Like Espoo, Vantaa is basically an extension of Helsinki and does not have one single city center. Vantaa's administrative center is in Tikkurila. Quite few of the inhabitants have any connections to the rural landscapes and villages left from the old Helsinge (renamed Vantaa 1972). Best known as the city where Helsinki's airport is located, you will also find various parks and farms you can visit there as well as the beautiful Medieval Church of St.Lawrence.
The city is indeed accessible by air, as Helsinki Airport (HEL IATA) is situated in Vantaa. There are buses from the airport to different parts of Vantaa, or you can take the commuter train to Tikkurila (for eastern Vantaa) or Myyrmäki (for western Vantaa) that are public transport traffic hubs.
The main railroad north from Helsinki goes through eastern Vantaa. In addition to several local train stations, all long distance trains to the north and east, including the ones to Russia, stop at Tikkurila station. If you are heading for the western parts of Vantaa, you can take the local train line "I", which also stops at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.
Freeways 3, 4, 45 and 7 out of Helsinki go through Vantaa and the main east-western road is the third ring road (Kehä III). In the morning and afternoon rush hours traffic it can get quite busy and in the winter a heavy snowfall or a larger accident due to the often over-frozen road surface can block the traffic completely.
From Helsinki several local buses go to Vantaa, and there are some lines directly from Espoo too. The Helsinki region public transport authority's Journey Planner is an excellent tool to find out which bus you should take from one address to another. Some larger cities in southern Finland also have a direct connection to Helsinki airport.
See Helsinki#Get around for information about fares and tickets
Kehärata (Ring Line) connecting the main rail line with western Vantaa via the airport opened in July 2015. Combined with bus transfers, this is the fastest way to get around for many. See Journey Planner or Google Maps for routes and timetables.
There is a maze of bus lines in the area, however with the opening of Ring Rail train line the routes are completely renewed in August 2015 [dead link]. See Journey Planner or Google Maps for routes and schedules.
As distances are longer than in the more central parts of Helsinki, driving is sometimes an option. As above, the traffic can get quite congested in the rush hours, especially on the ring roads.
By bike or footEdit
On a sunny summer day you can make use of the cycle and footpaths crisscrossing Vantaa and suburban Helsinki. Get a good map.
- Helsinki Limo, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Will provide airport pick-ups, private car services as transfers and longer trips. Their vehicles are always new and black with leather interior. Drivers speak English and can even, by order, give short sightseeings.
- Lähitaksi, ☏ (extra charge: €1.92+€2.5/min+pvm). Traditionally the main taxi dispatch service in the capital region outside of Helsinki. Smartphone app: Taksini Daytime M–Sa €3.90+€1/1.45/km+0.90/min, nights and holidays €7.90+1.05/1.55/km+0.99/min; prebooking €7/14; the lower km and prebooking fees for 1–4 persons.
- Uber. Uber has resumed its business in the capital region after the reform. They now use licensed vehicles and drivers like everybody else, although the vehicle standard may differ more than what is otherwise common.
- Yango. Yango is a Russian company which offers cheap fares. M–F €3.00+1.10/km+0.25/min, Sa Su 05:00-21:59 €3.00+1.10/km+0.25/min, F-Su 22:00-04:59 €6.00+1.10/km+0.25/min (Starting fare includes 4 min and 1.5 km).
- Menevä Vantaa, ☏ (head of office), toll-free: 0800-02120 (booking). As of July 2020 Also bookable by app or web. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app or web. Flag fall M–Sa 06:00–18:00: €4, other times and holidays: €7; 1–4 persons €0.90/km + €0.90/km, 5–8 persons minimum €20, €1.60/km + €0.90/min (July 2020).
- iTaksi, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. €4.00/6.00+€0.90/km+€0.85/min.
- Fixutaxi, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Also bookable by app. Fixed price based on calculated route and time if destination address given when booking by app. Daily, minimum fare €10; prebooking €10.
- Valopilkku (Taksi Helsinki). Taxis ordered by smart phone app. Pricing not told on the web.
