Art and Culture
The Sibelius Monument by Eila Hiltunen is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The monument is located in Helsinki.


The Finnish architecture is mostly known for its modernist era. Alvar Aalto is probably the most famous Finnish architect. He is often considered to be the most influential of Finnish modernists. Other notable figure of Finnish modernism was Aarne Ervi. The buildings in Turku’s University Hill are of his design during 1956-1959. From architects outside of modernist school the most internationally known are Eliel Saarinen and Eero Saarinen. Both were born in Finland but did their most known work in the Unites States.


Albert Edelfelt, Hugo Simberg, Helene Schjerfbeck and Akseli Gallen-Kallela are famous Finnish painters who are also known internationally. They were all active during the Golden Age of Finnish national romantic art, spanning some five decades from 1870 to 1920. Wäinö Aaltonen, born in Turku, is also a well-known sculptor who begun his career in the 1920s doing national romantic sculpts. He later experimented cubism and is these days considered to be one of the major Finnish sculptors. Of still living artist one of the most known is Kaj Stenvall. His career really started in 1989 when he started doing stylistic paintings of ‘a very familiar looking duck’. The Disney’s ever popular ducks are usually considered to be the inspiration of Stenvall’s work.


Most of Finnish design’s top products are found in the areas of furniture and glass items. The Aalto Vase, also known as the Savoy Vase is probably the most internationally known product of Finnish Design. Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto co-designed this masterpiece of glass in 1936. Of the more recent well known pieces we can mention e.g. the Block Lamp (1996) by Harri Koskinen.

Works of e.g. Kaj Franck, Nessi Hovi, Maija Isola, Sanna Kantola, Kalle Kuusela, Stefan Lindfors, Gunnel Nyman, Armi Ratia, Hanna Sarén, Timo Sarpaneva, Nanny Still, Paola Suhonen, Helena Tynell and Björn Weckström are all worth seeing.


Important filmmakers include Mika and Aki Kaurismäki, Dome Karukoski, Klaus Härö, Renny Harlin, and Aku Louhimies. Aki Kaurismäki was awarded the Grand Prix at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival for the film "The Man without a Past" (Mies vailla menneisyyttä). Some of the most popular films of the 21st century are "Iron Sky" (2012), "The Flight Before Christmas" (Niko - Lentäjän poika, 2008), "Lapland Odyssey" (Napapiirin sankarit, 2010), "Rare exports" (2010) and "Steam of Life" (Miesten vuoro, 2010).

In Finland, there are many interesting film-related events, such as the Midnight Sun Film Festival held in a small village in Lapland where film directors around the world, up-and-coming talents, the international audience, and the inhabitants of Sodankylä meet.

The annual short film competition Uneton48 is the Finnish equivalent to the international competition The 48 Film Project.

Important industries - High technology and Nature

The wealth of Finland thrives from its forests. Forestry has provided a livelihood for more Finns than any other industry in the country since its independence in 1917.forestry.jpg

Finland's biggest industrial sectors are electronics and the electrical industry, machinery and transport, forestry indutrial devices, chemical industry, power and water supply, metal products, food industry, as well as metallurgy and mining.

Nowadays Finland has shifted from forestry-based to technology-based economy (To find out more, click here). Software engineer Linus Torvalds was the developer of Linux operating systems for computers. Nokia was the world's largest vendor of mobile phones from 1998 to 2012. Nokian Tyres is known for its winter tyres and it operates the only permanent winter tyre testing facility in the world.

Finnish mobile games have taken the world by storm in the 21st century and there’s no end in sight for the growth of the local game industry. (To find out more, click here.)39034777792_0e044f4bb5_z.jpg

During the past decades, Finnish innovation culture has gained reputation around the world. The world-renowned entrepreneurship movement Slush was founded in Helsinki in 2008. Each year the world's leading start-up event, Slush, brings together the leading actors of the global tech scene to Helsinki.

There is also a local business festival organised in Turku, called SHIFT.


The Finnish national epic Kalevala has gained worldwide reputation. Kalevala partly even inspired the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, J.R.R Tolkien studied Finnish so that he could read Kalevala in its original language. So far Kalevala has been translated into 60 different languages, which makes it the most translated Finnish literary work in history.

The Finnish view of world is nicely presented in literary form in the works of e.g. Elias Lönnrot (Kalevala), Aleksis Kivi (the Seven Brothers), Juhani Aho (Railway) and Väinö Linna (the Unknown Soldier). Each one of the mentioned also depict a different era of Finnish history and its transitional stages.

Finnish poetry classically has two names over the others: Finland’s national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (who wrote in Swedish) and Eino Leino (who wrote in Finnish).Runeberg’s poem Maamme/Vårt Land provided the lyrics for the National anthem of Finland. Leino’s poems have also been converted to musical forms by many of Finland’s most celebrated composers. Of more modern poets internationally known are e.g. Paavo Haavikko, Pentti Saarikoski and Arto Melleri.

