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Sightseeing by tram
A great and economical way to see a lot of Helsinki's sights is to jump on tram 3T/3B which follows the figure of an eight. The line 3B goes from Eira to Kallio, Töölö, Kauppatori and back to Eira, the line 3T goes the other way around. The whole tour takes about one hour in travelling time.
A single trip costs 2 EUR.
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The sightseeing lines: trams 3T and 3B
The tram lines 3B and 3T are circle lines that go around Helsinki. This is the best way to do some sightseeing if you're "armed" with a good guide/map and not much time. There's basically no difference between 3T and 3B, as they just go on opposite directions of the same "circular" route. Here's the brochure with the tram stops with and without interesting must sees.
A single ticket for the tram costs 2€ (bought from the driver) and it's valid for 60 minutes. Children up to 7 years of age travel for free with a paying adult.
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If you're planning to move around Helsinki quite a bit during your stay, it's convenient to buy the tourist ticket which is valid for all kinds of transport (metro/tram/bus/Suomenlinna ferry).
There are 1, 3 and 5 day tickets either for Helsinki only or the region (Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa). The 3-day ticket for Helsinki costs 12 EUR , for the region 20 EUR e.g.
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How to go around in Helsinki
There is an underground in Helsinki, although I never tested it. Instead I took the tram and bus, and therefore got to see more of the town from above. One trip cost 2 euro, when you on the tram can be a cheater and go on without paying.
Then you'll have to sit and be nervous for controllers during the whole trip, but you still earned two euros.
Don't know why I did that all the time, I blame my now ex-girlfriend for that... But at least I never got caught.
Taxi is also a good way to go, specially in the night when you want to get home fast. I didn't find the prices that high, cheaper than in Sweden, but it was quite hard to find a taxi, even when we did leave the nightclubs quite early. We had to stay in the line with 50-60 persons ahead of us, and it took quite long time.
With the trams, make sure you take the right one. There are numbers on them, but also letters. Which means that tram number 7A isn't the same one as number 7BK
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!
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/
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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
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Helsinki City Transport
Helsinki has a really good city transport system. The most important in the city centre is tram network which consists of 8 lines. There are 2 ring lines (3 & 7). The trams are relatively fast and comfortable. You can go to the suburbs by the Metro or commuter trains which are fast, clean and comfy. The Metro consists of only one line which has two branches in the eastern end. Metro trains travel up to 80 and commuter trains up to 130 km/h in Helsinki.
You should definitely buy a city transport ticket which costs 6 euros (1 day) or 12 euros (3 days). With the tourist ticket you can use trams, metro, buses, Suomenlinna ferry and commuter trains within Helsinki city limits. Regional tickets cost double and allow to travel to suburbs as well. You can buy a ticket from ticket machines in seaports, airport, train- or Metrostations. Machines are very easy to use - you can use banknotes and get back the change. Tickets are also available in Tourist Info Center Pohjoisesplanadi 19 and in several HKL service points. Enjoy the smooth city transport of Helsinki! And when you get tired, just hop on the Koff pub tram and taste some Finnish beer!
Sightseeing tram 3T
A simple and affordable way to see Helsinki`s sights is by hopping aboard the 3T tram. This route is perfect for tourists as it passes by Finlandia Hall, Parliament House, National Opera and Senate Square. You can get of the tram any stop, or you can do whole loop in around one hour. Price: single ticket from the driver adulds 2 euros and children 1 euro, prepaid from ticket machine 1,70 euros/0,80 euros.
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As far as I could tell, I'm not 100% sure, the Hesinki subway has ONE LINE. Too cute. And the travel times between the few stations are designated on the map - 1 min, 2 min, 3 min... so silly. Like everything else in Helsinki, it's squeaky clean. And very orange.
The Metro in Helsinki
Getting around with the metro in Helsinki...
There only very few (but good) reasons why one esp. a tourist is likely to use it.
For translocating yourself within the heart of Helsinki you 'd probably be better of taking the tram or bus.
If on the other hand you are seeking to reach the far east side of Helsinki or during traffic jam time then you absolutely want to take the metro.
The subway system consist of one and a half line ; ) yes you read right. From the south-west end in Rouholahti there is only on line towards the til Itäkeskus (East-Centre) where the line is plit up - one ging north to Mellunmäki and the aother even more east to Vuosaari.
So you don't have to be afraid to get lost in Helsinki riding the tube....
The same tickets are valid on the tube as in buses, trams and trains within Helsinki city.
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.
HKL - Helsinki City Public Transport
One very good aspect about public transportation - mainly buses on week days/evenings - is the very good itinerary.
The last buses leave Rautatientori (the large square between main rail way station, the National Theatre and the Ateneum) for the out-skirts about 1a.m., which I think is rather good.
These buses serve the all the suburb of the city.
There are night buses too. 8 lines each with approx. 4 departures between 2 and 5 a.m.
One last word! Especially on weekend nights you will encounter the darker sides of our society on these buses. Alcohol abuse will eventually lead to disturbances (harrasement, shouting, obscenity...) and may have effect on your nerves, as if this happens too often you be filled with disgust... so just be prepared and please don't provoke these certain individuals by looking straight into their eyes.
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Helsinki Public transportation information package
The best up to date information on Helsinki public transportation you can find from the website given below.
Plan your trip ahead, check out the timetables for ferries, trams,metro, buses and local trains. Find out the ticket prices and explore the route maps.
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Helsinki has a very good public transport system, which comprises a dense network of bus routes, several tram lines in the inner city, commuter trains and a metro connecting the centre with several suburban areas in the eastern part of the city.
The same HKL ticket is valid for travel on buses, the metro, trams and commuter trains within the Helsinki city limits. There is a slightly more expensive regional ticket, which you can use also in the adjacent municipalities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.
In addition to single-trip tickets, ten-trip fare cards and 30-day tickets are also sold. A group ticket allows six persons unlimited travel for 24 hours. Tourist tickets allow one person unlimited travel for one, three or five days.
Visitors find it a good idea to travel using a Helsinki Card, which also gets them into museums free or at reduced rates and entitles them to a whole range of discounts.
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