Finland, a member of the European Union since 1995, has about 5.5 million inhabitants and is one of the largest countries in Europe by area. Finland is a northern country of great beauty and has a distinctive cultural life. The capital is Helsinki. Two thirds of the surface area is covered by forest and there are nearly 200,000 lakes in Finland. The coastal and inland archipelagoes with their labyrinthic waterways are unique. Finland has 35 national parks covering 8170 square kilometres of wilderness.
Climate combines characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate. The proximity of the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic creates cold weather, while the Gulf Stream brings in warmer air. Summer in southern Finland is bright. Days are at their longest in the second half of June, when the sun stays above the horizon for 19 hours.
For the latest weather forecast, see website en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi by the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
The time zone in Finland is Eastern European Time (EET), 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During summer the time zone is UTC +3 (Eastern European Summer Time, EEST).
The currency in Finland is the Euro (EUR/€), divided in 100 cents. Please check the current exchange rates.
Foreign currency and travellers’ cheques can be exchanged in exchange offices located for example at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport, Helsinki Railway Station as well as in the centre of Helsinki. Banks are usually open on weekdays 10am–4:30pm.
For an ATM machine, look for the sign “OTTO” or “Nosto”. These 24-hour cashpoint machines are widely available and accept the following international ATM and credit cards: Visa, Visa Electron, EuroCard, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and EC.
In addition to banks, there are several foreign currency exchange points available around the city centre. See for example:
- Forex: Stockmann Department Store or Central Railway Station, Helsinki
- Tavex: Fabianinkatu 12, Helsinki
Voltage: 220–240 Volts.
Electrical sockets (outlets) in Finland are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: ”Type C” Europlug and ”Type E/F” Schuko.
Arriving in Helsinki
Helsinki can be easily reached from almost anywhere in the world.
- By plane
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is situated 19 kilometres from the centre of Helsinki.
- By ferry
Helsinki is the busiest passenger port in the world (2020). There are daily ferry services to Helsinki from Estonia and Sweden, see e.g. Tallink Silja Line, Viking Line, Eckerö Line as well as from Germany by Finnlines. The ferry companies also offer a possibility to take a car with you.
- By train
There are very functional train connections to Helsinki from all major towns in Finland as well as from Lapland. Helsinki central railway station is a landmark itself.
- By bus
Buses from all around Finland arrive to the central bus station, from the largest cities approximately every hour.
From Helsinki Airport to City Centre
- Airport train: The airport train station is underneath the airport and can be accessed directly from both terminals 1 and 2. The connection between Helsinki city center and Helsinki Airport takes about 30 minutes. There are two services: train I and train P. Schedules, ticket prices and routes are available at HSL website. At the airport you can buy a train ticket from the HSL ticket machines (arrivals hall and train platform), Alepa Grocery Store (arrivals hall 2B), R-kioski (arrivals hall 2A), or by using HSL mobile ticket app.
* Please note that it is not possible to buy a ticket in the train.
- Buses to & from the airport: Timetables of other trains and buses in the Helsinki metropolitan area are available in the HSL Journey Planner.
HSL buses will drop off and pick up passengers only in front of T2 at Helsinki Airport.
- Taxi: Taxis can be found in front of terminals 1 and 2. For the following three agencies, price information can be found in front of the terminals, on the information screens next to the taxi stands:
Other taxi agencies also offer their services to Helsinki Airport’s passengers (lane 4). When the agency is not one of those specified above, the customer agrees on the price separately.
Useful Timetable Sites
Public Transport in Helsinki Metropolitan Area
Public transport is the recommend way to get to the conference venue. The metropolitan area consists of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo (where the conference venue is) and Vantaa (where the airport is). HSL operates public transport in this region, managing a comprehensive network of trains, trams, buses and metro. By far the most comfortable method to buy tickets is to download the HSL app and use it. Physical tickets can be purchased from HSL ticket machines, and from shops and kiosks, see this map for all service points.
