Flying

Travel tips:

  • As people with bonus cards prefer to stick to the same airline alliance, the alliances have been marked on the list. Especially with the Star Alliance airlines Lufthansa/SAS/Austrian it sometimes pays off to check all of them as they sell tickets to the same plane, but pricing may differ; same goes for OneWorld airlines Finnair and BA from the UK, sometimes BA sells a lot cheaper tickets to Finnair planes than Finnair and vice versa.
  • Remember to check the baggage rules of the operating airline and be careful with hand baggage size. Especially when flying with armor, the sports baggage rules may make a difference between two equal airlines.
  • All airlines allow one to carry an overcoat separately to the cabin (and in October you’ll need one!); if you have a heavy cloak, stuff your coat into the baggage and take the cloak to the plane as your overcoat… Johanna has tested this with her heavy wool cloak on Finnair, Lufthansa and SAS and it has never been a problem – and gets several kilos off her checked luggage.

Flying to Turku airport (TKU)

You can get to Turku on Air Baltic (via Riga), Finnair (via Helsinki) and SAS (via Stockholm).

All the facilities and services of Turku airport are listed on the airport homepage.

Air Baltic

flies from Riga (RIX) in Latvia to Turku. They have a small allocation of cheap seats, which enables you to get e.g. from Berlin to Turku for under 200 euros. See Air Baltic homepage for flights. This company will sell reasonably priced one-way tickets, too. However, there may be some hidden costs like baggage fees and non-online checkin fees (applicable when you’re heading homeward), so what you see is less than you’ll end up paying.

Finnair

sells flights from Helsinki to Turku. This is an option to consider, if you do not want to deal with the bus from Helsinki to Salo and don’t want to rent a car. The ticket price includes one piece of hold luggage. See the Finnair website for information on schedules and prices. Usually one has to buy return to get decent price. (Other OneWorld companies may also sell this route.)

Before booking, compare with a flight to Helsinki (HEL); mostly the second flight is not terribly useful compared with the flight+bus option (see below): flying probably doesn’t save any time, it is usually more expensive and your luggage is more likely to get delayed. Also, this is one of the flights that is easiest to cancel and replace with a bus (!), so that regularly happens. If you hate small planes, forget about this connection: it is often flown with pretty tiny 40-70 person propeller planes (good sightseeing in clear weather, but noisy as heck).


Flying to  Helsinki airport (HEL)

More info on Helsinki airport (earlier known as Helsinki-Vantaa airport) on the airport homepage.

The following list of airlines is not necessarily complete, but we’ve tried to cover as much as possible.

Air Baltic

is a multi-national airline based in Riga and Vilnius. If you don’t mind transferring (mostly at the quite decent and compact Riga airport, RIX), Air Baltic may offer competitive prices for flights from Central Europe to Helsinki. However, you have to pay extra for almost everything, including hold luggage and doing desk check in if internet check in is available (doesn’t apply to Turku or Helsinki).

Air Berlin (low-cost airline)

This German low-cost airline flies directly from Berlin (TXL, Tegel airport) and offers connections from many other European airports. Depending on the price class of your ticket, you may have to pay extra for a piece of hold baggage.

Air France (Sky Team)

Air France sells the tickets to the route Paris CDG-Helsinki, but it is actually flown with Finnair planes, so ticket price includes checked baggage and a light meal.

Austrian Airlines (Star Alliance)

Direct flights from Vienna to Helsinki. For flights from the other Austrian cities, check both Austrian and Lufthansa, the latter may be cheaper. 

British Airways (One World)

Direct flights London Heathrow and Manchester to Helsinki, sometimes worth a look also for flights from elsewhere on the British Isles to Helsinki, but these mostly involve a transfer, usually at LHR. Price usually includes checked luggage and a cold meal/snack.

