Nature lovers will find paradise when traveling by train in Finland. Vast expanses of unspoiled natural scenery, including forests, lakes, and islands, are interrupted only by breathtaking towns and exciting cities, like the capital, Helsinki.
Traveling by train in Finland
Finland quick facts
Population: 5.4 million
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Dialing code: +358
Trains in Finland
Finnish trains are efficient, fast and reliable. The rail network, run by the Finnish Railways (VR), links all major cities to Helsinki.
Places to visit
Capital at the water's edge
A surprising mix of old world charm and modern flair, Helsinki (Helsingin) is a fabulous destination on your rail adventure. Check out the neoclassical Senate Square, one of the finest in all of Europe. Be sure to visit the famed Helsinki Cathedral (Helsingin tuomiokirkko), the Ateneum Art Museum and the many seaside attractions, like the Fortress of Suomenlinna and the islands of Pihlajasaari, Uunisaari, and Seurasaari.
From Helsinki Central Station (Helsingfors), the Helsinki Cathedral is less than a 10-minute walk.
City of culture, islands of tranquility
Turku was the European Union’s 2011 City of Culture, and with good reason. The 13th century city is the oldest in Finland, and is filled with ancient and modern attractions. Resting on both banks of the Aurajoki river, Turku is alive with music, festivals and cultural events. Be sure to visit the medieval Turku Castle and the Old Town Center before hopping on a ferry and exploring Turku archipelago’s many islands.
Turku Castle is a few minutes walk from Turku satama train station.
Island magic of staggering size
The 6,500 islands that make up the Åland Archipelago have to be seen to be believed. The waterways, bridges, boats and islands of Åland will steal your heart. From kayaking to diving, from fishing to biking, this chain of islands offers the ideal setting for anything outdoors. There’s also no shortage of castles, fortresses and churches to supplement your visit, and of course, a great selection of seafood.
Your Eurail pass entitles you to special discounts on the ferry crossing to Åland.
The route of the royal mail
The 13th century King’s Road was the mail route between Bergen, Norway and St. Petersburg, Russia. The route is dotted with historic castles, cottages, churches and iron mills. Modern-day Finland is visible along the route, and among the people who live nearby. The Finnish portion starts in Mariehamn (Maarianhamina) in Åland, and runs through the archipelago and Turku all the way across Southern Finland to Vyborg, Russia.
You’ll likely encounter the King’s Road at several points in your travels in southern Finland. Take the time to visit some of the sights along the way.
The smallest big town in Finland
Formerly an industrial town, Tampere rests between two lakes, best seen from the observation towers of Pyynikki ridge and the Näsinneula in Särkänniemi Amusement Park – one of Finland's top summer attractions. Walk along the banks and the rapids of the Tammerkoski River, which provided hydropower in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the old factory buildings are museums, galleries, restaurants, theatres and boutiques.
Tampere is about t 2 hours away from both Turku and Helsinki.
The town before time
The historic city center in the town of Rauma has one of the oldest harbors and one of the narrowest streets in the country. It offers some amazing historical sites. Don’t miss the Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki, 36 burial cairns that date back as far as 1500 B.C. Rauma’s Franciscan church and the town’s museum, located in the Town Hall, are also great to see, and a stroll along the harbor is always a great choice.
Although there’s no direct train service to Rauma, you can travel by train to Kokemäki, and then transfer to a bus to take you the rest of the way.
This is Finland’s biggest and best rock festival and has been going since 1979. The 3-dayer attracts top international bands. It’s possible to buy a ticket for the whole weekend including camping or individual day tickets.
From the train station in Seinäjokiyou you can take the festival bus to the grounds.
Helsinki’s biggest and most famous festival, this one taps into all sorts of art, music, activities and fun. From classical to jazz, from dance to poetry, this festival’s got it all. Make sure to visit the Night of the Arts, when the city is open for any outdoor performance! It’s worth it to plan your trip to take part.
The festival takes place all over Helsinki and all venues can be reached by bus, metro or tram.
Air Guitar World Championships
Oulu strikes a chord with thousands, as the annual Air Guitar Championships get underway. After qualifying in local competitions throughout the world, the best-of-the-best air guitarists gather in Oulu to find out who the real champion is.
Oulu is a 6 hr train ride from Helsinki. The Air Guitar World Championships venue is within walking distance of the main station.
Eurail passes for Finland
Most popular passes with Finland
Eurail Global Pass from USD$380
The Eurail Global Pass is the flexible and value-for-money train pass that lets you explore up to 28 countries by rail. Hop on board comfortable trains that take you right to the center of Europe's cities. One day you're relaxing on a gondola ride in Venice and the next you're discovering Prague's fairy-tale castle.View Eurail Global Pass
Eurail Finland Pass from USD$165
Enjoy rail travel through Finland.View Eurail Finland Pass
Eurail Finland - Sweden Pass from USD$240
The Eurail Finland-Sweden Pass is your key to uncovering these two Scandinavian gems. Spend some time at Helsinki's harbour watching the ships glide in or gaze up at the magical Northern Lights in Lapland.View Eurail Finland - Sweden Pass
All Eurail passes with Finland
Here's a list of all Eurail passes for your travels through this country:
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