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Last updated : Nov 2009
Finland Getting Around - Internal Travel
Finland Internal Travel - Getting Around Finland - TravelPuppy.com
Air

There are 22 domestic airports located in Finland.

Finnair
runs an excellent network of domestic services. For further information contact :

Finnair
UK Head Office,
14 Clifford Street,
London
W1S 4BX,
UK
Telephone number: (0870) 241 4411
Fax number: (020) 7629 7289 or (0870) 787 4988
Website: www.finnair.com.

Other domestic airlines include Blue 1 and Golden Air.

Cheap fares

Money-saving offers available. Group discounts which vary between 15 - 35 per cent, depending on the size of the group. Senior Citizens’ fares giving special rates for persons over 65. Junior fares giving special rates for children aged 12 to 16. Youth fares giving special rates (with some restrictions) for persons aged between 17 and 25.

There are special ‘Midnight Sun’ packages to Rovaniemi (Lapland) in June and July.

For further information, contact:

Norvista,
31-5 Kirby Street,
London
EC1N 8TE,
UK
Telephone number: (0870) 744 7315
Fax number: (0870) 744 7310
E-mail: reservations@norvista.co.uk

River/Lake

Traffic on the inland waterways is serviced by regular water buses and the ferries and there is a wide choice of routes and distances. Popular routes are the ‘Silver Line’ between Hämeenlinna and Tampere and the ‘Poet’s Way’ between Tampere and Virrat.

Saimaa Ferries operate lake routes from Lieksa, Koli and Joensuu. There are also regular services on Lake Päijänne and Lake Inari.

Lake Päijänne Cruises run services from Lahti, Heinola and Jyväskylä and Roll Cruises operate from Kuopio and Savonlinna.

On Lake Pielinen, there are regular services, also by car ferry. Overnight accommodation in small cabins and meals and refreshments are available on the lake cruises. For more detailed information on schedules and routes, contact the Finnish Tourist Board (see Contact section).


Rail

There are 6000km (3700 miles) of modern rail networks in Finland. VR Ltd (website: www.vr.fi) operates an extensive rail service around the country.

The ‘Pendolino’ fast train runs at a maximum speed of 220km (132 miles) per hour and is designed to operate on all the main routes by the end of 2006.

Current lines include:

Helsinki–Turku
Helsinki–Tampere–Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä–Kuopio and
Helsinki–Seinäjoki–Oulu

Other trains include express trains and seats must be booked in advance, night and car-carrier trains, regional trains and InterCity trains. Rail travel is cheap and very efficient. Children under 6 years of age travel free of charge, children aged 6 to 16 pay half price.

Cheap fares

Special tickets offering discounts are available including: Group tickets (minimum of 3 people), giving 20 per cent discount, valid for 1 month; Finnrail pass, giving unlimited travel for 3, 5 or 10 days within a period of 1 month, first or second class.

Finnish Senior Citizens Rail Card
for persons over 65 years of age, entitling the holder to a 50 per cent discount and passport has to be shown.

Student Rail Discounts, entitling the student to 50 per cent discounts with a valid student card.

Scanrail Pass, valid for 21 days for travel in the Scandinavian countries with reductions of between 25 and 50 per cent for young people according to age.

Inter-Rail Ticket, valid in Finland, Eurail Passes and Euro Domino passes are also accepted.

For further details and reservations, contact:

Finnish Railways
PO Box 488,
00101 Helsinki
Telephone number: 3072 0902
Fax number: 3072 0111
e-mail: yhteyskeskus@vr.fi
Website: www.vr.fi

Road

There are 77,000km (47,000 miles) of road in Finland. The main roads are passable at all times and are surfaced with asphalt or sand and oil. There are weight restrictions on traffic during April and May in southern Finland, and from May to early June in northern Finland.

Traffic drives on the right hand side. Horn-blowing is frowned upon in Finland. In some areas, warnings of elk, deer and reindeer crossing will be posted by the side of the road. Drivers involved in an elk or reindeer accidents should report the event to the Police immediately.

Bus

An excellent means of transport in Finland. Coach services are run by ExpressBus and there are more than 300 services daily from Helsinki and connections can be made to the most remote and isolated parts of Finland.

In Lapland, buses are the major means of surface travel and the Bus stations have restaurants and shops. Baggage left at one station is dispatched to its destination, even if the bus transfers and different bus companies are involved. One child under 4 is carried free (children aged 4 to 11 years pay half fare). Seats for the coaches can be reserved in advance by paying the full fare and reservation fee and timetables are widely available.

Cheap fares

Group tickets are sold for groups travelling at least 80km (50 miles) and including at least 3 persons (at least 1 of whom is aged over 12 years).

Students are entitled to a 50 per cent discount when travelling a minimum of 80km. The state post offices also runs a bus service with routes that serve the rural areas. Up-to-date details of bus services may be obtained from Matkahuolto.

Taxi

Available in every town and from airports or from the major hotels. Taxi drivers are not tipped. Taxis have a yellow taksi sign which is lit when the taxi is vacant and they can be booked at taxi ranks or signalled from the street. Fares are more expensive at nights (Sunday-Friday 2000-0600 hrs, Saturday 1600-0600 hrs).

Car hire

Cars can be rented in Helsinki and towns. The minimum age varies from 19 to 25 years of age depending on the car hire company and all must have a minimum of one year’s driving experience. The rates usually include oil, maintenance, liability and insurance, but not petrol. A few caravans are for hire.

Regulations:

Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.

Car headlights must be kept on at all times day and night.

Cars towing caravans may not exceed 80kph (50mph).

Cars and caravans must have the same tyres.

Studded tyres are allowed from 1st October to 30th April or when weather conditions are appropriate. From 1st December until 28th February, snow tyres are a legal requirement for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes, it is possible to hire tyres.

Further information can be obtained from:

Autoliitto (Automobile and Touring Club of Finland),
Hämeentie 105A,
00550 Helsinki
Telephone number: (9) 7258 4400
Fax number: (9) 7258 4460
e-mail: autoliitto@autoliitto.fi
Website: www.autoliitto.fi.

If involved in an accident, immediately contact:

The Finnish Motor Insurer’s Bureau (Liikennevakuutuskeskus),
Bulevardi 28,
00120 Helsinki
Telephone number: (9) 6804 0611
Fax number: (9) 6804 0474;
e-mail: uk.ic@vakes.fi

Documentation

National driving licence or International Driving Permit and insurance are required.

Urban Transport

Efficient and integrated bus, metro and tramway services, suburban rail lines and ferry services to Suomenlinna Islands are operated in Helsinki. A common fares system applies to all the modes and includes the ferries, with a zonal flat fare and free transfer between the services. Multi-trip tickets are sold in advance. The peninsular location of Helsinki has led to an emphasis on public transport. Tram no. 3 passes by most of the main tourist attractions – a free brochure in English is available for those who wish to take a trip.

Helsinki Card

This is available for 1, 2 or 3 days. Once purchased, it gives free travel on public transport and free entry to about fifty museums and other sights in the city. The card comes with a guidebook giving details of the museums, sights and other discounts on offer, for more information contact the Tourist Board for prices and further details.

Travel times: The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Helsinki to other major cities/towns in Finland.

  Air Road Rail
Tampere
0.35 2.50 1.48
Turku
0.30 2.40 1.50
Rovaniemi
1.15 13.30 9.07
 
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Finland