Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Many places in the country have different names in Finnish and Swedish, both being official endonyms.
|English name (often the same as the Finnish name)||Finnish name||Swedish name|
|Central Finland||Keski-Suomi||Mellersta Finland|
|Central Ostrobothnia||Keski-Pohjanmaa||Mellersta Österbotten|
|North Karelia||Pohjois-Karjala||Norra Karelen|
|North Ostrobothnia||Pohjois-Pohjanmaa||Norra Österbotten|
|South Karelia||Etelä-Karjala||Södra Karelen|
|South Ostrobothnia||Etelä-Pohjanmaa||Södra Österbotten|
|Southwest Finland||Varsinais-Suomi||Egentliga Finland|
Some Finnish municipalities with endonyms in both Finnish and Swedish, the majority language of the municipality stands first:
Helsinki is the capital, primate and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 656,229. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research; while Tampere in the Pirkanmaa region, located 179 kilometres (111 mi) to the north from Helsinki, is the second largest urban area in Finland. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 km (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.
The Swedish-speaking population of Finland is a linguistic minority in Finland. They maintain a strong identity and are seen either as a separate ethnic group, while still being Finns, or as a distinct nationality. They speak Finland Swedish, which encompasses both a standard language and distinct dialects that are mutually intelligible with the dialects spoken in Sweden and, to a lesser extent, other Scandinavian languages. On 6 November, Finnish Swedish Heritage Day, a general flag day, is celebrated in Finland; that day celebrates the Swedish-speaking population of Finland, their culture, and the bilinguality of Finland.
Helsinki has a total area of 686 km2 (265 sq mi). 186 km2 (72 sq mi) of it is land and 500 km2 (190 sq mi) of the area is covered with water. It is located at.
The Helsinki Metro is a rapid transit system serving Greater Helsinki, Finland. It is the world's northernmost metro system. The Helsinki Metro was opened to the general public on 2 August 1982 after 27 years of planning. It is operated by Helsinki City Transport for HSL and carries 63 million passengers per year.
Uusimaa is a region of Finland. It borders the regions of Southwest Finland, Tavastia Proper (Kanta-Häme), Päijänne Tavastia (Päijät-Häme), and Kymenlaakso. Finland's capital and largest city, Helsinki, along with the surrounding Greater Helsinki area, are both contained in the region, which makes Uusimaa Finland's most populous region. The population of Uusimaa is 1,638,469.
Helsinki commuter rail is the commuter rail system serving Greater Helsinki, Finland. The network is part of the HSL network, and is operated by VR, the Finnish state-owned national railway company. Together with the Helsinki Metro, buses, and trams, the network forms the heart of Helsinki's public transportation infrastructure.
The city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, can be divided into various sorts of subdivisions. Helsinki is divided into three major areas: Helsinki Downtown, North Helsinki and East Helsinki. The subdivisions include neighbourhoods, districts, major districts and postal code areas. The plethora of different official ways to divide the city is a source of some confusion to the inhabitants, as different kinds of subdivisions often share similar or identical names.
The architecture of Finland has a history spanning over 800 years, and while up until the modern era the architecture was strongly influenced by currents from Finland's two respective neighbouring ruling nations Sweden and Russia, from the early 19th century onwards influences came directly from further afield: first when itinerant foreign architects took up positions in the country and then when the Finnish architect profession became established.
Munkkiniemi is a neighbourhood in Helsinki. Subdivisions within the district are Vanha Munkkiniemi, Kuusisaari, Lehtisaari, Munkkivuori, Niemenmäki and Talinranta.
The Krepost Sveaborg was an Imperial Russian system of land and coastal fortifications constructed around Helsinki during the First World War. The purpose of the fortress was to provide a secure naval base for the Russian Baltic fleet and to protect Helsinki and block routes to Saint Petersburg from a possible German invasion. Krepost Sveaborg was part of Peter the Great's Naval Fortress, a coastal fortification system protecting access to Saint Petersburg by sea. The central part of Krepost Sveaborg was the old fortress of Suomenlinna where the fortress headquarters were located. Due to technological advances in artillery the old fortress was no longer capable of providing a sufficient protection, and a new main defensive line was built well beyond the old fortress boundaries. New coastal artillery guns built on outlying islands protected Krepost Sveaborg from the sea, while fortified lines constructed around Helsinki were intended to stop any attacks on land. The primary coastal guns were 10 in (254 mm) model 1891 guns and 6 in (152 mm) model 1892 Canet guns. Older 11 in (279 mm) model 1877 guns were also used. In summer 1917 the fortress had two hundred coastal or anti-landing guns, of which 24 were 10-inch guns in six batteries, 16 were 6-inch Canet guns in four batteries and twelve were 11-inch guns in three batteries. The artillery used in land fortifications included older coastal guns, old fixed carriage guns and newer light field guns. In March 1917, Krepost Sveaborg had a total of 463 guns, although many of them were obsolescent. Krepost Sveaborg was still partly incomplete in 1917 when the February Revolution halted most of the construction work. Some further construction work was carried out during the remaining year, but all work halted during the October Revolution. Following the Finnish Declaration of Independence, parts of the land fortifications were used in the Finnish Civil War. The coastal fortifications were later taken over by Finland to protect Helsinki, while the land fortifications were mostly abandoned and disarmed.
Läntinen suurpiiri is one of the seven major districts of Helsinki, Finland. It covers five subdistricts: Reijola, Munkkiniemi, Haaga, Pitäjänmäki and Kaarela. As of 2005, western major district has 98,545 inhabitants living in an area of 30.4 km2.
The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority is the inter-municipal authority that maintains the public transportation network of the nine municipalities of Greater Helsinki, Finland.
Helsinki is Finland's only remaining city with tram traffic. Two other cities—Turku (see Turku tram) and Vyborg —have had tram systems. Vyborg abandoned its trams in 1957 after it was ceded to the Soviet Union after the end of World War II. Turku withdrew its trams in 1972.