Sustainable Traveling in Helsinki: Public Transportation

Public transportation is a convenient and sustainable form of transport. In Helsinki you can travel almost anywhere without a car – it’s easy!

Public Transportation in Helsinki

In order for people to get around, the capital city of Finland offers multiple forms of public transportation including buses, trains, trams, the metro and even a ferry. By choosing public transportation instead of a car, you can directly contribute to reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions which all have an effect on global climate change. 

The buses and trains of Helsinki operate throughout the metropolitan areas, while the trams operate only in Helsinki. The metro, on the other hand, runs from the center of Helsinki to Espoo and Eastern Helsinki. The entire metro journey from one end to another takes about 39 minutes. You can also access the Finnish archipelago with public transport. A ferry from the Helsinki Market Square will take you to the beautiful and historic Suomenlinna Sea Fortress all year round.

The Suomenlinna Sea Fortress can be accessed with a public ferry. Picture: Jussi Hellsten/Visit Finland.

Did you know that the trams are the most common form of public transportation in the inner city of Helsinki. They are convenient, fast and comfortable. Not only do the trams take you to the main tourist areas of Helsinki but also allow you to do a little picturesque sightseeing on the way. Trams like 2 and 4, for instance, pass through popular areas like Kauppatori and Katajanokka which offer charming historical and architectural sights. From these trams you can see, for example, the iconic Helsinki Cathedral, the Uspenski Cathedral as well as some of Helsinki’s unique and historic Art Nouveau buildings.

Trams are great for some sightseeing in Helsinki.

In Helsinki, there are a number of gorgeous green areas that can be accessed with public transportation. For example, Lammassaari and Kuusiluoto are Islands which are part of the beautiful Viikki-Vanhankaupunginlahti nature reserve. The islands are connected to one another and can be accessed by taking the bus 71 from the Central Railway Station and setting Pornaistenniemi, Viikinranta as the destination. From there you can find duckboards (a path made of wooden planks) from Pornaistenniemi to the island. The duckboards and the nature trail form a recreational path of about 3.5 kilometers. The island is a great place for hiking, bird watching and simply just enjoying Finnish nature. 

Lammassaari recreational area.

Everything can be found in one place – the route planner HSL. This journey planner can find the best way for you to get anywhere you want to go inside the metropolitan area. More information on tickets and timetables can be found on the HSL website.

Helsinki’s City Bike System

If you are looking for an even more green way to commute, another great way to travel in the capital city is to use Helsinki’s city bike system. These are shared bikes that are available inside the metropolitan area. 

The City of Helsinki is continuously striving to increase levels of cycling in city traffic. Using a bicycle is another great way to contribute to cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. Biking is an environmentally-friendly choice that includes the benefit of getting a little exercise into your day! 

Choosing a city bike is a more sustainable form of transportation. Picture: Kuvatoimisto Kuva Oy/City of Helsinki

Baana is a popular route for pedestrians and cyclists. This network stretches from the city’s Central Park to the harbour areas. Additionally, the networks extend to the edges of calm nature areas as well as the islands of the archipelago.

The Helsinki Central Park is one example of a recommended location for bike riding in Helsinki. The park starts in the North side of the Töölönlahti Bay and ends in the Northern border in Haltiala and the Vantaanjoki river. The park is almost 10 kilometers long, so there is a lot of space to enjoy the relaxing forest and nature scenery. Keep in mind, if you want to use the shared city bikes in the Central Park, the standard time to use it before changing it at another station is 30 minutes. A longer time can be accessed with an extra fee. 

Helsinki Central Park offers many cycling and walking trails in beautiful nature.

You can purchase access to bikes for one day, week or even the entire cycling season, which is usually from April to October. You can register as a city bike user as well as find the closest cycling stations on the HSL city bikes website.


Lastly, let’s not forget about the most basic form of transportation – walking. The center of Helsinki is pretty compact and sights and services are easy to find. The air in the city is clean and there is always something interesting to see around the corner. Navigating and exploring the city by foot is therefore recommendable, and walking is a convenient way to get some extra steps in for the day.

The city of Helsinki has a great deal of lovely paths that are suitable for refreshing walks. Some examples of these pathways include Kaivopuisto Park and Töölönlahti Bay. Also, the seafront promenade offers an enchanting view of the baltic sea. This path stretches all the way from Kauppatori Market Square to Hernesaari. Additionally, you can even visit some islands along the archipelago by foot. Tervasaari and Seaurasaari are just some examples. 

Seurasaari Bridge. Picture: Sakke Somerma/Helsinki Marketing