Hey, great thread for those of us who traveled or are traveling for the first time! I was lucky to contact rebossfan before I made plans for my trip, and she gave me some really great info! DSOL also came to my rescue a few times, as well as the wonderful Katja, who was awesome enough to drive me back to my hotel in Turku, after the Kaarina gig. There aren't a bunch of taxis or buses waiting after gigs that are a ways off from hotels.
If you travel from the US
, all the way by plane, to Helsinki, there is a bus, run by Finnair (no, you don't have to travel Finnair to use it), or a city bus, which run often, to take you to the main train station and other landmarks in Helsinki. The price when I went was 6 Euros for the Finnair bus, and that one is much quicker, less stops.
There are many hotels, all can be found online, and the best places for hotels online are: booking.com (usually they have pretty good rates that let you cancel about 72 hours ahead of time) and Priceline. If you can avoid it, don't use Cheap Tickets! I ended up paying a fee, undisclosed one, for my plane ticket, and was given a flight with a huge layover in New York (yuck, trust me).
But do watch for those you can't cancel, unless you make that commitment (I did and saved a lot, but that's the chance I took), and check out the airlines who fly there!!! Don't think just cause Finnair is Finnish it will be the best, check each one, check the plane layout for seats (trust me on that! Sit as far up as possible and pay a few extra bucks for some comfort if you can....long flight guys!) on seatguru.com.
Sometimes you can get a hotel room, a nice one too, if you book DIRECTLY with the hotel. I did that in Helsinki, and got an amazing room in a fab hotel for half price, but then I have a travel site (I think it's still there
), and so I did get a much better room in Helsinki, but I got an average one in Turku, which was ok.
Also, passports guys will take you about 3 months in the US. Yep, that long, and it didn't used to be like that, but it is now. I am lucky to have an up-to-date passport from previous out of the country travel, but if you can't wait the three months, do the express service (you will pay dearly for that!). You can then get one pretty quick.
Sorry, long post, but I found I had lots to learn about travel in Finland, and if I were to go again, and take the transportation again, I have lots I would change!
If anyone from the US or anywhere else wants more detailed info you can pm me or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I don't mind giving out all my info, especially since things happened with the trains and buses when I was there.