The metro, local trams, buses
and the ferry to Suomenlinna are operated by
Helsingin Kaupungin Liikennelaitos – HKL (telephone number:
(09) 010 0111).
Buses and trams run 0545-2400hrs and the metro operates 0600-2400hrs.
A ticket for a single journey on the metro, buses and ferries costs
€2 if purchased on board or €1.40 if purchased in advance
A carnet of 10 tickets costs €15.50. Tickets for trams cost
€1.50 if bought on board or €1.20 when pre-purchased.
Transfers are allowed for single and multi-trip tickets within 1
hour of the time stamped on the ticket upon initial boarding. Tickets
are available from newsagents (R-kioskis), metro stations, the City
of Helsinki Tourist Office (see Sightseeing) and the post
The HKL Tourist Ticket allows for unlimited travel
on all the buses, trams, metro and local trains within Helsinki.
A 1-day ticket costs €4.80, a 3-day ticket costs €9.60
and a 5-day ticket costs €14.40.
into the city centre
Katajanokka terminals are served by bus number
13 and trams 2 and 4.
Olympia and Makasiini
terminals are served by trams 1A, 3B and 3T. Länsisterminaali
is served by bus number 15.
Most of the taxis in Helsinki are Mercedes and can be hailed on
the street or booked by telephone. Vehicles in the city are operated
by Helsinki Taxi Centre (telephone number: (09)
700 700 or (0100) 0700). A taxi is available for hire if a yellow
‘TAXI’ dome is lit. A journey around
town will cost about €25 and as a general rule, tipping is
Companies providing a service include:
Limousine Service Helsinki,
Telephone number: (09) 279 7800
Fax number: (09) 2797 8027
Prices start at approximately €45.50 per hour.
Telephone number: (0200) 6060 or 6161
Limousines and luxury minibuses are available for a similar price.
Driving in the City
The public transport system is excellent and most of central Helsinki
is accessible on foot, and therefore it is not necessary for one
to take a car into the city centre. Visitors who do drive should
be aware that Helsinki rush hours are from about 0730-0900hrs and
The city is divided into 3 parking zones, of which Zone
I (I-vyöhyke) is the most central and accordingly
the most costly. Parking is reasonably expensive with the meters
costing from €0.50 to €2 per hour and parking spaces cost
as much as €3 per hour and upwards. With few exceptions, parking
is free after 1800hrs. Parking meters take ordinary coins or parking
cards, which can be purchased in advance from R-kioski
(newsagents) and service stations.
The major car parks are located at the Shopping Centre Forum,
Mannerheimintie 20, and Shopping Centre Kluuvi,
Every major road has a number: national highways are numbered with
1 or 2 digits, running from east to west. Designated European routes
bear a prefix ‘E’.
The speed limits are:
80-120kph (40-75mph) on motorways and dropping to 100kph during
the winter (60mph)
50kph (31mph) in the built-up areas.
Traffic drives on the right and overtakes on the
left. It should be noted that cars entering an intersection from
the right always have right of way, even when the car is on a minor
Seatbelts are compulsory for all
passengers in the front of the car and children under the
age of 12 years must travel in the back.
All motor vehicles must have headlights on at all
The maximum legal alcohol to blood ratio is 0.05
The legal driving age in Finland is 18 years.
A pink-format EU driving licence or an International
Driving Permit are required. EU nationals taking cars to
Helsinki are advised to obtain a Green Card.
All drivers must be fully insured and accidents must be reported
promptly to the Motor Bureau, Bulevardi 28 (telephone
number: (09) 680 401, fax number: (09) 6804 0391).
Additional information is available from:
– Automobile and Touring Club of Finland,
Telephone number: (09) 7258 4400
Fax number: (09) 7258 4460
which also runs Tiepalvelu (see below).
