Together with Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Finland makes up the Nordic group of countries located in Northern Europe. Finland is well connected by air, sea and rail and there are various alternatives to get here. If you arrive in Helsinki during the pick-up days ESN Helga tutors will meet you at your point of arrival e.g. airport, ferry terminal, railway station or bus station. Preferably you should arrive on the arrival day recommended to you by your exchange school. On this day ESN Helga can guarantee a pick up for you. If you are arriving on another day ESN Helga will try to arrange for someone to be there to meet you. You can recognize an ESN Helga tutor because they will be wearing their purple ESN Helga t-shirt. ESN Helga tutors from Porvoo will travel to Helsinki to meet you. Vierumäki students will be helped on the correct bus.
When you get picked up ESN Helga tutors will take you to your apartment.
It is important that you inform ESN Helga and the Haaga-Helia International Services your arrival time by filling in the electronic arrival form.
Traveling by Air
Most students choose to travel by air, arriving at Helsinki's main airport Helsinki-Vantaa (HEL) located just outside Helsinki in the city of Vantaa. Most international airlines operate routes or code shares to this airport. There are frequent bus and train services between Helsinki city centre and the airport, the journey takes about 30 minutes. The price for the public busses and trains is 5.00€.
Finland's national carriers are Finnair (One World Alliance) and Blue1, a subsidiary of SAS (Star Alliance). SAS also operates its own direct and indirect flights to Helsinki and young people under 26 can often get good youth fares from SAS.
In addition to the traditional carriers, a number of low cost airlines have appeared in recent years:
- Blue1 operates routes from Finland to the other nordic countries on behalf of SAS.
- German Wings travels between Helsinki and Berlin, from there they have flights to many other European destinations.
- Ryanair flyes from Tampere (TMP) to many european cities. Tampere is a city north of Helsinki and there are frequent train connections to Helsinki. Pendolino train takes 1h30m to get to Helsinki (30 €), InterCity 1h45m (25 €) and Fast Train 2h10m (20 €). Details from VR Finnish Railways
- Air Baltic operates affordable flights between Riga, Latvia and Helsinki as well as Vilnius, Lithuania and Helsinki. From Riga and Vilnius, the company connects to many other destinations.
Arriving by Sea
Finland's location means that there are numerous sea connections to Sweden, Estonia and mainland Europe. If you think that the 20/25kg luggage limit inside European air flights is too low for you, the ferry connection may be a good choice. In addition, you may find a lower priced flight to Estonia's capital Tallinn from where you can take a ferry to Helsinki.
Silja Line & Viking Line
Ferries from Helsinki and Turku to Stockholm.
Silja also operates ferries and fast ferries between Helsinki and Tallinn as well as a ferry between Rostock and Helsinki via Tallinn.
Good value ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn. Journey time 3h30min.
Arriving by Train
VR Finnish Railways and Russian Railways operate joint between Helsinki and St Petersburg, and Helsinki and Moscow.