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9 Hours in Helsinki

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codash1099

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I've got 9 hours between flights in HEL at the end of October. Any suggestions as to what I might do with that time, other than drink the AY Lounge dry (I wish!)?

Any suggestions on which is the best lounge?

TIA
 

defurax

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I would take the Finnair bus to the centre of the city (6 euros I think). The bus leaves you at the central train station which is kind of impressive from the outside.
Then I would walk to the Hotel Torni and have a beer on the Ateljee Bar terrace (very nice view of the city).
For a very nice meal I suggest Kappeli! (I highly recommend the Reindeer)
 
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defurax

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Regarding lounge, if you are transferring to a Schengen flight you will only have access to the Domestic Finnair lounge (good lounge with basic food). I haven't tried the sauna in the renovated international lounge, but it should be nice pre-flight experience.
 

Cossie

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I would take the Finnair bus to the centre of the city (6 euros I think). The bus leaves you at the central train station which is kind of impressive from the outside.
Then I would walk to the Hotel Torni and have a beer on the Ateljee Bar terrace (very nice view of the city).
For a very nice meal I suggest Kappeli! (I highly recommend the Reindeer)
Depending on the time and temperature I'd head down to the harbourside markets and and indulge in some local delicacies, fried fish in particular, if you seriously want to drink, or drink seriously, then do it in the lounge!:)
 

Alanslegal

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Just catch the bus into town, from there you can explore the City for a few hours. I don't know how much sunlight it gets in October but in mid July, it was still daylight at midnight :D
 

RooFlyer

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With 9 hours, (probably 6 or 7 actually free), I would second/third etc the suggestion to go into Helsinki. The town centre is reasonably compact and the waterfront areas are very scenic.

You will have time to take a harbour cruise and visit the Suomenlinna Fort (island) and swan around the larger harbour area - booze available and its a great time. Many to choose from along the waterfront.

Some ideas in my trip report which includes Helsinki: http://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/trip-reports-and-trip-photos/bring-bling-baltics-russia-ay-53979.html#post901767

Check out 'Sea Horse' for lunch or dinner, whatever you have time for. A Helsinki 'institution' with traditional food in a non touristy setting. But in any event, don't miss having salmon soup!

With that amount of time, and if you plan ahead, you may be able to also visit Porvoo, which is not far along the coast and a very scenic old fishing port.
 

Quickstatus

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Will have several hours in HEL (0540 arrival - 1500hrs domestic flight).
Any updates on what to do in that time will be appreciated.
 

Quickstatus

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You can now take the train into Helsinki and don't necessarily require the bus - you will arrive at the same station.

When in the year will you be there?
In 6 days

If I deplane at 0540 when can I expect to be in Helsinki city if I go by train?

Prepaid SIM cards at HEL airport?
 
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coriander

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Have just spent three days in beautiful rainy Helsinki and loved every minute.
We had Vodafone NL sims in our phones as HEL was our last stop on way home so can't advise on sims in HEL airport. Most EU sims roam all over the EU, so if you have sim for rest of EU, it will work ok in HEL.
Train is 5 EURO one way: helpful rail person assist you at vending machines in walkway to station.
Trains run every 10 minutes or less.
Journey takes ~30 minutes. (as a Melbournite, the efficiency makes you weep!)
Also install Helsinki Transport app - use to buy a one day pass on their tram network. Ticket is a QR code on your phone; we never saw a tram inspector and tram fanatic I am I rode the trams all over the place.
Terrific tram network. Download and use their network map.
1. Go see amazing rock church - tram #1 to Sammonkatu - approx 10-15min by tram from city centre.
2. Visit white Helsinki cathedral with square in front (plain inside)
3. Then walk 10 mins east to Uspenski Cathedral - Finnish Orthodox church - beautiful inside.
(3a.) From there walk to harbour. Depending on how you're going for time, take ferry across to Suomenlinna (ferry included in your day pass). Ferries every hour on the hour return on the 20 minutes (approx.). Plan on 90 minutes round trip.
4. Have lunch at Old Market Hall on Eteleranta, near harbour - we had an amazing seafood soup in there at the "Soup Kitchen"; Qatar flight attendants were eating there as well!
Tram #4 back to station, 30 minutes to airport, then 10 min walk to check-in area.
 
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Have just spent three days in beautiful rainy Helsinki and loved every minute.
We had Vodafone NL sims in our phones as HEL was our last stop on way home.
Train is 5 EURO one way: helpful rail person assist you at vending machines in walkway to station.
Trains run every 10 minutes or less.
Journey takes ~30 minutes. (as a Melbournite, the efficiency makes you weep!)
Install Helsinki Tram app - use to buy a one day pass on their tram network.
Terrific tram network. Download and use their network map.
Go see amazing rock church - tram #1 to Sammonkatu - approx 10-15min by tram from city centre.
Visit white Helsinki cathedral with square in front (plain inside)
Then walk 10 mins east to Uspenski Cathedral - Finnish Orthodox church - beautiful inside.
From there walk to harbour. Depending on how you're going for time, take ferry across to Suomenlinna (ferry included in your day pass). Ferries every hour on the hour return on the 20 minutes (approx.). Plan on 90 minutes round trip.
Then have lunch at Old Market Hall on Eteleranta, near harbour - we had an amazing seafood soup in there at the "Soup Kitchen"; Qatar flight attendants were eating there as well!
Tram #4 back to station, 30 minutes to airport, then 10 min walk to check-in area.
Couldn't agree more really. I would personally skip Suomenlinna and have a bit of a coffee crawl, looking at the street architecture and ducking into Karl Fazer for a coffee and some chocolate. Hopefully the annual christmas block has been released - if so i really recommend it.
 
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Late October is not the best time to visit(raincoats!!!). But you can still walk the streets. Let's hope you strike a great day. As others have said from Central Train/Bus station it's easy to walk around. National Gallery is across the road. National Theatre is next door. Maya Bar & Grill(Latin American...great food) next door under Pepsi sign. I would go for a walk down the Espanadi to the Harbour not sure when market days are. There is a food hall building down there...worth a visit. Head back via Helsinki Square/Cathedral. That should be a casual 4-6 hrs. Hop the train back to the airport. Now drink the bar dry after stretching your legs.
 

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Should I get a one day pass for unlimited rides on trains buses trams ferries?
Assume HEL is region 3?
 

coriander

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Should I get a one day pass for unlimited rides on trains buses trams ferries?
Assume HEL is region 3?
HSL MobileTicket on my Android shows 9.00 for Travel Zone Helsinki, 21.00 for Region 3 which includes Airport train. Airport train is 5.00 each way, so it's €19 vs €21 - spend € 2 extra and save time and hassle looking for train-only ticket. I'd probably purchase that if I was there for day (we were there for 3 days and only needed Helsinki ticket as a region 3 would have been overkill for us).
 
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Thanks all for the wonderful tips!!

Unfortunately I think the weather is not not going to be helpful. This Sunday Helsinki will be 2C and scattered rain.:(:(:(
 
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