Helsinki (HEL) Stopover Tips | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Helsinki (HEL) Stopover Tips

Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
196
Flights
My Map
This thread is a place to share tips and recommendations for stopovers at Helsinki Airport (HEL) in Finland. You can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • Things to do (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Your favourite HEL airport lounges
  • Airport facilities such as luggage storage and showers
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in Helsinki? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!

Update: Read the AFF guide here - The Ultimate Helsinki Stopover Guide
 
Last edited:

OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
3,581
Flights
My Map
We tried the Finnair City Bus and found it was great at quiet times, but very slow to the city in peak times (eg morning rush hour). Next time it was the HSL train service which was very efficient and no delays. However, the train can be quite crowded in the peak periods, and finding a spot to sit with your cases can be difficult if you leave it late to join the train on the way out to the airport, although we had no trouble on the way in to the city. The nice thing about the train is that it is a loop, and arrives/departs on both sides of Helsinki Central Station, so if you take note of which side you arrive on you can take the return from the other side, and get a different view.
 

EestiTiger

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
511
Flights
My Map
Arriving early morning from longhaul flights via Asia, it can be an issue checking into a hotel that early. In the past I have headed straight from the airport to Loyly which is a sauna complex on the harbour. You can sauna, swim and shower to your heart's content. It is a fantastic way to start the day.

Just around the corner is Kaffa coffee roastery that does a good flat white.
 

burmans

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
6,931
Flights
My Map
The nice thing about the train is that it is a loop, and arrives/departs on both sides of Helsinki Central Station, so if you take note of which side you arrive on you can take the return from the other side, and get a different view.
Wouldn't you take the train from the same side so it continues on the same loop?

Food in Finland can be extremely expensive but we found Ravintola Kuu very good value and great food for lunch fixed price. Its also on the circle line tram which we found a really good way to see Helsinki.
 

OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
3,581
Flights
My Map
Wouldn't you take the train from the same side so it continues on the same loop?

Food in Finland can be extremely expensive but we found Ravintola Kuu very good value and great food for lunch fixed price. Its also on the circle line tram which we found a really good way to see Helsinki.
The Airport train is not a circle, more balloon shaped. So if it starts from the Western side of Helsinki Central Station (near Platform 19), it will end on the Eastern side of the station (near Platform 1).
Great Finnish food can be found at Cafe Ekburg which faces the Senate Square and the Cathedral.
 

OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
3,581
Flights
My Map
Because we fly AY regularly to Europe, we often stop over in Helsinki for 2 days to get our land legs back after the flights from SYD. Two good excursions, and relatively cheap are:
1. Ferry to Suomenlinna Island for a wander around. Only a short ride out, and some interesting museums, old church and fortifications. Have lunch at the Bastion Bistro - great local food.
2. Bus trip to Porvoo Old Town, an easy ride by bus from the bus station under the Kaampi centre (about 50mins each way). .
 

opusman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
5,868
Great pizza: Pizzeria Via Tribunali
Great burgers: Naughty Brgr

There's a serviced laundry in Stockmann (department store) on level 7 that will do same day wash and dry service.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
271
Arriving early morning from longhaul flights via Asia, it can be an issue checking into a hotel that early. In the past I have headed straight from the airport to Loyly which is a sauna complex on the harbour. You can sauna, swim and shower to your heart's content. It is a fantastic way to start the day.

Just around the corner is Kaffa coffee roastery that does a good flat white.
I looked at Loyly but it’s only open in the mornings on a Saturday ... it sounded a great idea as yes we arrive after 5am.
 

kermatu

Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
6,453
Qantas
Platinum 1
Virgin
Platinum
I have stayed at the Hilton for a one night stopover on two occasions. Very close to the airport - a flat (with one lift) maybe 300 metre walk from the terminals. Semi-covered so shielded from much of the weather. It is not cheap, but very comfortable. And if you have status or pay for an Exec room you get a pretty decent lounge access which will cover you evening food and drink requirements. Proximity to terminals means you can easily stay there and then take train or bus to the city, without hassle of your bags.

While a lot of people rave about the HEL terminals and transit, I’m not such a fan. Have found it crowded and had very long walks without any travellators. Staff are friendly and helpful though. The domestic Finnair lounge is poor. The non-Schengen premium (OWE+) Lounge is good though.
 

SeatBackForward

Established Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
4,262
Flights
My Map
An transiting through HEL next year for the first time, arriving from HKG and have about 2hrs beofre connecting to LHR.

I wont be entitled to use the LHR arrivals lounge as I am flying AY, so, is there enough time in HEL to shower up and start the day there? Do the showers get busy in the mornings with all the overnight arrivals?
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
271
Helsinki in January for a few days .... I don’t suppose there’s anywhere that hires warm jackets? Or second hand shops? Any advice would be helpful, given we don’t really own much winter gear.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
8,335
Qantas
LT Silver
Flights
My Map
I didn’t see any 2nd hand shops or hire places in HEL. I’d say the best bet is to find a second hand jacket in Aus on line as summer is coming up here. You’ll also need the other things like gloves etc etc.

Helsinki in January for a few days .... I don’t suppose there’s anywhere that hires warm jackets? Or second hand shops? Any advice would be helpful, given we don’t really own much winter gear.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
8,335
Qantas
LT Silver
Flights
My Map

OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
3,581
Flights
My Map
An transiting through HEL next year for the first time, arriving from HKG and have about 2hrs beofre connecting to LHR.

I wont be entitled to use the LHR arrivals lounge as I am flying AY, so, is there enough time in HEL to shower up and start the day there? Do the showers get busy in the mornings with all the overnight arrivals?
I have had no trouble getting a shower in the AY Schengen Lounge after arriving from HKG. One time straight in, the other a short wait. Takes about 15-20mins to transfer, clear immigration once off the aircraft. So 2 hours is ample for a shower and some lounge time.
 

OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
3,581
Flights
My Map
Helsinki in January for a few days .... I don’t suppose there’s anywhere that hires warm jackets? Or second hand shops? Any advice would be helpful, given we don’t really own much winter gear.
If you are in Europe before/after Helsinki, then you would need warm clothes anyway given all the current weather warnings about the next "beast from the East" over Dec/Jan. You would then just need to think about an extra layer or two.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
271
We are in Portugal and northern Spain after Helsinki... have clothes suitable for there, based on a previous winter trip, but anticipate Helsinki to need something more substantial. Merino gear is fantastic but think we will need warmer jackets. There’s plenty online so will pick up something warm and light. Thanks ... but hope Beast from the East doesn’t eventuate!
 

Community Statistics

Threads
86,079
Messages
2,061,712
Members
53,404
Latest member
Stratocruiser
Top