Helsinki is well served by public transport networks.
You can start your exploration of the city’s many landmarks by taking tram no. 2 with its circular route.
After the tram ride, you can try the metro, take a bus or even catch a ferry.
Getting To And From The Airport
Helsinki International Airport is located in Vantaa, thirty minutes from the city centre.
Finnair buses run every twenty minutes from the airport to Elielinaukio at the central railway station in Helsinki.
Tickets cost EUR 6.30.
The slower local bus (no. 615) costs just EUR 5.50.
It stops at the square beside the railway station, Rautatientori.
The new Ring Rail Line provides a train connection between the airport and the city centre.
The modern, low-floor trains run every 10 minutes in the daytime. The journey from the airport to the central railway station takes about 30 minutes.
Minibus services, including Airport Taxi (Tel. 0100 4800) and Yellow Line Airport Taxi (Tel. 0600 555 555), charge a lump sum for a whole group travelling from the airport to a single destination in the city.
An ordinary taxi from the airport to the city centre will cost approximately 50 euros, depending on the exact destination.
City Transport System
Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) provides an integrated service throughout the city.
The standard ticket is valid on all forms of transport: trams, buses, metro, local trains and the ferry to Suomenlinna.
Timetables and route maps are available from the HSL information offices free of charge.
The main office, located at the central railway station, is open Monday to Thursday from 7.30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A single ticket costs EUR 3.20 and is valid for one hour.
There is also a separate tram ticket that can be bought beforehand in ticket machines, which costs EUR 2.50 and is valid for one hour too.
A Helsinki Card, which is valid throughout the HSL network, will solve all your transport worries at a stroke. There are also one, three and five-day tourist tickets available.
The residents of Helsinki are justly proud of their green-and-yellow trams, which clutter their way through the city centre at a leisurely pace.
You can purchase a single tram ticket beforehand in ticket machines. The ticket costs EUR 2.50.
Helsinki is the hub of an extensive local bus network which extends out in all directions.
The metro is most useful for travelling east.
HSL buses are easily identified by their blue livery.
The Helsinki Card and tickets issued by HSL are valid on all routes within the Helsinki area.
You can buy a ticket from the driver and it is valid for one hour.
A route map for the local buses is available from the tourist office and from the HSL offices.
A modern, immaculately clean metro runs from Ruoholahti in the south-west to Mellunmäki and Vuosaari in the north-east of Helsinki.
The last train leaves the centre approximately at 11.30 p.m.
The network remains modest, but has its points.
For example, you can take the metro to one of the largest shopping centres in Scandinavia, Itäkeskus. Uniquely, the metro will also drop you off at the gates of the Rastila camping site maintained by the city of Helsinki.
The Western Metro Extension will extend the metro line to the neighboring city of Espoo. It is expected to open for service in August, 2016.
The local trains all depart from Helsinki central railway station.
There are three main lines: Riihimäki via Tikkurila (Tampere line), Kirkko-
nummi via Espoo (Turku line) and Vantaankoski via Myyrmäki.
There are both fast trains and local trains that call at every station on the way.
The Helsinki Card and tickets issued by HSL are valid within the greater Helsinki area.
If you wish to travel further, you can buy a regional ticket (seutulippu) for EUR 5.50. Tickets are also sold on board by the conductor, who usually travels in the middle carriages.
Finnish taxis are luxury cars.
The price is never cheap, but it does buy you a comfortable ride in a Mercedes or equivalent!
There are plenty of taxis on offer during quiet times, but long queues can build late at night.
All Helsinki’s taxis are metered, with fixed rates. If you require a taxi, phone 0100 0700, it is a local taxi service.
You can also call Kovanen, a private taxi and limousine company with 24/7 customer care, tel. 0200 6060, www.kovanen.com.
Renting a car is a good way to explore the area surrounding Helsinki.
The main international car rental companies are represented both at the airport and in the centre of Helsinki. Look under Autovuokraamoja (“Car Rental”) in the Yellow Pages.
Helsinki has excellent bicycle routes, and tours to outer suburbs are recommended.
Bicycles can be rented from various locations in Helsinki, including Greenbike at Bulevardi 32 (greenbike.fi) and Ecobike at Savilankatu 1 b, next to the football stadium (ecobike.fi).
Helsinki has brand new shared-use bicycles that you can borrow for a small fee.
You can use the City bike for 30 minutes, or up to 5 hours for an extra charge. After your ride, the bike must be returned to one of the 50 bike stations located around the city centre.