The inhabitants of Swedish Haparanda and Finnish Tornio – two towns from different countries that have joined together to create a borderless “Eurocity” – are bilingual and use both the euro and the Swedish krona; roughly half of the children in Haparanda have either a Finnish mother or father. Services are also shared between the two towns: everything from central heating to post delivery is centrally coordinated. If a fire breaks out in Tornio, for example, Swedish fire crews from Haparanda will cross the border to help put out the flames. The shared tourist office (see p.000) has two phone lines, one dealing with calls from Sweden, the other with enquiries from Finland; staff switch effortlessly from one language to another depending on which line is ringing.

To get to Tornio simply head towards the “Finland” signs on the bridge; there are no border formalities, and so you can simply walk over the bridge to Finland and wander back whenever you like. It’s worth remembering that Finnish time is one hour ahead of Swedish time and that Haparanda and Tornio have different names in Swedish (Haparanda and Torneå) and Finnish (Haaparanta and Tornio).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Sweden features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

On the face of it, Scandinavia isn’t a very sensible place for a holiday. For one thing, it’s almost always going to be colder than the place you’re leavi…

31 Mar 2017 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

The ICEHOTEL, constructed from snow and ice each year, has long been Swedish Lapland’s blockbuster attraction. It features in our list of the top 21 things to…

19 Apr 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month