More Than the Degree

All you need to know about transportation in Finland!

Hey there, fellow students and classmates of Aalto University!

Welcome to the land of a thousand lakes, surreal Northern Lights, and saunas on every corner – Finland! As you embark on your academic journey in this fascinating country, let's dive into the wonderful world of transportation and discover seven hilariously exciting ways to navigate through the Capital Region using public transport.

Remember to purchase the HSL ticket to enjoy most of these! €34,80 for students (two zones, more than enough!).

1. Trams - The Magical Tramway Carriages:

Hop on the enchanting trams of Helsinki, and you'll feel like you've stepped into a time-traveling fairytale. These sleek and shiny metal carriages will glide you through the city, passing stunning architectural wonders and quirky cafes. The best part? You can witness "tram traffic jams," where two trams politely wait for each other to pass, proving that even trams practice Finnish manners! And also many European cities do not have trams - as I am writing this article there is a tram line that is being built and will be ready which will go through the Aalto campus, all the way to East Helsinki.

2. Buses - The Marvelous Mobile Saunas:

Yes, you read that right – mobile saunas! Finnish buses are heated to perfection, and you might think you've entered a spa on wheels. While you can't actually sweat your assignments away, you can relax and enjoy the scenic views while your bus driver, who doubles as a sauna master, steers you through the bustling city. Finland has several electrical buses, which is great for the environment!

3. Metro - The Underground Sleigh Ride:

Underground sleigh ride, you say? Well, not exactly reindeer-drawn, but the Helsinki Metro is equally magical! Descend into the tunnels, and you'll find yourself gliding beneath the city's surface like a mythical creature on an epic journey. The Metro is a swift and efficient way to reach various destinations, and you might even spot a unicorn or two during rush hour! From one side of Espoo to the other side of Helsinki it takes about 50 mins. From Aalto to the main city center, about 15 minutes.

4. Commuter Trains - The Expedition to the Arctic Circle:

Okay, we might have exaggerated a bit there, but taking a commuter train is a fantastic way to escape the city bustle. Imagine yourself embarking on an expedition to the Arctic Circle (in your imagination), as the train takes you to the scenic suburbs and surrounding wonders of Finland. Oh, and don't be surprised if you find Santa Claus handing out candy on the train. After all, Finland is his hometown!

If you live within the campus, you won't need a train to commute, but it's a good option to travel to different cities such as Rovaniemi!

5. Ferries - The Nautical School Commute:

Who needs a regular bus when you can travel by ferry? Picture this: you're sipping your morning coffee on a boat, enjoying the breathtaking archipelago views, while your classmates are stuck in traffic. The best part? You'll feel like you're on a mini cruise every day! Pro tip: don't forget to pack your pirate hat – you'll fit right in with the maritime vibes. Best places to visit by ferry: Suomenlinna, Korkeasaari, and some other archipelago in Finland.

6. Bicycles - The Tour de Aalto:

Want to go green and get some exercise at the same time? Hop on a bicycle and join the Tour de Aalto! Finland is a bike-friendly nation, and the university campus is no exception. Embrace the joy of pedaling through the fresh Finnish air, and you'll soon realize that Finnish summers are too precious to be spent indoors. Just make sure to master the art of biking on snowy paths during winter – it's like a Finnish version of ice skating!

The Alepa city bike (fillari) is also on offer between April and October for an economic price of €35.

7. Walking - The Nordic Expedition:

Last but not least, let's not forget the good old-fashioned way of getting around – walking! Stride through the picturesque streets of Helsinki and embrace the true Nordic spirit. Don't be surprised if you stumble upon friendly moose or elusive northern lights while on your way to lectures. Walking is the perfect opportunity to soak in Finland's nature and tranquility, and who knows, you might even discover hidden gems that aren't on any map!

8. Rollerblades - The Wheely Cool Commute:

Want to add some adrenaline and excitement to your daily commute? Say hello to rollerblades, the wheely cool way to get around town! Glide through the streets with the wind in your hair, feeling like a superhero on wheels. Plus, you'll arrive at your destination with a big smile on your face and a great conversation starter for your new classmates.

9. Sleds - The Winter Wonderland Ride:

When winter arrives and blankets the city with a thick layer of snow, it's time to embrace the Nordic charm of sleds! Swap your traditional winter boots for sturdy snow boots, grab a sled, and let gravity be your friend. Who needs crowded buses when you can sled downhill to your lectures? It's a delightful and efficient way to conquer snowy paths, and you'll be the envy of everyone stuck in slushy streets.

10. Carpooling - The Finnish Friendship Caravan:

Finns value their strong sense of community, and carpooling is a perfect way to embrace this spirit while reducing your carbon footprint. Join the Finnish friendship caravan and team up with fellow students heading in the same direction. Not only will you save on fuel costs, but you'll also make new friends and create memories on the road. Just remember, if you're riding with Finns, brush up on your karaoke skills – it's a favorite pastime during long car rides!

Uber, Bolt and Yango are the most economical cab options if you have to rush to a lecture, or want to get home from a long night out!

There you have it – ten whimsical and wondrous ways to conquer the roads of Finland, especially for students exploring Aalto University and the Capital Region. Embrace the diversity of public transport options, from trams and buses to bicycles and even sleds in winter! Each mode of transportation offers its own unique charm and adventure, so go forth, explore, and let your transportation journey be filled with laughter, camaraderie, and unforgettable moments. Happy commuting!

- Areeb

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