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HSL, the local public transport operator in the Helsinki region has issued a new type of matkakortti (literally travel card), used for contactless prepaid payments and discounted tickets, at some point between 2017 and 2019. Initially, one could exchange one’s old matkakortti for the new version at R-Kioski kiosks (of which there are at least two at Helsinki airport) but when I had a 24 hour layover Sat–Sun in Helsinki in September 2019 that was no longer possible.

I know that I can exchange the matkakortti at HSL’s office (opening hours: Mon–Thu 07:30–19:00, Fri 07:30–17:00, Sat 10:00–15:00) in the underground passage near Rautatientori metro station (serving Helsinki central station) but I wonder if there are any other places in the greater Helsinki area where that is possible? Ideal would be a place close to the airport.

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The only places where you can still exchange old HSL cards are HSL and city/county (kunta) service centers, none of which are at the airport itself.

For HSL, your options are the Central Railway Stn office you already identified, plus Pasila (one station closer to the airport!) and Itäkeskus (in eastern Helsinki): https://www.hsl.fi/asiakaspalvelu

The City of Vantaa, which contains the airport, also operates three "Vantaa-Info" service centers: https://www.vantaa.fi/hallinto_ja_talous/tietoa_vantaasta/vantaa-info

The closest of these is in Tikkurila, three stops from the airport by train and within the Dixi shopping mall next to the station, so this is your best bet.

However, you will be charged a 6 euro fee for the exchange, plus you'll need to pay for the ticket to get there, so this only makes sense if you have >10 euros remaining. You can opt to have any remaining value returned in cash though, so you won't lose anything by buying a new card first.

  • 1
    And that’s why I was told Tikkurila station but was then completely confused when I couldn’t find a HSL service office. As for the exchange fee (I completely forgot how much money I have left on the card), buying a new card seems to be EUR 5, so I’ll just consider that a sunken cost anyway. – Jan Oct 17 at 21:44

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