A Cheap Flight=Ryanair&air Baltic, Tampere
Since I was on the budget of (basically) a backpacker, this was my cheapest alternative to getting to Finland from England. I'd seen pictures of Tampere on VT and thought it wouldn't be a bad place to stop for a day or two anyway.
Ryanair isn't a bad way to fly, although around about the 2 hour mark in a flight the seats tend to feel a bit uncomfortable. But service is always good and the cabin crew are friendly and helpful. If you want food or drink on the flight you will either have to bring your own or pay for food on board (in which I think on this flight they only accepted GBP or Euro).
If you are looking for the cheapest way to get to Finland (or just to Tampere) then Ryanair is probably the way for you to go.
Ryanair flights from Stansted are served with an airport bus to both Tampere (6 euro each way) and Helsinki (25 euro each way). The bus back from Helsinki leaves about 4 hours before the flight from the main rail station, opposite the Casino. You buy the ticket not on the bus, but from the info tourist office in the airport itself once you've arrived.
Frankly I'd recommend flying direct to Helsinki or Turku if that's your main destination. In my opinion, the high cost of the bus ticket, put together with the long journey to the aiport outweighs the benefits of the cheap flight. Unless of course you're dead set on seeing the Moomins in their own habitat...
Tampere airport, which officially called: Tampere-Pirkkala is located few kilometres from the city. You can get thee by the local bus service. There is also special Ryanair bus service from Tampere, Turku and Helsinki railway stations.
Ryanair flying in Finland only to Tampere, but you can take with them to three destinations, England, Germany and Latvia. Here you can see the Ryanair airplane at Tampere airport in a dark winter night.
Tampere has connections to some of the hubs around the Baltic Sea (Helsinki, Riga, Stockholm). However, the airport is better known for ist low fare flights to typical Ryanair destinations like London/Stansted, Frankfurt/Hahn, Bergamo and Bremen. The airport has two terminals which are just a very short walk away from each other (ca. 300 m). Terminal 1 is the more modern one and handles all flights with exception of Ryanair and Wizzair. There, you have also a café where you can have some hot and cold food as well as all car hire offices.
Terminal 2 is the former main terminal. It is already crowded with a single full Ryanair flight and seems to be from another time. There is only one office which serves as airport information, shop, ticket counter etc. Behind the security control is a restaurant, probably the only decent thing in this terminal. My tip: Try to spend as less time as possible in the check.in area of Terminal 2. Wait at Terminal 1 or rush as quickly as possible through security control and wait in the restaurant.
For information about transport from/to the airport, please see my separate tip.
Ryanair was Europe´s original low fares airline and is still Europe´s largest low fares carrier. In the current year (2006) Ryanair will carry over 35 million passengers on 288 low fare routes across 21 European countries.
One of these countries is Finland, where the destination airport is in Pirkkala, 12 kms from Tampere. I would prefer it should have been in Turku, but the local officials in Turku did not want to take it here for some reason. From Tampere there are connections to London, Riga and Central Europe, Hahn, near Frankfurt. Now we have to travel first to Tampere by bus or train, and from Tampere by bus or taxi to the aeroport. And when coming back, other way around. The expences travelling from Turku to the aeroport (44+12 euros) are higher than the flight expences to Frankfurt!
In the beginning there was a bus line from the aeroport to Turku, but it was going at bad time (the flight arrives from Frankfurt at 6pm, and the bus departures at 11pm), so nobody coming from the Central Europe was using that bus, but the general turns. Also, the other connections are very poor, because the bus from the port goes to the railway station just the train has left to Turku (18:11).
If you are very quickly and lucky, and do not have to wait your luggages and are able to take a taxi to the railway station (12 euros), you may catch the train to Turku. In that time a bus goes to Turku, but the aeroport bus is not alloved to stop at bus station.
In Helsinki direction you are more lucky, because the next train leaves at 19:07.
Tampere is the lucky Finnish city to be one of Ryanair's destinations. Currently (as of 10/04) there are daily flights from/to London Stansted, Frankfurt Hahn and Riga. Tampere-Pirkkala airport is some 15-20km southwest from the city center, but there's a Ryanair bus from the airport that goes to the city center. There's even a direct bus to our capital Helsinki.
The Ryanair Bus will take you from/to Tampere airport either to the city of Tampere or Helsinki. I think but I am nit sure there is also a bus from Turku. Check the Ryanair site.