For many passengers, Helsinki Airport is their doorway to Finland. As the country celebrates 100 years of independence this year, here are a few ways to make your visit to the best-connected airport in Northern Europe even more distinctly Finnish.
1. Feast on Finnish flavors and a fantastic view.
Fly Inn restaurant (Gate 27) has operated at Helsinki Airport since 1969, and has since become a favorite among staff and passengers. Before the airport was expanded in 1983, it was, in fact, pretty much the only restaurant there, which means that Fly Inn can be considered a true meeting spot. Those craving something unique to the country should dive right into the reindeer roast, almond potato and sauteéd black salsify and mushrooms, among other specialties.
2. Look at some art while waiting for your flight.
While “airport” is not always synonymous with “art,” Helsinki Airport wants to make sure that passengers and visitors enjoy their time at the airport. Finavia’s ArtPort concept aims to offer passengers free, surprising, and novel services that provide opportunities for both relaxation and interesting activities while waiting for a flight. In fact, Helsinki Airport showcases many types of art both in the arrival and departure areas. There are also two galleries that host temporary exhibitions.
3. Take note of the small sports plane on display in Terminal 2.
Next time you pass by, take a good look at the Junkers A50 Junior hanging from the ceiling. This aircraft is not just any old toy plane, but a real superstar of Finnish aviation lore. It made history in the 1930s with Captain Väinö Bremer.
4. Hop onto a specially decorated bus.
This year, the centenary of Finland’s independence, five apron buses at Helsinki Airport have been customized as part of the festivities and they feature uniquely Finnish themes. In addition, videos on these themes – sauna, Sibelius, Formula 1, summer cottage and heavy metal – are shown during the commute.
5. Take a piece of Finland with you.
From quirky knick-knacks to local designer goods, Helsinki Airport’s shopping aisles offer great souvenirs. Whether you’re a fan of Moomin characters or want big game – such as deer or moose – in a small tin, there’s bound to be something for you. You can also shop for distinctly Finnish sweets such as salty licorice and chocolate-covered bilberries at Helsinki Duty Free.
6. Snap a few selfies while you’re at it.
A pre-departure selfie is a travel tradition for many. At Helsinki Airport, you can strike your best pose at the departure hall, the back patio of Arctic Bar or at Oak Barrel. Just don’t miss your flight!