When the summer finally arrives, traffic gets busier on the streets of the Finnish capital. Cars, public transport, bikes and electronic scooters take people from point A to point B. Anyone who spends a lot of time on the go might be faced with a tricky decision – what is the best mode of transportation in any given situation? Is it tram, city bike or taxi?
Anyone who has ever used Whim knows how easy the app makes utilizing a range of transportation modes. Sometimes, however, the biggest challenge is just that – choosing the best one for each situation.
Our starting point was right outside the main entrance of the Central Railway Station and the final destination was Ullanlinnanmäki in Kaivopuisto.
Option 1: Tram
We begin our journey with a very short walk. The tram stop is located right in front of Kaivotalo, which in turn is right next to the station. There is a steady flow of trams in Helsinki, so the wait is short – not that we would mind enjoying the sunny platform for a while longer.
When boarding the tram we are all hit by the realization that this mode of transport is ideal for bigger groups of people. There’s plenty of room on the tram, plus that special, distinct feeling you only get on a tram.
The tram journey takes about 15 minutes. We get off at the Kaivopuisto stop and walk the remaining 250 meters to reach our final destination. Kaivopuisto is one of the most beautiful areas in town, so the walk is a pleasant one.
Taking the tram took 23 minutes all in all and was definitely cost-effective with a single ticket price of €2,80.
+ No need to focus on traffic means more time to enjoy scenery.
+ Ideal for groups.
– Not the best option if busy.
– Dependant on the tram schedule.
Option 2: City bike
City bikes have quickly become an intrinsic part of Helsinki. They have been hugely popular since their introduction, and it is easy to see why; they offer an easy, fun and cheap way to get around. City bike access for an entire day costs €5. The season starts in April and ends in October and for those planning a more bicycle-heavy summer, seasonal passes are available and recommended.
We grab a city bike close to Asemaaukio and Kaivokatu. There are three bike stations in close proximity to the Central Railway Station, so odds are everyone will find one available.
We advance quickly and the route is simple: Kaivokatu, Mikonkatu, Eteläesplanadi and Laivasillankatu – although, there’s nothing stopping you from making some changes to the route to pick up supplies for a nice picnic. City bikes have a handy basket which makes transporting things much easier – it even locks, so it can be temporarily left outside a bike station.
The less ideal aspects of city bikes have to do with the bike stations. Even though there are 460 bike stations in Helsinki and Espoo, an unavoidable reality is that sometimes a station cannot be found close to the desired destination.
The nearest bike stations to our destination, Ullanlinnanmäki, are located on Fabianinkatu and Laivasillankatu. This means that there will be a bit of a walk before we reach our final destination, but fortunately it is not too far.
All in all city bikes are an excellent choice for getting around in an urban environment. The cheap price combined with getting fresh air and pleasant exercise elevates the experience of this option remarkably.
+ Choose your own route.
+ A green choice.
+ Good for you.
– Weather dependent.
– Locations of bike stations.
Option 3: Taxi
Ordering a taxi is easy with Whim. Helsinki Railway Station is home to two of the busiest taxi stations in town, so finding an available car should be easy.
Whim makes it simple to compare prices of different companies to find the best deal. There might be considerable differences – even when travelling short distances.
The cheapest ride to Kaivopuisto sets us back €16 euros while the most expensive option comes in at €21,32. The most expensive one was a van though, which explains the difference in price.
Taking a taxi might be the only sensible option in getting to Kaivopuisto if the weather is bad or when transporting a lot of things. It is also a very fast way to reach the destination, especially if traffic is light.
However, these days it is good to consider the environmental impact of our choices and taking a taxi is not the greenest option. Unless it is raining cats and dogs or you are stuck with heavy luggage, it might be better to consider another option.
+ Can be used to transport a bigger load.
– Not the cheapest option.
– Not the greenest option.
In summary, there are plenty of great options for transport in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Whim makes it effortless to choose the perfect one for every situation, regardless of weather and time.