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Two days in Finland?

Two days in Finland?

Old Apr 19, 18, 8:07 am
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Two days in Finland?

To complete a xONEx, I elected to have a two day "connection" in Helsinki before heading to the Middle East to complete. Then I looked at the price of hotels in Helsinki city (mid May).

Are there any areas/cities which are relatively easily reached from HEL which would be an interesting two day stop. I am aware that Tallinn is a possibility (and adds a country to "my list"), but the choices in Finland (bus or air) are less clear to me.

Any suggestions?

Wanting to continue happy wandering
Fred
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Old Apr 19, 18, 10:34 am
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Depends on what you like, but other cities in Finland are quite small. Turku and Tampere are the next largest and can be easily reached by train. You could also check Rovaniemi in the Finnish Lapland, but you'd need to fly (Finnair or Norwegian) and May is very much off-season in Lapland.

For nearby foreign destinations, you could also take a cruise to Stockholm (Tallink Silja) or a train or cruise (St.Peter line) to St. Petersburg in Russia. With train you need a Russian visa, cruise passengers can enter without a visa for up to 72h.

If it's just hotel prices that are putting you off from staying in Helsinki and you want a hotel room specifically, the Omenahotels.com chain might be a bit cheaper. They have a couple of very well located hotels in Helsinki. There's no staff on site (you get a PIN code for the doors), but you get to stay in a normal hotel room. They also give a 15% discount on your next stay if you sign up for their newsletter, though not on their English pages (Google translate is your friend here).
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Old Apr 19, 18, 11:51 am
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See if you can book an "overnight" ferry to Tallinn. (It takes 2 hours but I think you just stay on board until you wake up)

Do you have any hotel points you can use? The IHG, Hilton and Radisson properties can be reasonably priced as redemptions.

It seems like a waste of time to cruise to Stockholm or Russia if there are only 2 days.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
It seems like a waste of time to cruise to Stockholm or Russia if there are only 2 days.
Depends on what one likes to do with one's evening/night. Those cruises are very efficient for some activities.

If it was me, I'd find the best-price option to stay in Helsinki. Even a trip to Tallinn will eat several hours in travel and waiting time roundtrip.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ikeatroll View Post
If it was me, I'd find the best-price option to stay in Helsinki.
I second this. There are a number affordable hotels in Helsinki; you should check out Cumulus, Scandic or Sokos brand of hotels in Hakaniemi, Kallio, Kaisaniemi, etc. Also Forenom has several apartments that they let for 1-2 days. I use my Avios points to pay for my hotel stays in Helsinki. There are a lot of things you can do in Helsinki for two days.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 10:05 pm
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I found a Forenom hostel on a bus line that starts from the main train station (I hope I read that right) In the end simpler than trying schedule in flights to connect with the xONEx...

Thanks while I am wandering
Fred

PS Any suggestions on navigating the Helsinki bus routes?
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Old Apr 21, 18, 9:10 am
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Helsinki is easy to get around. Download HSL mobile ticket app on your phone. Ticket allows you to travel up to 80 minutes (100 minutes if you bought a ticket for more than one zone) including transfers on trains, metros, trams and buses. Which Forenom hostel are you looking at?
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Old Apr 22, 18, 4:29 am
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Marihaka which should be on (just off) bus route 55

Looking up a schedule is on my to do list.

Just wandering
Fred
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Old Apr 22, 18, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by wandering_fred View Post
Marihaka which should be on (just off) bus route 55
Nice. A less complicated way of getting there is to take the 615 or 617 airport bus and get off at Haapaniemi station.

Last edited by Peregrine415; Apr 22, 18 at 9:18 am
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Old Apr 22, 18, 9:35 pm
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Haapaniemi would seem to be a better choice when not dealing with luggage and "wandering"around Helsinki....

