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Flying into Beautiful Helsinki

Are you planning on visiting Helsinki, Lapland or any other Finnish destination? If so, Helsinki airport is likely to be your first port of call. Helsinki Vantaa airport is the largest in the country, connecting Finland with the rest of Europe and the world. This uber-cool airport is the epitome of Nordic design and efficiency, and here we're here to help you navigate it. You'll find out how to book a flight, how to get there and back, where to sleep, and what to do. Whatever you choose, you're sure to be in for a great time.
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How Do I Book a Flight?

Delta, United, and American Airlines fly to and from the United States, and dozens of national airlines fly across Europe, while flagship carrier Finnair is the main airline for domestic flights. Be aware that there are no low-cost flights to Helsinki airport, so book through Hipmunk.com for the best fares. Vantaa is especially convenient for flights coming from Asia, with competitive fares to and from Japan, as Finnair and Japan Airlines are both part of the OneWorld Alliance.

Finland has two high seasons, summer and winter, when visitors come for Christmas, the Northern Lights, and winter activities in Lapland. Most Finns take their holidays in July, consequently raising ticket prices during the month.

What's the Best Way to Get To and From the Airport?

Helsinki Vantaa is located about 17 kilometers from the city center. City bus number 615 connects the airport to the central station every 10 minutes or so. The ticket costs €5, and the journey takes about 40 minutes. Bus 615 runs from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and is then replaced by bus 620, which runs once an hour.

If you're arriving during the day, a much more comfortable option is the Finnair City Bus, which departs from the airport and Helsinki city center every 20 minutes. The buses are comfortable coaches with leather seats, and there's WiFi on board. Tickets only cost €6.30, and the journey is much quicker than on the city bus, as there are no intermediate stops. The City Bus from 5 a.m. to midnight.

Are There Any Nearby Hotels?

Helsinki airport has two amazing hotels very close by, and many more can be found in the suburb of Vantaa, a short distance away.

GLO Hotel Airport is a modern lifestyle and design hotel, located on the ground floor of Terminal 2. It offers tastefully decorated rooms and suites, and some day rooms where you can rest if you have a connecting flight. The bar is open until 1:30 a.m., and there is a gym available to guests.

The Hilton Helsinki Airport Hotel is just a three-minute walk from the main terminal, under a covered walkway -- ideal in those freezing Nordic winters! The Hilton combines excellent service and a stylish interior with comfortable amenities; think huge beds with flat screen televisions and executive rooms with private saunas.

What is There to Eat and Buy in the Airport?

You may be surprised to learn that Finland is a great shopping destination, with amazing design and quirky souvenirs available at shops. The airport offers loads of opportunities for last-minute gifts, from Finnish favorites such as Moomin paraphernalia, Angry Birds souvenirs, or Marimekko purses and bags, to Finnish specialties such as Salmiakki (salty liquorice) or vodka-filled chocolates. There is also a duty-free and shops selling high-end brands such as Gucci and Tag Heuer.

With lots of restaurants and cafés at Helsinki airport, you won't go hungry waiting for your flight or connection. Choose between Starbucks, fancy Café Alvar, or informal Hello Café or Urban Food Market, all offering a selection of dishes, sandwiches, cakes, and coffees. If you're strapped for cash, head to the grocery store at arrivals in Terminal 2, which is open 24 hours.

What Services are on Offer?

If you're stuck at Helsinki airport, there's plenty to see and do. There are modern art exhibitions around the terminals -- check the Helsinki Airport website for the exact location, as they often change. The Everyman's Lounge near gate 31 is open to all passengers, and is a great place to relax in quiet surroundings as you wait for your flight. If you really want to know more about Helsinki airport, there are Airport Tours available on request for groups.

There's free WiFi throughout Helsinki Vantaa airport, and Finnish SIM cards for data roaming are readily available. For information like how long the wait is at airport security, download the Helsinki Airport app.

 

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