Helsinki Airport to the Hotel Via Train and Bus is Easy
“T ravel from Helsinki Airport into central Helsinki just became significantly easier and faster, now that the Helsinki Airport train station has opened to passenger traffic as of Friday, July 10, 2015,” according to this article which I wrote — “and the new train station is served by Ring Rail Line trains I and P.”
Fewer than two years later, I finally had the opportunity to ride on this train as a passenger.
Helsinki Airport to the Hotel Via Train and Bus is Easy
The trip from the airport to the hotel involved both the train and a bus; and the time to take the trip was approximately an hour or so. I arrived in Helsinki for the evening “rush hour”; so I thought that this was a good option for me considering the time of day.
The cost of the trip was 5.50 euros when including both the train and the bus. After following the signs from the terminal at the airport to get to the train — signs tend to be in Finnish, Swedish and English — I purchased a ticket at an automated machine using a credit card.
Once I received both my ticket and my receipt, I then ventured down to the train station to wait for the train. Both directions will lead to central Helsinki, with one branch routing on the west side and the other branch routing on the east side. The system is shaped like a heart, with the airport train station at the “top” point of the heart; and central Helsinki at the “bottom” point.
This is the terminal at Helsinki Airport in Vantaa upon arrival.
Well, I am at the right airport.
Here is how to say airport in Finnish, Swedish and — well — English.
Down in the train station is a graphic showing the time to travel between one station and another on that branch of the line — along with transfer points. The stop at which I was to exit was Huopalahti.
The train station is clean and still looks new — and an automated machine where train tickets may be purchased is seen on the right. Note the art work curved on both walls in the background.
The train entered the station shortly after I arrived.
This train operates on the I line. The other branch is known as the P line. Additional information can be found at the official Internet web site of Helsingin Seudun Liikenne — also known as the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority in English.
The seats were fairly comfortable inside of the train; and — save for a few other passengers — it was empty. I had an area all to myself, which was nice. Although I had a bag with me, there are overhead racks on which luggage can be placed. There was no access to any Wi-Fi service aboard the train — not that I really needed it at that point anyway.
In the foreground are the next few stops on the train; while overhead in the background are all of the stations on the I and P lines — starting at the airport train station on the left.
The ride was above ground for much of the trip; and many of the areas near Vantaa were wooded wilderness. I liked seeing all of the trees — even though they did not yet have their leaves for this year. I could not believe I was not far from a world capital city.
Once I arrived at the Huopalahti train station — which was outdoors — I walked downstairs to a street which was dedicated only to buses and taxi cabs. The train formed a tunnel overhead. I had just missed the last bus on route 551; so I had to wait for the next bus, which gave me a chance to observe the local people.
There was the couple who walked down the steps as though they were glued to each other and could not let go. A couple of incessant smokers puffed on their cigarettes, one after another. A woman walked her dog ad bicycle riders zoomed on the pathway adjacent to the bus station. One person even attempted to ask me for directions with the bus routes in Finnish; but I obviously could not help him.
All of them seemed to be on their way home as the day was winding down; but night time would not arrive for another few hours due to Helsinki being far north — basically on the same latitude as both the southernmost tip of Greenland and the town of Seward in Alaska.
Color monitors give information as to what time the next buses of which routes were going to arrive at this station.
I boarded the bus as it finally arrived. I showed the ticket I purchased to the bus driver, who just waved me into the bus.
The bus was not crowded either, thankfully. The buses on the other routes were packed. I used the seat next to me to rest my bag.
The electronic sign at the front of the bus informs passengers of the next stop…
…and when the stop at which I was to depart from the bus was next, I pressed the red Stop button.
The walk to the hotel was approximately ten minutes or so. After being a passenger in two airplanes, a train and a bus for greater than 24 hours, the air was refreshingly cold for a brisk walk — colder than many people would typically expect in April, as the weather and the bare trees still felt like winter.
I am not sure if the reason was because I was born and raised in New York where I know the transportation system backwards and forwards; but I found getting from the airport to my hotel rather easy. I am not sure that hiring a taxi cab — or even a ride sharing service — would have been much faster or more efficient; and I had plenty of room aboard both the train and the bus; but I will not complain at a total cost of 5.50 euros.
I felt great finally arriving at the hotel property at which I was to stay for the night after all of that traveling — not long after I arrive was I able to capture this sunset from the hotel room over the inlet which leads to the Gulf of Finland — and because I arrived in the late afternoon into the early evening, bed time was not too far away for me.
The actual review of my stay at the hotel property will be covered in a future article…
All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.