Welcome to Helsinki!
Helsinki, the capital of the Republic of Finland, is a modern city with over half a million residents and is situated on the Baltic Sea.
In 2000 Helsinki was an official European City of Culture while celebrating its 450th anniversary. In 2012 the city celebrates its year as World Design Capital.
Helsinki together with the neighbouring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa forms the Helsinki metropolitan area with more than a million inhabitants.
Capital where eastern and western cultures meet
Helsinki is unique among northern European cities. The lifestyle in the second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts and activities in the form of hundreds of events and friendly people. The identity of Helsinki has been formed by cultural influences from both east and west.
The coastal city of Helsinki has earned a reputation as a pocket-sized and modern metropolis where visitors can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Eastern and western influences from the past 460 years can be seen everywhere.
Helsinki’s attractive and unique character comes not only from its colourful past but also from its proximity to the sea, which offers an endless number of exciting activities. The city’s many green parks are popular gathering places for visitors and residents alike.
Finnish design has also made the country’s capital city world famous. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends seamlessly together with high-tech achievements, while old traditions mix with the latest contemporary trends.
Helsinki is a western European cultural city that has nevertheless found its own niche between east and west. Helsinki’s rhythm is laid back yet at the same time refreshingly active in terms of both the number and quality of restaurants and nightclubs.
According to a British paper Monocle, Helsinki is the most liveable city 2011.
Everything is nearby – Helsinki is a metropolis with human dimension that is ideal for visitors!
Climate and weather in Helsinki
Helsinki’s climate is typical of its northerly situation. Its intermediate climate combines characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate.
The summer in Helsinki is bright. The days are at their longest in the second half of June, when the sun stays above the horizon for 19 hours.
In July, the weather is very pleasant and suitable for the Gymnaestrada; the average daytime temperature is +22 Celsius and it’s mostly sunny. Temperature of +30 Celsius are not unheard of either in July.
Arriving in Helsinki
Helsinki can easily be reached from anywhere in the world.
Around 200 international flights arrive each day at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, which is located 20 kilometres from the centre of Helsinki and can be reached by car in only 30 minutes. There are direct flights from for example Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, New York (USA) and Toronto (CAN) in addition to tens of European cities.
There are daily ferry services to Helsinki from Estonia, Sweden, Germany and Poland. All the ferry companies offer also a possibility to take a car with you.
There is a daily train service to Russia: St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Public transportation in Helsinki
The diverse public transport system of Helsinki region consists of bus lines, trams, metro, commuter train and two ferry lines.
Internal bus routes of Helsinki can be found almost anywhere in Helsinki. For some parts of the city these buses provide the backbone of the public transportation system.
Most lines are operated between 5:30 and 23:45, the most popular between 5:30 and 1:30. Night-time lines which operate only from 23:45 to 1:30 (and sometimes early morning) are signified by letter N. Lines 01N-09N operate from 2:00 to 5:00 but only on Friday-Saturday and Saturday-Sunday nights.
The trams provide transportation in the downtown and areas close to it. The network is composed of 11 lines.
The metro runs through Helsinki from west to east. There is a single line with two branches. The whole system has 17 stations.
The commuter train system is the backbone for the areas northeast and northwest from downtown. The network reaches relatively far from Helsinki and there are more departures from stations near Helsinki and fewer lines to further off.
All trains depart from the Central Railway Station and stop also in Pasila station next to the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The two ferry lines connect Suomenlinna fortress to the mainland. Ferries leave from the market square (Kauppatori). There are also private ferries that operate between market square and Suomenlinna, so make sure to take the right one to be able to use the public transportation ticket.
To read more about Helsinki, go to http://www.visithelsinki.fi/In_English/Visitor.iw3
- Printable map of Helsinkipdf | 652kb
- Printable map of Helsinkipdf | 652kb