Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) Guide
Welcome to Helsinki Airport, the largest airport in Finland and the main hub for Finnair. With its modern facilities and efficient services, HEL is a great starting point for your travels around the world. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a frequent flyer, this guide is here to help you make the most of your airport experience.
Looking for flight status updates, departure terminals, or gate locations? Need to find the best parking options or grab a bite to eat before your flight? Look no further than this extensive guide, which provides all the information and tips you need to get from your door to your gate. You'll also find detailed terminal maps, plus directories of food and shopping options to explore during your layover. Let's get started!
For more comprehensive information about other major commercial airports, check out our iFly's Airport Guide.
When to Arrive
It is recommended to arrive at HEL Airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights. The busiest times at the airport are during the morning and early afternoon, so it is best to avoid these times if possible to minimize wait times at security checkpoints and check-in counters.
Getting to the Airport
The best way to get to the airport is by using the public transportation system. The airport is well-connected to the city center by bus and train. The Finnair City Bus is a convenient option for those traveling from the city center to the airport. Taxis are also available, but they can be expensive. If you are driving to the airport, there are several parking options available, including short-term and long-term parking.
When arriving at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, it is recommended to use iFly.com's interactive airport maps to get oriented. The maps provide detailed information about the airport's layout, including the location of gates, restaurants, shops, and other amenities. The maps can be accessed on your mobile device or printed out before your trip.
To avoid delays at Helsinki Airport, it is important to arrive early, especially during peak travel times. It is also recommended to check-in online before arriving at the airport to save time. Be sure to have all necessary documents, such as your passport and boarding pass, readily available. To avoid long lines at security checkpoints, make sure to remove any liquids or electronics from your carry-on luggage before going through security.
Navigating HEL's Terminals
HEL has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is the oldest and smaller of the two, with 12 gates primarily used for domestic flights and a few international flights. Terminal 2 is the newer and larger terminal, with 27 gates used for both domestic and international flights. Major airlines such as Finnair, Norwegian, and SAS operate out of Terminal 2.
When navigating the airport terminals, it's important to note that there are several services and amenities available for passengers. Both terminals offer a variety of dining options, including cafes, restaurants, and bars. There are also several shops and duty-free stores for last-minute shopping. Passengers can also take advantage of the airport's free Wi-Fi, charging stations, and lounges for a more comfortable travel experience.
Use our interactive airport map to locate food, services, and airline departure gates.
Connecting Between Terminals
HEL Airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The terminals are connected by a covered walkway, which takes approximately 10-15 minutes to walk. If you have limited time or heavy luggage, you can take the free shuttle bus that runs between the terminals every 5-10 minutes. The shuttle bus stops are located outside the terminals and the journey takes only a few minutes.
Alternatively, you can take the train that runs between the terminals and connects them to the airport's train station. The train runs every 10 minutes and the journey takes only a few minutes. This option is convenient if you need to catch a connecting flight or if you want to explore the city of Helsinki, as the train station is located in the airport's basement and provides easy access to the city center.
Dining, Shopping & Enjoying the Airport
the airport offers a variety of dining and shopping options for travelers to enjoy during their layover. In Terminal 1, travelers can find a wide range of international cuisine at the Food Plaza, including Finnish specialties at Fazer and classic American burgers at Burger King. For those looking for a quick snack or coffee, there are several cafes and bakeries such as the popular Starbucks and the Finnish bakery, Le Croissant.
In Terminal 2, travelers can find even more dining options such as the Nordic Kitchen, which offers traditional Finnish dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. For a more upscale dining experience, the Wine & View restaurant offers panoramic views of the runway and a selection of fine wines. For those looking to do some shopping, there are several stores in both terminals including duty-free shops, fashion boutiques, and souvenir shops.
Some recommended dining options include Fazer, Nordic Kitchen, and Wine & View. For shopping, be sure to check out the duty-free shops and the Marimekko boutique for some unique Finnish designs. The locations of all food, shops, and services at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport can be found using iFly's interactive map. For a complete list of restaurants, bars, shops, and newsstands, check your options here.
Discover a range of hotel options that cater to every traveler's needs and budgets. Whether you're catching an early flight, arriving late, or simply looking for a place to rest during a layover, these hotels offer a unique blend of comfort and convenience. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, you'll find establishments within walking distance of the airport or those offering complimentary shuttle services. Some even provide amenities such as fitness centers, saunas, restaurants, and bars. Explore these Helsinki Airport Hotels to enhance your travel experience.
Picking Up and Dropping Off Passengers
Helsinki Airport provides several options for picking up and dropping off passengers. Curbside parking is available for a limited time, and drivers must remain with their vehicles at all times. It is important to note that parking in front of the terminal is strictly prohibited, and vehicles parked in these areas will be towed. For those who need to wait for arriving passengers, there are designated cell-phone waiting areas located near each terminal. These areas are free to use and provide a convenient place to wait for passengers to arrive before proceeding to the curbside pick-up area.
When dropping off passengers, drivers should follow the signs to the designated drop-off area. This area is located near the entrance of each terminal and is clearly marked. Drivers should not park in this area, as it is meant for quick drop-offs only. For those who need to accompany their passengers inside the terminal, short-term parking is available in the nearby parking garages.