- 02 Taksi. Smart phone app offers address based routing and gives price offers from different taxi companies. Pricing not told on the web.
- 1 Church of St.Lawrence (Pyhän Laurin kirkko, Helsingin pitäjän kirkko / Helsinge kyrka S:t Lars), Kirkkotie 45. A medieval stone church from the 15th century in the southern part of Vantaa.
- Chapel of St. Lawrence (adjacent to the church). A modern chapel; funerals and concerts
- 2 Myyrmäki church (Myyrmäen kirkko), Uomatie 1 (In Myyrmäki, Western Vantaa.). Closed for repairs 2019–. Completed in 1984, this church is pretty cubist on both the inside an outside.
- 3 Heureka, Kuninkaalantie 7 (Near Tikkurila railway station). M–W Th 10:00–20:00, F 10:00–17:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. Heureka is an interactive science museum, with different kinds of exhibitions about technology, physics, chemistry, medicine, astronomy and so on. Really exciting for children interested in science. Adult: €19; Children (6–15): €12.50.
- 4 Suomen Ilmailumuseo (Finnish Aviation museum), Tietotie 3, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 10:00–17:00. Near Helsinki-Vantaa airport. A museum with over 70 planes (both civilian and military) as well as plane parts, equipment and photos. adults €9, children €6.
- 5 Vantaa City museum (Vantaan kaupunginmuseo), Hertaksentie 1. Tu–F 11:00–18:00, Sa Su 11:00–16:00. Learn more about how Vantaa grew from a couple of farms at the outskirts of Helsinki to the city of 200,000 inhabitants it is today. admission €2.
- 6 Viherpaja (Puutarhakeskus Viherpaja), Meiramintie 1 (in Koivuhaka district, just east of the airport, buses 574 and 623). Not just a plant and gardening store, but actually a 3500 m² garden with an indoor desert where cacti grow and a Japanese garden mimicking the climate of Tokyo round the year.
- 7 Sotunki. It's hard to call this farmland dominated area at the eastern edge of Vantaa a "city district". In the summer it's a pleasant area for biking along the unpaved roads between the fields where sheep and cows graze. It also has multiple access points to Sipoonkorpi National Park. Paths allow access to a lake, a small camping place and scenic cliff walks in the national park.
- 8 Katrineberg Pks4H Petting Zoo, Katriinankuja 5 (Buses 576, 444, 445 and 446), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In Katrineberg you will find several different domestic animals such as sheep. Children can hug animals.
Events and festivalsEdit
- Winter Carnival, Hertaksentie 2. Dance class 15:00 to 18:00, show 22:00 to 02:00. A samba show held on a Saturday in late January at the nightclub Tulisuudelma (see section Nightclubs below). Features performances by the samba schools Império do Papagaio from Helsinki and Sambic from Tuusula. Consists of both an instructed samba dance class and an evening samba show. €16.
- Tikkurila festivaali. In the Tikkurila festival there is a good serving of domestic music in the Hiekkaharju Sports Park in Vantaa
- [dead link] Beer Floating (Kaljakellunta), on Vantaa river. An unofficial event usually held the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August since 1997. The participants (yup, mostly males in their 20s) gather in Vantaa with rubber boats, rafts or whatever they can find that floats and travel downstreams towards Vanhankaupunki rapids while indulging beer - of course without life vests. This event has no official arrangers that could be held responsible if something happens and the date of the event just spreads in social media. If you think watching the spectacle isn't enough, remember that you're doing it on your own risk!
- 1 BRQ festival, Kirkkotie 45. A music festival of classic baroque music held in St. Lawrence church in Helsingin pitäjän kirkkokylä.
- 2 Flamingo Entertainment Center, Tasetie 8 (buses 650 and 615T from Helsinki Railway Station or bus 61 from Tikkurila Station). A big entertainment complex located near the airport in Vantaa, next to a large shopping mall Jumbo, just north of Helsinki. Biggest attractions are Flamingo Spa & Wellness with pretty cool and fast slides in the waterpark section and a large selection of relaxation pools, jacuzzis and different saunas in the other section, and Hohtogolf West Coast which is a glow in the dark 15-hole miniature golf course with over-the-top mechanized special effects and a special "horror" section. Cheesy but fun, especially after a few drinks from the bar. Other attractions in Flamingo include a small casino, a 3D movie theater, many pubs and restaurants, a variety of specialist shops, a large hotel and one of the biggest nightclubs in Finland called Onnela.
