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Finland can be reached by land directly from Russia, Norway and Sweden.

Border Crossings

There are several border crossings from northern Sweden and Norway to northern Finland, with no passport or customs formalities.

There are nine main border crossings between Finland and Russia, including several in the southeast and two in Lapland. They are more serious frontiers; you must already have a Russian visa.


Buses link Finland with Sweden, Norway and Russia.


The linked towns of Tornio (Finland) and Haparanda (Sweden) share a bus station from where you can get onward transport into their respective countries. A possible, if remote, crossing point is between the Lapland villages of Kaaresuvanto (Finland) and Karesuando (Sweden), separated by a bridge and both served sporadically by domestic buses.


Three routes link Finnish Lapland with northern Norway, some running only in summer. These are operated by Eskelisen Lapin Linjat (www.eskelisen.fi), whose website has detailed maps and timetables, as does the Finnish bus website Matkahuolto (www.matkahuolto.fi).

All routes originate in, or pass through, Rovaniemi. The two northeastern routes continue via Inari to Tana Bru/Vadsø or Karasjok. The Karasjok bus continues in summer to Nordkapp (North Cape). On the western route, a Rovaniemi–Kilpisjärvi bus continues to Tromsø in summer.


Daily express buses run to Vyborg and St Petersburg from Helsinki and Lappeenranta. These services appear on the website of Matkahuolto (www.matkahuolto.fi).

Car & Motorcycle

Vehicles can easily be brought into Finland on ferries or overland, provided you have registration papers and valid insurance (Green Card).


The only international trains are to Russia. Fares fluctuate; book well in advance for the best deals. Visit www.vr.fi for information and fares.

The Man in Seat Sixty-One (www.seat61.com) is an up-to-date source of information for train travel. Eurail (www.eurail.com) and InterRail (www.interrail.eu) are also good resources.


Finland's only international trains are to/from Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia.

High-speed Allegro train services (known as Sapsan trains in Russia) run daily from Helsinki to the Finland Station in St Petersburg (3½ hours, four daily). The evening train is usually cheaper. The Tolstoi sleeper runs from Helsinki via St Petersburg (Ladozhki station) to Moscow (14½ hours, one daily). Fares include a sleeper berth, with upmarket sleeper options available.

All trains go via Lahti, Kouvola, Vainikkala (26km south of Lappeenranta) and the Russian city of Vyborg. At Helsinki station tickets are sold at the international ticket counter.

You must have a valid Russian visa; immigration procedures are carried out on-board.

There are significant discounts for families and small groups. See www.vr.fi.