Transportation in Helsinki
The Finnish capital Helsinki has a very diverse public transportation system. It consists of regional trains, underground trains, tram lines, buses and even ferries that connect the city with the islands close to Helsinki. There is also a pretty solid connection to the Helsinki Vantaa Airport and a modern system that allows using a single ticket for all means of transport.
Finland is a highly developed country which visitors can easily see when visiting Helsinki. The largest city in the country is well connected to several other cities by train, plane and streets.
For shorter distances, the good regional transportation system is the best choice as it offers frequent and short connections to all major towns around Helsinki. Usually, the trains are the faster option than taking a car. Moreover, trains in and around Helsinki are mostly modern and very convenient.
Metro in Helsinki
The metro of Helsinki is the only underground train system in Finland and the most Northern underground train system in the whole world. The system itself is one of the smaller ones in Europe with a total length of only 21.1 kilometers (13.1 miles) and only a few underground stops. The existing metro system consists of one line with two branches. Since the first extension of the metro, there are two branches in the Eastern suburbs of Helsinki that are called Northern and Southern Branch with three stops each. Another extension that will double the length of the system is about to open in a few years. It is supposed to connect the first station of the two existing lines Ruoholahti with several new stops in the neighboring city Espoo.
- Line 1 (Northern Branch): Ruoholahti – Vuosaari
- Line 1 (Southern Branch): Ruoholahti – Mellunmäki
Trams in Helsinki
While the metro in Helsinki is mainly used by people living in the Eastern suburbs of the city, the trams are used for getting from one point to another in the city center and by inhabitants living in other areas of the city. In total, there are 13 regularly operating tram lines with 288 stops.
They are covering close to all parts in the city center of Helsinki and have several interchange stations where passengers can jump from one line to another. In summer, there are two more lines: The Museum Line and the Spårakoff pub tram. As the tram system is the oldest and the only still operating one in Finland, close to all rails are on the streets what lowers the speed of the trains.
- Some tram lines in Helsinki have limited service hours (e.g. lines 1, 1A and 4T)
- The Museum line and the Spårakoff pub tram are only operating in summer
- You can find an overview of all tram lines here
Buses in Helsinki
The bus system is the backbone of Helsinki’s public transportation system. Nowadays, there are several different bus lines. The most important ones are the core bus lines that were introduced in 2013. These bus lines are thought to operate very frequently on important routes, starting the service early in the morning and operating till late in the evening.
The regular bus lines meanwhile usually operate from 5:30 to 23:30. For tourists, buses in Helsinki may be of importance as well as many lines to not only connect the suburbs with the city, but also offer good connections throughout the city center. All buses, trams, the metro and ferry services may be used with the same ticket.
- Bus 615 connects the Helsinki Vantaa Airport with the city center
- Find timetables and a route search on the website of the operator
- There are several different types of tickets and fares in Helsinki. For an overview check out this website
- Buses, trams, the metro and ferries can be used with the same ticket
Taxis in Helsinki
Helsinki is a generally expensive city. That’s also the case when it comes to taxis. The initial charge for taxis is 5.90 Euro (~ 6.50 US-Dollar) on weekdays from 6 am to 8 pm as well as on Saturdays and holiday eves from 6 am to 4 pm. At all other time, the initial charge is 9 Euro (~ 10 US-Dollar).
Depending on the number of passengers, each further kilometer is charged 1.55 to 2.18 Euro (~ 1.7 to 2.4 US-Dollar). Moreover, there are special surcharges for advanced booking, luggage and airport rides. Due to the high prices, Helsinki is one of the most expensive cities for taking a taxi in the world. However, taking a taxi in Helsinki is generally safe and very convenient.
- The base fare is either 5.90 Euro (~ 6.50 US-Dollar) or 9 Euro (~ 10 US-Dollar)
- Every further kilometer is charged 1.55 to 2.18 Euro (~ 1.7 to 2.4 US-Dollar)
- For other surcharges see the price table
Other means of transport in Helsinki
Due to the location of Helsinki, there is a need for another means of transport in the city. Ferries connect the city center with the island Suomenlinnan. The inhabitants of the island have no other opportunity to reach the mainland than the ferry.
Moreover, there is a ferry line of less importance that is connecting the city with the Korkeasaari Zoo. Besides, there are some touristic modes of transport that tourists may use in the city center.