- 3 Kuusijärvi recreation ground (Kuusijärven ulkoilualue), Kuusijärventie (Buses 738, 739 and 731N). Vantaa's most popular outdoor area. Smoke saunas, open-air swimming, ice swimming, skiing, beach, nature trails.
- 4 Kuusijärvi Smoke Sauna, Kuusijärventie 3. This traditional smoke sauna is located in Vantaa but very easy to reach from Helsinki Railway Station. Situated in Kuusijärvi Outdoor Centre and besides a beautiful lake, it's widely regarded as one of the best traditional saunas in the capital region. Rebuilt in 2011. Take your swim gear with you, as the smoke sauna is mixed-sex. €10 for adults, students/children €6.
- 5 Pavi, Honkanummentie 6 (Itä-Hakkila, eastern Vantaa). W F and Sa nights in the summer. Dance tango and other similar dances. Also arranges dance courses.
- Sipoonkorpi National Park.
More so than Helsinki or Espoo, Vantaa has large industrial areas and a lot of services, so there are a lot of jobs at various levels, including for immigrants. Common jobs are for instance cleaning, cargo handling, warehouse work and waiter and other restaurant jobs. The government employment office (TE-toimisto) is located in Tikkurila, Vernissakatu 8 C.
In Vantaa and the northern suburbs there is no shortage of large shopping malls with even larger parking areas where you can buy everything from strawberries to washing machines. They also have other services like banks and restaurants and are all accessible by bus. The major ones are:
- 1 Jumbo, Vantaanportinkatu 3 (Near the airport). Finland's second largest mall when it opened in 1999, Jumbo does live up to its name. Jumbo features Prisma and Citymarket superstores, a Stockmann department store and practically all Finnish shop and a range of cafés and restaurants.
- 2 Myyrmanni, Iskoskuja 3 (In Myyrmäki, western Vantaa).
- 1 IKEA furniture mall's cafe and restaurant, Porttisuontie 18 (at the intersection of freeway 4 and the third ring road). The furniture store IKEA has a restaurant on the 3rd floor and a café on the second where you can have a cheap and decent meal for well under €10 or a coffee or a hotdog for around €1. Also serves €2 breakfast in the morning except Sunday when the store is closed.
- 2 Lounasravintola Kehä III, Virkatie 7 (a little over a kilometer west from Jumbo shopping centre, best accessed by car). Daily 08:45-17:00. The "Lunch restaurant Ring Road Three" is a café all the day and serves you good all-you-can-eat buffet lunch at lunchtime. Popular among blue-collar workers. lunch buffet €9.
- 3 RAX pizza buffet, Asematie 4 (Tikkurila), Iskoskuja 3 (Myyrmäki), Tasetie 8 (Flamingo). The pizza buffet chain RAX has three restaurants in Vantaa. All you can eat buffet serving delicious (but some say "unhealthy") food such as pizza, chicken wings, lasagne, meat balls, fried onions, nachos, salads, soft drinks and ice for desert. buffet €9.95.
- 4 Ravintola Flyygeli, Sairaalakatu 7 (Near Peijas hospital), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 11:30-12:30. The Manor Restaurant Flyygeli prepares traditional tasty home-cooked food and pastries every day of the week. Pensioners €8.50, others €9.70.
- 5 Parilla Steak House, Tasetie 8. A restaurant in the Flamingo entertainment center. The menu is along the line of steaks, chicken wings, large hamburgers etc. best enjoyed with a glass of wine from their surprisingly large wine list.
- 6 Thai Palace, Unikkotie 5A. M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00. Thai food, as the name reveals.
- [dead link] Oriental House, Unikkotie 5A. M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00. Next to the former, the oldest Chinese restaurant in Vantaa.
