Helsinki is the capital of Finland.
Where You're Docked
Large ships are docked at two possible piers southwest of city, Hernesaari or West Harbour. Smaller ships can dock much closer to the city at South Harbour or Katajanokka relatively close to market square. If a shuttle is offered, it may drop off at Erottajankatu across the street from the western end of the esplanade. The Local Transportation section provides information on getting to the city center on public transport.
Money & Tipping
Helsinki has an excellent tram and bus network. Tram only tickets are €2.20. Buses are €3 for a single ticket purchased from the driver, €2.50 if bought from a machine. A 2 hour ticket is €4 while a day pass is €8 (Aug 2014). http://www.hel.fi/hki/hkl/en/HKL+Tram
If docked at Hernesaari, you can take the bus 14 to Bulevardi which is a couple of blocks west of the esplanade. Exit the pier area walking straight towards the main street. The bus stop will be to your right on Hernesaarenranta. Helsinki Transport website - http://www.hsl.fi
If docked at Western Quay, walk 10 minutes east to Vastra terminalen (West Terminal) where you can take tram 9 (or 6T weekend afternoons and evenings only) to Rautatieasema (central train station).
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Day in Helsinki
Starting at the end of the esplanade, take a walk through which will lead you to Market Square. Grab a bite to eat here or do some souvenir shopping. Head north one block over to Senate Square where you can climb the steps to take a look at the Helsinki Cathedral. Two blocks to the east is the Russian Cathedral if you're not churched out. Head back to Senate Square and walk west along Aleksanterinkatu. There are lots of stores and restaurants in this area. Turn right before the main road to check out the railway station. Your next stop, the Rock Church, is a bit hard to find so you'll need a map. It is about 3/4 of a mile away almost directly west. You can walk or take the #2 tram (previously 3T) to stop Sammonkatu. Return on the #3 tram.
If you have time, you can take a bus or tram to see the Sibelius Monument since it is more difficult to get to. Take tram 2 (return with tram 3) to Toolonhalli but you will need to walk a bit to reach the park. You can also take bus 24 from the railway station which will get you closer.
Shopping & Restaurants
There is a big department store, Stockmann at the western end of the esplanade on Mannerheiminte. There is a supermarket in the basement. Mannerheiminte has several malls including shops in the bus station.
The main post office is located in the large building directly west of central railway station.
Restaurants and cafes may have free Internet as well as the two McDonald's in the city center.
Been Here Before
Take a ferry from market square to Suomenlinna fortress. A 12 hour ferry ticket is €5. http://www.suomenlinna.fi/en/
Tram Route Map
Suggested Port Guides