The wide availability of cheap flights to Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL) makes it one of northern Europe's busiest airports with connections to multiple Scandinavian cities and several direct connections to North America. It is located about 5 miles outside of Helsinki, a major European city that is also charming and compact with a small-town feel.
Facilities at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport has two terminals under the same roof. Upon your arrival, monitors will display whether your baggage is in claim hall 1, 2A or 2B. Flights to Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL) arrive on a number of different airlines including British Airways, Air Canada, Air France, Finnair and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Services for travelers at this airport include restaurants and shopping. Car rental agencies are found in the corridor between terminals. Business travelers arriving on flights to Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL) may want to travel to the Helsinki city center by train, taxi or bus to save time and money on parking. Taxis can be found just outside the doors of either terminals while trains are between the terminals on the arrivals floor. Buses and coaches to Helsinki can also be found in front of both terminals.
Things to do near Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Central
Helsinki is easy to navigate for pedestrians, and there are also bikes available throughout the city. One of the main attractions is Suomenlinna, a former Baltic Sea fortress that is accessible by ferry. Ferries can also be used to visit the archipelago of islands around the city. Many of the islands include attractions, such as the Helsinki Zoo and the Seurasaari Open Air Museum.
Attractions in the city include a number of museums and picturesque churches. In the summer, visitors can enjoy a ride on a 100-year-old vintage tram, and the Linnanmaki Amusement Park features a wooden roller coaster. Shopping is found along Aleksanterinkatu while specialty boutiques line Esplanadi Boulevard.
Travel Tips for Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
There are a number of popular festivals throughout the year in Helsinki. Visitors who arrive in January can enjoy Lux Helsinki when light installations are hung throughout the city to brighten the short, dark winter days. The night of April 30, Walpurgis Night, hearkens back to an ancient European festival and today is celebrated by tens of thousands of people partying through the night and into the following day. In August, there is a week-long arts festival to take advantage of the warm, bright summers, and in September is the Helsinki International Film Festival.
The main neighborhoods for nightlife are the areas around Iso-Roobertinkatu, the Central Railway Station and Kamppi. Helsinki restaurants offer a variety of international cuisine, including vegetarian food, or visitors can try Finnish food, which traditionally features local ingredients like meat, fish, berries and mushrooms. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant averages about $75. The relatively high costs of dining in this upscale city can be balanced by the price of cheap flights to Helsinki Vantaa Airport.