Read on for the detailed account of how you can get from Helsinki to Turku and what it all costs!
Back in March, I spent a week in Finland before taking the ferry to Tallinn to discover Estonia for the very first time. Instead of just spending time in Helsinki, though, where I’d briefly been before anyway, I decided to head to Turku in South-West Finland for a few days too.
And how glad I was I did! I went for a late-winter hike in Kurjenrahka National Park, explored Turku’s gorgeous castle and stuffed my face with delicious vegan cakes in between. Make sure to read this article if you’re still unsure about whether or not Turku is worth it and read on to find out how you can actually get from Helsinki to Turku!
Where is Turku anyway?
Turku is situated in South-West Finland - only approx. 170 km from Helsinki, right at the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia and the archipelago between Finland and Sweden. The city has easy access to Åland and Stockholm by ferry, as well as several flight connections to Stockholm, Riga, Gdansk, and - of course - Helsinki.
Helsinki to Turku by Plane
The flight from Helsinki to Turku only takes a little over half an hour and is, of course, the quickest way of getting to Turku. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the most environmental-friendly of getting there.
Then again, while domestic flights here in Norway are super expensive, I was surprised to see that one-way tickets from Helsinki to Turku with FinnAir can already be purchased from 50€. I figured I might as well take the train or bus as my journey from Norway really wasn’t that long, but if you’re arriving from overseas or Asia and already have to spent long hours on a plane, you might as well just pick the add-on flight to Turku to check into your hotel early and call it a night.
Helsinki to Turku by Car
If you’re planning to go for a road trip through Finland or just want to rent a car to be flexible when exploring Turku and its surroundings, you can easily do so at Helsinki Airport. The drive from there to Turku only takes 2 hours and you’ll be driving on the highway all the time - smooth and simple (and nothing like our serpentine roads in Norway…).
Car rental in Finland is relatively cheap for a Nordic country with rental cars being offered at approx. 30€ to 40€ a day. Gasoline comes at around 1,50€ per liter.
When booking a rental car, make sure to use a comparison website like Rentalcars.com or EasyTerra to find the best deal.
Helsinki to Turku by Train
Trains from Helsinki Airport to Turku take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. If booked in advance, so-called “saver tickets” only cost 9€, while tickets bought upon arrival in Helsinki cost 20€. Going by train comes with the added advantage of being able to walk around, as opposed to the bus, and might also be a little more comfortable than the plastic seats I’ve experienced on the bus.
You can also find a restaurant wagon and/or service trolley on the trains that go from Helsinki to Turku, so that you can enjoy a nice dinner before rolling into Turku after a long day on flights and in airports.
Disadvantages of going by train:
Keep in mind that the train to Turku does not depart from Helsinki Airport. You have to take the commuter train P and get off at Pasila to change to the train to Turku there. If you choose “Helsinki Airport” as your departure point when booking tickets at VR, the journey with the commuter train is included in the fare to Turku.
Helsinki to Turku by Bus
I chose to take the bus to go from Helsinki to Turku as it was the cheapest option available. OnniBus offers bus tickets for as little as 1€ when booking in advance, while most advance tickets can be had for 4€, and tickets bought on the same day cost between 10€ and 15€.
Tickets must be bought before boarding the bus - either through the OnniBus website or their app. The journey with OnniBus takes approx. 2 1/2 hours. Included in the fare is a standard seat, either downstairs or upstairs (yes, it’s a double-decker bus!) and you can choose where you’d like to sit. Table seats, panoramic seats and seats with extra leg room cost you 2€ extra, though. There is a toilet onboard and you’re also allowed to bring luggage.
Disadvantages of going by bus:
I’ve personally quite enjoyed my journey with OnniBus, even though I can imagine that their plastic seats must get pretty uncomfortable if you’re planning a longer journey than just the one from Helsinki to Turku. There’s also no kiosk onboard, so you have to bring snacks.
The biggest disadvantage to OnniBus as I’ve experienced it, though, is the fact that most stops are only announced in Finnish. If you’re just going from Helsinki to Turku’s Bus Station, you probably won’t encounter any issue but if you’d like to get off the bus earlier, you should maybe invest in a good data plan and follow along your GPS position on Google Maps underway or ask the driver if you’re not sure about where you need to get off.
In order to take the bus from Helsinki to Turku, you also need to get from the airport to Helsinki’s main shopping mall Kamppi. This means that you first take one of the 2 commuter trains to Helsinki Central Station and then either walk (takes you 15 minutes) or take the metro M1 or M2 (towards Matinkylä or Tapiola) to Kamppi (it’s just one stop).
In order to do so, you have to get a city ticket at the airport (there are ticket machines just before you go downstairs to the trains), which costs an additional 4,60€ (you need one for zone ABC).
Once you get to Kamppi, you have to go down to the ground floor where OnniBus uses platforms 1, 5, 9 and 11. There’s a screen with an overview of all bus departures and platforms in the waiting area, where you’ll also find restrooms (for an added fee).
The best way of going from Helsinki to Turku
If I could do the trip again, I’d probably just take the train. It’s only slightly more expensive but way less of a hassle as you only need to order 1 ticket and also only have to change trains once, as opposed to going from the airport to the train station and then further on to the shopping mall. I’d also imagine that the trains are just a little bit more comfortable than the bus.
Then again, if I would arrive with FinnAir from another continent anyway (which I obviously didn’t), I would probably just book the add-on flight to Turku to make the trip even less complicated.
More posts to help you plan your trip to Finland:
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