Page 1 of 1

8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:56 pm
by bps3458
Hi all,

on my way back from Germany in May I will have 8 hours transit in Helsinki. Arrive in to HEL from HAM at 3:50pm and continue on to HKG at 11:50pm. It is a Sunday so assume a quick visit to Helsinki will be worth it. Any recommendations where to go in Helsinki and what to see on a Sunday afternoon/evening.

Thanks in advance for all your input.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:37 am
by Coal
Definitely worth it! I haven't been in Helsinki for 10 years, but just go to the center of town. It's a shame you don't have more time, otherwise I would also recommend taking the ferry to Tallinn.

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:56 pm
by zrs70
There is a really nice aviation museum adjacent to the airport. Good for an hour visit.

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:39 pm
by bps3458
Hi Coal,

sounds like a plan. Only been to Helsinki once about 30 years ago with my parents arriving on the good old Finnjet. I'll just walk myself tired so I can sleep on the flight to HKG.

Hi zrs70,

had a look at their website. Great place to see but they close at 5pm on a Sunday so not enough time.

Anyone have any ideas where I can get some good local food and drink on Sunday evening Helsinki ?

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:36 am
by rwsea
Helsinki is a cool little city and a few hours can give a good impression. It's great that you will be there in May as well, since the days will be long.

I'd suggest something like the following:

- take Finnair bus to the central station (6 euros each way)
- walk to the senate square where you can see the large Lutheran cathedral and the parliament buildings
- walk over to the harbor and take a look at the Russian church as well as the waterfront
- grab dinner on Esplanadi (recommendations below)
- stay on Esplanadi for a coffee or beer after dinner, at Cafe Kappelli
- Finnair bus back to the airport

All of the above areas are easily walkable from each other and will give a good impression of Helsinki.

The train connection to the city recently opened, but I haven't tried it out. At least looking at a map it's not the most direct routing, so I'm not sure how it compares to the bus... but the bus is cheap, runs every 15 mins, and has free wifi.

For dinner I would suggest you try a restaurant called "Lappi". It's right by the sights and serves all the most traditional Finnish dishes (Reindeer, Fish, Salmon Soup, Lappish Cheese, etc.). I have been taken there by Finnish hosts and although it's a bit touristy, it's really a good chance to try all the Finnish specialties in one place. Also a great location given your timeframe. In general, Helsinki either tends to have fast food or higher end restaurants... not many mid range places worth trying. I'd splurge a bit and get the most out of your short visit.

For a coffee or drink after dinner I would recommend Kappelli, which is a Helsinki institution right in the middle of Esplanadi park, near the waterfront. Look for the "greenhouse" looking place in the middle of the park.

The airport is rather small and security lines are usually short, so I'd be there an hour before departure. 45 mins probably doable too, but I like to have a bit of extra time.

Have a nice stay in Helsinki!

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:15 am
by bps3458
Hi rwsea,

thanks for those excellent suggestions. Think the train and bus both take approx. 30 minutes to Central Station. Looking forward to my upcoming trip and hope I'll finally remember to write a trip report.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:35 am
by HELyes
Quoting rwsea (Reply 4):
The train connection to the city recently opened, but I haven't tried it out. At least looking at a map it's not the most direct routing, so I'm not sure how it compares to the bus... but the bus is cheap, runs every 15 mins, and has free wifi.

Personally I prefer the train, you'll find the access to the underground station between terminals 1 and 2. The ride takes around 30 min to the city, it's a ringline so any train takes you to the city center, no big difference in time. The train ticket costs 5,50 Euros. But yes, the Finnair bus works fine too.

Quoting rwsea (Reply 4):
In general, Helsinki either tends to have fast food or higher end restaurants... not many mid range places worth trying.

True, many of the mid range places serve Asian food, hard to find anything Finnish/Nordic in that category, unfortunately.

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:40 am
by miamiflyer8
Since I have been to Helsinki, as a oneworld Sapphire I would just sit in the Finnair Premium Lounge.

RE: 8 Hours IN HEL

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:27 pm
by bps3458
Quoting miamiflyer8 (Reply 7):
Since I have been to Helsinki, as a oneworld Sapphire I would just sit in the Finnair Premium Lounge.

Hi miamiflyer8,

think this is my 4th trip to Europe via Helsinki in the last 8 years but the first time with such a long layover so really looking forward to seeing a bit of Helsinki. I really do miss the Finnair Sauna Spa which I managed to use once before they shut it down. While I find the Finnair Lounge nice it is not a place I could stay longer than 2 hours.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter