Is it necessary to buy a SIM card and try to change it in my iPhone to use it in Finland? Is it better to just buy a cell phone that you pay minutes for instead?
We managed without phone service in Finland. If you just need Internet data, Finland is well served by wifi. Long distance trains have wifi as do some cities like Helsinki.
VR on-board WiFi is now accessible in addition to Pendolinos on
double-deck sleeping cars and on all InterCity trains. The wireless
Internet is accessible free of charge and access does not require a
Yet visit the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and there is a free hotspot
almost everywhere you need one. It’s fast enough to allow video
calling and HD streaming. And it doesn’t require a reading of lengthy
terms and conditions, nor a password, nor the need to divulge your
age, gender, or email address....
Who is your mobile company now? If you are from the US, both Sprint and T-Mobile offer free unlimited data roaming and text (and 20 cents/minute calls). Verizon and AT&T offer $10 USD/day plans to use your phone - only the specific days you use the phone.
Otherwise, I'd get a SIM. Yes, WiFi is widely available in most of Europe. But mobile data is still useful for on-the-spot walking and public transit directions. It's not really practical to go find free WiFi whenever you want to figure out which bus to get on from where you are standing. And SIM cards are so cheap now it's silly not to get one if you need mobile data, for all the benefits they offer. You should be able to get something for about 20 to 30 Euros (more or less), though I'm not familiar with Finland's mobile providers. But the EU has eliminated most roaming fees, so you can buy a SIM from another EU country (like the Netherlands or the UK) and use the phone in Finland. For example, I bought a Dutch Vodafone SIM on eBay last year and used it in Slovenia, Italy, and France (never even visited the Netherlands after buying the SIM online). I wrote up a detailed description of how I did that in the technology forum.
You can certainly get a SIM once you get to Finland, but getting one ahead of time saves you any hassle of dealing with it once you get to Finland.
This may help:
It seems that Finland's mobile providers have opted out of "free EU roaming" - meaning if you buy a Finnish SIM, you can't roam for free in the rest of the EU...but you can roam in Finland on another EU country's SIM.
FYI, getting a new SIM means you can't use your old phone number - you'll have a new number while you have the new SIM in place. If you are from the US, you can use Google Hangouts to make (even receive) free phone calls to/from the US, even to landlines, while on WiFi or mobile data. If you expect to make calls to Finnish numbers, having a Finnish SIM would make some sense.
How long are you going to be in Finland? Who will you be hoping to speak to on your phone (you mention minutes) -- are you talking about calling ahead to hotels and restaurants, for example, or calling to family and friends back home?
I have many family and friends in Finland. As I would rent a car after flying north I would need to check in with them and gps, as well as restaurants and shopping. Last time, I borrowed an old phone and bought a sim. This time I know how much handier a smart phone would be.