Thanks

Happy wandering
Fred
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Old Apr 29, 18, 10:50 am
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Tampere has an interesting set of museums in a former industrial site, Museokeskus [Museum centre] Vapriikki

But for two days arriving in Helsinki, i suggest finding an out-of-the-center hotel and just looking around Helsinki. The public transport is good. Things to do include Suomenlinna, Seurasaari open air museum (after 15 May), the city architecture history museum, the Design museum, the National Museum, walk along the streets around Esplanadi, etc.

If you want to go and stay in Taliinn for the night, I suggest taking the ferry there and sleeping onshore in a hotel, rather than sleeping in the ferry when it's docked at the quayside in Talliinn. Not only do many people get off when it arrives, undoubtedly noisily in the middle of the night, but you have to get out by 07:00 the next day anyway. Not the sort of night sleep I would like.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 2:59 pm
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We are in Helsinki for two days in November with a reservation at the Hotel St George (which seems to be centrally loacated) and tickets for a hockey game at Hartwall Arena. Some transportation questions for the locals:

1 - What are the best transportation options to the St George from HEL, which I understand is in Vantaa about 20km away.

2 - Is there bus or rail from or near the hotel to the Arena arriving before 1900 on a Thursday evening in November?

We are Floridians and a bit older so a lot of walking outside in cold weather is not something we handle very well. If there is too much walking, the budget is flexible enough for some ubers or taxis but getting one after a game at any Stadium is frequently a problem.

Thanks in advance for any advice and help.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by monitor View Post
We are in Helsinki for two days in November with a reservation at the Hotel St George (which seems to be centrally loacated) and tickets for a hockey game at Hartwall Arena. Some transportation questions for the locals:

1 - What are the best transportation options to the St George from HEL, which I understand is in Vantaa about 20km away.
I would say either the train or Finnair-bus. Both will terminate at the main railway station, which is few blocks away from that hotel, so easily reachable by foot, although you could save few steps by jumping into tram 1, 3 or 6 and take it to the next stop ("Ylioppilastalo", next to Stockmann department store). If you take the train then you can use the same ticket also on trams (and local busses and ferry to Suomenlinna) within the time that ticket is valid (for tickets covering both Vantaa and Helsinki that is 80 minutes).

Originally Posted by monitor View Post
2 - Is there bus or rail from or near the hotel to the Arena arriving before 1900 on a Thursday evening in November?
The most straightforward route would be walking (or walking and taking a tram) to the main railway station and pick a train to Pasila and then walk to Areena, once you step out of the train you should see the signs pointing towards Areena and most likely also fellow ice hockey fans heading that direction. And since all trains stop at Pasila you don't necessarily need to be picky about which one you take - or it should be a local train since for long-distance trains you cannot buy a ticket between Helsinki (main railway station) - Pasila.

There are alternative routes using trams and/or busses, but those will be slower and involve some changes. Take a look at https://www.reittiopas.fi which is the routeplanner for Helsinki region, it can suggest the routes and timetables for public transportation use.

Originally Posted by monitor View Post
We are Floridians and a bit older so a lot of walking outside in cold weather is not something we handle very well. If there is too much walking, the budget is flexible enough for some ubers or taxis but getting one after a game at any Stadium is frequently a problem.
Helsinki weather in November can be cool, but rarely very cold. Of course, if it is wet and/or windy that may not be the most pleasant time for outdoor activities.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by Hezu View Post
Helsinki weather in November can be cool, but rarely very cold. Of course, if it is wet and/or windy that may not be the most pleasant time for outdoor activities.
That depends on personal preferences, I find it very cold (and therefore avoid visiting the Nordic countries between October and February) and I think everyone needs to experience it for themselves before they can know how they will feel.

Better to be prepared for it to be very cold, and leave some layers in the hotel if you find it isn't so bad.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 4:13 am
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I second the advice given by Hezu. Depending on when in November you'll be visiting, Helsinki will be festive that time of the year with streets festooned with lights and Christmas markets.
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