Emergency breakdown service:
Tiepalvelu: telephone number(09) 8502 0708.
driving times to Helsinki:
From Turku – 2 hours 15 minutes
Vaasa – 4 hours 30 minutes
Rovaniemi – 11 hours
The main provider of coaches in Finland is Oy
Matkahuolto Ab (telephone number: (09) 682 701, fax number:
(09) 692 2084 or 2864, website: www.matkahuolto.fi),
which handles all long-distance and express bus travel. International
coach options include destinations in Sweden, Norway, Russia
and the Baltic countries. There is a national timetable
service (telephone number: (0200) 4000, at €1.15 per call plus
local charge), operating Monday-Saturday 0700-2100hrs and Sunday
0800-2100hrs. Coaches arrive at and depart from Helsinki
Bus Station, between Salomonkatu and Simonkatu, which has
a café and an ATM.
Car hire is available at the airport, railway station, major hotels
and tourist offices.
Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 17
Telephone number: (09) 441 155
Telephone number: (09) 686 6500 or (0800) 124 424
Fax number: (09) 685 3350
Telephone number: (09) 4780 2220 or 7515 5444 or (0800) 12154
Fax number: (09) 478 02222
Telephone number: (09) 8516 4460;
Telephone number: (020) 555 2300
The minimum age for car hire varies from 19 to 25 years,
depending on the hire company, with extra charges made for any additional
A pink-format EU driving licence or an International
Driving Permit is required including 1 year’s driving
A credit card is needed as a deposit. Car hire costs vary from €28.50
per day and €0.30 per kilometre. The Fuel charges are not included
in the rates and Collision Damage Waiver costs approximately €5-17
Bicycles are available for hire from Cat Sport Oy,
Toolonlahti kiosk on the Finlandia Hall shore (telephone number:
(0400) 404 012), where rates are €5 per hour or €10 per
day, with a €17 deposit.
Karavaanikatu 4 (telephone number: (09) 3211 66551). Citybike
(telephone number: (09) 168 3515) hires out bikes from stands around
the city. Cyclists pay a deposit of €2 and return the bike
to any one of the 26 stands, these only operate during the summer.
The City of Helsinki Tourist Office
can also provide information on this hire scheme, while information
about cycling events is available from the Cycling Union
of Finland, Radiokatu 20 (telephone number: (09) 278 6575,
fax number: (09) 278 6585).
There By Water
There are 5 ferry terminals in the city:
Olympia Terminal (South Harbour),
Länsisterminaali or West
Terminal (West Harbour),
in the Lansisatama area,
For further information contact:
Telephone number: (09) 173 331,
Car ferries operate between Helsinki and
Germany, Sweden and Estonia.
Telephone number: (09) 105 440)
Nordic Ferry Centre Tel: (09) 251 0200
Telephone number: (09) 180 4590 or 0203 74552 (customer number,
lines open 0800-2115hrs
Telephone number: (09) 228 311 or 282 1277
Telephone number: (09) 123 577
Catamaran services to Tallinn from Harbour Kanava
Telephone number: (09) 681 770
fax number: (09) 6817 7111
In the summer, rowing boats and kayaks
are a popular way of island hopping and getting around Helsinki’s
shoreline. These are available for hire from Cat Sport Oy
and Rastila Camping (see Bicycle Hire above). Hire
prices vary but are approximately €960-1420 per week.
The main passenger rail service provider is Valtion
Rautatiet – VR (telephone number: (0307) 20902, fax number:
(09) 707 3593, website: www.vr.fi).
Trains in Finland are clean and efficient. Services depart from
Rautatientori (Railway Square), located on Kaivokatu,
off Mannerheimintie. ATMs, exchange facilities, newsagents, a car
hire office and hotel booking centre are all available within the
3 main lines arrive from Turku in the west, Tampere
in the north and Lahti in the northeast, through
which trains from St Petersburg and Moscow
pass and there are three daily direct train services
The Finnish morning train, Sibelius, to Vyborg
with a journey time of approximately 6 hours and departs before
The Russian afternoon train, Repin, to St
Petersburg with a journey time of approximately
6 hours departs mid-afternoon.
The Russian night train, Tolstoy, to Vyborg
and then on to Moscow departs early evening with
journey times of approximately 15 hours. It is possible for travellers
to continue on to Berlin in Germany on the Repin.
The railway station is located centrally and is linked to the Helsinki
metro system by a pedestrian tunnel.