Living in Finland

Cities

Liikenne Suomessa

Traffic in Finland

Public transport

Public transport works well in Finland. You can travel almost anywhere in Finland by train or bus. You can also reach many cities by air. In addition, the largest cities and their neighbouring areas usually have well organised local public transport. Buses are normally used for local transport.

Train

The railway traffic in Finland is handled by VR. You can purchase train tickets via VR’s website, at railway stations and on trains. Information on train timetables is available on VR’s website and at railway stations.

linkkiVR:
Train ticketsFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian

Bus

There are many bus companies in Finland. You can buy bus tickets at Matkahuolto offices or on the company’s website. Information on bus timetables can be found on the Matkahuolto website and at Matkahuolto offices.

Discounts on train and bus tickets are available to

  • children
  • students
  • pensioners
  • conscripts in military and civil service

The website of the Finnish Transport Agency features the matka.fi service, which is a public transport route service for finding the most suitable route and mode of travel.

linkkiMatkahuolto:
Bus ticketsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMatka.fi:
Route serviceFinnish | Swedish | English

Air traffic

Finland has 24 airports. The largest is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Flights within Finland are offered by the following companies, for example:

  • Finnair
  • Flybe
  • Blue1
  • Norwegian
  • Air Åland

Many airlines offer flights from Finland to foreign countries. Most of the foreign flights depart from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

linkkiFinavia:
Finnish airportsFinnish | English

Private car

Buying and operating a car in Finland is fairly expensive. Cars in good condition cost several thousands of euros. Many expenses are related to the ownership and use of a car, such as

  • petrol
  • insurance policies
  • tyres
  • maintenance and repair
  • car taxes

If you own a car, you must take out a motor insurance policy (liikennevakuutus). A motor insurance policy can be obtained from an insurance company.

In Finland, cars must be inspected and registered. Vehicle inspections are conducted by inspection stations. Registrations are carried out at inspection stations, insurance companies and car dealerships, for example. You can also register a vehicle online.

The Finnish law requires cars to have winter tyres in the winter. You can use either studded or snow tyres. A car with studded tyres is easier to handle on a slippery road. However, you cannot use studded tyres in the summer.

In Finland, traffic rules must be observed carefully. The police enforce adherence to the traffic rules. You can get fined for breaking the traffic rules.

Driving any motor vehicle is a crime if the driver is intoxicated (alcohol or drugs).

linkkiExpatFinland.com:
Cars and driving in FinlandEnglish

linkkiFinnish Transport Safety Agency:
Information on how to register a vehicleFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Transport Safety Agency:
Registering a vehicle onlineFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Transport Safety Agency:
Vehicle inspectionFinnish | Swedish

linkkiFinnish Transport Safety Agency:
Information on vehicle taxationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiLiikenneturva:
Information on car tyresFinnish | Swedish | English

Driving licence

You need a driving licence to drive a car. In order to qualify for the licence, you must be at least 18 years of age. Before gaining a driving licence, you must take part in driving training and take a driving test. Driving training is provided at driving schools. You can also be taught by a family member or friend, for example, who has a driving licence and experience. However, this requires a teaching permit from Trafi.

linkkiFinnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi:
Teaching permitFinnish | Swedish

A motorcycle licence is required to ride a motorcycle. The type of the licence depends on the motorcycle you wish to ride.

If you do not have a driving licence, riding a moped requires a moped licence. The moped licence is not required if you turned 15 before 1 January 2000.

Information on the driving licences is available on the websites of the police and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Liikenteen turvallisuusvirasto).

Foreign driving licences in Finland

If you have a driving licence issued in a Nordic country, an EU member state or an EEA country, it is also valid in Finland. You can exchange it for a Finnish driving licence if you are residing in Finland permanently.

If you have a driving licence issued in a country that is party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, the licence is valid in Finland for two years. After this period, you must exchange your licence for a Finnish driving licence.

If you have a driving licence from a country that is not party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, the licence is valid in Finland for one year after you are entered into the Finnish population register.

You can check with the police whether your driving licence is valid in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Transport Safety Agency:
Information on driving licencesFinnish | Swedish

linkkiFinnish Transportation Safety Agency:
Foreign driving licences in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English