Free and Inexpensive Things to Do in Finland

You’ve probably heard that living in Finland is expensive. As a student, you usually have a low budget. Having a low budget shouldn’t stop you from going to places and having fun. That’s why we collected some fun things to do if you’re on a budget. Studying and living in Finland can be affordable in some cases.

Museums and art galleries

Museum entrance fees in Finland are around 6-12€. Which means that they’re not always so affordable. Thankfully, some museums offer free entrance on certain days and some have pretty good student discounts, so it is worth to visit the museum’s website if the you want to save money.

Nature

Parks, forests and lakes in Finland are free to roam thanks to jokamiehen oikeudet (every man’s rights) which means that every person has the right to travel in nature regardless of who owns the land. Every man’s rights allow you to pick flowers, berries and mushrooms, if the species is not protected. You can also camp outside temporarily, hike, ski or ride a bicycle in the nature, but not too close to anyone’s home.

Hand picked mushrooms from Finnish nature.
Hand picked mushrooms from Finnish nature.

Board games

Many bars have a collection of different popular and more obscure board games, that you can play while chatting with your friends over a cup of coffee or beer.

Live music

During music festivals it is really popular to go and have a picnic outside the fences of the festival area. Unfortunately, you don’t really get to see the performances, but you can often hear them and what’s best you will avoid getting trampled by the wild festival people.

Finnish people enjoying summer and live music in Finland
Finns are really active festival goers.

Libraries

Libraries are a bookaholic’s best friend. Getting a library card to any library in Finland is free of charge. You can also just go to a library, pick a book, find a seat for yourself and read it there. You’re not allowed to take any books out of the library without going trough the librarians desk or the lending machine. Some libraries have other items to lend than just books. There are sometimes tablets, sports equipment, board games, movies, audiobooks, CD’s. Libraries also have computers for customer use, if you ever need access to internet or need to print out something.

Second-hand shops

Second-hand shops come in handy, if you’re in need of a new dress but have a low budget or want to be environmentally friendly. There are several types of second-hand shops in Finland. You can easily spend a day browing different second-hand shops and looking for treasures.

In the most common one, you buy items just like in a normal store. If you want to sell items, you rent a table for a wanted amount of time. Bring your items there and give them a price tag. After your rental time has ended you pick your unsold items and the money from the items sold.

There are also charity based second-hand stores like Fida, Kontti and UFF. Both take clothes and accessories as donations and sell them. Money from the sold items goes to charity.

Clothing rental

Libraries and second-hand shops have existed for centuries. A new budget friendly concept has landed in Helsinki, for fashionistas with a budget. I’m talking about renting clothes and accessories. Clothing rental shops are like libraries but for clothes and accessories. Usually with a clothing rental service you buy a member card and with that you can rent 1-3 pieces for no more than 2-3 weeks at a time.

Interested to know how to live with a budget? Check our page about the cost of studying in Finland.

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