Sites of Interest in Espoo
- Aalto University Campus
The university campus is an architectural gem in itself. The main venue of the conference, nowadays the Undergraduate Centre of the university, was designed by Alvar Aalto. The secondary venue, Dipoli, designed by Reima and Raili Pietilä, surprises the visitor at every turn. A pine grove behind the student village hides the stunning (from the inside) Otaniemi Chapel by Heikki and Kaija Siren.
- Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio in Espoo is one of the top nature attractions in Finland where you can experience the Finnish nature and the peaceful wilderness. In the National Park live dozens of endangered or near-threatened animals, plants and fungi species.In Nuuksio, you can also visit Finnish Nature Centre Haltia. The exhibitions in Haltia let you explore all of Finland’s unique nature under one roof. In Haltia you will also find a restaurant and café. You can reach Haltia with a HSL bus.
Sites of Interest in Helsinki
- UNESCO World Heritage site Suomenlinna Fortress
Between 1748 and 1757, the nation of Sweden used in total one unit of its annual GDP to build this high-tech sea fortress in front of Helsinki. Today, the fortress and its museums, restaurants and events are a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.
Suomenlinna is accessible with an HSL ferry with the price of a normal bus ride. The ferry departs from the east side of the Market Square, opposite the Presidential Palace. The trip to Suomenlinna takes 15–20 minutes and offers magnificent views of Helsinki and the surroundings from the sea. The ferry is part of the city transport network and all HSL tickets are accepted. For more information see www.suomenlinna.fi/en/.
The heart of Helsinki was built in the 1830’s in the empire style according to plans of Carl Ludvig Engel, who took inspiration from contemporary St Petersburg. Now that the direct train connection to St Petersburg is closed, this may be the closest you get to Palace Square (although in miniature form).
Excavated directly into solid rock, the Temppeliaukio church, designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, is situated in the central Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. The building is often used as a concert hall thanks to the extraordinary acoustics created by the rugged rock surface of the walls. As an altarpiece they use a crack in the rock wall. A spectacular atmosphere, unique architecture and excellent acoustics make the Rock Church one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki.
During the summer season (June-August) a guided tour on weekdays at 16:00 with no extra charge.
The normal entrance fee is 3 €. The tickets can be bought inside the church with most credit cards and cash. The tickets can also be bought from our cafe during June, July and August. With an advance ticket from our cafe or somewhere else you don’t have to queue in the ordinary ticket line and thus will have a quicker access to the church.
Linnanmäki is Finland’s oldest and most popular amusement park, located in the Alppila quarter of Helsinki. There are over 40 rides, many different games, as well as restaurants and cafés. The Main Gate is at Tivolikuja 1. It’s recommended that you use public transportation in order to avoid traffic jams.
Entrance to the park is free of charge.
Allas Sea Pool is a gardenlike oasis in the heart of Helsinki, next to the Market Square. There is a large pool area and magnificent saunas. There are three different saunas at Allas; women’s sauna, men’s sauna and a sauna for private events. The sauna for private events is also used as a mixed-gender sauna when there are no reservations.
In addition to swimming, bathing in the saunas and good food, Allas Sea Pool offers many options for wellness.
Löyly, an urban oasis occupying a stretch of beautiful Helsinki waterfront, offers a warm welcome and many delights for locals and visitors alike.
At Löyly, there are two different choices to enjoy sauna, public or private. Public saunas, a traditional smoke sauna and a wood-burning sauna, are open every day. After a good steam, when you feel like cooling off, both saunas offer direct access to outdoor seating area and the sea, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim, all year round.
Address: Harjutorinkatu 1
The only remaining traditional wood-fired public sauna in Helsinki! There is no need to reserve time for the sauna, towels can be rented and you can buy refreshments and snacks. At Kotiharju, there is room for 20–30 bathers on the uppermost benches where the heat and steam (löyly) are the best (and hottest).
Löyly means pouring some water on the hot stones – there is a water tap on the stove (kiuas). The old rule is that whoever sits in the hottest place gets to decide whether or not to make more löyly.
The sea and the archipelago are significant characteristics of Helsinki. There are about 300 islands in the Helsinki archipelago, so there are plenty of places to visit. The islands are close by, most of them can be reached in 5 to 15 minutes.
