If you had a day in Helsinki...
August 8, 2014 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Please share your advice and experience about bike-touring (group) and hotels near the sights in Helsinki.

I have an extra day to spend in Helsinki at the end of a work trip, in two weeks. I think I'd like to sign up for a bike tour with Bike Tours Helsinki; has anyone tried them before? Any thoughts of the various tours they offer? Is there a better company to go with? I recently went with Steel Donkeys in Barcelona and I've also done Yellow Bike in Amsterdam and enjoyed both, if that gives you an idea. I think I would prefer a small-ish group to ride with.

Second, where to stay? For work, I have reservations at the Hilton Airport, which doesn't seem very convenient to seeing the sights in Helsinki. I can move to another hotel for my extra night(s) but I'm a little overwhelmed by the choices and my unfamiliarity with the city. Am I going to be able to find anywhere near the center for less than $200/night?

posted by Tandem Affinity to Travel & Transportation around Helsinki, Finland (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can take a bus from the airport to the city center, but you're right, it isn't very convenient - they don't run that frequently and it can take 45-60 minutes to get into the city center from the airport depending on traffic.

When I lived in Helsinki, I had friends visit who stayed at an Omena Hotel - they're self service hotels without reception staff, and it's just a little over 100 euros a night, depending on location and the day of the week. The hotel was very clean and in a great location - my friends were very satisfied. I would suggest the Yrjonkatu location - it's within walking distance of the majority of the city center sights.

I don't have bike trip recommendations, but hope this helps!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 8:41 AM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

around 100 euros is common cost for hotels in Helsinki. I'm partial to the Intercontinental brand, and there are plenty of Holiday Inn/Crown Plazas in the center to choose from.

I've never done any of the biking tours so I have no advise to give there. However there is a lot to do/see in Helsinki. I lived there for over 4years before returning here to NY.

If we knew of your interests we could offer some suggestions. I think one of my favorite parts of Helsinki was all the parks right on the sea. The archipelago coast line is so peaceful and beautiful. There are also plenty of islands that you can ferry/walk/bike to that are around the city. Summer in Helsinki is quite amazing.
posted by wile e at 5:34 PM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice; as for my specific interests...I haven't had a chance to learn much about the city and I will be wiped out after the work week, so I'm interested in some structured activity to guide me. Otherwise, I'm afraid I will lack the initiative or decisiveness to get up and go out to see something. Also, I will have been cooped up and sitting in meetings all week so getting outside and moving around is attractive. I don't know if my vague description helps at all.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:31 PM on August 8, 2014

The bike tours sound fun, and they seem to cover a lot of ground. I'd go for the Helsinki highlights one, unless you think you'll be taken sightseeing by your hosts -- they'd probably take you to some of those places. The bike people are associated with a group that does themed walking tours, jogging tours and tram sightseeing. There's also several guided boat tours that take you around the archipelago for a couple of hours.

Seconding Omena Hotel for basic (no breakfast!), cheap accomodation. There's also the Scandic chain (Simonkenttä, Marski and Paasi are central, and the latter is right by the Hakaniemi Market) and Hotel Arthur and Hotel Helka if you don't like chains.
posted by hannala at 11:04 AM on August 9, 2014

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