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22

Daytime, there are two very good options: HSL bus 615 is easy and affordable. The trip to central railway station costs 5€ and takes some 35 mins. The bus runs every 10-20 minutes between 06:30 and 00:30 on weekdays (Sat 07:00-1:00, Sun 06:05-00:30). (From city to airport, first departure is 05:10 and last 22:45.) At the airport it leaves from T1 (...


16

As Ilmari commented, the recent NY Times travel blog post by "frugaltraveler" is very good. It even mentions my favorite bar, Pub Magneetti. I like his other recommendations too: free concerts & somewhat hippie atmosphere at Alppipuisto; public sauna in Kallio; berry-picking). Some more ideas below. Many of these may not be "only in Helsinki" things, ...


13

I have just been to two Exchange offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. I had banknotes from Serbia, Macedonia and Albania with me. They both offered to buy all three of them. This doesn't mean you find someone who does this in Finland but it proves that both Macedonian denar and Albanian lek are indeed convertible currencies. This is a sign from one of the exchange ...


13

The St Peter Line appears to be the only ferry operator serving those routes. They run two sailings per week to Helsinki (15 hours) and one sailing per week to Tallinn (18 hours). They also operate a service from Helsinki to Tallinn and serve Stockholm (Full schedule could be found here). The rest of your question is really a matter of opinion. Google ...


12

As a Chinese national, you can stay within Helsinki airport up to 24 hours whilst in transit without a visa - however you will need to remain in the international "air-side" area. There are two hotels in the airport (GLO and Hilton), however both are outside of security so you will not be able to access them without a visa. There are also a number of other ...


11

You can buy reindeer meat (poronliha) in any supermarket. The "Herkku" gourmet supermarket in the basement of the Stockmann department store (corner of Mannerheimintie and Aleksanterinkatu) is pretty epic and a good place to buy this or anything else Finnish; not the cheapest, mind you, but not hugely expensive either. The canonical way to prepare it is ...


11

1-day ticket is valid for 24 hours from the first use, 2-day ticket 48 hours, etc. The ticket is valid from the moment you show it to a card reader at the beginning of your first journey. Day tickets are valid also during the night fare hours. https://www.hsl.fi/en/tickets-and-fares/day-tickets


10

Ok, Peter cleared up the more general doubt about exchangeability of the lek anywhere outside Albania. As to my original / more specific question: Is there any place in Helsinki where I can change those back into euros? Seems like no, not in Helsinki. A "Money Change" booth I stumbled upon in Kamppi Centre: no (raising a suspicious eyebrow at the ...


9

From the airport to the city center you can go by: taxi (quite expensive) bus (takes 35 minutes) In both cases, having to wait 5 hours you'll have plenty of time for a quick visit of the city center. From the train station (nice building) the senate square (with the Luteran cathedral and the university), the Esplanade and the market square are all within ...


8

A couple of pointers: Tennispalatsi (Helsinki Art Museum) There will be two ongoing exhibitions in December: Akseli Gallen-Kallela - European Master The Power of Colour - Works from the Collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Ad astra, 1907 Tip: free entrace to Tennispalatsi on Fridays :) [Or at least used to be - I'm trying to ...


8

I know you want to travel by train, but if price is a concern, you really should know that minibuses are much cheaper: €15-25 vs €65+ for the train. Details for schedules, boarding points etc on Wikivoyage. And if you're willing to compromise, you could try taking a bus to Vyborg (Viipuri) just across the border, and then a cheap domestic Russian ...


8

Yes, it's open! The escalator between the terminal and the station is still not ready (latest estimate "spring 2016"), but on December 18 they at least opened two elevators that connect directly from the walkway between T1/T2 to the station.


7

The UK has a perfectly nice Helsinki embassy, so this isn't an issue of remote location. It's a great location, but British posts abroad require an authorised 'visa section' before they can issue visas and the embassy in Finland does not have one. This is the standard case for all British missions in the Scandinavian region. Is Finland an exceptional ...


7

The booking of tickets is rather strange. If you book from Helsinki you will need to do this via Finnish Railways, if you're doing this from Russia you will need to do this via RZD. And depending on date, time and class tickets fluctuate between 65 Euro to 165 Euro. Allegro Train (SPb Finlyandskiy) would be the fastest option. Lev Tolstoi (SPb Ladozhskiy)...


7

So I've got bad news and good more bad news. The bad news is that, as Doc explains, you need to get a visa or you'll be stuck in the international section of the airport, which is quite small: (~8 gates, duty-free shop, cafe and that's pretty much it -- but at least the wifi is free. Also, since Finland is a member of the Schengen area, there's no concept ...


