If you’re about to spend some time in Helsinki, a trip to Turku in South-West Finland for a few days is definitely worth considering! With a chance to have a late-winter hike in Kurjenrahka National Park, explore Turku’s gorgeous castle and delight yourself with delicious vegan cakes in between, you’ll absolutely love this trip!
Make sure to read further if you’re still unsure about giving this trip a shot and read on to find out how you can actually get from Helsinki to Turku!
Turku is a city on the southwest coast of Finland – only approximately 170 km from Helsinki, right at the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia and the archipelago between Finland and Sweden. It has easy access to Åland and Stockholm by ferry, and several flight connections to Stockholm, Riga, Gdansk, and – of course – Helsinki.
Going to Turku from Helsinki by plane takes half an hour, which is the quickest way among all the other options I’ll talk about. While domestic flights in Norway are expensive, surprisingly, one-way tickets from Helsinki to Turku with FinnAir can already be purchased from 50€.
**Pro Tip: If you’re arriving from overseas and have already spent long hours on a plane, might as well just pick the add-on flight to Turku so you can conveniently arrive early.
Another option to travel from Helsinki to Turku is by car. The drive here is simple and smooth as you’ll be passing through the highway all the time unlike the serpentine roads in Norway, and it only takes 2 hours.
If you’re planning a road trip through Finland or just want to rent a car for a flexible trip within Turku and its surroundings, you can do so at Helsinki Airport.
Car rental in Finland won’t cost you a fortune, not like the other Nordic countries. Rental cars are being offered at approximately 30€ to 40€ a day plus gasoline comes at around 1,50€ per liter. When booking a rental car, I’d suggest you use comparison websites like Rentalcars.com or EasyTerra to find the best deal.
It takes between 2 and 2 1/2 hours by train from Helsinki Airport to Turku. If booked in advance, there are so-called “saver tickets” that only cost 9€. Meanwhile, if you’ll buy a ticket upon arrival in Helsinki, it will cost you 20€.
You’ll have a chance to walk around and seats are also much more comfortable, as opposed to the bus, You can also find a restaurant wagon and/or service trolley so you can enjoy a nice dinner before rolling into Turku after a long day on flights and in airports.
The train to Turku does not depart from Helsinki Airport. You still have to take the commuter train P, get off at Pasila, and transfer to the train to Turku. The commuter train is included in the fare to Turku if you choose “Helsinki Airport” as your departure point when booking tickets.
This is the cheapest option to get to Turku from Helsinki. OnniBus offers bus tickets for as low as 1€ (when booked in advance) and other advance tickets can be bought for 4€ while tickets bought upon arrival cost between 10€ and 15€.
Before boarding the bus, you must buy tickets first either via their website or through their mobile app. Fare includes a standard seat either downstairs or upstairs which you can freely choose. Table seats, panoramic seats, and seats with extra legroom require an additional 2€. There is also a toilet on board and you’re allowed to bring luggage The trip approximately takes 2 and a half hours.
Although it can be an enjoyable trip, their plastic seats are pretty uncomfortable if you’re planning a longer journey than the one from Helsinki to Turku. You also have to bring snacks as there’s not a single kiosk on board.
Another disadvantage is that most stops are only announced in Finnish. For the trip from Helsinki to Turku’s Bus Station, you probably won’t encounter any issue with that, otherwise, invest in a good data plan so you can follow along with your GPS position on Google Maps, or ask the driver if you’re not sure about where you need to get off.
To take the bus from Helsinki to Turku, you need to get from the airport to Helsinki’s main shopping mall – Kamppi. 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 (which is just one stop).
To do so, get a city ticket at the airport (there are ticket machines just before you go downstairs to the trains). The ticket costs an additional 4,60€ (you need one for zone ABC).
Once you’re in Kamppi, go down to the ground floor where OnniBus uses platforms 1, 5, 9, and 11. You should see a screen with an overview of all bus departures and platforms in the waiting area, and you’ll also find restrooms (for an added fee).
Personally, I’d prefer to just take the train. The extra cost amounts to the convenience of having just one ticket and one train transfer, compared to going there via bus. Besides, train seats are more comfortable than bus seats.
Then again, if I were to arrive with FinnAir from overseas, I would probably just book the add-on flight to Turku as it makes the trip hassle-free.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!