Do’s and dont’s


  • Say hello to your neighbors while passing by
  • Remember to make an appointment at first if you need to use public laundry or sauna at your building and be punctual about it – no overtime.
  • Keep decent distance from others, finnish people have large personal space
  • Bring your own drinks to parties, unless said something else, can’t bring any to pubs or bars
  • If you have two kitchen sinks, learn to use them both while washing dishes!
  • Ask help from the workers of grocery stores, it is part of their work to help you find something.
  • If someone asks you something in finnish and you don’t understand them, it’s more polite to reply *en puhu suomea* than being silent
  • Remember to carry your keys with you, finnish apartment buildings have locked outer doors. Calling the janitor to open the doors might be expensive
  • Pour a cup of coffee for your guests!
  • Recycle your waste
  • remember to use a towel for sitting in sauna


  • Try to make small talk (most of the finns are bad at it)
  • Make an appointment to greet your neighbors
  • Use shoes inside
  • Smoke inside your apartment, not even at the windows
  • Try to buy strong alcohol unless you are under 20
  • Try to buy alcohol between 9 pm and 9 am
  • Let your dog relieve in the apartment yard
  • let your dog run free outside
  • Play loud music past 21-22, finnish apartment buildings have “silent time” which goes from 22pm till 7-8am 
  • Keep windows open for long in winter
  • Heat your apartment with an oven…
  • use swimsuits in public sauna
  • Throw ‘löylyt’ without saying anything to/asking from others in the sauna
  • Be too loud out in the public…
  • give gifts as an apology, unless it’s alcohol or coffee

And in the end… a real life story from a Finn:

”I live in a apartment building and I was about to go out. I heard noise from the hallway and looked to it from the door’s peephole (”ovisilmä”), there were some of my neighbours. I waited for them to leave until I went outside my apartment to the hallway. Just because I didn’t want to have a small talk with them.

After that I heard a noise from the upper floors, someone ordered the lift! I had two options. To run fast to the first floor by the stairway or be so slow that the upper floor’s neighbour could go before me. Again, just because of the small talk.

Outcome: I survived without human contact and small talk… 🙂

This was so typical Finnish behavior from me!”

Tip! Go visit @finnishnightmaresofficial and @veryfinnishproblems instagram accounts. There you can find more of these.

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