Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is Helsinki’s main airport. The modern airport boasts an array of facilities; from dining to free Wifi if you wish to keep connected and even an art gallery. It is no wonder touted as one of the best airports in Europe and worldwide.
How to get around
There are several ways to get to the city centre from the airport and one of which is to rent a car. There are a few car rental companies available at the airport. You can also take the Finnair City Bus to the city centre railway station. The bus departs every 20 minutes and costs around NZD10 per trip. HSL bus (Helsinki’s public transport company) 615 brings you to the same location but it costs around NZD7 per trip. Flat rate taxis are also an option but it costs NZD70-80 to get to the city centre. There are also free bus connections to hotels located near the airport.
An efficient way to get around Helsinki is via public transport. You may purchase one-way tickets, day tickets, travel card or even tourist tickets at metro stations. Buses, metro, local trains and trams are part of the public transportations in Helsinki. Trams are popular with tourists as they stop by most tourist attractions. As Helsinki is a bicycle-friendly city, you can explore the city on bicycles too. Although cars are available for rent, parking is costly in the city.
What to see and do
Helsinki is Finland’s capital and its official language is Finnish. It is hailed as the top 10 best cities to live in the world by Economist Intelligence Unit. Its cityscape is a blend of modern architecture and historical landmarks, making this picturesque city a splendid place to explore.
With the city centre located 20km away from the airport, a trip there easily takes 30 minutes. However, most places of attractions are located in the city centre, making a convenient stop for those who are in transit and have a few hours to spare.
Visit Senate Square, a one-stop place to find out more about Helsinki’s religion, politics, education and culture. Many famous landmarks are located there, including Helsinki Cathedral, Government Palace, Helsinki University Library, Sederholm House and the statue of Alexander II.
For outdoor lovers, head to Helsinki esplanade. Notable events held there include the Jazz-Espa concert series in July. Picnic and hangout in the scenic park. Or stroll through the Finnish woods in the 100-year old Helsinki Central Park.
Window shop at Helsinki Design district. Marvel at art exhibitions, antiques and interior designs that showcase the creativity in the Finnish. Head to Hakaniemi Market Square, a vibrant market place offering goods ranging from cheap food to arts and crafts and even Asian products. One of the oldest, traditional Finnish events, the Baltic Herring Festival takes place here. Savour baltic herrings cooked in a variety of ways.
Helsinki is a progressive city that seeks to achieve a balance of modernity and tradition, as seen from its historical land marks and creative districts, as well as its abundance of places for nature lovers to unwind. It would be worthwhile to make a trip to this charming city.