Getting here & around
photo © Visit Finland
Despite it’s location in the most northerly corner of Europe, getting to Finland is easy. There are daily flights from virtually every European capital, and it is well serviced from Asia and North America. Motorists can reach Finland directly through Sweden, Norway and Russia, or via frequent ferries from Germany, Sweden and Estonia, and there are also daily rail services to Moscow via St. Petersburg.
Getting To Finland
By far the busiest airport in Finland, Helsinki Vantaa is the main point of arrival for visitors flying into the country as it serves over 50 airlines and connects Finland with virtually every part of the globe. Visitors arriving from other Nordic countries, or those on budget airlines, might arrive at Tampere, Turku, or one of the other larger national airports – there are 22 in Finland.
Finland has numerous connections by ferry to Sweden and northern European countries. You can travel to Helsinki from Tallinn in Estonia, St. Petersburg in Russia, Rostock and Travemünde in Germany, Gyynia in Poland, and Stockholm in Sweden. There are also ferries from Sweden between Grisslehamn and Eckerö in the Åland Islands, Kapellskär and Mariehamn in the Åland Islands and Naantali on the mainland, Stockholm and Turku, and Umeå and Vaasa.
By Road & Rail:
Finland has land borders with just three countries; the busiest border-crossings for these are Vaalimaa on the Russian border, Tornio on the Swedish border, and Karigasniemi on the Norwegian border. There are currently 9 official border-crossing points between Finland and Russia.
Getting Around Finland
Finland boasts an excellent modern infrastructure, with an extensive, efficient and comfortable rail network, 22 airports, and a comprehensive system of motorways and roads linking every part of the country.
VR operatess the national rail system and has almost 50 mainline stations in its network. Smaller towns not served directly by rail can be reached via the nearest station where you’ll find the local and regional bus station close by, often actually attached.
Finland’s many lakes, islands and canals are linked by an extensive network of canal boats, vintage steamers, and ferries – large and small, and traveling around the coast among the many beautiful archipelagos is also possible by cruise and ferry.
The national bus company,Matkahuolto, offers long-distance coach connections to practically all parts of Finland. Bus is also the only way to travel in Lapland, as the rail network doesn’t extend to the extreme north.
With 22 airports operating throughout the country with scheduled passenger service on commercial airlines, flying is a convenient, albeit sometimes expensive, way of getting around Finland. There are six airlines with flights within Finland, most of which fly from Helsinki to the many regional airports.
There are 15 car rental companies that have offices or locations in major Finnish cities, these are Alamo, Avis, Bevari, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Finn Car Rental, Hertz, Korsisaari Group, Netrent, NovaRent, Scandia, Sixt, Toyota Rent, Thrifty. Additonally, Auto Alex and Lacara operate in Helsinki only.
The coastal waters of Finland contain a number of archipelagos, most notably the islands in the Archipelago Sea and the Kvarken Archipelago, as well as those that stretch from Helsinki to Kotka. Most of the towns and cities on the coast operate regular boat services to the islands as well as providing charters and cruises for holiday makers.