Taxi to West Terminal
We caught a taxi to West Terminal , as it seemed too inconvenient to look for a bus. Cost 16.00 for the two of us ...they have metered cabs.
We are saying Goodbye to Helsinki for now and heading to our next adventure in RussiaRelated to:
- Women's Travel
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how to go there
Vantaa International Airport (HEL) is located 20km north from the city center. There are 2 terminals (next to each other).
You get into town by an expensive taxi (about 40euros) but we preferred the bus as usual. There are 2 options (both terminate at Central Train Station):
a)bus #615 (4,50euros) from platform 21, the ride takes about 40’, there’s one every 15’. We used this one because we bought the regional card at the aiport that covered this bus too. Even with the single ticket you can transfer to to tram, bus, metro etc
b)Finnair City Bus (6,30euros) from platform 10, the ride takes about 30’, there’s one every 20’. It is faster but it doesn’t cover onward tranfers to tram, bus, metro etc
also buses #519/520 to Itakeskus (4,50e) for eastern suburbs, one bus every 30’, bus #540 (4,50e) to Espoo (Leppävaara, Nihtisilta, Ikea and Espoonkeskus), bus #514/535 to (4,50e) to Espoo (Leppävaara, Westend, Tapiola and Espoonkeskus)
every train from other Finish cities but also from Moscow and S.Petersburg terminate at Central Railway Station(rautatieasema) which is at the center of Helsinki. If your hotel is further away you can just take the metro or almost any bus/tram as this station is the main hub.
The train station isn’t huge with just some platforms so following the panels will be easy to find your train.
Most long distance buses departs from Kamppi Center (in walking distance from Central Train Station) where you can find the Central Bus Station, a huge underground station that covers most Finish towns
Three different harbors with 5 terminals cover several routes, among them ferries to Tallinn (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden), St.Petersburg (Russia). We didn’t use any, just some small ones for nearby islands.
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how to move around
From the Central Train Station we just walked on most attractions, the center is small and pretty compact. We used some trams to visit some attractions outside the center the next days.
I don’t know what they do in winter but many locals use bicycles in warmer months, there are several bike routes within the city but as expected we saw many of them traveling outside the center, or/and near by towns.
There’s an extensive bus and tram network that works fine, always on time etc No surprise we used lot of them
Tram ticket (2e) valid for 60’ on trams only, single tickets (2,20e) valid for 60’ on bus/trams/metro/suomenlinna ferry, regional ticket (4,50e) valid for 80’ in general area including Espoo, Vantaa(airport) and Kauniainen.
A day ticket is good bargain, costs 8euro and its valid for 24hours, also 2day ticket (12e), 3day(16e), 4day(20e), 5 day(24) etc
We preferred to buy the regional day ticket that includes Espoo, Vantaa(airport) and Kauniainen. 24hours regional ticket costs 12e (+4e for each additional day)
There is also Helsinki Card (24h 36e, 72h 56e) that includes some attractions but it doesn’t make any sense if you don’t plan to visit a lot of the museums
Metro wont be much help for the average tourist but we used it daily as we were staying on an eastern suburb. In the future the metro will reach Espoo to the west so I guess much more tourists will use it too.
Unfortunately most trains, trams and metro stop before midnight but there are many night buses, most of them depart from Central Train Station with double prices (single ticket 5e)
We took the ferry to Suomenlinna (we used our day ticket), there are also private companies going there but it makes no sense to spend extra money.
Hopefully we didn’t have to use any taxi, they are reliable but very expensive.
Hop on hop off buses
As expected they are here for those who just want to be in a bus and check the most popular attractions without stress. As always we didn’t use any of them
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Hot air balloon
When the days are cloudless, you often see hot air balloons on the sky in Helsinki. I think they are very beautiful and exciting. Mostly the balloons are only for advertising, but there are also balloons you can rent, and go on a ride. I know a guy who rented a hot air balloon, took his girlfriend out on a flying trip and there, in the air, he proposed to her. How romantic isn't that!
I saw this hot air ballon (my pictures) during an event in Helsinki this spring. It was so cool because I have never been so close to an air balloon before. It was huge! To rent a balloon is definitely recommended, to those who want something special!
Check my hot air balloon videos also!Related to:
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Adventure Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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Helsinki Metro - Orange underground
Helsinki's metro is the only one in Finland and it's the most north underground system. It was opened 1982 and there are plans to dig additional routes also.
