About Helsinki, Finland and the Midsummer week

Helsinki

June is a great time to visit Helsinki. Sun barely sets, and the weather tends to be warm on the Finnish scale (about 20 degrees Celsius). The city really wakes up after the long Winter as the Finns take advantage of the long, light evenings in parks and outdoor cafés. During the conference days 15-18.6 the day is usually 19 hours long in Helsinki: Sun rises around 4AM and sets just before 11PM.

Helsinki is a capital with both interesting architecture and beautiful nature just around the corner. The city center is very walkable and the distances are short (from the conference venue: shopping center Kamppi 600m, Helsinki railway station 1km, Stockmann department store 1km 300m, Senate Square 1km 800m.)

Official travel site of Helsinki: https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en

Finland

Total area of Finland is 338 144 km, making it the 8th largest country in Europe. There are 5.6 million inhabitants, which makes Finland the most sparsely populated country in the European Union (69% of the country is forest). There are almost 2 million saunas though.

Finland is often called “the land of a thousand lakes”, as there are 188,000 lakes in Finland.​​ 10% of Finland is actually water. Finland’s southwest coast is also the largest archipelago in Europe. There are 180 000 islands. ​​

The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish, but most Finns also speak good English. The currency is Euro and card payments are accepted almost everywhere. Hotels and cafés have free wifi but very affordable pre-paid data packages can also be bought from kiosks. The time zone during the conference is: UTC+ 3 hrs (Eastern European Summer time).

Official travel site of Finland: https://www.visitfinland.com/

Midsummer

The conference takes place on the midsummer week. If you want to see one of the main local holidays of the year we recommend to stay for the midsummer weekend! To see the Midnight Sun you can travel to the North or join the local celebrations in Helsinki area.

Friday 19.6: Midsummer eve – most shops close in the early afternoon.

Saturday 20.6: Midsummer day – many shops are closed.

Read more about Midsummer and its traditions here: https://www.visitfinland.com/article/midsummer-go-peaceful-or-go-party/