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You may have heard Nordic countries are expensive. You are absolutely right but there are many ways to make your travel budget smaller. In this article we concentrate on how to move more cheaply inside Finland.
It takes more than 1000 km from the south to the north. That is why using local transport is not often enough but you must use long distance transport and reserve enough time for that.
The long distance bus network in Finland is comprehensive. You can travel almost to anywhere by taking a good quality bus from Helsinki. Unfortunately normal ticket prices are even more expensive than flying but often there is no need to pay the normal price.
Firstly, there is a low fare bus company called Onnibus. You should always check it first because probably you will find the cheapest rates there. Onnibus ticket prices start from a few euros per way. Even though the company is a low fare company, there is nothing to complain about its service. There is also another low fare company called PoriExpress but its route network is small.
If you do not find a good connection by Onnibus, please head to Matkahuolto, that is a union of many bus companies. The tickets there are expensive, but Matkahuolto has often some promotional offers. In the case you are unlucky to find them, check which bus company is driving the route that you would like to take. Head to the company's own web site (via Google) and surprisingly you may find same tickets much more cheaper.
Using boats is, of course, only possible at the coast. A boat connection is a good option when you want to exit Finland to Stockholm or to Tallinn or to have a cruise just to visit them quickly. Remember to avoid weekends or Friday evenings because tickets are expensive. During weekdays a good ticket price to Tallinn is about 20 euros return and to Stockholm about 40 euros return including your own cabin. Check the companies' web sites and look for good promotional offers:
- Tallink (Stockholm and Tallinn)
- Viking Line (Stockholm and Tallinn)
- Linda Line (Tallinn)
- Eckerö Line(Tallinn)
Finnish trains are comfortable but they are not as fast as bullet trains. Many people find them however the most comfortable way of travelling. So head to VR to find train connections. Trains should always be booked early because otherwise they will be an expensive way of traveling. By booking tickets at least 1 month in advance you may get 70% discount. A good price for 2 hours train ride will be about 10 euros. We recommend you also to join their loyalty club Veturi (Locomotive) to get even cheaper prices.
Going from the South to Lapland takes much time by bus or by train. When you are in hurry take an airplane. Usually flying is even cheaper than travelling by a train. There are 2 well known options: flying by Finnair or by Norwegian. Finnair's normal prices are incredibly high but look for their promotional campaigns a few months before travelling. A return flight to Lapland may cost as little as 60 euros when the normal price is 400 euros. More probably you will get cheaper prices if you fly by Norwegian. Their cheapest rates from Helsinki to Lapland are about 50 euros for a return flight. The best thing of Norwegian is that flights are not so expensive even if you book them late.
Check also Perille that is a good ticket price comparison too.
If you are travelling in the Greater Helsinki, it is worth checking HSL's website, the governmental authority that maintains and oversees the operation of all public transportation network in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Sipoo, Siuntio and Tuusula. HSL tickets for local buses, trams, metro trains, ferries, commuter trains, and citybikes can be purchased via mobile app, R-kiosks, ticket machines and bus drivers, but in trains, they have stopped selling tickets earlier this year. The newly launched HSL app is handy tool to buy your travel ticket and to check routes and real-time travel-relevant information about public transport in the Greater Helsinki Region. We would like to remind our readers that travelling without valid travel tickets will result to 80€ penalty if caught by ticket inspectors. It is therefore advisable to ensure that the mobile ticket has arrived on your HSL app before boarding any vehicle or entering the Metro platform are or the Suomenlinna ferry pier.
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