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Transportation in Finland
You may have heard or maybe even experienced yourself that Nordic countries are expensive. Unfortunately, it is true but a good thing is that during the past 10 years, the public transportation in Finland has become cheaper. It is now possible to travel long distances much more affordably than before. The simpler regulation has led to the competetion of transportation companies.
Finland is more than 1000 kilometres long from the south to the north. To see the whole Finland during a single trip, it is advised to reserve at least 2 weeks time.
Forms of Transportation
In Finland, you can travel by a bus, train, airplane or ferry.
Buses in Finland
The long distance bus network in Finland is comprehensive. You can take a bus almost to anywhere but point-to-point connections are not always available. Connecting buses in bigger cities is needed but the whole trip can be booked into a single ticket. Travelling by a bus is a slow way of moving because the speed is limited to 100 km / h.
The quality of buses in Finland is good. All the buses are in good condition and they are safe. Low-cost companies may have a little simpler decoration but there is not much quality difference between the bus companies. Taking any bus is a good choice.
There are a few low-cost bus companies. Onnibus and Nanobus are a few examples but also traditional bus companies have lowered their prices a lot. A ticket to any bus can be booked from a single place: Matkahuolto. Sometimes, Matkahuolto website does not show the lowest prices but you need to visit the bus companies´ own websites to avail the offers.
A good price from Helsinki to Turku by a bus is less than 10 euros. If the price gets much higher, it may be wiser to book a train which is more relaxed way of travelling.
Finnish Trains by VR
Finnish trains are operated by the state owned company, VR. Trains are comfortable but they are not as fast as bullet trains. Maximum speed is only about 200 km / h but quite often, the trains drive even slower.
We would say that travelling by a train is the most comfortable way of travelling in Finland. Trains are modern, spacious and quiet. There is often a restaurant car on the train to have small snacks or drinks. Long-distance trains have private cabins to sleep. It is even possible to take your own car inside a train if you are heading from the south to Lapland.
VR uses dynamic pricing. For example, the cheapest ticket from Helsinki to Turku is about 6 euros but the most expensive can be almost 30 euros. Booking a train to Lapland with your own cabin and a car may become really expensive without a great bargain. That is why we recommend booking train tickets early enough and avoiding travelling during the school holidays.
Travelling from the south to Lapland takes much time by a bus or train. Of course, a train can still be a good choice because it is possible to travel during a nightime and sleep in a cabin. If you prefer faster travelling, flying is the best opiotn.
Helsinki is the flight hub of Finland and every flight starts or ends to Helsinki. Finnair is the flag-carrier of Finland having routes to airports all over Finland. There are also a few smaller airlines having connections to the smallest towns to where Finnair does not fly itself. Norwegian Air competes on the most popular routes with affordable tickets.
Flying in Finland is moderately cheap as long as you book your tickets early. Finnair tends to be the most expensive airline but it has good sale campaigns every now and then. It is advisable to follow Finnair´s own website a few months before the intended travelling.
Where to Find Cheap Tickets?
Check perille.fi which compares bus, train and taxi prices with a single search.
Flight ticket prices are good to be compared with any reliable online travel agency.
International Public Transport to Finland
There are no international trains routes to Finland except a few trains from the Russia. There are two main reasons to this: the geography and the western neighbours have different rail system.
Also, bus routes in Finland are mainly domestic. There may be a few border crossing lines mainly to Russia but they are rare exceptions.
The best and simplest ways to arrive to Finland are to take a flight to Helsinki or a ferry to Vaasa, Turku or Helsinki. Especially, Helsinki Airport is a busy hub.
Finland has a well-working public transportation network. The ticket prices have become cheaper and travelling around Finland is not expensive anymore.
The most flexible way to reach many cities in the short period of time is to rent a car. Roads in Finland are in good conditions and the driving culture is peaceful. Even unexperienced drivers feel good in driving outside the cities.
Have you been to Finland? Did you use public transport, comment below!
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Tips For Your Next Journey...
Book hotels from a reliable booking site
It is wise to book hotels on a reliable booking site. We recommend European booking.com that has good booking conditions, excellent customer service and offers the best prices.
Ensure your booking payments refundable
While there is always a risk that flights can be cancelled anytime by airlines, you should ensure your booking payments to be refundable in case of such cancellation. We use a reliable payment card which gives additional security and savings while travelling and so we recommend you getting your own Curve Card.
Don´t miss unforgettable activities and tours
Whether you are travelling near or far, make your trips more memorable by attending organized activities and tours. On GetYourGuide, you will easily find after sought sight seeings and tours at your destination.