taking Travel Money to Finland

Finland Travel Banner

What currency should I take to Finland?

If you’re travelling to Finland, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Euros (Euro). Get information on how to exchange your AUD to EUR.

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Finland?

From a sheer convenience perspective, it might be better to do it in Australia. By converting your funds before you leave, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have the money you need on hand, no matter what time you arrive. Plus, you can control your budget better and avoid any unexpected surprises by converting your money ahead of time.

How much money can I take to Finland?

You are free to travel with as much cash as you’d like. However, if you’re carrying an amount over €10,000, or its equivalent, in another currency, it’s important to declare it at Customs. This is a legal requirement for anyone entering or leaving the European Union.

Where to convert currency?

At Crown Currency Exchange, we provide an easy and hassle-free solution for Australian dollar to Euro currency exchange. Our competitive exchange rates come with no hidden fees or commissions, ensuring a transparent experience. With nearly 20 years of top-notch service under our belt, we’ve earned our reputation as a reliable name in the industry. Plus, with 50 stores spread across Australia, you’ll always find one conveniently close to you.

Is tipping customary in Finland? How much is expected?

When visiting Finland, it’s essential to understand the local tipping customs. While tipping is not as widespread as in some other countries, there are instances where it’s appreciated. Here are some guides for tipping in Finland:

Restaurants: Finnish restaurants don’t generally expect tips, but if you’re blown away by the food or service, feel free to tip 10 to 15% of the bill. Keep in mind that a service charge is often included, so any extra amount you give is considered a bonus. Tipping shows your appreciation for the exceptional dining experience.

Bars: Tips aren’t mandatory at bars, but if you’re particularly impressed with your salmiakki koskenkorva (a vodka and salty liquorice cocktail), consider rounding up the bill or leaving the bartender some change. This small gesture acknowledges their effort in preparing your drink.

Hotels: In Finnish hotels, tipping is not common, but if a staff member goes the extra mile for you, it’s polite to tip porters a small amount for carrying your bags. This demonstrates your gratitude for their assistance and attentive service.

Taxi drivers: While Finnish taxi drivers don’t expect tips, you can round up the fare and let the driver keep the change with the phrase “pitäkää loput!” This simple act shows your appreciation for their smooth and efficient transportation service.

Tour guides: Tour guides in Finland don’t typically expect tips, but if you feel inclined, offering 10% of the ticket value is generous. A tip signifies your gratitude for their knowledge, storytelling abilities, and guidance throughout the tour.

Salons: Tipping is not customary in salons and barber shops, but if you had an outstanding experience, you could offer a little extra “drink money.” Just be aware that your hairdresser might be surprised by the gesture. A tip in this scenario highlights your satisfaction with their expertise and the final result.

Spas: In Finland, tipping therapists is not obligatory, as they are highly qualified professionals who don’t expect additional compensation. However, if a therapist or masseur goes above and beyond, feel free to compensate them for their extra effort, but be cautious not to offend with an extravagant gesture. A tip in this context showcases your appreciation for their exceptional skills and personalised attention.

What is ATM access like in Finland?

Finnish banks don’t have their own ATM machines. Instead, almost every bank in the region uses the interbank network called OTTO. If you’re worried about language barriers, fear not, as most OTTO machines have an English language option.

However, be prepared for some differences compared to the ATMs you’re used to at home. Two card slots are available – a blue one for chip and pin cards and a yellow one for magnetic stripe cards. But that’s not all. Since 2017, Nosto ATM machines have also been available, with around 500 locations scattered across the country. 

What should you budget per day?

Budget

A budget of €65-80 (AUD $107-132) per day can go a long way if you do it right. Hostel dorms are a great, affordable option for accommodation, and cooking your meals instead of eating out can save you a lot of money. Public transportation is also a wallet-friendly alternative to taxis, and there are plenty of free activities to fill your days with. For those who enjoy a drink or two, remember to increase your budget by €10-15 (AUD $16-25) per day.

Moderate

For a moderate budget, allocating around €130-150 (AUD $214-247) per day can give you enough wiggle room to enjoy various activities and experiences without breaking the bank. You could opt for a private hostel room or Airbnb, dine out for some meals, sip on a few drinks, take taxis when needed and indulge in paid activities like museum hopping, skiing or guided tours. With this kind of budget, you can strike a balance between enjoying your trip to the fullest and not overspending.

Luxury

When it comes to enjoying a luxurious vacation, a daily budget of €310 (AUD $510) or more can indulge you in all the extravagances that your heart desires. You can book a top-notch hotel, dine out for every meal, have unlimited drinks, rent a car to explore, and take part in all the activities that catch your fancy. However, this is just the starting point of luxury. With this budget, the world is yours to conquer, and you can spare no expense in making your vacation the ultimate getaway.

Currency details

Currency:

Euro

Currency code:

EUR

Currency symbol:

Central bank:

Bank of Finland

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Cent = 1/100

Bank notes:

€5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500

Coins:

1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2

Must-dos while you are in Finland

Helsinki's Winter Wonderland

Visit Helsinki's Winter Wonderland

Helsinki, Finland’s capital city, is a magical wonderland during winter, so visiting Helsinki should definitely be on your bucket list. The city is full of lights, Christmas markets, and ice rinks. The historic centre is vibrant, with ornamented churches, charming boutique shops, and restaurants that serve traditional Finnish cuisine. You can take a sightseeing cruise to see the city’s varied coastlines. Plus, you can’t miss the Helsinki Cathedral, one of the city’s most iconic structures that overlook the city’s central square.

Finnish Sauna

Soak Up the Finnish Sauna Experience

Saunas are a significant part of the Finnish culture. Imagine sitting in a cosy, warm room with temperatures set at 70-80 degrees Celsius, breathing in the aromatic steam and just relaxing. Yes, please! The sauna tradition in Finland is said to be over 2,000 years old, and the country has over three million saunas! You can enjoy saunas on rooftop terraces that overlook the city, on the shores of lakes, or in the middle of forests. Try the sauna experience, it’s healing and relaxing, and it’s an excellent way to warm up.

Reindeer Sled Ride

Take a Reindeer Sled Ride

Finland isn’t all about the lights, the culture, or the saunas. There’s something special about Finnish wildlife too. The Christmas movie The Grinch came to life in Finland – have you ever imagined taking a reindeer sled ride through the snowy terrain? Yes, it’s a real thing! You can go on a ride in places like Lapland, where Santa Claus Village, The Arctic Circle, Northern Lights, and authentic Icebreakers await you. Taking a sled ride through this beautiful wintry wonderland is an experience like no other.

Northern Lights

Go Northern Lights Hunting

Every year, thousands of visitors fly over to Finland just to catch a glimpse of the mesmerising Northern Lights. Finland is one of the best places to see the Aurora because the country is situated around the Aurora zone. The winter nights are very long, which gives you a higher chance of spotting the Northern Lights. You can take an organised Aurora hunting tour that’ll take you to the designated locations to watch the breathtaking, green, and blue lights dance across the night sky. Make sure to bundle up, stay warm, and don’t forget your camera!

Finnish Food

Try Authentic Finnish Food

Finally, what’s the point of travelling to another country if you don’t dive into the local cuisine? Finland’s most classic and traditional treats consist of different varieties of meatballs, fish, and Rye bread. The country is specialised in using Finnish ingredients and dining methods, and all dishes are served with a side of beautiful presentation. Get a chance to visit some of the notable restaurants that date back to Helsinki’s 18th century. Local cuisines are unique and authentic, and I bet you won’t regret tasting Finnish cuisine. 

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