Hiring a car from Helsinki airport

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Hiring a car from Helsinki airport

Pick up your hire car from Helsinki airport and explore Finland's trendy, ski-friendly winter wonderland.

60-second guide to Helsinki airport

in its own head

"Stylish, cool and cultured, we're unlike any other capital city you're ever likely to visit. We're gorgeous, too, even if we do say so ourselves."

but more realistically

While it might be beautiful, the world's second most northerly capital doesn't see much sunlight in winter. But with fascinating historical sites, good restaurants and a vibrant nightlife, it's a great city to visit any time of the year.

the vibe

While Helsinki is a quiet, relaxing city in winter, the summer sun rarely sets before midnight, which gives it a lively, energetic feel.

the natives

Like the residents of other Nordic cities, the majority of Helsinki's natives enjoy a good quality of life. Most also speak English, which is handy if your Finnish isn't up to scratch.

the weather

Finnish winters are dry, cold and fresh - the perfect conditions for snow flurries. This certainly has its advantages, especially if you like nothing better than heading up the mountains and skiing down powdery pistes.

the local speciality

Given Helsinki's proximity to the sea and the number of fishing boats moored in its harbour, it should be no surprise that fish - mostly smoked or pickled - is a staple throughout the city.

the celebrity

The Finnish capital is evidently the home of fast living: former Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen grew up in Helsinki.

did you know?

In April, the days start getting longer and locals enjoy between 16 and 20 hours of sunshine every day. With snow still on the ground, you can ski to your heart's content all day - and night - long!

they say

"The capital of Finland welcomes you to discover the spirit of a Scandinavian metropolis with a human dimension." - The Helsinki Tourist Board

5 to see in town...

1. Uspenski Cathedral

The 13 flamboyant domes of Helsinki's cathedral make it look like the sort of building you'd find in a Russian fairytale.

where to park?

You will find plenty of parking spaces on nearby Kanalgatan Road.

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2. National Museum of Finland

Find out about the fascinating development of Finnish society through the ages at the National Museum, Finland's answer to the Louvre.

where to park?

Drop your hire car off at the public parking facility behind Finlandia Hall, or try the car parks at Kamppi and Elieliaukio.

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3. Finnish National Gallery

Helsinki's National Gallery hosts Finland's largest collection of classical and modern art, with sculptures from the 18th century, paintings by Van Gogh, plus works from 1950s artists Albert Edelfelt and Pekka Halonen.

where to park?

Parking spaces are available on nearby Brunnsgatan Road.

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4. Hietaniemi Beach

Helsinki's popular sandy beach is a hub for sun-worshippers on a sunny day. Of course, it's not quite so busy during the darkness of mid-winter.

where to park?

Although there is no designated parking for visitors, there are plenty of safe places to leave your car nearby.

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5. Kuivopuisto Park

Take a scenic stroll through one of Helsinki's oldest and most famous parks, which, if the sun is out, is the ideal spot for a picnic.

where to park?

Parking is available on the surrounding roads.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Himos ski resort

The large resort of Himos is one of the closest to the Finnish capital and it's something of a snowboarder's dream, with a half pipe, snow park and moguls course alongside some quality ski slopes.

how to get there?

Follow the E75/Gustav Vasas väg and take exit 18 onto Route 24. Pick up Route 6040 and follow signs for the resort. The journey should take just under three hours.

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2. Paloheinä

Just nine kilometres away from the centre of Helsinki, you'll find the cross-country ski trails at Paloheinä. As well as being the Finnish capital's main ski area, Paloheinä's hill is a popular spot for tobogganing.

how to get there?

Paloheinä is only a 20-minute journey from Helsinki - just pick up the E12 and follow this until you reach exit 3a. Merge onto Route 101 and follow signs for Paloheinä.

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3. Kalpalinna

The resort at Kalpalinna, just north of Helsinki, is one of Finland's biggest and best. With 13 ski runs catering for different abilities, there's a slope to suit everyone.

how to get there?

From Helsinki, the drive should take you around an hour. Just follow the E12 and take exit 22 towards Turenki/Janakkala. Turn right at Route 292 and follow signs to Kalpalinna.

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4. Hanko

If the snow's melted, why not head to Finland's southernmost town and soak up the sunshine by the picturesque marina. For the more adventurous visitor, there are plenty of water-based activities to enjoy, too.

how to get there?

Head southwest on Simonkatu towards Linja-autoasema. Pick up Route 51 and follow this for approximately 44 miles, turning right at Route 25. The drive should take around two hours.

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