Travelling to Lapland or other Europe country via Helsinki airport is an easy and stressless experience.
Short layover up to 7 hours between flights might be relaxing at the airport. There are many facilities for families with kids, sleeping pods, day-time hotel rooms, nice restaurants, scenic terrace and even a museum next to the Terminals.
A longer stopover allows to discover Helsinki and make the most of the time between flights. For late arrivals or early departures there are few hotels next to the airport with free shuttle service. Time to reach the city from the airport is about 30 minutes and price from €5.
Helsinki is a very compact city. Main sights and attractions are located in the downtown, easily reachable by foot from Central Railway Station where trains and buses from the airport arrive.
If you have just 24 hours or less stopover , it is still worth visiting Helsinki city and explore it. Even a short time is quite enough to catch all main city attractions, visit best panorama view points, try local food, and see something extraordinary.
Below is our Helsinki airport guide to plan the time between flights.
HELSINKI AIRPORT LOCATION
Helsinki Airport (IATA: HEL, ICAO: EFHK) is an international airport in Finland.
It is located 17 km north of Helsinki, in the city Vantaa.
There are 2 terminals, T1 and T2, at Helsinki Airport. Both are open 24/7.
Terminals are parts of the same building and connected by a 300 m corridor. If your flights are from different Terminalns, there are absolutely no problems and rush to get from one terminal to another within a short time.
T1: Terminal 1 is the Domestic Terminal. T2: Terminal 2 is the International Terminal, but also serves some domestic flights and charter flights.
Estimated waiting time for security control: 5-10 min in average.
In the morning between 6 am and 8.30 am - up to 10-15 min.
In the afternoon between 2 pm and 5.30 pm - up to 15-20 min.
It is important to follow the check-in time provided on your travel documents.
TRANSPORT FROM AND TO THE AIRPORT FROM HELSINKI
Helsinki airport TAXI.
Travel time from the airport to Helsinki city center is about 30 minutes by taxi.
Taxi fares: about 40-50€ to get to the Helsinki center by taxi. There is the option of shared taxi available.
Helsinki airport TRAIN.
The train connection between Helsinki downtown and Airport takes about 30 minutes. The journey from the airport to the Central Railway Station via Tikkurila takes 27 minutes, via Myyrmäki 32 minutes. Train runs every 10 minutes on peak hours, 20-30 minutes on early morning and late evening.
Single ticket fare from Helsinki Airport to city centre is €5 from ticket machine (2018). A regional ticket is required. Tickets are not sold on trains. There are HSL ticket machines at the train station entrance in the corridor between the T1 and T2 terminals, in the baggage claim hall in T2 and at bus stops.
The train station is located on the arrivals floor, between terminals 1 and 2.
The entrance to the train station is in the corridor between the terminals.
There are two lines: train I and train P. I train (Helsinki-Tikkurila-Airport-Myyrmäki-Helsinki). I trains run counter clockwise. P train (Helsinki-Myyrmäki-Airport-Tikkurila-Helsinki). P trains run clockwise.
Helsinki airport BUSES.
Bus 615 (Rautatientori-Kartanonkoski-Airport) - between Helsinki Railway Station and the airport.
Bus 617 (Hakaniemi-Airport) - Hakaniemi market square and the airport on rush hours from Monday to Friday.
A regional ticket is required for journeys from Helsinki to the airport and vice versa. Single ticket fare is €5 from ticket machine (2018). Price from the driver 5,50€.
Finnair City Bus
Buses depart from the airport and Helsinki city centre every 20 minutes.
One way ticket 6,80€. Round-trip 12,50€ (web-shop 2018).
The bus always chooses the quickest route to the airport according to current traffic conditions. The transfer from Central Railway Station to the airport takes about 30 minutes. Free WiFi connection.
Free shuttle buses to and from nearby hotels and airport parking
A free Airport Bus runs between the parking areas and terminals T1 and T2 approximately every 15 minutes, from 03:30 a.m. to 01:30 a.m. The stops are located in front of parking areas, at platform 10 at Terminal 1, and at platform 21 at Terminal 2.
WHAT TO DO BETWEEN FLIGHTS
* Visit Scenic Terrace.
Helsinki Airport has a scenic terrace with views of Runway 1 and 2 for taking off and landing plains as well as of the parking area for aeroplanes.
Terrace has two parts: the outside and inside terrace. The warm inner terrace has a soft drink vending machine, a small photo exhibition of Helsinki Airport past and present, displays for arrivals and departures.
The scenic terrace is located 150 metres away from Terminal 2 on top of the blue glass office building. It can be reached it by foot from the exit of Terminal 2 arrivals lobby (Arrivals 2B) through a covered walkway towards Hotel Hilton and by following the signs.
The outside terrace is closed during winter. Inside terrace open all year round. Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7-22.
* Visit the Finnish Aviation Museum.
Address: Karhumäentie 12 (Tietotie 3), 01530 Vantaa, Finland
Museum is located just outside Helsinki Airport, 20-25 minute walk from the Terminal. A taxi to the museum costs approximately €7.
The local trains I and P from Airport via the Ring Rail. The closest train station is Aviapolis, choose the exit towards Aviabulevardi. The Aviapolis train station is located 150 metres from the Museum.
Fees: Adults €10; Children (7–17 years)- €7; Children under 7 years - FREE.
Museum collection boasts about 80 aircraft and countless other items related to the world of aviation. Flight simulators offer virtual flying experiences for all, together with experienced instructors. Guided tours available.
