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Public transportation in Finland: Everything you need to know for a smooth journey around the country this 2024! 

Is public transportation in Finland reliable for international students? 

One of the most critical factors to consider in choosing a study abroad location is transportation. It must consistently serve its purpose and be reasonably priced, particularly for international students.  

Today, we will discuss public transportation in Finland. Also included are tips and answers to frequently asked questions.  

Local public transportation in Finland 

Public transportation in Finland is highly efficient in all cities, but let us focus more on its capital if you plan to study in Helsinki. Global learners may choose from buses, trams, metro, trains, and ferries under the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL)

In addition, public transportation in Finland follows a timetable that varies during weekends, holidays, and summer. 

Tip: If you are enrolled in the country’s capital, ensure you pay for the correct route when buying a ticket. To check, go to the HSL journey planner to find the proper connections and destination.  

Also, always bring along your valid ticket while traveling. Presenting an invalid or incorrect one will fine you 80 EUR.  

Student discount on public transportation in Finland 

HSL provides discounts for students for season tickets. To enjoy this privilege, you must have a personal Finnish identity code and a registered municipality or residence in the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. 

Public transportation in Finland

Types of public transportation in Finland

One of the benefits of living and studying in Finland is the mass transportation system. Aside from being efficient, you may choose from the following: 

1. Buses 

Riding a bus is one of the most popular transportation systems in Finland. You can rely on buses for short or long distances to be on time and generally safe. International students, except those pursuing doctorate degrees, have student discounts. Just present your valid Finnish student card to avail yourself of this privilege.   

Additionally, buses in the country are well-made with comfort and safety features. Most provide free Wi-Fi and offer generous areas for personal space. ExpressBus, Onnibus, and Matkahuolto are the most prominent bus companies in the country and the best for long-distance travel.  

2. Trains

Trains are the go-to if you prefer more comfortable public transportation in Finland. Aside from convenience, it offers a maximum speed of 200 km per hour, allowing you to reach any destination faster than buses. It also has restaurants offering snacks and drinks for long-distance travel. Additionally, it also has private cabins where you can sleep.  

Tip: You may also get a student discount when riding trains upon presenting your official student card. For information about routes, timetables, and more, click HERE.   

3. Ferries

As the “Land of Thousand Lakes,” ferries or water taxis are also one of the most popular modes of public transportation in Finland. It is available all year round but becomes more festive during summer. Ferry trips during seasons are joyous as onboard entertainment is available.  

Tip: You may book ferry rides at Silver Line, Lake Paijanne Cruises, and Poet’s Way. 

4. Airplane

Flying is the fastest public transportation in Finland that can take you to various areas, and Helsinki Airport is the central hub in the region. It services Finnair, Norwegian Air, and other airlines offering flights in and outside the nation.  

Tip: Book your tickets early to enjoy reasonably-priced airfare. Also, follow the websites of Finnair, Norwegian Air, and other carriers to keep updated with promos.  

Other modes of transportation in Finland for international students 

5. Bikes

Cycling routes are available in many parts of the country, particularly in Helsinki. To enjoy this type of public transportation in Finland, you can buy a new one or look for affordable and used models. 

Furthermore, there is an extensive system where you can hire city bikes for a fee from April to October. To register, go to the HSL website.

Tip: Always wear a helmet when cycling for your safety. Your bike must also have a white or bright yellow front and red rear light, especially when cruising in the dark or during dawn. To know more about other essential rules, visit the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency website

6. Electric scooter 

Lime, Voi, and Tier offer this type of public transportation in Finland. Rental scooter services provide services to children over 12 years and adults. Aside from being environmentally friendly, the battery life can last approximately 40 km with one charge.

Tip: Stay updated with the traffic rules on electric scooters through the Finnish Road Safety Council’s website. 

Frequently Asked Question 

Can I drive in Finland using an international driver’s license? 

Yes, you can drive a car in Finland with an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your home country or residence.  

Your IDP has a validity of one year. It is vital to have this permit as it protects you against accidents and car damage.  

Can an international student rent a car in Finland? 

Yes, while public transportation in Finland is highly efficient, renting a car is advisable, especially when visiting rural areas.  

Additionally, note that traffic rules are strictly enforced in the country, and fines for running red lights and overspeeding can cost you hundreds of Euros.  

Can I travel to different areas near Finland during school breaks? 

Yes, as long it doesn’t interfere with your studies. In addition, always have your passport and other supporting documents when traveling to present in border control.

In a nutshell 

The public transportation in Finland is reliable, modern, and highly organized. As an international student, you are guaranteed smooth and fast daily travel from your accommodation to the university. With this, you can undoubtedly manage your study and part-time job effortlessly. 

For an excellent study experience, our Pathway to Finland program can help! Aside from guaranteed admission to your dream Finnish learning institution, our in-demand program explicitly teaches the needed skills and knowledge to excel in your studies in the country. Apply now to reserve a slot!

In addition, we have the best Finnish language courses for a successful immersion in the country. Our programs cover everything, from using proper words to constructing phrases that you can equally use in college and, soon, at work. Enroll now and be amazed by your progress in just a few weeks!

Aside from learning Finnish, mastering the universal language is one key to a prosperous career anywhere, so we created English ExpressIn eight weeks, professionally upgrade your speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills through our fun and interactive lessons. Sign up now, as we have limited slots available! 

Finally, bringing your family to Finland is easy through our Arrival Finland package. Our in-demand bundles cover everything from getting residence permits to orientation in the country upon arrival. Apply today for a smooth entry in the happiest country in the world!

About the writer 

Mark has been a professional content writer for four years. He specializes in writing articles regarding education and studying abroad. His writings intend to elicit emotional responses from readers and provide information.


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