Useful Information

Driving in Finland

Driving and parking


The voltage of the mains electricity supply in Finland is 220V (230V), 50Hz. Plugs are of the two-pin continental size.

Oulun Energia (Finnsih site) (energy supply)
Kasarmintie 6 Oulu
Tel. 08 477 000

Healthcare, Social and Family services


About students' insurances: Migri

About life and general insurances: expat

About pension insurance for employers and entrepreneurs: expat

About earnings-related pensions: expat


Often the quickest way to do things in Finland is through the Internet. Both local and national service providers offer internet subscriptions. For more information on the various connection types and prices, please contact the service providers. These include: DNA, Elisa, and Telia.

Free internet access is available in public premises and the city centre, for example, through the wireless panOULU network.


Living in Oulu


There are two official languages in Finland: Finnish and Swedish. The compulsory languages for Finnish children in basic education include Finnish, Swedish and English.

People living in the Oulu Region are largely Finnish speaking. Most shops, however, do serve customers in other languages as well, at least in Swedish and English.

Language courses

It is always good to broaden your horizons and learn the Finnish language. However, for expatriates staying on a short-term assignment it might seem an unnecessary waste of time. At the very least you should try to take a ‘survival course'. It will help you with reading your mail, road signs and the labels in grocery stores.

Information about studying Finnish:

Magazines and newspapers

The library in Oulu has a good collection of international magazines and newspapers which are available for reading in the library but not for borrowing. If you wish to buy international newspapers or magazines, for example R-Kioskis and bigger supermarkets have some for sale.

All local newspapers are in Finnish. The main local newspaper is Kaleva. Several free newspapers are also published in Oulu, such as Forum24, and Rauhan Tervehdys.

Finnish news in English:



The main post office is located in Raksila, Tehtaankatu 5. There are also smaller post offices at the local stores around the city. 

Stamped letters and postcards can be left in the yellow or blue post boxes on the streets. As well as post offices, stamps are also available at kiosks, for example.

For information on postal services, such as postages and delivery times, please visit the Posti website. You can also use the Posti internet service to submit an official change of address notification. Information on your new address is then sent to the Finnish Population Register Centre, Posti and some businesses.


Useful links


Taxation in Finland (Tax Administration)

Sales taxes
VAT (Value Added Tax, ALV in Finnish) is included in prices. The VAT on most goods and services is 24%. VAT on food and fodder is 14%. VAT on books, pharmaceuticals, sports and exercise services, film shows, personal transportation, accommodation services, culture and entertainment events and TV licences is 10%.


Most Finns have mobile phones. You can acquire SIM cards and buy mobile phones at mobile phone shops and some local kiosks. The most popular mobile phone service providers are DNA, Elisa, and Telia

Telephone calls

Telephone calls outside Oulu telecommunication area in Finland: dial area code 08 + phone number

To call to Finland from abroad, dial:

  • the international code
  • and 358 (country code for Finland)
  • and area code (drop the prefix 0)
  • and phone number
  • For example Oulu City Hall, tel. + 358 8 5584 1100

To call to a mobile phone number, dial:

  • the international code
  • and 358
  • and phone number (drop the first 0)
  • For example + 358 40 123 4567

International Calls from Finland:
The list of codes and more information can be found in the telephone directory. To call directly from Finland,

  • dial prefix: 990, 994, 999 or 00
  • and country code
  • and area code (drop the prefix 0)
  • and phone number


As of 1 January 2013 a Television licence will no longer be required for watching television, the operations of the Finnish Broadcasting Company will be financed by a new public service broadcasting tax collected by the Tax Administration. Further information about the public service broadcasting tax (the YLE tax) is available on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration

On 31 August 2007, all television broadcasts became digital. In order to view Finnish TV broadcasts you will need either a digibox linked to an analogue television or a television equipped with a digital receiver.

For more information on watching television, please visit service.


Maps and Transportation


Water for household consumption in Finland is very clean and can be consumed straight from the tap. The quality of household drinking water in Oulu is one of the best in the country when compared to other cities producing household water from surface water. Oulun Vesi produces household water from the River Oulujoki.

Oulun Vesi (water supply)
Kasarmintie 29
P.O. Box 35, 90015 Oulu
Tel. 08 558 43800
E-mail: oulunvesi(at)

Waste disposal and recycling

Kiertokaari Oy (in Finnish) is responsible for household waste disposal in Oulu.

Residents and property owners are responsible for collecting and recycling waste and taking it to the applicable collection points. There are several area recycling points across Oulu where you can take household paper, glass, cardboard, steel and aluminium, and plastic free of charge. Buildings with over 10 apartments must organise collection for solid waste, biodegradable waste, paper, cardboard, glass, and steel and aluminium.

More information on waste management and recycling in general, and in Oulu.

Working life

Information on working life rules in Finland is available on the TE-service website.

Employment services in Oulu.