Local Information



Helsinki-Vantaa/Finavia Airport (IATA: HEL, ICAO: EFHK) is situated 19 kilometres (25 minutes) from the city centre and 13 kilometres (15 minutes) from the Congress venue. A regular bus connection between the city and the airport operates from the Central Railway Station.
Tel.: +358 (0)9 82 771

Banks and Exchange Offices

Banks are usually open Monday-Friday 09.15-16.15 and at the airport every day 06.00-19.30 (until 23.00 in the transit area). For an ATM machine, look for the sign "OTTO". OTTO accepts the following international ATM and credit cards: Visa, Visa Electron, EuroCard, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, EC and plus.


Helsinki has a humid continental climate. In August, the average temperature is 16 °C (60 °F).

Coach Traffic

The Central Coach Station is located in the city centre at Narinkka 3. The coach station also serves Express Buses and other regular services from Helsinki to destinations all over the country.

Matkahuolto Travel Service
Tel.: +358 (0)200 4000
Website: http://www.matkahuolto.fi or http://www.expressbus.com


Culture and Entertainment

Helsinki, the capital of the Republic of Finland, is a modern city with over half a million residents and is situated on the Baltic Sea. Helsinki has a well founded reputation for design and innovation and it has been nominated World Design Capital for 2012 - the same year as the 200th anniversary of Helsinki being the capital of Finland. Helsinki is unique among Northern European cities. The lifestyle in the second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts and activities in the form of hundreds of events and friendly people. Helsinki's identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West.


The Euro is the official currency of Finland.


The electric current in Finland is 220 V (230 V), 50 Hz. A two-pin plug system, familiar throughout Europe, is used. Adapters are available in airport shops.

Emergency Numbers

General Emergencies: 112
Police: 112
Ambulance and Fire: 112

Food and Drink

Finnish cuisine is based on fresh and natural ingredients that vary according to the season. Typical Finnish food includes vegetables, mushrooms, berries, fish and meat. Helsinki's own cuisine also features influences from both the East and the West. Restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world, including a handful of Michelin star restaurants can be found in Helsinki. Foods for many dietary requirements are available. Tap water in Finland is normally safe to drink.

Health and Medicare

There are a number of pharmacies around the city. Look for the sign "Apteekki", which means pharmacy in Finnish. Yliopiston Apteekki at Mannerheimintie 96 is open 24 hours a day.


Attendees are advised to arrange their own adequate travel and medical insurance against medical treatment, accidents, cancellation of bookings, etc. No responsibility will be accepted by the Congress Organisers.


Finland is officially bilingual: Finnish is the first language of 92% and Swedish of 5.5% of the population. About 1,700 people in Lapland speak Sami (Lapp) languages. Finnish is the mother tongue of only about five million people in the world, so being able to speak foreign languages is essential for Finns. This is an advantage for foreign visitors, because many Finns speak English, German or some other European language.

Lunches and Refreshments

Lunches and refreshments are not included in the registration fees. However, attendees can purchase a variety of food and beverages in the various food courts at the Congress venue.

Public Transport

Free Travel Ticket for WLIC 2012 Delegates - One ticket for all modes of transport

Helsinki region has an integrated public transport ticket system. Tickets are valid on public transport services in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava and Kirkkonummi. The same ticket can be used for traveling on buses, trams, the metro, commuter trains and the ferry to Suomenlinna. You can also transfer from one vehicle to another with the same ticket.

As a Congress delegate you have been provided with a free 7 day regional ticket in Helsinki region public transport. The 7 day ticket on the single-charge card is valid from 11 August to 17 August, 2012. Your ticket is valid in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa. Tickets can be collected at the Registration Desk onsite at the Congress venue.

Easy to use :
Show the single-charge card to the card reader when boarding a vehicle or entering the metro. You only need to show the card to the reader without pressing any of the buttons.

Rail Traffic

VR Ltd, Finnish Railways from Helsinki has three daily international train connections: The Russian Tolstoi between Helsinki and Moscow with a night service in both directions. The Russian Repin and the Finnish Sibelius trains operate daily between Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The domestic traffic serves all major towns in the country, and reaches even the far north of Lapland.

Sea Traffic

The port of Helsinki is situated in the heart of the city. There are boat traffic services to Estonia, Sweden, Germany and Poland.
Tel.: +358 (0)9 310 1621

Shopping and Opening Hours

Numerous Finnish products such as food, hides, skins, leather, undressed and dressed fur, yarns, fabrics, footwear, furniture, toys, sports goods and drinks, are exported and are recognised for their consistently high quality. Helsinki offers the best and widest range of shopping opportunities in Finland, including top fashion, large department stores, shopping malls, small boutiques, inexpensive flea markets, and everything in between. The shops in the city centre are all located within easy walking distance of each other. The Design District in Punavuori is a must for visitors interested in fashion, design and decorating.

Opening hours below are a general guide, and there may be local and seasonal variations.

Weekdays: from 07.00-09.00 to 20.00-21.00
Saturdays: from 09.00 to 15.00-18.00
Sundays: closed, (some shops): 12.00-21.00 throughout the year


In Helsinki, smoking is prohibited where notified on public transport and in some public buildings. Smoking is not allowed inside restaurants. It is always advisable to take your cue from those around.

Taxes and Tipping

Anyone permanently residing outside the EU and Norway can shop tax free in Finland. Stores with the Tax Free Shopping sign will provide customers with a cheque covering the VAT refund; this can be cashed on departure from the last EU country visited.

Tips are welcome when you are satisfied and happy with the service, but are not obligatory.


Taxis are easy to hail in the city centre except during the busiest periods. Taxi stands are conveniently located throughout the centre. Taxis can be ordered by phone, from taxi stands (located throughout the city centre, including outside the Central Railway Station, around Senate Square, along Esplanade Park and at ferry terminals) or hailed from the street. Taxis are available whenever the yellow light on the roof is on. Taxis have fixed prices that are shown on the meter. Credit cards can be used as payment, as well as cash.

Telephone and Postal Services

Post offices are open 09.00-18.00 (some offices even until 20.00) from Monday to Friday. Yellow mail boxes are available for collections on weekdays. Stamps are available at post offices, bookshops and newsagents, kiosks and hotels.

To call Finland from abroad, dial the country code +358. For information on mobile phones while in Finland dial 9800-7000.

Time Zone

Local Time is Finland is in the Eastern European Time Zone: GMT +2 hours.

Tourist Information

Pohjoisesplanadi 19, Helsinki
Monday - Friday: 09.00-20.00
Saturday - Sunday: 09.00-18.00
Tel.: +358 (0)9 310 13300
Fax: +358 (0)9 310 13301
Email: tourist.info@hel.fi
Website: http://www.visithelsinki.fi

Last update: 15 May 2012