City Public Transport, Helsinki
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.
If you use metro, be prepared for ticket inspectors. It's done quite often with a group of checking ticket inspectors and any time of the day. My record was once twice a day and often it happens twice a week for my about 10 weekly trips. In trams and buses it's more seldom. The fine is 80 Euros.
Trams are not so relaible. 2 and 3 (which used to be 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. At least 70 cases has been reported to the police from those illegal taxis in the year 2013.
You can order a tram-ticket(I belive bus also) with a sms from yout phone.You see guide to do that in the stops.
I just got to know VT doesn´t show this tip because it´s too short.. So I have to write some nonsense here. Funny. Sometimes short tip is a very good one!
The public transportation of Helsinki is simply perfect. We used the tram to move around Helsinki. There is a metro too but we did not use, is only one line and few stop. The tram is the main means of public transport in the inner city. We bought a 6 days pass that cost 24 euros that is valid for tram, metro and ferry to Suomenlina. We bought our travelcard at K-market on the underground shopping area at central station. First trams on the morning are about 5.30 and 6.00 am until 00.30 or 1.00 in the morning.
El transporte público de Helsinki es perfecto. Usamos el tranvia para movernos por la ciudad el cual es el que usa la mayoría. Hay linea de metro creo que de 1 linea y con varias paradas. Compramos la tarjeta para 6 dias por 24 euros el cual sirve para el metro, tranvía y el ferry para Soumenlinna. Las tarjetas las compramos en K-Market en la estación central. Los primeros tranvias salen entre 5.30 y 6.00 de la mañana hasta medianoche o 1 de la mañana.*
Helsinki local transport tickets are valid on trams, buses, metro and local trains that operate within the city limits, as well as the HKL Suomenlinna ferry. Single ticket can be bought from the driver (€2.80), in ticket machines (€2,20, except for tram which is €2). Children's tickets are half of the price of adult tickets. All tickets can be bought at R-Kiosks.
Now you can also get tickets, which are valid 12hrs to Suomenlinna ferry for €5.00
For short stays, day passes are the most economical way to get around.
1 day pass costs €8, 2 days €12, 3 days €16, 4 days €20, 5 days €24, 6 days €28 and 7 days €32
If you stay 2 or 4 weeks, consider getting a Travel Card on to which you can either load value (min €5) or time. If you load value on your card, your tram journey costs mere €1.37 per single journey.
If you go for time, 14 days travel card will cost you €24 and 30 days €45.90. Any additional days on top these will be €1.37/per day. However, please note that an additional charge of €9 is made for the initial purchase of the Travel Card.
Night fares apply from 2 am-4.30am. These tickets can bought directly from the driver and ticket machines at the cost of €5
If you have a Finnish SIM card(*), you can purchase single tickets by mobile phone. They cost about €2 and will be charged in your next phone bill. Text A1 or AS1 into number 16355. You will receive a ticket by text and it is valid for an hour from the moment of purchase.
The only limitation is that is not valid on night time busses, buslines 78, 79, 15 and 15A or Commuter trains. You should have received the text before you board on any bus, train, tram or HKL Suomenlinna ferry.
(* Only valid with a SIM card by the following operators: Sonera, Elisa, DNA, Saunalahti, Kolumbus, Zeroforty and Tele Finland (and prepaid SIM cards by DNA, Kolumbus, Saunalahti, Sonera and Tele Finland)
You can also try out a ticket calculator online http://www.hsl.fi/EN/ticketsandfares/Pages/PriceCalculator2013.aspx
Helsinki's tram network is part of the public transport system managed by the city council. It is one of the oldest electrified tram networks in the world and the trams are still the main means of transport within the old city centre. Helsinki is the only city in Finland to have tram traffic. Two other cities, Turku and Viipuri, used to also have tram traffic, but both cities have abandoned trams, Viipuri during the Soviet regime in the late 50s and Turku in the early 70s.
Since 1999, a new generation of low-floor trams have been gradually introduced to operation. These have suffered from persistent technical difficulties, so the entire batch is being refitted by the manufacturer. To cover for the missing trams almost antique 8-axle trams from Mannheim, Germany were introduced to cover during this transitional phase.
There are 11 lines currently in operation.
1 Kauppatori–Käpylä (Daytime service on workdays only)
1A Eira–Kauppatori–Käpylä (peak service only)
4T Katajanokka ferry terminal–Munkkiniemi
3T and 3B are so called circle trams and are often said to provide a nice overview of the city and therefore great and inexpensive way to get a sightseeing tour in the city.
Tramlines operate between the following hours
Monday - Saturday 05.30 - approx. 23.30,
Sundays 07.00 - approx. 23.30
Lines 3B, 3T and 4 run until 01.30.
Frequency during peak periods every 5-10 minutes, otherwise every 10-20 minutes.
Journey planner is at http://www.reittiopas.fi/en/
Smart on-demand minibus service called Kutsuplus operates roughly inside Ring 1 road on weekdays. It combines passengers heading in the same direction to the same vehicle.
Passengers book the trip via a web service kutsuplus.fi using computer or smartphone. You can even reserve a place for pram in advance. There is no pre-order time, but pickup can be only booked less than hour away.
A minibus will pick up the passengers at the nearest bus stop and take them to their respective destinations. Cars are clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned. Currently service operates to over 1000 stop inside Ring I road. Handy for trips which require changes with public transport, or as an alternative for a renting a car in Helsinki!
The price of the journey depends on the length of the journey and is paid during booking. Compared to a taxi, Kutsuplus is about 50-70% cheaper for a one person trip, and group trips are discounted.
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
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.