There are three starting points (our metro is a small one) Mellunmäki, Vuosaari in the east and Ruoholahti on the west side on the city. The eastern side runs mostly on the ground. 2015 a new line will be opened to Matinkylä (the West metro). The metro is very popular and it makes east-west transportation easy.
Technically there are two lines, but they vary only from eastern ending point, so, our metro map is not as colored as in London, we have only one color, orange.
Check the schedule, ticket system and prices from web pages.
Taxi Cabs - Not Needed!
There are several taxi services in Helsinki, but in my opinion they are not needed. They cost way more to use than any other form of transportation and do not really provide any benefits. Maybe they are slightly faster, but unless you've missed the bus and really need to get somewhere RIGHT NOW then it's probably not worth it to get a taxi.
No matter where you want to go in Helsinki, you will be able to get their by either walking, taking a tram, or taking a bus. Whether it's to (or from) the airport, a port, or anywhere else in town, these options are always available and are always cheaper! So save some money and avoid the taxi cabs.
I was in Helsinki for nearly a week, had to go to and from the airport as well as to and from one of the ports; I never used a taxi. As I said, it simply was not needed!Related to:
- Budget Travel
Tram tickets (€1,80) that are valid for one hour in trams. These tickets can be purchased from ticket machines and booths. You can also purchase your ticket by mobile phone. Every tram station has instructions how to order a ticket by mobile phone.
Wanna try a helicopter and fly to Tallinn? There is one company called Copterline which offers affordable express flights to Tallinn. The flight will take 18 minutes and cost starting 59 € and up in one way.
The address for heliport is Hernematalankatu 2.
Yellow Airport Taxis
The Airport taxis are shared cars, so you get a much cheaper fair inot the city centre and beyond. The taxis are infact minibuses and if you are unlucky you may be the last passenger to get off.
The atmosphere is often jolly, so don't be afraid to speak to other passengers.
Nothing to do? Need some sport? Hop on a bike
Helsinki has one of the best bicycle route systems in Europe, as do many other Nordic cities. This is not only a good and surprisingly quick way of getting from A to B, it is also safe, because you are not riding among the other traffic.
You can even get a citybike from the city tourist office, without charge... You do need to give a 2 EUR deposit, which is given back upon return of the bike. You will recognize the city bikes from the picutre
Cheapest Helsinki sightseeing !
The cheapest sightseeing one can do in Helsinki is by tram. There are two trams (3T and 3B) which will take you to a sightseeing. These are trams that are in "normal" trafic, not especially for tourists but they've got a really good idea printing the brochures with lots of information on places. Dont they?
So, Yellow Spots are Stops with interesting sights nearby
Nbr 1: Market Square
Nbr 2: Senate Square: The Neoclassical ensemble around the Senate Square was created by architect C.L Engel.
Nbr 24: Kaisaniemi Park. The Botanical Gardens are to the right.
First go to a Helsinki Touris & Convetion Bureau at Pohjoisesplanadi 19 and get yourself a brochure which shows you the route and explaines the interesting sights on the route!
The route lasts about an hour and you can return to the starting point. A single ticket from driver costs 2 Euros.
Sorry about the brochure picture, maybe you can save it and then resize it bigger?
If you need more information on Helsinki transportation feel free to check out my other Helsinki Transportation tip.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
Helsinki by foot - the best way to see it
The Tourist Information Bureau has a brochure called 'Helsinki on foot', which describes several possible circuits into the city, with maps and information of the interesting buildings, parks, monuments.
The office is located at the following address, in the heart of the city: Pohjoisesplanadi 19 .
One can also download the brochure from the link Helsinki_on_FootRelated to:
- Budget Travel
If you are travelling with your friend or family (max 2 adults and 4 children) and you want to use public transportation for a day (24 hours), you should buy a group ticket ("kimppalippu").
You have 24 hours to use it. It costs 8 € for the group of six (max 2 adults, 4 children) in city area. You should definitely use it if you are staying just a day and wanna explore the city!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
If you are going to visit Suomenlinna island, I suggest, that you'll take a ferry from the Marketsquare - Kauppatori. Helsinki City Transport´s ticket enables you to travel to the Suomenlinna fortification island. There is a regular ferry connection to Suomenlinna all year round. The ferries leave from the Market Square all day long. There is also an additional service boat from Katajanokka.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Castles and Palaces
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