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Helsinki-Vantaa international airport (HEL) is located 17 km north of Helsinki.

Short layover between flights is more then comfortable in Helsinki airport. There are facilities for families with kids, sleeping pods, few hours day-time hotel rooms, restaurants, scenic terrace and even the Aviation museum next to the airport.

If the time between flights is more then 6 hours, visiting the city is realistic. Train or bus transfer from the airport to the city center is about 40 minutes. Price from €5 (train) and €6,8 (Finnair shuttle bus).


Short layover in Helsinki up to 5 hours between flights might be relaxing at the airport. There are nice restaurant and bistro at the airport to try some local food.

150 m from the Terminal 2 there is Scenic Terrace with a view of taking off and landing plains. Terrace has two parts: the open outside and inside with glass window. The outside terrace is closed during winter. Inside terrace open all year round. Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7-22.

20-25 min walking from the airport there is the Finnish Aviation Museum. A taxi to the museum costs approximately €7. Or 1 stop by train from the airport to Aviapolis station, exit towards Aviabulevardi, and 150m walk to the museum.


Rough time planning for Helsinki layover with visiting the city:

* 1 hour to get to the city center from the airport without a rush (walking and waiting time 10-20 min + train or bus transfer time 30-40 min)
* 3-5 hours for sightseeing, shopping, lunch or coffee break
* 1 hour transfer back from the city center to the airport

Total: 5-7 hours.

Step-by-step Helsinki visit

1. Take a train from the airport to city center, Central Railway Station stop.
Train is the fastest way to get to the Helsinki from the airport.
Connection time is about 30 minutes. Train runs every 10-20 min depending the daytime.
Entrance to the train station is between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 inside the airport. Follow the signs "Railway Station".

Helsinki airport train station entrance

2. Walk from the Central Railway Station to Senate Square about 500m.

Helsinki Senate Square and the Cathedral

The Senate Square is the oldest part of central Helsinki. There are located: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace (to the left from the Cathedral), main building of the University of Helsinki (to the right from the Cathedral).

Digital carillon music called the Sound of the Senate Square is played daily at 17:49 here. The composition runs for 5:18 min. The optimal listening position is near the bronze statue of Alexander II in the center of the Square.

Helsinki Cathedral

3. Visit the Market Square 1 block south from the Senate Square.

There are some local street food can be tested, seasonal fresh berries and mushrooms, fruits and vegetables, souvenirs and handicrafts.

Open Mo-Fri 06:30-18, Sat 06:30-16, Sun 10-17

Market Square Helsinki

4. Look in the Old Market Hall at the south side of the Market Square.

Atmospheric place to visit and enjoy Finnish delicacies, buy some local food souvenirs, or just making photos of appetizing food.

Place to remember for a lunch stop. There is very nice place called Soup kitchen. Menu is simple and consists of 3 different soups. One of them is famous Finnish fish soup with fresh baked bread. Price is 9-10€.

Open: Mon-Sat 8-18

The Old Market Hall Helsinki

5. Continue a walk to Havis Amanda fountain and a sculpture.

The woman figure of Amanda symbolises Helsinki and the birth of a city.

Every year on 30.4. the statue becomes the main attraction of the city for locals. Students of the local universities wash the statue and put a student cap on it. There are a lot of fun and smiles around on that day.

Havis Amanda Helsinki

6. Enter the Esplanade Park.

The Esplanade Park is an iconic place in Helsinki. Locals used to meet there, relax and have a picnics. Street musicians can be listened there. Evening lights or Christmas illumination turn the park in completely fabulous appearance.

Esplanade Park Helsinki

7. Turn to the Aleksanterinkatu shopping street, starting from Stockmann shopping center.

Aleksanterinkatu is beautiful Helsinki’s old street with picturesque buildings and fashion & design shops.


Along the street there are plenty of shopping mols and departments stores: Stockmann, Galleria Esplanad, Aleksi 13, Kauppakeskus Kluuvi, etc.

Aleksanterinkatu shops

Finnish brand shops can be found there: Marimekko, Iittala & Arabia, Artek, Lumi Accessories and many others.

Aleksanterinkatu Finnish brand shops

And of course along the all way there are plenty of coffee houses, restaurants with buffet lunch offer and a la carte menu.

Aleksanterinkatu restaurants


* Helsinki has a well developed and not crowded public transport system. There are several ticket options available: 1 ride within the city (€2,20-3,20); regional ticket (airport - Helsinki for example €5,00-5,50); day tickets (€14, including to the airport and Suomenlinna ferry).

* During summertime (May-October) there are 150 bike stations around Helsinki (yellow city bikes). It is possible to borrow a bike for a fee (€5/24h) and use it up to 30 minutes at a time.

* Stockmann visitor discount 10%. Visit the Stockmann Visitor Service on the 8th floor. Get a voucher for discount. All you need is your passport. The voucher entitles you to a 10 % discount off all regular priced purchases on any one day of your choice.


We've selected 5 hotels in Helsinki for a different budget we could recommend. Scroll through the hotel list below to get an idea where to stay.

1 / 5

1. Hotel Kämp is a luxurious SPA hotel in very heart of Helsinki. Senate Square - the main Helsinki place to visit - 350m from the hotel. Kämp Spa os free for guests: traditional Finnish sauna, steam bath and a spa lounge.
Kamp hotel Helsinki
Tips to plan Helsinki trip:
Helsinki center city hotels
Arport Hotels
Boutique Hotels
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