Open: Mon–Fri 10-20; Sat & Sun 10-17. Closed on 1.1, 23-24.6, 6.12, 24-26.12, 31.12 and during special events.
* Visit Helsinki.
If you have stopover at Helsinki-Vantaa airport and 24h or less between flights - it is worth visiting Helsinki downtown.
Helsinki is a compact city. Main Helsinki sights are located in central area, easily reachable by foot.
Trains and buses from Helsinki airport drop off travellers at Helsinki central train station. This is nice place to start city tour as train stations itself is a tourist sight of Helsinki.
* Enjoy airport waiting time with kids.
There is the special family security check gate at Terminal 2. Make sure to take advantage of the family security check gate to skip queues and enter the gate area faster and easier.
After the security check, you can borrow strollers free of charge.
There are several kids play areas at the airport: Gates 16, 20, 30 and 38. Near Gate 16, older kids and teenagers can also enjoy arcade racing games.
Smart phones or tablets can be charged for free at the airport’s many charging stations and use the free Wi-Fi.
The Moomin Shop (Gates 26–27) is a kids’ favourite. Moomintroll, Snufkin and Hattifattener figures outside attract many young travellers who like to pose with for photos.
Near Gate 31, there’s a kids’ playroom with a microwave for reheating food for small children.
For parents with small babies, restrooms with diaper changing stations can be found at Gates 15, 21, 30, 32, 34 and 37.
Seasons Café (Gate 14) and Café Tori (Gates 26–27) also offer baby formula and baby food. Both cafés have a play area. Cesar's Little Italy's popular lunch buffet offers many options for children.
Helsinki airport has great views of the runways. Gazing at the air-plains taking off and landing with kids might fill up the waiting time.
HELSINKI AIRPORT HOTELS
Cheap hotels under €100.
The cheapest accommodation in Helsinki airport is the sleeping pods GoSleep Lounge. Price from €45. It is the capsule hotel at Terminal 1, next to departure gate 12 in the Schengen area.
Forenom Hostel Vantaa Aviapolis.Hostel offer rooms with shared bathroom at a price starting from €77. Hostel offers self-catering rooms with keyless entry system. Located within 15 minutes walk from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Scandic Aviacongress is a great value hotel with rooms from €85. Hotel is located 2 km from Helsinki Airport and 1 km from the Finnish Aviation Museum. Free sauna and pool access, free airport transfer and breakfast served from 04:00. Takeaway breakfast bag available on request.
Airport Hotel Pilotti is another options to stay close to the airport. Price from €83. Hotel is located 5 minutes drive from Helsinki Airport. Offers free 24/7 airport transfers. Free WiFi, early breakfast from 03:30, free parking up to 1 weeks is possible. Jumbo Shopping Mall and Flamingo Spa are 10 minutes walk from Airport Hotel Pilotti.
There are few cheap self-catering apartments in a quiet residential area of Vantaa within 7-9 km from the airport. Price €65-80 per night. It is easy to get to the airport by train from Vantaa. Train goes directly to the airport. For example, 20Rooms or Lovely Mint Garden Studio.
Hotels inside Helsinki airport.
GLO hotel Helsinki Airport is a hotel as close to the airport as possible. It is located inside Terminal 2, 2 minutes walk to security control. Price from €132. Convenient location for late arrival or early departure flights. GLO Hotel also offers rooms for daytime use from 9 am to 5 pm (4 or 8 hours at the most) to rest between connecting flights.
Scandic Helsinki Airport is located at the airport next to Terminal 2 and can be reached through a covered walkway (200m). Price from €155. Gym, sauna and free WiFi provided.
Hotel Hilton Helsinki Airport is located at the airport, about 100 m from Terminal 2. Price from €165. It offers an early breakfast from 03:30. Rooms are equipped with glass-walled bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower.
Hotels with free airport shuttle.
There is a free airport shuttle service between the airport and the surrounding hotels. The hotel buses depart from platform 21 in front of the Terminal 2 and from platform 10 in front of the Terminal 1.
Prices for those hotels are from €115. Early breakfast is available from 05:00 onwards at some hotels.
Hotels within 5 km and free shuttle: Bonus Inn Airport Hotel and Airport Hotel Pilotti. Prices are from €117. Hotel Pilotti offers a cold breakfast buffet from 03:30, with hot dishes available from 05:00.
WHERE TO STAY IN HELSINKI
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.
2. Glo Hotel Kluuvi is one of the best centrally located hotels in Helsinki. Legendary Fazer Café with Finnish chocolate and sweets is right opposite the hotel. Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral - 400 m.
3. Omena hotel City Center is cheap and comfortable hotel 400m from Helsinki central station. Accommodation for 1-4 persons in a room. No staff hotel, fully automatised keyless entry system. Rooms with free WIFI, TV, fridge, microwave and tea/coffee making facilities.
4. Klaus K is a design hotel in Helsinki next to city center. The hotel’s interiors are decorated with Finland’s national epic Kalevala. Hotel has few special ART rooms and Sky Lofts with access to sky terrace on the 7th floor with view over the rooftops of Helsinki.
5. Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Helsinki which means "the Tower". Located within 5 minutes’ walk of Helsinki Central Station. Rooms are decorated in 3 different styles: Art Nouveau, Art Déco and Functionalism. Hotel has elegant 14th-floor rooftop Ateljee Bar bar with panoramic city views and regular exhibitions of works by young Finnish artists.