Finland & Pori
Finland and Finns
Finland is a sparsely populated country, and most of the people live in big cities, which provide a wide range of opportunities for living and working. Of the over five million Finns, approximately one million live in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Northern Finland has the lowest population density and also a climate that differs from that of southern Finland. While the winter temperature in Lapland can be as low as -40 ºC, the average temperature for January is –6 ºC in Helsinki.
Finland has two official languages, Finnish (the first language of 91.3 per cent of the population) and Swedish (5.4 per cent). Also, the Sámi language is spoken in Lapland, by some 1,700 people. However, most Finns speak another language, mostly English. A few speak German or French. Some Finns may feel shy about speaking in a foreign language, while others regard doing so as an everyday matter. You can get English-language service in almost all shops, banks, and offices.
Even though Finns traditionally have not been keen on ‘small talk’, it has become an increasingly common habit in recent years. Still, Finns don’t usually pat others on the back or interrupt you when you are speaking. Finns know how to keep quiet together, naturally. This should not be considered discourteous, as it is just part of being Finnish. Finns do not mean to be rude if they do not include phrases like 'how are you' or 'nice to see you' in their speech. They are just not part of the Finnish language or culture; thus, they are rare when Finns speak foreign languages.
Finland boasts over 188,000 lakes and 4,600 kilometres of shoreline. This is one of the reasons for the 450,000 holiday residences in Finland. Finns like to spend time at a summer cottage, not only for their summer holidays but more and more often also on weekends around the year. Life at a summer cottage wouldn’t be complete without the sauna – therefore, we have 1.6 million saunas in this country. Finns sometimes bathe in the sauna several times a week.
Thanks to Nokia, Finland has experienced the most rapid growth in mobile phone culture in the world. So, almost every Finn has a mobile phone – most often, a Nokia handset. Diverse use of technology is quite advanced in other respects, too – for instance, in communications. Thus, it is a matter of course in daily life in Finland.
In Finland, it is almost equally common for both men and women to work outside the home, and at the beginning of 2001 the average monthly earnings were 1,928 eur for women and 2,354 eur for men. The general principle in Finland is equal pay for equal or similar work.
Finnish women gained the right to vote in 1906 – Finland was the second country in the world and the first in Europe to grant this right to women, who simultaneously became eligible to stand for election. Finnish women are also actively involved in politics: more than one third of Members of Parliament and half of the cabinet ministers are women at the moment. In 2000, the first female president, Tarja Halonen, was elected as head of state.
Finland As a National Economy
The basis of Finland’s national economy has for decades lain on the forest and heavy metal industries. In the last decades of the 20th century, however, technology and technological skills have emerged as new high-profile export articles, facilitating rapid growth of Finland’s national economy. Through the success of hi-tech companies such as Nokia, the subcontracting industry and product development sector have grown into new significant industries for the national economy. Moreover, Finnish design and industrial design have been on the rise for even longer now. Also, product development and production of functional foods is quite advanced.
Finnish companies with international operations include Nokia, UPM-Kymmene, Metso, and Kvaerner Masa-Yards.
Finnish exports mainly comprise the products of three sectors: the electronics, metal, and forest industries, with the chemical industry also accounting for a considerable share of exports. The most important countries for exports include Germany, Great Britain, the USA, Sweden, and Russia. Finland imports mainly raw materials, machinery and components for industrial production. The country's most significant import partners are Germany, Sweden, and Russia. Foodstuffs, clothing, and cars account for one fourth of total imports.
Finland joined the European Union in 1995 and introduced the euro as the national currency as of 1 January 2002.
Finland has invested heavily in the social security of citizens as well as availability of public welfare services, such as health care and education, from as early as the 1960s. As a result, health care and education are almost free for citizens, and services are available equally for everyone. The annual state budget for 2004 totals approximately 37 billion, a third of which is used for covering the costs of the social and health care sector.
Facts on Finland
The area is 338,000 km2, of which 10% is water and 69% is forest.
The length of the country is 1,160 km and width 540 km.
Finland has 5.2 million inhabitants, 17 people per square kilometre.
65 per cent of the population live in towns, 33 per cent in the countryside.
Over 85 per cent of the population are Evangelical Lutheran and 1 per cent Orthodox.
The GNP per capita is approximately 26,800 euros (2002).
Pori and the Neighbouring Region
The city of Pori was founded at the mouth of the Kokemäenjoki river in 1558, and at present it is by population the tenth largest city in Finland. Some 140,000 people live in the Pori region. Traditionally an industrial and
port city, Pori has rapidly transformed into a significant student hub. Strong ties to culture have kept the city vigorous for centuries.
Pori is part of the Satakunta region, and the region’s capital. Approximately 1,000 foreigners live in Pori. The Pori area is a vivid centre of service provision, and the area is also a centre of traditional industrial production. The key sectors of industry and economy are copper refining, shipbuilding and other branches of the heavy metal industry, electrical industry (high-precision and electrotechnical branches), energy production, the chemical industry, information technology, and telecommunications as well as a variety of port service operations.
