Helsinki has a simple and extremely efficient public transport system, rated one of the best in Europe, making it easy to hop onto trams, buses, the metro or a ferry with a single ticket purchased from the driver, ticket machines or even by SMS on a mobile phone. Special tourist tickets are available for visitors allowing for one, three or five days unlimited use of the public transport system. There are also plenty of taxis available to be hailed, ordered by telephone or boarded at one of the many taxi ranks. A car in the easily navigable city of Helsinki poses no problems and it is easy to drive yourself around should you so desire. Helsinki is so compact and pleasant that getting around on foot is an attractive option. Many of the most popular attractions are clumped together and can be easily navigated on foot. Alternatively, in summer make use of the hundreds of kilometres of bike trails by picking up a bicycle for a small coin deposit at one of the bike racks dotted around the city centre.
Local time is GMT +2.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Standard European two-pin plugs are in use.
The official currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Banks, ATMs and bureaux de change are available in all cities and airports; banks are closed on weekends. American Express, Diner's Club, Eurocard, Access, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in hotels, restaurants and larger shops. ATMs are the easiest and most economical way to get cash.
The international country dialling code for Finland is +358. Mobile phone networks cover much of the country; the network operators use GSM networks, which are compatible with most international mobile operators. Besides public telephone booths and hotels, calls can be made from post and tele offices. Internet cafes are available in major towns and cities.
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Epiphany||6 Jan||6 Jan|
|Good Friday||18 Apr||3 Apr|
|Easter Monday||21 Apr||6 Apr|
|May Day||1 May||1 May|
|Ascension Day||29 May||14 May|
|Midsummers Eve||20 Jun||19 Jun|
|Independence Day||6 Dec||6 Dec|
|Christmas Eve||24 Dec||24 Dec|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|Boxing Day||26 Dec||26 Dec|
Helsinki has a climate that is transitional between maritime and continental. Summers are warm and bright, with temperatures ranging from a cool 59°F (15°C) up to a hot 86°F (30°C) in the warmest month of July. Days are long and sunny, with up to 19 hours of daylight. Towards the end of September temperatures cool down drastically as days grow shorter, and by November the weather is at freezing point as the cold, snowy winter sets in. The city is blanketed by snow in winter, with temperatures plummeting well below freezing to the point where the sea itself freezes over, and it is never fully daylight. Spring arrives late, in early April. The best time to visit is in summer, which is also when many of the city's festivals take place. Spring can also be pleasant as the city comes alive with flowers and new greenery.
There are regular bus services between Helsinki, the Tikkurila railway station and the airport. From the city centre, catch Airport Bus 615 (620 at night) and from Tikkurila bus number 61 for the airport. Both journeys take around 30 minutes. Bus transfers from the airport to local hotels and parking areas are free of charge. The Finnair City Bus also transfers passengers to downtown Helsinki.
Avis, Budget, Hertz and Europcar are represented at the airport. Service desks are located at Arrivals Hall 2.
Taxis are available at ranks outside the arrivals halls of both domestic and international terminals. Expect to pay around €40 for the 30-minute journey into the city centre.
The airport has several banks with exchange facilities, and there are ATMs throughout the airport. Numerous restaurants and cafes are available in the terminals, as well as duty-free shops and three shopping areas with a variety of retail outlets. Travel agencies, a pharmacy and luggage storage are also available.
Parking at Helsinki Vantaa International Airport is charged at rates ranging from €10 to €30 per day for up to three days, after which it's €3 to €10 per day. Short-term parking for pick-ups and drop-offs is charged at €1 every 10 minutes.
The airport offers free wifi service.