- 7 [dead link] Ravintola Mummola, Kielotie 8. M Tu 10:30-14:00, W Th 10:30-22:00, F 10:30-22:00, Sa 12:00-22:00, Su 12:00-18:00. Traditional Finnish food, the name translates to "at grandma's".
If you want fine dining, you should better travel to central Helsinki. The hotels near the airport also have their own restaurants, however the food at the hotel restaurants doesn't necessary live up to the prices.
Most suburbs have a pub or two. If you want something fancier, head to central Helsinki, that's what the locals do.
Pubs and barsEdit
- 1 Pub Hertas, Hertaksentie 2. Su–F 16:00–04:00, Sa 11:00–04:00.
- 2 Old Story, Tikkuraitti 17. Daily 09:00–02:00.
- 3 [dead link] Klubi 5, Kilterinraitti 6.
- 4 Shamrock, Peltolantie 2. M Tu 16:00–24:00, W Th 16:00–02:00, F 15:00–04:00, Sa 12:00–04:00, Su 14:00–02:00. Night club in Tikkurila.
- 5 Torello Rock Bar, Lehdokkitie 6. M–Th 10:00–01:00, F Sa 10:00–03:00, Su 11:00–01:00.
- 6 Tulisuudelma, Hertaksentie 2, ☏ . Tu-Th 20:00 to 00:00, F-Su 22 to 04. The most famous nightclub in Vantaa. Easily accessible as it's actually located inside the hotel Sokos Hotel Vantaa, right next to the Tikkurila railway station. As such, after partying you can either go sleep in the hotel or travel by train to neighbouring Helsinki. The nightclub regularly holds live performances by various Finnish musicians and bands. The nightclub is so popular among partygoers in the capital region that people tend to include it in a list of Helsinki's popular nightclubs even though it's not actually in Helsinki. Free to €16, depending on event.
The major hotel concentration in this part of the capital region is near the airport. No wonder, as most people coming to or leaving from Finland by air pass through Helsinki-Vantaa.
- 1 Sokos Hotel Vantaa, Hertaksentie 2 (in the Tikkurila district of Vantaa), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The national chain Sokos has a hotel in Tikkurila, next the railway station.
- 2 Airport Hotel Bonus Inn, Elannontie 9 (Pakkala exit from Ring III Highway), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Friendly family-owned hotel with basic but very clean and comfortable rooms. Restaurant, sauna (evening only), free shuttle service to airport (5-7 min). €120.
- 3 Cumulus Airport Hotel, Robert Huberin tie 6, ☏ . Mid-range Finnish chain hotel, 10 min away by free shuttle bus. Renovated in 2007. €120.
- 4 Hotel GLO Helsinki Airport, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Terminal 2, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The only hotel in the airport building, on the service floor of Terminal 2 and with direct indoor access from Terminal 1. Day rooms are also made available for use, depending on the booking situation, between 09:00 - 19:00.
- 5 [dead link] Best Western Airport Hotel Pilotti, Veromäentie 1, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Best Western Airport Hotel Pilotti is in Vantaa, within 5-minute drive from Helsinki-Vantaa airport and within walking distance to Jumbo shopping centre and new Flamingo Spa. There is a regular bus service between Helsinki-Vantaa airport and the hotel.
- 6 Hilton Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Lentäjänkuja 1, ☏ . Full-service hotel next to the airport. Soundproof windows, bar, restaurant, sauna. €150.
- 7 Sokos Hotel Flamingo, Tasetie 8, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 Rantasipi Hotel Airport, Robert Huberin tie 4, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
There may be unrest in the suburbs along the railways. There may be unrest on the trains in the evenings.
- Järvenpää — 25 km further north where you can visit Ainola, the home of the famous composer Jean Sibelius.
|Routes through Vantaa|
|Turku ← Espoo ←||W E||→ Sipoo → Vyborg|
|Turku ← Espoo ←||W E||→ Porvoo → Saint Petersburg|
|Rovaniemi ← Kerava ←||N S||→ Helsinki → END|