Helsinki metro is famous for its orange color. The metro is pretty new if you look at other cities around the world. It was finished 1982 and goes from downtown to east Helsinki. Right now the "West Metro" is under construction and it will be ready year 2015. It goes from downtown to west Helsinki. The metro is modern, safe, smooth and comfortable, a recommended transport in Helsinki!
The public transport in Helsinki has many times been ranked as the best in the world. At least the citizens in Helsinki are very satisfied with it. Personally I love the public transport. It is varying, modern, safe and personal for the city of Helsinki. It works very well all times of the year and the network is very developed. The transport consists of the old, famous and green trams, the orange metro, buses and commuter trains. Varying as I said.
The public transportation system in Helsinki works really well. It includes buses, trams and the subway. Usually when you buy a ticket, it is valid in all of these. So wherever in Helsinki you want to go, one (if not many) of these will take you there, quickly! It is also very easy to get to Espoo and Vantaa (other big cities near Helsinki) by bus, and maybe in the future also by subway. The strikes are very seldom here, so unlike in the Mediterranean countries, you don't have to worry about that kind of things in Helsinki!
For a long time now, the Helsinki Card has allowed visitors to save money getting around Helsinki and visiting its attractions.
Starting in 2012, a new kind of Helsinki Card is being offered to visitors: the Helsinki Card Region. For 6 euros more than the regular Helsinki Card (no matter whether you take the 24-hour, 48-hour or 72-hour card), you get access to all public transit systems in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, which covers the surrounding cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. That means it can be used to take the 615 and 620 buses linking the Helsinki Central Railway Station to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Considering that, for tourists, the cost of a one-way ticket between the airport and city centre is 4.50 euros, all that is needed to make this new card worthwhile is a second trip outside Helsinki, whether it is viewing art at the Akseli Gallen-Kallela Museum, learning stuff at the Heureka Science Centre (Helsinki Card has discounts for both), playing water games at the Serena Water Park or exploring Finnish nature at the Nuuksio National Park .
You can save an additional 3 euros on both the Helsinki Card and the Helsinki Card Region by buying it online.
Helsinki's trams are not just a very convenient way to get to most of the inner city's attractions; these green-and-yellow cars have become one of its symbols. Unlike the trams in many other cities, they were never decommissioned. In fact, several extension plans are in the works for the next decades.
If you are in Helsinki for only a short period, but want to get a good overview of the city, consider riding tram 3T or 3B (which is the same circuit, just with a different affixed letter depending on the tram's direction). Its figure eight-shaped itinerary passes many interesting sites, around Töölö Bay and all the way down to the well-preserved Eira District. A special brochure is available for tourists taking the 3T/3B tram:
If you are staying for a day or more, consider buying a Helsinki Card. In July 2012 These cost 36 Euro (adult) for 24 hrs, 46 Euro and 56 Euro for 48 hrs and 72 hrs. Children up to 16 get them much cheaper. The card becomes valid from the time you make your first trip. The card is available form major hotels (Scandic Grand Marina fir example), railway station, tourist info office etc.
We used it for the sightseeing tour (28 Euro), the ferry to Suomenlinna (5 Euro) and the guided walk around Suimenlinna (8 Euro) and numerous tram rides. There are discounts available to card holders too.
Tram 3T was invaluable to us - it changes to 3B half way round but essentially does a figure 8 around the city so you will end up where you started. Great for seeing the city - especially if you get caught in a rain shower
Helsinki has well organised public transfer, buses, trams, metro, local trains.
Metro route is simple : letter Y, first 11 stops then 3 stops at both sides.
Metro is very reliable. Only if someone has jumped under metro the traffic can be closed for an hour. It has happened to me three times after they year 2006 and fourth time there were some technical problems . There is usually announcement and text of the next station, but sometimes it is wrong. so dont trust it blindly, sometimes it is false and comes one station too late.
Trams are not so relaible. 3B and 3T are the most popular routs. Sometimes three trams come one after another and sometimes half an hour with no tram.
Local trains take you also to some near by cities. Other trains further.
Public transfer works over 20 hours a day although most routes stop earlier or start later.
Official taxis are all reliable and always with tax-meters (except with very long trip 50-100 km or so the price should be agreed on advance). But it is not cheap.
In some European cities you should use taxi only in case of an emergency (like Prague Czech Republic). At least in one European City you can use only some taxi companies (Stockholm Sweden use only Taxi Stockholm or another one Kurir (?) ). Tallin, Estonia is also a problem.
In Helsinki there is no problem. A man from New York said to a finnish taxi driver that in Helsinki taxi drivers speak better English than in New York, must be true. Taxis are not cheap but Finland is an expensive country. An example: close to midnight from the Airport to City Centrum July 2010: 38 Euro.
There are also some wild taxis but they can be real danger, not to be recommended.
Rautatieasema is the centrally located rail and bus station. If you are arriving from the airport you can take either the Finnair Bus or the 615 and both will drop you off somewhere around the station. Coming from the West Terminal Port, you can take the 15, 15A or 15V and they will all drop you off here as well. I'm sure there are specific buses from the other ports as well. Buses that depart for other cities generally leave from this station too.
All train tracks end here as well, so if you are coming from out of town via train, this is where you will end up too. Additionally, there are several trams that go by out front, and it is easy to reach on foot from anywhere in downtown making it very easy and convenient to use.
Inside the station you can get information about various bus and train schedules to help you get around both Helsinki and Finland in general.
As regards buses in Helsinkiour experience was only from Helsinki port to the city centre . And the cost was expensive. One way ticket costs 2,50 euros, whereas in Tallinn one way ticket costs about 0.35 - 0.90 euros.
Convenience - YES.
Expensive - YES
You cna easily get to the centre from the port and back bu bus number 15A
The public transportation is good and easy to use in Helsinki. You could buy a single ticket from bus and tram drivers. At metro stations, single tickets can be purchased from automatic dispensers. The tickets are cheap (same price for buses, metros and trams): you can buy your ticket from the driver but if you buy the multi-user Travel Card (you could load value 5 to 400 € or days 14 to 366 in it) in advance, it's cheaper.
The Travel Card can be used on all buses, trams, local trains (communal trains) and underground in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.
A multi-user Travel Card can be bought from service and sale points.
If you want route maps or a timetable booklet, you can collect them at HKL service points (for example Rautatientori metro station). They are free.
I use tram quite a lot and it's definitely my favourite public transportation in Helsinki.
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