Other Internationally known Finnish writers and novelists include F. E. Sillanpää (Nobel prize winner in 1939), Mika Waltari, Arto Paasilinna, Volter Kilpi, Märta Tikkanen, Minna Canth, Bo Carpelan, Sofi Oksanen, Leena Lehtolainen, Kari Hotakainen, Kjell Westö, and Tove Jansson - the creator of Moomins.

To find out more about Finnish contemporary literature, click here.


Jean Sibelius is probably the best known Finn throughout history of music. His compositions have been played in concert halls all over the world. Other important composers are Joonas Kokkonen, Aulis Salli­nen, Oskar Merikanto, Toivo Kuula, Leevi Madetoja, Erik Bergman, Osmo Vänskä, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Kaija Saariaho. Of  Finnish conductors, internationally known are Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mikko Franck, Susanna Mälkki, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam. Famous Finnish opera singers include Jorma Hynninen, Karita Mattila, Soile Isokoski and Tommi Hakala. Both Mattila and Hakala have won the BBC Singer of the World in Cardiff.

Rock and heavy metal are very popular, in fact Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita. Some famous artists include e.g. Amorphis, Apocalyptica, Stratovarius, Stam1na, and Children of Bodom.Other famous representatives of Finnish pop and rock music are for example Alma, The Rasmus, HIM, Sonata Arctica, The 69 Eyes, Sunrise Avenue, Kemopetrol, Manna, Isac Elliot, Nightwish, Von Hertzen Brothers, The Crash, Lapko, Disco Ensemble, Kwan, Hanoi Rocks, Leningrad Cowboys, Husky Rescue, French Films, 22-Pistepirkko, Zen Café, Maj Karma, Apulanta, Mokoma, Kotiteollisuus, Klamydia, Huoratron, Pintandwefall, etc. The Finnish hard rock band Lordi won the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with a record 292 points, giving Finland its first ever victory, Hard Rock Hallelujah.

During the summer, you have opportunity to participate in music festivals of any genre. For jazz, head to Pori Jazz or Turku Jazz Festival. To mention few of the main pop-rock festivals, there is amongst others Ruisrock, Provinssirock, Ilosaarirock, Tuska, Down by the Laituri, Qstock, Rock the Beach, Nummirock, and many more. In you're interested in opera, head to Savonlinna Opera Festival. For folk music enthousiasts, check out Kaustinen Folk Music Festival. For a mixture of bit of everything, experience World Village Festival in Helsinki.

To find more different festivals in Finland, click here.


Finland holds the title of most Olympic medals won per capita.

Within Finnish sports, the most legendary person is Paavo Nurmi, a famous long distance runner. This original “Flying Finn” dominated middle and long distance running in the 1920’s, winning nine gold and three silver Olympic medals, and setting altogether 25 world records. In Turku, his home town, there is a statue of him close to the crossing of Hämeenkatu and Kaskenkatu. There is also a sports stadium named after him, Paavo Nurmi Stadium.

Finland is known for motor sports. Famous Finnish Formula 1 drivers are Mika Häkkinen,  Kimi Räikkönen, Heikki Kovalainen and Valtteri Bottas and rally drivers Tommi Mäkinen, Hannu Mikkola, Juha Kankkunen, Timo Mäkinen, Marcus Grönholm, Markku Alén, Ari Vatanen, Timo Salonen, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.

Finnish football players such as Jari Litmanen, Sami Hyy­piä, Niklas Moisander (Turku), Mikael Forssell and Teemu Pukki among some others are also well known in the European fields. Local football teams are FC Inter and FC TPS and you may see these teams at Kupittaa Veritas Stadion.

Ice hockey is often regarded as Finland’s national sport. Finland has won the ice hockey world championships  in 1995 and 2011 and practically the whole nation joined the celebrations with Leijonat (The Lions). Famous ice hockey players at NHL are Saku Koivu, Mikko Koivu, Teemu Selänne, Jari Kurri, Olli Jokinen, Tuomo and Jarkko Ruutu, Kimmo Timonen etc. 

U18: Suomi kokosi rivinsä ja voitti päätösottelunRuotsalaiset joutuivat pettymään kun Suomi juhli kotiturnauksen voittoa.  

The local ice-hockey team of Turku is called Turun Palloseura (TPS), and they play their home games at Turkuhalli ( and league Mestis at lower level Turun Toverit (TuTo Hockey) plays at Kupittaa, see


Finland’s official national sport is Finnish baseball (pesäpallo/boboll).


Floorball, also known as sähly or salibandy (innebandy in Swedish) is a popular sport especially in the Nordic countries.






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