Helsinki Card is a convenient way to use to get free local transport, free or discounted entrance to attractions, dining and shopping while you are in Helsinki.
Why should I get this card?
Helsinki Card is not required when you explore the Finnish capital. However, it may be advantageous for you and your travel companions. Consider the following features of this card:
- Free entry to over 30 attractions such as museums and landmarks such as Suomenlinna Fortress Island and SEA LIFE Helsinki (see entire list here). Soumenlinna Sea Fortress entry and tour costs €38.
- Free use of designated hop-on, hop-off bus tours (valid during warmer months between April and October). Typically an adult card for panorama sightseeing bus tour costs €32 and city sightseeing bus tour costs €30.
- Discounted entry to over 20 other attractions including SkyWheel and Helsinki Zoo.
- Free unlimited rides to public transport including trams, buses, metro, local trains and Suomenlinna ferry during validity of your Card.
- Optional upgrade to allow you to travel to nearby cities such as Espoo and Vantaa.
If you choose not to get a Helsinki Card, and try the Suomenlinna Fortress Island tour (€38) and SEA LIFE Helsinki (€16.50), you’ll spend €54.50. If you add in the panorama bus tour (€32), now you’ll spend €86.50. That doesn’t even count the public transport cost which would have been free with a Helsinki Card.
Related: How to save money while in Helsinki
Other than free passes or discounts, one big benefit a Helsinki Card holder receives is the convenience of avoiding getting through lines to get tickets. Therefore if you are on a short visit or if time is at a premium, a Helsinki Card also helps you save time.
On the other hand, if you choose not to use Helsinki Card, consider the possible scenarios:
- You need to carry loose change to pay for bus or metro fares and entrance to attractions. Extra time is needed to prepare them.
- You have to join the line to get an entrance ticket. Lines could be long during peak summer season.
The card comes in 1- (€49), 2- (€61) or 3-day (€71) durations and work on a 24, 48 or 72 hours validity period respectively. So if you take a one-day card and activated at 1pm on a Monday, it will expire after 24 hours or 1pm the following day (Tuesday). Adult cards are for anyone over the age of 16 and child passes are for 7-16 year olds. If you are planning to enter these attractions and avail of public transport, saving money (plus time) is obvious, but the decision is yours.
Using Helsinki Card
To use the card, just present your Helsinki Card upon entry on a museum, making a restaurant order or present it to the card reader when taking the local metro.
How to maximize the use of Helsinki Card?
Helsinki Card is usable for up to three days after the initial use of it. In order for you to obtain your full benefit, the ticket attendant or the box office at the entrance of the museums must identify the validity of your Helsinki Card. Even while placing an order at a restaurant, your Helsinki Card must be confirmed.
The Helsinki Card is only active once for an attraction or museum. It’s advisable to always confirm the opening hours to ensure entry once you arrive. You’ll get a free guidebook (or download here) with a purchase of Helsinki Card. This guidebook lists down the details of attractions, opening hours, address and how to get there.
Another benefit of the card is that, as long as the card remains valid, Helsinki Card can be used several times. Helsinki Card is for private use and can’t be transferred to someone else. It is kept at the owner’s risk, so, no refund is issued once it is misplaced.
Children aged 7 years and below don’t have to pay as long as they are accompanied by adults.
When going on public transport, particularly on buses, trams, the metro, passenger trains and Suomenlinna ferry within Helsinki, the Helsinki Card is your travel ticket during the validity of the card.
At the point when boarding a vehicle or metro, your Helsinki Card must be displayed for the card device until green light shows up and the device beeps.
To check the expiry time of your ticket, insert the card in the card device and wait, the information will appear on the device screen after around 5 seconds.
Punishment toll and a single ticket charge are charged for any one going without a legitimate ticket.
Is getting a Helsinki Card worth it?
There are various things to consider before choosing if the Helsinki Card is justified regardless of the euros. One of the basic benefits of getting a Helsinki Card is the convenience it offers.
You don’t have to queue on line or locate the ticket booths or prepare exact change. It also offers discounts on local attractions. Do you anticipate visiting museums or make frequent rides on the metro? Helsinki museums charge around €8—and can go up to €16 if there is a special event. When you order a minimum of 20 Helsinki Cards, you’ll be given one extra card for free on top of your order (see the FAQ page for more Q and A).
That notwithstanding, if you really prioritize museums, bear in mind that a lot museums offer free entrance every first Wednesday of the month. If your desire for Finnish culture can not be satisfied in one Wednesday, the Helsinki Card will be your next option.
Your actual intentions in Helsinki should be your deciding factor. Remember that the Helsinki Card only worth the cost, if you have a lot of museums or other places to visit within Helsinki.
To buy or not to buy Helsinki Card
The bottomline is that if your visit in Helsinki is to go out and maximize exploration the city and its attractions for a few days, Helsinki Card saves you several euros. Otherwise if you only intend to stay a short while or visit only selected attractions, this card may not be worth it.