Parking Facilities & Options
HEL offers a variety of parking options for travelers. There are several parking lots and garages located near both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Short-term parking is available for those who need to park for a few hours, while long-term parking is available for those who need to leave their car for an extended period of time.
For those who are waiting for an arriving passenger, there are cell phone waiting areas located near both terminals. These areas allow drivers to wait for their passenger to arrive before picking them up, without having to circle around the airport.
Handicapped parking is available in all parking lots and garages. These spaces are located near the entrances and exits of the parking facilities, making it easier for those with disabilities to access the airport.
Off-airport parking is also available for those looking for a more economical option. These parking facilities are located near the airport and offer shuttle service to and from the terminals.
Get details about HEL Airport parking options and rates, along with more economical off-airport parking here.
The airport is the main international airport in Finland, located about 17 km from the city center. The airport offers several transportation options for travelers to get to and from the airport.
If you prefer to rent a car, there are several car rental companies available at the airport, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. The car rental facilities are located in the corridor between terminals 1 and 2.
Taxi services are also available at the airport, with taxi stands located outside both terminals. The fare from the airport to the city center is around 45-50 euros, and the journey takes approximately 30 minutes.
For those looking for a more affordable option, shared ride services such as Uber and Lyft are also available at the airport. The pickup area for these services is located outside both terminals, and there may be restrictions on the number of passengers and luggage allowed.
Airport shuttles are another option for travelers, with several shuttle companies operating at the airport. The pickup area for airport shuttles is located outside both terminals, and fares vary depending on the destination.
Finally, public transportation is available through the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL). Bus routes 615 and 620 operate between the airport and the city center, with a journey time of approximately 30-40 minutes. The fare for a single journey is 5 euros, and tickets can be purchased from the driver or from ticket machines located at the airport.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is a modern airport that provides a variety of passenger services to make your travel experience as comfortable as possible.
For those who need to stay connected, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. If you have lost an item, the lost and found is located in Terminal 2. If you are traveling with children, there are play areas located in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. For passengers with special needs, Helsinki Airport offers a range of services including wheelchair assistance and special boarding arrangements.
If you need to do some banking, there are several ATMs and currency exchange offices located in both terminals. And if you require medical assistance, there is a medical center located in Terminal 2, open 24/7.
Flight Status Info
As an air traveler, it's important to stay informed about the status of your flight. At HEL, there are several ways to check your flight status and stay up-to-date on any changes or delays.
One of the easiest ways to check your flight status is by using the airport's Flight Information Display System (FIDS). These displays can be found throughout the airport and provide real-time updates on flight departures, arrivals, and gate information.
In addition to the FIDS, many airlines also offer mobile phone apps that allow passengers to check their flight status and receive alerts about any changes or delays. These apps can send notifications via text, email, or push notifications, ensuring that passengers are always aware of any updates to their flight.
Passengers can also check their flight status by visiting the airline's website or by calling the airline directly. However, using the FIDS or mobile apps is often the most convenient and efficient way to stay informed about your flight.
Remember, flight status can change quickly, so it's important to stay informed and check for updates regularly. By using the resources available at HEL Airport, you can ensure a smoother and more stress-free travel experience.
Passengers can check the status of their flight departure at the airport by visiting the flight departures page on ifly.com, which provides real-time updates on flight departures, delays, and gate information.
Airport Facts & Stats
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, located in Finland, is the main international airport serving the Helsinki metropolitan area. It is the largest airport in Finland and the fourth busiest airport in the Nordic countries, handling an average of 21 million passengers annually.
The airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is used for non-Schengen flights, while Terminal 2 is used for Schengen flights.
The airport is a hub for Finnair, the largest airline in Finland, which operates the majority of the flights at the airport. Other major airlines that operate at Helsinki Airport include Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS, and Turkish Airlines.
On average, HEL handles around 350 daily flights to over 140 destinations worldwide. The airport serves as a gateway to Asia for many European travelers, with direct flights to destinations such as Tokyo, Beijing, and Seoul.
The top five destinations served from HEL Airport are Stockholm, London, Oslo, Amsterdam, and Tallinn. These cities are all popular business and leisure destinations in Europe.
The airport is the largest airport in Finland, located in the city of Vantaa, just north of Helsinki. It has a rich history dating back to the 1950s when it was first established.
Significant events in the airport's history include:
- 1952: Helsinki-Vantaa Airport was established as a military airport for the Finnish Air Force.
- 1956: The airport began serving civilian air traffic, with the first commercial flight departing for Stockholm.
- 1969: The airport's first terminal building was completed, allowing for increased passenger capacity.
- 1983: A new runway was constructed, allowing for larger aircraft to land and take off.
- 1996: A new international terminal was opened, further expanding the airport's capacity and improving passenger experience.
- 2009: Helsinki Airport was named the best airport in the world by the Airports Council International, a prestigious honor in the aviation industry.
- 2017: The airport completed a major expansion project, adding new gates, lounges, and dining options to accommodate growing passenger numbers.
Today, HEL serves as a major hub for Finnair and is an important gateway to Northern Europe and Asia.