For hundreds of years, ports have linked Pori to the world. Pori has always been appreciated as an efficient export port for timber, and in the past few years container traffic, particularly to ports in Germany, has grown vigorously. Plenty of raw materials for industry pass through the ports, and a total of 12 per cent of the nation’s overseas transport is routed through the ports of Pori and Rauma. The port has no passenger services.
Satakunta and the Pori area are the most industrialised regions in Finland, with 35 per cent of their jobs in the processing sector. The share of forestry and agriculture jobs totals 8 per cent, which corresponds to the national average. 55 per cent of the work force is employed by the service sector.
Outokumpu Poricopper Oy is part of Outokumpu Copper, the world's second
largest fabricator of copper products. It's one of the regions's largest
employers. The units in Pori together manufacture about 108.000 tonnes of
fabricated copper products per year. Exports account for over 90 % of the
Electric and electronic product manufacturing, food processing, textile production, and light engineering are often found in small and medium-sized companies in Satakunta. However, the metal industry has increased production most, although the electronics sector in SMEs is the fastest-growing branch of industry. Food processing is a growing sector in south-eastern Satakunta.
The Pori area is known for the international Pori Jazz Festival, the sandy beaches of Yyteri, several cultural sights, hiking routes, and birdwatching sites in the Kokemäenjoki delta.
Pori is one of the most competitive cities in Finland measured in terms of taxation and prices of energy, water, housing and real
The son of King Gustaf Vasa, Duke John, established Pori at the mouth of the Kokemäenjoki river in 1558. At the time, Finland was under Swedish rule. For a Finnish town, Pori was quite large, with a population of 1,500 in 1766. In 1809, Finland became part of Russia. This did not affect the people of Pori much; they continued living as they were used to. Pori was an important port, the key export items being fish and timber.
In 1852, the town of Pori was reduced to ashes in a single day. After the fire, the city was rebuilt, better than ever: the town got a new town plan, and many new houses were built of stone. Thus there are historically valuable buildings in Pori, including the Juselius Mausoleum and the City Hall.
After the fire, industry began to flourish as well: a match factory, machine shops, a cotton mill, and sawmills were founded. The railway line between Pori and Tampere was opened in 1895, at a time when the population of the city had already increased to 12,279.
A hundred years ago Pori was already a significant centre for culture: the first Finnish language theatre company was founded in Pori, libraries and museums were established, and several newspapers were published in the city.
Ever since Finland gained her independence in 1917, Pori has been an important, growing city of industry and ports.
Pori is preparing for its 450th anniversary in 2008.
Pori is a large city by area, comprising 503 square kilometres of land.
Nature is varied in Pori. The river Kokemäenjoki flows through the city, with its flat valley dominating the areas surrounding the city centre. The Kirjurinluoto park, frequented by townspeople for recreational purposes, lies in the old river delta. The current delta, in turn, is one of most valuable wetlands of Northern Europe due to its plentiful birdlife. The dunes of Yyteri beach, famous among tourists, are known as rest areas of waterfowl and waders. You can explore the finest nature Yyteri offers by following the hiking path constructed in the area. The Yyteri area boasts over 30 kilometres of hiking routes and nature paths, and more than 10 birdwatching towers.
There is a beautiful archipelago in the sea area off Pori. The coastal bays are shallow, and the coastline is gradually moving out towards the sea due to rising of the land and further decomposition of river silt.
The Pori National City Park, reaching into the very heart of the city, lets the tourist explore the built-up environment and culture as well as the industrial heritage of the city, parks, recreation areas, and untouched nature. For the people of Pori the City Park is an everyday haven for recreation and access to nature close by.
Everything Is Close By in Pori
In downtown Pori, everything is close by. You can easily get around by foot or bicycle. And you can cycle farther if you like, since the network of walkways comprises over 200 kilometres, allowing people in Pori to cycle to work from quite a distance away. The Yyteri beaches are 18 kilometres from the centre – an excellent target for a bicycle tour.
Finland’s first pedestrian street was opened in Pori in 1977. The promenade area, comprising Yrjönkatu street, Itäpuisto park, and Eetun aukio square, hosts several cultural, market, and other events all year round. It is a meeting place for the townspeople and tourists alike, boasting shopping centres, street cafés, gift shops, and a myriad of other services. The marketplace is in the heart of the city, a few hundred metres away from the Kokemäenjoki river flowing through the city.
When one drives a car in Pori, there is no need to waste time in traffic jams. Smooth and efficient traffic arrangements are one of the key issues influencing the quality of life.