Several carriers offer the opportunity to reach the islands and to experience the archipelago. Ferry routes and timetables, as well as travel tickets, vary by operator.
Once in Finland, many delegates wish to explore the country, or the neighbouring countries more extensively. There are a variety of choices, for example visiting the Finnish Lapland, taking a cruise to the neighbouring cities of Stockholm, Tallinn or St. Petersburg or enjoying one of the summer festivals in Finland.
Travel App: Tripsteri
The travel app, Tripsteri, will enable visitors to find top attractions regardless of time and place. Tripsteri App provides the user with an overall view of important places to visit, introducing themed tours and allowing the user to customize tours to suit their individual needs. Free to the user, the app allows the visitor to tour for example tourist attractions and urban development sites, and to virtually visit the cities from any part of the world.
A guide is available for both Espoo and Helsinki.
Neighboring Cities and Other Trips Options
The Estonian capital Tallinn is only 80 kilometres from Helsinki and is easy to reach by fast ferries in a couple of hours. There are excellent connections several times a day. The Old Town with its majestic Toompea Hill and the picturesque buildings are the greatest attraction of this old Hanseatic town.
A cruise on board in one of the passenger liners operating between Helsinki and Stockholm is an excellent way to combine a visit to the Swedish capital with a pleasant voyage at reasonable cost. The archipelago between Finland and Sweden is one of the most beautiful in the world. Ships sail several times daily between Finland and Sweden.
See more information at https://www.tallink.com/, www.sales.vikingline.com
- Visiting Lapland
Lapland – land of the midnight sun and the northernmost part of Finland, is a different, exotic destination. A visit to Lapland’s forests and the vast mountain region, perhaps the last wilderness in Europe, is an unforgettable experience for every nature lover.
During the summer, nature speeds up. The buds burst forth, blossom and then explode into a million vibrant colors. And thanks to the Midnight Sun, the experience continues 24/7. This phenomenon is called the Nightless Night.
If you have just a couple of days, the fastest way to Lapland is by air with daily flight connections from Helsinki Airport. You can also use the convenient Finnish railway network www.vr.fi or rent a car.
- Finnish Lakes and Forests
Savonlinna in the middle of Lake Saimaa is great for a comfortable trip to the inland archipelago in Eastern Finland, while more adventurous minded might plan a trip to Päijänne, Konnevesi, Linnasaari or Kolovesi National Park. Pukkilanharju, Pyynikki in Tampere and Punkaharju near Savonlinna are classics in the genre of glaciated terrain; long twisting ridges separating bodies of water. Savonlinna is 330 km from Helsinki, the national parks are 160, 320, 370, 400 km away, and the ridges 160, 180 and 350 km away, respectively.
If the forests in Nuuksio are not sufficient for you, Repovesi National Park, 180 km from Helsinki, offers ample opportunities to get lost in the woods. Porkkalanniemi, 50 km from Helsinki, has easy access to rugged sea shores.
- Old Wooden Town of Porvoo
The town plan of Porvoo, 50 km from Helsinki, is from the Middle Ages. The low small houses, picturesque yards and narrow streets form a historically unique wooden town milieu. The symbols of Porvoo – the red warehouses on the riverbanks – tell the story of seafaring and trading.
- Fiskars Village
Fiskars, 90 km from Helsinki, is a beautiful old ironworks village where you will find exquisite design, great food and idyllic cafés. Fiskars is a quaint and historical ironworks village that has become a lively community of artists, designers and craftsmen. In recent years the village has also become home to several microbreweries and fine restaurants. Founded in the 17th century, the Fiskars ironworks is a popular destination for daytrips where visitors can enjoy exhibitions, boutiques and cafés. Fiskars stands out from more touristy attractions by its high-quality and ambitious products and design.
See https://fiskarsvillage.fi/en/ for more information.
The registration fee does not cover any insurance (travel, medical, accident or liability). The ISIT2022 organizers cannot accept liability for any loss or damage suffered by participants or accompanying persons or other persons during travel to and from the congress or during the congress. Participants of ISIT2022 are advised to consider purchasing their own travel insurance and to extend their personal policy to cover personal possessions.