Cheap Flights to Helsinki, Finland
- Area City : 715.49 km² (276.25 sq. mi)
- Area Code : +358 9
- Currency : Euro €
- Population City : 629,512 (2016)
- Official Language : Finnish
- Time Zones : EET (UTC+2) Summer (DST): EEST (UTC+3)
- Airports : Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL)
Transport available at HEL for passengers comprises the train, buses, taxis and car hire. There are numerous bus operators connecting the airport to the city and other destinations, located outside the terminals. The public bus, Line 617 operates Monday to Fridays to Hakaniemi Market, while Line 615 travels to the Helsinki Railway Station. The Finnair Bus links the airport to the citys central railway station and departs every 20 minutes. The Free Airport Bus circulates between terminals and parking areas every 15 minutes from 03:30 a.m. to 01:30 a.m. The train station is situated between terminals 1 and 2 on the arrivals floor, taking around 30 minutes to the city station. Two lines operate from the airport with Line I travelling via Huopalahti to the city station and Line P via Tikkurila. Regular taxis take around 30 minutes and ranks are located outside terminals 1 and 2. Additional taxi operators offer fixed prices with shared services that are cheaper.
Airlines flying from Johannesburg to HEL include:
HEL has airlines touching down from every corner of the globe that include:
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Berlin
- Air Canada
- Air France
- British Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- China Southern Airlines
- LOT Polish
- TAP Portugal
- Thai Airways
- US Airways
- The summer months provide almost 20 hours of sunshine, affording fun filled days of water and beach activities, island restaurants and outdoor markets that come to life. The parks and countryside are beautiful, perfect for picnics with blooming flowers and green patches of land. Explore the city sights on a bicycle or book a wonderful two night/three day specialised bicycle tour with the Helsinki Tourist Office. May through July sees an array of festivals that include the World Village Festival, Helsinki Samba Carnival, Night of the Arts, Viapori Jazz and the Helsinki International Film Festival plus more.
- Helsinki is capital to Finland that finally gained independence in 1917 after feuds from Sweden and Russia that lasted 800 years. Undoubtedly their centenary celebrations will be enjoyed to the fullest with events planned in every area. Be there to revel along with the Finns at al fresco concerts, sauna evenings, culinary experiences and loads more.
- Helsinki is the countrys most expensive place to stay but does offer affordable 3 and 4-Star hotels, homely guest houses and a number of backpacker/hostel facilities. During summer and over winter weekends, special rates can be found from many hotels. Establishments offering reasonable rates include Best Western Hotel Haaga, Hotel Helka, Hotel Arthur, Holiday Inn Helsinki and others.
- Dining out in Helsinki affords a delectable mix of Swedish, Finnish and Russian eateries, the latter most common offering delicious meals at reasonable prices. Savour the taste of Finnish cuisine comprising reindeer or pheasant. Take in a musical or historic play at one of seven theatres in the city. To drink, dance and be merry, Helsinki has plenty of bars, cafes and nightclubs. Enjoy Scottish-brewed craft beer at the Brewdog Helsinki or for a fun night of clubbing get to the Lady Moon.
- For a day of fabulous shopping the areas to go to are around the North Esplanade and in the city, Aleksanterinkau. The citys most posh department store is Stockmanns, popular with local and tourists.
When to Go Helsinki, Finland:
For longer days and the extraordinary Midnight Sun the perfect time is during summer from May through September. Peak tourist season is July and August with high prices for events, air fares and hotels with the latter two requiring advanced booking. The ideal period for winter sports enthusiasts is from October through April.
Places to Visit Helsinki, Finland:
- Stroll down Mannerheimintie, the citys central avenue and visit the National Museum that reflects Finnish history from the Stone Age to present times, stop at the neoclassical Parliament House, the seat of Finnish governance and then pop into Kiasma, a contemporary art museum.
- The Ateneum is the countrys best known art museum founded in 1887 and home of Finnish works of art from the 1700s onwards including international works.
- The Sinebrychoff Art Museum is the only museum in Finland that specialises in old European works of art with a valued collection by the old masters.
- The Museum of Cultures represents people and cultures of the world with recordings of the various cultural heritages.
- View the amazing landmark Sibelius Monument dedicated to world famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius who lived from 1865 to 1957. The abstract structure is made up of 24 metric tonnes of steel piping.
- Using your Helsinki Card enjoy a free ferryboat ride and free entrance to the Suomenlinna Fortress constructed on six islands that now form part of Helsinki. A World Heritage site it contains tunnels, cannons, a dockyard, a brewery and museums and is one of the citys most popular attractions.
- The Uspenski Cathedral was consecrated in 1783 and opened in 1868. Try and visit when the choir is singing while enjoying the beautifully lavish interior decorations.
- A popular attraction is the unique Lutheran Temppeliaukio church that was excavated straight into solid rock.
- Take the ferry to the island of Korkeasaari for a pleasurable days visit to Helsinki Zoo, Finlands largest with over 150 species and on your return visit Tropicario, an aquarium specialising in lizards and snakes.
- Meander through Central Park, Talvipuutarha, a botanical garden or the beautiful Kaisaniemi Park that was handed over to the University of Helsinki in 1829 for gardening purposes. Kaivopuisto, a waterside park is one of the citys most popular landscaped parks and one of the oldest. Its surrounded by villas and embassies and has cafes, restaurants, an observatory and lovely views of the harbour and ocean.
- Indulge in an evening of wonderful entertainment at the Finnish National Theatre, completed in 1902 its a city landmark and much treasured national monument located on Hesinkis Railway Square. To attract foreign visitors and satisfy the citys growing Russian and English speaking communities, surtitles have started being used.
Getting Around Helsinki, Finland:
Helsinkis public transportation system offers an Helsinki Card affording unlimited travel on the citys buses, subway, trams and ferries including a free guided sightseeing bus tour (every day) with free admission to around 50 museums and other sights. The cards can be purchased from sales points in and around Helsinki, the Hotel Booking Centre, Helsinki City Tourist Office, travel agents and hotels. The card is valid for 1, 2 or 3 day periods. Also available is a Tourist Ticket for 1, 3 or 5-day periods affording unlimited travel on all modes of transport within city limits.
The Metro, Bus and Train:
The City Transport Office located at Rautatientori Metro Station operates from Mondays to Thursdays from 07h30 to 19h00 and on Fridays from 07h30 to 17h00. Transportation runs every day from 05h30 to 1h30.
To reach the offshore islands of Suomenlinna and Korkeasaari ferries depart from the east end of Eteläesplanadi (with no terminal).
Taxi ranks are located on the streets with all taxis having an illuminated yellow sign Taksi/Taxi. Surcharges are implemented from 18h00 to 22h00, Saturdays from 14h00 including a surcharge at night from 22h00 to 06h00 including Sundays.
Bicycles can be rented along with a booklet that shows three different routes in and around the city. The orange route is for the city centre, the blue for the seafront and the green for city park routes.