Finnair (One World)

The Finnish national carrier flies directly to Helsinki from most of the European capitals and several other larger cities, for example Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Manchester, Gothenburg… Ticket price includes hold baggage and a reasonable meal, also good with online check in. At Helsinki airport Finnair check in is open all day, so you if you have an evening flight back home, you can drop off your checked baggage in the morning, visit Helsinki and come back an hour before your flight.

Lufthansa (Star Alliance)

The German national carrier flies to directly from Frankfurt and Munich to Helsinki, flights from other German cities are sold with a transfer and usually expensive. Helsinki is now included in their online check in system.

KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) (Sky Team)

Direct flights from Amsterdam to Helsinki, also good for flights from smaller UK airports like Bristol, Birmingham and even London City, with a transfer at Amsterdam (a lot of walking and security checks, but otherwise  ok). Flight ticket price includes hold luggage and a cold meal/snack.

SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) (Star Alliance)

Direct flights from Stockholm and Copenhagen to Helsinki (with transfer flights from other Swedish cities to Helsinki, but these are usually expensive).  Ticket price usually includes checked baggage, but food and drink have to be purchased.

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And what about Ryanair?

Ryanair isn’t included in the above list, because it flies to Tampere (TMP), a city 2 hrs north of Helsinki. The drive from Tampere airport to the site takes 3 hrs or, if you decide to use public transportation to get to either Turku airport or Salo bus/railway station, you are looking into spending 40-50 euros and 5-6 hrs (and two transfers) each way to get to a pickup point.

In practice this means that if you decide to fly from Frankfurt-Hahn, London-Stansted or Bremen to Tampere by Ryanair, you have to find yourself a local ride or rent a car.


Ferries from Sweden to Finland

Especially if you want to come over by car, you can take a ferry from Stockholm to Turku (Åbo in Swedish) or Kapellskär to Naantali (Nådendal) and then you are just a 45 minutes’ drive from the site. On arrival you can either take the overnight ferry on Thursday evening and spend a day in Turku or then you can take the day ferry early Friday morning and be on site by 22:00 in the evening.

On the way back you can either leave the site very early on Sunday morning to catch the morning ferry or then leave late, spend a few hours in Turku, then take the overnight ferry to Stockholm to arrive just in time to get to work on Monday morning.

 

There are two ferry options: Viking Line and Tallink Silja (=Silja Line).

Please note, all departures and arrivals below are indicated in local time, Finland being one hour ahead of Sweden.

Travel tips:

  • The Stockholm-Helsinki route really isn’t worth the effort this time as it’ll be a lot more expensive, takes a lot longer time (leaving already at five on Thursday afternoon) and means a lot longer drive from port to site. Yes, the Helsinki ferries are fancier, especially on Silja, but if you just want to get to the event, they aren’t worth the money and time.

 

Viking Line

Car packages are often a very good deal on Viking, they include either a car (normal size) + 2-5 persons or a car + 2-4 persons + a cabin (cabins are available also on the day ferry; well worth the money if you have an early start as you can take a nap and shower…). Book and pay at least 30 days before the trip (i.e. by early September) to get your trip even cheaper.

Schedule, Viking Line

Route Dep. Arr.

To Finland

Stockholm-Turku, day ferry – Departure 07:45 – Arrival 19:50

Stockholm-Turku, night ferry – Departure 20:00 – Arrival 07:35

To Sweden

Turku-Stockholm, day ferry – Deperture 08:45 – Arrival 18:55

Turku-Stockholm, night ferry – Departure 20:55 – Arrival 06:30


Tallink Silja (aka Silja Line)

Generally pricier than Viking, the higher price is justified with fancier ferries. Again, car package price (with or without cabin) is worth checking out.

Schedule, Tallink Silja

To Finland

Stockholm-Turku, day ferry – Departure 07:10 – Arrival 19:15

Stockholm-Turku, night ferry- Departure 19:30 – Arrival 07:00

To Sweden

Turku-Stockholm, day ferry – Departure 08:15 – Arrival 18:15

Turku-Stockholm, night ferry – Departure 20:15 – Arrival 06:10

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