Vantaa and Northern Helsinki

The science center Heureka

Vantaa (Swedish: Vanda) is in the Uusimaa region in southern Finland, right north of Helsinki. Part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, it is the fourth most populous city in Finland. Best known as the city where Helsinki's airport is located, you will also find various parks and farms you can visit there as well as the beautiful Medieval Church of St.Lawrence.

For practical purposes also Helsinki's northern suburbs — forming the continuum between Vantaa and more central parts of Helsinki — are included in this article. Like Vantaa it's dominated by apartment buildings, industrial areas and a couple of malls but no major attractions are located here. Still, if you're a fan of outdoor activities like running or biking you might be interested in Helsinki's own "Central Park".

Understand

Like Espoo, Vantaa is basically an extension of Helsinki and does not have one single city center. Vantaa's administrative center is in Tikkurila. Quite few of the inhabitants have any connections to the rural landscapes and villages left from the old Helsinge (renamed Vantaa 1972).

Get in

By plane

The city is indeed accessible by air, as Helsinki airport is situated in Vantaa. Moreover Helsinki's general aviation airport Malmi is located in northern Helsinki.

By train

The main railroad north from Helsinki goes through the northern suburbs and Vantaa. In addition to several local train stations, all long distance trains to the north and east, including the ones to Russia, stop at Tikkurila station. If you are heading for the western parts of Vantaa, you can take the I local train line, which also stops at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

By car

Freeways 3, 4, 45 and 7 out of Helsinki go through Vantaa and the main east-western road is the third ring road (Kehä III). The first ring road (Kehä I) is the main east-western road in northern Helsinki. In the morning and afternoon rush hours traffic it can get quite busy and in the winter a heavy snowfall or a larger accident due to the often over-frozen road surface can block the traffic completely.

By bus

From Helsinki several local buses go to Vantaa, and there are some lines directly from Espoo too. The Helsinki region public transport authority's Journey Planner is an excellent tool to find out which bus you should take from one address to another. Some larger cities in southern Finland also have a direct connection to Helsinki airport.

Get around

By train

Kehärata (Ring Line) connecting the main rail line with western Vantaa via the airport opened in July 2015. Combined with bus transfers, this is the fastest way to get around for many. See Journey Planner or Google Maps for routes and timetables.

By bus

See also Helsinki#Get around

There is a maze of bus lines in the area, however with the opening of Ring Rail train line the routes are completely renewed in August 2015. See Journey Planner or Google Maps for routes and schedules.

The price for a single ticket in Vantaa is €3 (€1.95 if paying with a Travel Card), for Helsinki likewise €3 (€1.95 if paying with a Travel Card) and €5 for a regional ticket valid in both cities and Espoo (€3,65 if paying with Travel Card). The single ticket is valid for 60 minutes. If you are traveling across the city borders you will need the regional ticket (seutulippu, button "2" on the travel card reader), valid for 80 minutes. Both tickets allow unlimited transfers to all public transport during their validity.

By car

As distances are longer than in the more central parts of Helsinki, driving is sometimes an option. As above, the traffic can get quite congested in the rush hours, especially on the ring roads.

By bike or foot

On a sunny summer day you can make use of the cycle and footpaths crisscrossing Vantaa and suburban Helsinki. Get a good map.

See

Myyrmäki church
Helsinki-Malmi airport

Vantaa

Northern Helsinki

Do

Flamingo Spa
Kaljakellunta

Vantaa

Samba dancers at Winter Carnival.

Northern Helsinki

View from Malminkartanonhuippu

Work

More so than Helsinki or Espoo, Vantaa has large industrial areas and a lot of services, so there are a lot of jobs at various levels, including for immigrants. Common jobs are for instance cleaning, cargo handling, warehouse work and waiter and other restaurant jobs. The government employment office (TE-toimisto) is located in Tikkurila, Vernissakatu 8 C, 01300 Vantaa.

Buy

Jumbo Shopping Centre

Shopping centers

In Vantaa and the northern suburbs there is no shortage of large shopping malls with even larger parking areas where you can buy everything from strawberries to washing machines. They also have other services like banks and restaurants and are all accessible by bus. The major ones are:

There's also a cluster of shopping malls in   Tammisto, along freeway 45 south of Ring road III, as well as in   Porttipuisto, though this one only comprises furniture and bargain stores. On the Helsinki side, large shopping malls can be found in   Kannelmäki (Kaari),   Malmi (Malmin Nova and Malmintori) and   Konala (Ristikko) among others.

Eat

Big Hero steak at Oklahoma Restaurant

The shopping centers in the district usually have a few cafés and restaurants where you can have a budget or mid-range meal during the day. In the evening you don't have to travel far to find a fast food joint or a Chinese or Middle Eastern restaurant. Self-catering is also an option.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

If you want fine dining, you should better travel to central Helsinki. The hotels near the airport also have their own restaurants, however the food at the hotel restaurants doesn't necessary live up to the prices.

Drink

Night view of Martinlaakso bus terminal

Most suburbs have a pub or two. If you want something fancier, head to central Helsinki, that's what the locals do.

Pubs and bars

Nightclubs

Sleep

Entertainment center Flamingo including a hotel. Behind it, the Jumbo mall

The major hotel concentration in this part of the capital region is near the airport. No wonder, as most people coming to or leaving from Finland by air pass through Helsinki-Vantaa.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, January 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.