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Thinking of alternative ways to get to the airport? Choose cycling

Article published
30.7.2019 at 09:00
Erkki Kivikero_marshaller
Cycling is known to be easy in the Helsinki region, at least in the summertime. The airport is also reachable by bike from various directions, with well-kept bike paths that run through leafy suburbs and forests.

Image: Bicycle has also been used for working at the airport – before guide cars were introduced, marshallers used to lead landing planes to parking on bike. Image by Erkki Kivikero.

Many people working at the airport choose to bike to work, especially in the summer. If you can pack light and the weather is on your side, starting your travels straight from the bike saddle is also an option worth considering.

When traveling from Helsinki Airport, Aapo Rista often finds biking to be the most convenient option to get there from Northern Helsinki.

“An electric bicycle is the fastest means of transport for routes that I frequently take in the capital area that are under 15 kilometres. Taxis and public transport increase costs and time spent. In addition, their timetables are often not optimal if you don’t live next to a train station. Using a bike gets rid of the need for timetables and waiting – apart from the plane, obviously,” laughs Rista.

1. Find the best route on Journey Planner

If you haven’t biked to the airport before, the best and fastest route option is easy to find on HSL’s Journey Planner. The service will also give you an estimated travel time.

“The airport is 6.5 kilometres from my house. It takes less than 20 minutes to reach by bike,” Rista clarifies.

For example, the bike ride from Helsinki Railway Station to the airport is 20 kilometres. The distance from Malmi is nine, Itäkeskus is 16, and Tikkurila in Vantaa is under seven. Not a bad start for a holiday!

2. Leave your bike in a stand

At the airport, it is best to lock your bike well and park it at a bicycle stand designated for passengers. The locations of the stands have changed lately due to the expansion of the airport, but the following locations will be in use until the end of the renovations:

  • Terminal T1, at the end of the terminal building, on the right side of the front entrance

  • Terminal T2, by the parking area at the end of Lentäjänkuja.

3. You can shower at the airport

Riding a bike to the airport is not the best option if you are travelling with heavy luggage or a suitcase. But if you can pack light and prefer to travel with a rucksack or backpack, why not? You will also get some exercise before your flight.

“Usually I choose to use my bike if I’m travelling within Finland, but there are a few occasions on which I have bicycled to the airport even when going abroad. A light backpack is enough for a short trip and is easy to carry on a bike,” explains Rista.

If you break out a sweat, don’t worry – it is possible to take a shower at the airport, for example at the lounges.

4. You can take your bike on the airport train

After your return flight, a bike ride in fresh air is an uplifting experience. But if you are tired after all those travels, or if the weather is not looking so great, you can also take your bike on the local train at Helsinki Airport and ride to the station that is closest to your home. It is very convenient to take your bike on the low-floor commuter trains that run to the airport – just look for the compartment marked with a bike symbol.

Read more about how to get to Helsinki Airport.