With a flat inner city and well-marked cycling paths, Helsinki is ideal for cycling. Pick up the free Ulkoilukartta Helsinki cycling map at the tourist office, or view it online at www.ulkoilukartta.fi.
Launched in 2016, Helsinki's shared-bike scheme, City Bikes (www.hsl.fi/citybikes), has some 1500 bikes at 150 stations citywide. Bikes are free/€3.50/€7.50 per 30 minutes/two hours/four hours. Register online or pick up a bike at five locations – Hakaniemi metro station, Rautatientori bus station, Kiasma, Kaivopuisto or Unioninkatu – with just a credit card.
Local ferries serve Suomenlinna and Helsinki Zoo, among other island destinations.
Most visitors won't need to use buses, which serve the northern suburbs, Espoo and Vantaa.
Car & Motorcycle
Parking meters in the city centre cost up to €8 per hour, but most are free on Sundays. There are several well-indicated underground car parks.
Car-hire companies have offices in the city as well as at the airport:
Budget Near Kamppi bus station.
Europcar By the train station.
Lacara Low-cost local operator based in Kallio.
Sixt Located in Kallio.
DIY Tram Tours
If you're on a budget, you can get a good overview of the city aboard a regular local tram on three main routes, accompanied by free downloadable guides from the tourist office website that briefly describe notable sights along the way.
Purchase tram tickets onboard, or at sales points such as Kamppi bus station, many R-Kiosks and the tourist office.
Tram 2 Get a classic overview of Helsinki on this loop from the kauppatori, passing landmarks including Helsinki's train station, Tennispalatsi, Karhupuisto, Hakaniemen Kauppahalli, the Design District, Kaivopuisto and Vanha Kauppahalli.
Tram 6 This one-way design- and culinary-focused route takes you past highlights including the Hietalahden Kauppahalli, Sinebrychoffin Taidemuseo, the Design District, the Ateneum, Hakaniemen Kauppahalli, Teurastamo and out to Arabiakeskus.
Hail cabs on the street or at taxi stands, or phone Taksi Helsinki.
Tickets & Passes
The city’s public-transport system, HSL (www.hsl.fi), operates buses, metro and local trains, trams and local ferries. Hours of operation vary depending on the route.
- A one-hour flat-fare ticket for any HSL transport costs €3.20 when purchased on-board, or €2.90 when purchased in advance. The ticket allows unlimited transfers, but must be validated at the machine on-board on first use.
- A night ticket, for use between 2am and 4.30am, costs €5.
- For destinations further afield, including the airport, you’ll need a more expensive regional ticket (€5 advance purchase; €5.50 on-board a bus or tram; €8 for night tickets).
- Day or multiday tickets (€9/13.50/18 per 24/48/72 hours) are worthwhile; tickets up to seven days (€36) are available.
- Sales points at Kamppi bus station and the Rautatientori and Hakaniemi metro stations sell tickets and passes, as do many R-kioskis and tourist offices.
- The Helsinki Route Map, available at tourist offices, maps bus, metro and tram routes. Online, www.reittiopas.fi is a useful route planner.
Helsinki has a single, forked metro line and a fast train linking the city to the airport.
From Helsinki train station, trains serve destinations in greater Helsinki and beyond.