Helsinki's main station:  Location map  Station plan

Helsinki has one main central station, normally shown in timetables as plain Helsinki.  Designed by Eliel Saarinen and inaugurated in 1919, it's one of the world's most beautiful railway stations.  Saarinen's son Eero went on to design the Gateway Arch in St Louis, TWA Flight Center at JFK, Dulles Airport in Washington DC and more.  It's right in the city centre, walking distance from all the sights.  Remember that in Swedish, Helsinki is Helsingfors.  You'll find more station information at the official Helsinki station website paarautatieasema.fi, more about the station's design & history at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki_Central_Station.

small bullet point  Tickets & information

small bullet point  Which platform?

small bullet point  Luggage lockers

small bullet point  Somewhere to eat & drink

small bullet point  Metro, trams, taxis, walking

small bullet point  How to reach the ferry terminals

small bullet point  Hotels in Helsinki

 

On other pages...

small bullet point  Trains & ferries from Helsinki to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from other European cities to Helsinki

small bullet point  General information for European train travel

small bullet point  How to buy European train tickets online

Station entrance...

Helsinki station

Helsinki station and the tram stop outside.  You can learn about the Lyhdynkantajat (the statues holding lanterns) at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyhdynkantajat.

Helsinki central station facade

Main hall...

The photo below shows what you see when you go through the entrance doors into the main hall, looking north.  Those are the steps & escalators down to the metro.  Forward and to the right you can see the entrance to Burger King.  On the opposite side out of shot round the corner is the Olivia brasserie.  Continue straight ahead through the doorway at the back of the hall onto the indoor concourse...

Helsinki central station main hall

Below is another view of the main hall, this time looking back at the entrance and across at the Brasserie Olivia.

Helsinki central station main hall

Indoor concourse...

The photo below shows what you see when you enter the indoor concourse from the main hall.  That's the main departure board, above the doors to the outside concourse & platforms.  The concourse runs the width of the station building, with an entrance hall at both eastern and western ends.

Helsinki central station concourse

The photo below looks west along the concourse from its eastern end.  On the right is one of several sets of doors to platforms 4-11.

Helsinki central station concourse

Outside concourse...

Outside the indoor concourse is a large covered circulating area next to platforms 4-11.  This is taken looking east across this area, with platforms 4-11 on the left and the indoor concourse through those doors on the right.

Helsinki central station platform area

Which platform Station plan

There is free and easy access to all platforms, there are no barriers or ticket gates.

Mainline trains to Tampere, northern Finland and Russia leave from platforms 5-10.  Trains to Turku usually leave from platforms 11 & 12.

Platforms 4-11...

These are the main platforms inside the trainshed, used by most mainline trains. 

Helsinki central station platforms 4-11

Platforms 1-3...

Platforms 1-3 are used by commuter trains & the airport train.  They're to the east of the main platforms & set back 200m, accessed by walking along platform 4.

Helsinki central station platforms 1-3

Platforms 12-19...

Platforms 12-19 are to the west of the main platforms, set back 200m and accessed by walking along platform 11, or they can be accessed directly from outside through gateways beneath the Holiday Inn/Ernst & Young office block.  These platforms are mainly used by commuter trains.

Helsinki central station platforms

Tickets & information...

There's a staffed ticket office with open counters in the passageway which runs along the western side of the station parallel with platform 11, leading off from the hall at the western end of the concourse.  It's the same passageway with the luggage lockers.  The office is simply signed 'VR'.  There's a direct door into it from platform 11, signed Palvelupiste - Servicecenter - Service point.  It's marked VR on this station plan.

Alternatively, you can buy tickets using the self-service ticket machines dotted around the station, they have a touch screen and English language facility.  And of course you can buy online at www.vr.fi or using the VR app.

There is also an HSL (Helsinki urban transport) travel centre a little further on in the same passageway.

Ticket machines at Helsinki station   Ticket machines at Helsinki station

Luggage lockers, toilets, ATMs...

The left luggage lockers are in a north-south passageway running along the western side of the station parallel with platform 11, leading off from the hall at the western end of the indoor concourse, see station plan.  The photo below shows what you see when you walk in via that passageway.  The doors on the right lead onto platform 11.  The lockers take coins, there is a change machine in the corner which changes 5, 10, 20 euro notes.  For prices see the left luggage page.

Toilets can be found on the indoor concourse, towards its eastern end.  There's a small fee.

ATMs are available in various locations.

Helsinki station left luggage lockers

Somewhere to eat, drink or stock up...

There are plenty of food outlets on the indoor concourse.  On the eastern side of the main hall (forward and to your right as you walk in the main station entrance) is a Burger King grand enough to rival the MacDonald's at Budapest Nyugati.