Distances and Connections to and from Pori
By Bus, Train, and Plane
Pori is situated on the west coast of Finland but with good road connections from everywhere in Finland and abroad, too. Bus routes from Pori to the Helsinki metropolitan area are excellent, as are those to other parts of Finland. Express buses run frequently on north–south routes, to Turku and Vaasa and even to Lapland. The bus journey to Helsinki takes approximately 3.5 hours. The bus station is located at Itsenäisyydenkatu 44. For timetables, please see the Web site
Trains run from Helsinki to Pori at roughly one-hour intervals, and from Pori to Helsinki (as well as Tampere and other parts of the country) six times a day. The train journey to Helsinki takes approximately 3.5 hours. The railway station is located at Asema-aukio. For timetables, please see www.vr.fi/heo/eng/index.html.
The Pori airport is very close to city centre. Particularly in the morning and evening, there are frequent flights to Helsinki–Vantaa Airport from Pori: on weekdays, there are six Pori-Helsinki flights, on weekends two to three. There are six flights from Helsinki to Pori on weekdays, one on Saturdays, and four on Sundays. The flight time is approximately 45 minutes. For flight schedules, please contact Finnair in Pori at +358 (0)2 6100 6060 or visit
Distances from Pori:
Helsinki: 242 km
Turku: 138 km
Tampere: 115 km
Vaasa: 193 km
Oulu: 511 km
Local bus fares are fairly low in Pori. You can buy a single ticket, a serial ticket, or a travel card valid for one month. The bus service is regular, and routes cover all parts of the city. Information is available at www.porinlinjat.fi (in Finnish). Ticket office: Gallen-Kallelankatu 6, tel. +358 (0)2 621 2933.
Pori city card
Pori has introduced a versatile City Card, useful for a variety of purposes: you can charge money onto the City Card and use it to pay for things such as parking fees and local bus tickets. At the Municipal Library (head office), you can have your library card number saved on the card to facilitate its use as a library card to borrow books.
City Cards are available from the City Front Office
Hööveli, Porin Linjat Ltd service point and the Matkahuolto service point at the bus station. The card costs 6.50 eur. The Front Office Hööveli also offers a variety of other services, and the employees, who speak many languages, are happy to help you. The office is situated on the pedestrian street at Promenade Centre (Yrjönkatu 17).
Connections to Olkiluoto
The distance from central Pori to Olkiluoto is approximately 50 kilometres. The city of Pori is arranging a new Pori – Olkiluoto – Pori bus link, and people commuting to work from Pori to Olkiluoto also share rides. You can also take a Pori – Rauma bus to Olkiluoto, transferring at Olkiluoto crossing at Eurajoki.
Cars, Driver’s Licences, and Traffic
There are not many motorways in Finland, but the roads are in fairly good condition. The speed limit on motorways is 120 km/h, on highways 100 km/h (80 km/h in winter), and 40-50 km/h in built-up areas. People follow traffic regulations quite carefully.
Driver’s licences issued in an EU or ETA country and temporary driver’s licences issued in one of the Nordic countries are valid in Finland, too. You can drive all vehicles your driver’s licence entitles you to drive (classification codes are shown as letters on the driver’s licence). All drivers of cars must be at least 18 years of age. You are entitled to drive regardless of whether you are in Finland as a tourist or living here permanently.
Winter tyres are compulsory in Finland from 1 December until the end of February. During the three winter months, passenger cars and vans must be equipped with studded or unstudded winter tyres, so-called contact tyres. Time limits are flexible, however; if the weather conditions require winter tyres, they are allowed. On summer tyres, the tread depth must be no less than 1.6 mm.
If you think you need to take a few driving lessons to feel comfortable driving in slippery winter conditions, please contact Liikenneopisto at Eteläpuisto 13, tel. +358 (0)2 633 7800. They arrange driving lessons in English.
The use of a mobile phone when driving is forbidden unless you use a hands-free device.
Driving under the influence of intoxicating substances is forbidden in Finland. The limits for drink-driving are: 50 mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood and, for aggravated drink-driving, 120 mg per 100 mL of blood. As to other drugs, the limit is zero, which means that a driver of a motor vehicle will be considered guilty of driving while intoxicated if any traces of intoxicating substances other than alcohol or their metabolic products are found in the blood when the car is on the road or after driving.
Using a car imported from your home country
If you bring a car with you to Finland and you intend to stay in the country for longer than six months, you must register the vehicle in the Finnish registry within one month of moving to Finland. For further information, please see
Prior to registering or beginning to use a vehicle subject to taxation, you must pay automobile tax as specified in the Automobile Tax Act. The automobile tax must be paid without exception unless the vehicle is classified as tax-free in the Automobile Tax Act.
It is forbidden to use an unregistered vehicle in traffic in Finland except in certain special situations.
You can get a taxi from a taxi rank or by telephone – in Pori, the taxi service number is +358 (0)2 106 400. If the taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle is unlit, the car is reserved; if it is lit, the car is available. The charges are according to a tariff, based on the distance driven. Price example: in the evening, a distance of roughly 4 km will cost approximately