Helsinki, affectionately known as the 'Daughter of the Baltic', receives flights from across Europe as well as from Russia and Japan. With departures from British airports including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester, planning a few days in Helsinki is straightforward. Daily direct flights to the modern Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport from the UK take between two and a half and three hours depending on the departure airport.
Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport (HEL) is located just under 11 miles north of Helsinki city centre. Built for the 1952 Summer Olympics, the airport has been voted the best in Europe several times. Travelling from the airport to the city by train takes 30 minutes with departures every ten minutes during the day. There is also a 24-hour bus service. The airport has two terminals with facilities that include car parking, car hire desks, banking services, shops and cafes. There are also sleeping pods and children's play areas.
Direct flights to Helsinki from London are operated by Finnair, British Airways and Norwegian, while Finnair also has direct services from Edinburgh and Manchester. Connecting flights are operated by airlines such as SAS, Baltic and KLM. Direct flights take between two hours 40 minutes and three hours while connecting routes have a combined flight time of approximately three and a half hours.
Flying from London (or the UK in general) to Helsinki is the only efficient way of travelling between the two cities. There are many direct flights which take less than three hours, while aircraft are modern and comfortable with a range of on-board services which include toilets, trolley catering and duty-free sales.
Helsinki is a compact capital city full of eye-catching architecture and interior design, culture and gastronomy. On its doorstep is a natural environment of beaches, islands, parks and forests which offers activities right through the year from swimming in the summer to winter skiing. City highlights include Suomenlinna, the ‘Fortress of Finland', which can be found on a car-free island, and the Helsinki Design Museum which traces Finnish design from its roots. No visit to Finland is complete without experiencing a sauna. The complex at Löyly is next to the Baltic Sea, perfect for cooling off when the sauna gets too hot!
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