On the opposite (western) side of the main hall is a popular upmarket Italian-style brasserie called Olivia (oliviarestaurants.fi).  It also features a grand interior which was originally the ticket office, see the photos below.

The Cafe Eliel (www.hhravintolat.fi/cafe-bar-eliel) is a decent reasonably upmarket cafe opening off the hall at the western end of the indoor concourse, for coffee and cake head here.

For a beer or meal, I recommend the Czech restaurant Vlatava (raflaamo.fi/en/restaurant/helsinki/vltava), a detached building next to the station, just outside the western exit from the indoor concourse.

Olivia brasserie at Helsinki station   Olivia brasserie at Helsinki station

Entrance from main hall to Olivia...

 

Olivia brasserie in the former ticket office.  Larger photo.

Inside Burger King at Helsinki station   Burger King at Helsinki station

Helsinki station's Burger King...  Larger photo.

 

Entrance from main hall to Burger King...

Metro, trams, taxis, walking...

Helsinki station is right in the city centre and just a 9-minute 700m walk from Helsinki's iconic cathedral, see walking map.

The taxi rank is outside the main station exit.  Taxi fare calculator for Helsinki.

For the Helsinki metro, go down the escalators in the main hall.

Trams leave from a stop in the road directly outside the station, for tram information see www.hsl.fi.

The Helsinki public transport organisation is HSL and their website is www.hsl.fi, I recommend downloading the HSL app, then you can check routes and buy tickets on your phone.  There is an HSL travel centre for tickets, passes & enquiries in the same passageway as the VR ticket office.

How to reach Viking Line's Katajanoka ferry terminal...

Viking Line's Katajanoka terminal (for Stockholm & Tallinn) is a 2km 25-minute walk from Helsinki station, see walking map.  Alternatively, take tram 5 from the stop directly outside Helsinki station to its terminus at Katajanokan, this is a stone's throw from the Viking Line terminal.  The tram runs every few minutes, you can buy a ticket with a contactless card from the machines or buy tickets using the HSL app.  You can also take tram 4 from a stop called Lasipalatsi 1 block away from the station to a stop called Vyökatu & walk 250m to the terminal.

How to reach Eckerö Line's West Terminal 2...

Eckerö Line's West Terminal 2 (for Tallinn) is 3.5km from the station and city centre.  Take tram 7 or 9 from the stop directly outside Helsinki station to its terminus at West Terminal 2 right next to the ferry terminal.  The trams run every few minutes, you can buy a ticket with a contactless card from the machines or buy tickets using the HSL app.

How to reach the Finnlines ferry terminal for ferries to Germany...

Helsinki's new Hansa Ferry Terminal in Vuosaari Harbour is 16 km east of central Helsinki.  Take the metro from central Helsinki to Vuosaari, journey time 25 minutes.  There is a bus connection (bus 90B) between Vuosaari metro station & Vuosaari harbour.  See map of Helsinki showing Vuosaari ferry terminal

How to reach Silja Line's Olympia ferry terminal...

Silja Line's Olympia terminal is an easy 1.8 km 23-minute walk from Helsinki station for Silja's daily overnight ferry to Stockholm, see walking map.  Or you can take trams 2 or 3 which arrive at their terminus just 100m the ferry terminal.  You can buy a tram ticket with a contactless card from the ticket machines on the platform or buy tickets using the HSL app.  Below, a number 2 tram and a number 3 tram sitting at their terminus, a stone's throw from the Olympia ferry terminal.  Taken with the terminal behind the camera, looking north towards the city centre.

Tram 2 & 3 at Olympia terminus

Below, the Olympia ferry terminal, with the Silja Serenade just arrived...

Tram 2 & 3 at Olympia terminus

Below, inside the Olympia ferry terminal - note the self-service check-in machines...

Tram 2 & 3 at Olympia terminus

Recommended hotels...

At the top end if you feel like a splurge, Helsinki's most historic and iconic hotel is the Hotel Kämp, opened in 1887, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Kämp.  It's an 8-minute 600m walk from the station.  In the same luxury 5-star category is the nearby Hotel St George is located in buildings dating from the 1890s & 1910.

Mid-range, right next to the station and located in an art nouveau building that was once Finnish State Railways offices, the Scandic Grand Central Hotel is a great choice with great reviews.  When arriving by train, walk from the platforms through the doors to the indoor concourse, turn immediately left along the concourse and out of the station's eastern exit to find yourself in front of the hotel.

At the budget end, just a 350m 5-minute walk from the station and with single, twin, triple & family rooms, the Aikatalo Hostel Helsinki City Centre gets great reviews.

Helsinki cathedral

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