7

Helsinki (and Finland itself) has been characterized by a number wild, free-spirited innovators. Two main sites illustrate this point: One is the so-called rock church. It was built at the location of a huge rock that no one thought could be moved. The architects were laughed at for "trying." But they didn't MOVE the rock, they carved the church out of the ...


7

I can at least answer the question for Suomenlinna. Take the ferry over there which takes approximately 15 minutes and leaves quite regularly from Helsinki's city center (Market Square). Then it really depends on your taste. You can easily spend a whole day on Suomenlinna. There are bars where you can get a drink, very tasty restaurants, some museums and ...


7

@Airsick is completely right - St. Peter Line is the only operating ferry company for now in Saint-Petersburg. The reason that the route to Tallinn is 18 hours long is very simple - they do not go right to it, they have a stop in Helsinki. So you still need to go to Helsinki to use a ferry (and St Peter Line has not the best of them, personally I prefer the ...


6

Seurasaari is quite similar to Suomenlinna, only smaller. A straight circuit of the island on foot takes about an hour, but there are plenty of interesting old buildings to poke your nose into (most free, a few not), a couple of nice rustic cafes and even two nudist beaches (one for men, one for women), so it's easy to spend half a day here as well. Most ...


6

According to the Matkahuolto.fi central bus schedule search, the last connection from Helsinki-Vantaa airport T2 to Turku leaves the airport at 22:50, arriving in Turku at 01:30. (There's also an earlier bus at 21:50 which you'll likely make if your flight is on time.) Both also serve T1 (leaving 10 minutes earlier) and involve a change of bus at Espoo's ...


6

My understanding is that St. Peter is the only currently operating scheduled operator, although there are irregular visits by the usual suspects (P&O, Princess etc). Russian immigration rules are notoriously opaque, but my understanding is as follows: The 72-hour visa-free entry is only available if booked as part of a package, stays over 24 hours ...


6

The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church arranges weekly prayers and monthly masses that include Taizé-songs in the Mustasaari chapel from June 8th to August 10th on Thursdays at 6:30pm. Mustasaari is an island on the West coast of Helsinki, you need to take a ferry there. You don't have to contact them, just arrive there when there's a prayer or a mass. ...


6

Surprisingly the Taxi page of the Helsinki airport you linked to contains not only links to the three companies, but each of them has a website both in English and with pricing details online... You don't need to go to the taxi rank :) Lähitaksi https://www.lahitaksi.fi/files/Hinnasto_A5_HkiVantaa_Ru_En%282%29.pdf Vantaan Taksi - Helsinki Airport Taxi ...


5

First of all, want to note that @jpatokal is right and St. Peter line is really the only operator who serves the ships directly to St.Petersburg - please, review my old answer here: Are there currently any international ferries that travel to Saint Petersburg, Russia? Main principle for this kind of journey is that local authorities must know where are you ...


5

Yes, there's a 'rest area' of sorts if you can get airside, according to sleepinginairports, and the airport is open 24 hours. Nothing great though, unless you pay - there are hotels available. Rest Zone - The Kainuu Lounge is a space that is open to all passengers who are looking to a quiet place to rest and relax between flights. They don't offer ...


5

First of all, to answer your question: No, you cannot get a transit visa; to do what you are asking about, you need a regular Schengen short-stay visa. (There are exceptions, of course, a detailed account of which is beyond the scope of this question. This answer assumes that you are a national of a country whose citizens require a visa to enter the ...


5

First of all let me say I am not from Helsinki, or even a Fin myself. But I have visited several times. You mention local people places, here's a Google map I made with some marked spots. The fortress island to the south is not a place where locals venture much. But I thought I'd still point it out. If you're interested in that sort of thing it might suit ...


5

I wrote a blog post about my trip to Suomelinna - it's doable as a half day trip, if you want, but you could also take a picnic and enjoy the grassy areas if it's nice and sunny (beware, it was freezing with an off-shore breeze in summer when I was there). The boat takes 15-20 minutes including boarding. Wikitravel has several guides for Helsinki - ...


5

Helsinki City Museum has the 'Out to Sea' exhibit until January, which celebrates 150 years of Sailing in Helsinki: http://www.hel.fi/hki/Museo/en/museum+news/news+and+events/out+to+sea Out to Sea 150 Years of Sailing in Helsinki Hakasalmi Villa, Mannerheimintie 13d, tel. (09) 3107 8519. Open 27 May 2011–8 January 2012 Wed–Sun 11 am – 5 pm, ...


4

As @Karlson answered the question using information for current times, I want to add the information for futher trains. Technically this is not a direct trains from Helsinki to Saint-Petersburg, but there are plans of RZD to develop some general non-highspeed trains on regular basis. The Federal Passenger Company and the Government of Karelia plan to ...


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