ICANN56 | General Information
|AIRPORT & TAXIS|
|SAFETY & SECURITY|
Helsinki is a modern city, with half a million residents, nicely situated by the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is the center of Finland's administrative, educational and cultural life. It is also the financial and business center of the country. Helsinki is the second northernmost capital city in the world.
Helsinki is unique among the Northern European cities. It is a city full of contrasts: light in summer, and dark, but full of warmth in winter; modern, yet steeped in a fascinating past; a cosmopolitan and compact capital where both sea and deep forests are just a stone's throw away.
Helsinki's identity has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West. Over 450 years of history, several architectural layers and the impact of different periods can clearly be seen in the city. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends seamlessly with high-tech achievements and design, and old traditions mix with the latest contemporary trends.
Everything is nearby - Helsinki is a pocket-sized metropolis that is ideal for visitors!
Midsummer is a traditional Nordic Holiday celebrating the longest day of the year. People often leave the city for a long weekend and celebrate at summer cottages by a lake or by the sea. This year Midsummer Eve is 24 June. Helsinki is less crowded during the Midsummer weekend than during a normal weekend.
Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires
The traditional Midsummer Eve celebrations in Finland involve bonfires, dances, games, spells and weddings. You can experience Midsummer Eve celebrations on Seurasaari Island in Helsinki. The event honors Finnish Midsummer traditions with handicrafts demonstrations, musicians and folk dancing - and one lucky couple is wed in the historic church on the island. The evening's program culminates in dancing and the lighting of bonfires, which can also be admired from the sea aboard a cruise.
The Helsinki Airport (IATA code: HEL), also known as Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, is the main airport serving the Helsinki metropolitan region. It is located in the city of Vantaa, 17 km north of Helsinki.
TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE AIRPORT AND THE CITY CENTER
Local trains I and P operate between Helsinki Airport and the city center on the Ring Rail Line. Travel time between the airport and the city center (Central Railway Station) is approximately 30 minutes. You can buy a regional ticket for 5.50 euros from Helsinki Regional Transport (HSL) ticket machines. You can also buy a ticket on the train from the conductor - in the ticket sales compartment, which is in the middle of of the rearmost car. Conductors accept common credit cards and cash.
The Finnair City Bus operates between the airport and city center (Elielinaukio) every 20 minutes - travel time is around 30 minutes. You can buy a single ticket online in advance for 6.20 euros or from the driver for 6.30 euros.
Bus 615 (Lentoasema-Rautatientori) is operated by the Helsinki Regional Transport (HSL). You can buy a regional ticket for 5.50 euros from HSL ticket machines or from the driver.
At night you can also take the 415N night bus.
A taxi ride between the airport and the city center by taxi will cost around 45 euros.
Helsinki has a good public transportation system consisting of bus, tram, metro, local railway and ferry services. The system is managed by Helsinki Regional Transport and is considered to be very safe. View the timetables and routes.
The preferred way to arrange for a taxi is to go to a taxi stand - there are plenty of taxi stands all over the city. Hailing a cab is not recommended because taxi drivers are not required to pick up passengers on the street. Fares are standardized based on distance and can't be negotiated. Taxis accept most common credit cards. Tipping is not required.
Helsinki's climate is typical of its northerly situation. Its intermediate climate combines characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate. The proximity of the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic creates cold weather, while the Gulf Stream brings in warmer air.
The summer in Helsinki is bright. The days are at their longest in the second half of June, when the sun stays above the horizon for 19 hours. Average daytime temperatures in June are between 64-77 degrees Fahrenheit (18-25 degrees Celsius). At night, temperatures drop to an average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). See the weather forecast for Helsinki.
Finland adopted the euro in 2002.
Finland uses 220-240 volts. Electrical outlets (sockets) in Finland are one of the two European standard electrical outlet types: Type C (Europlug) or Type E (French) /Type F (Schuko).
Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Street signs in Helsinki are in both languages. Most Finns speak English and one or two additional languages.
Finland is in the Eastern European Time Zone, two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2).
Registration and attendance at the meeting is free. However, you are required to pay for your accommodation and meals. Coffee breaks are provided during the meeting. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to help ICANN planning. Don't forget to bring your government-issued photo ID to pick up your badge on site. Registration hours will be posted with the meeting schedule.
SAFETY & SECURITY
In the Mercer "2016 Quality of Living" survey, Helsinki tied for the #2 ranking for personal safety out of the 230 cities surveyed worldwide. With a stable political and economic environment, Helsinki is a safe and secure environment for business, tourism, and living. Crime statistics remain low compared to other developed countries.
It is safe to drink tap water in Helsinki.
Helsinki has well over 1,000 restaurants. You'll find everything from gourmet delights to bistro treats. "New Nordic Cuisine" has taken over the scene - in recent years many up-and-coming chefs have opened trendy small restaurants.
Dinner is normally eaten around 19:00-20:00. Restaurants close between 23:00-24:00.
Tipping is not expected in Finland - a service charge is automatically added in hotels and restaurants. Finnish people tip for especially good service or delicious food. Likewise, you are not required to tip taxi drivers.
Smoking is prohibited in public areas, including shops, offices and public transportation. Smoking is allowed in separate rooms in restaurants and bars.
Staying Safe in Bars and Restaurants
- Make sure you keep your property out of sight and safely under the table
- Many venues have clips under the tables, use them to secure your handbag or briefcase
- Don't accept drinks from strangers
- Check up on your friends by phone or text to make sure they got home safely and vice-versa
Keep Your Belongings Safe
- Don't leave your bag unattended
- Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and don't carry too much cash
- When using a cashpoint, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that the ATM hasn't been tampered with. Cover the keypad so no one else can see your PIN number
- Keep your mobile phone, MP3 player, camera and other gadgets out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use
- Record details of your electronic serial numbers (ESNs)
- Inform your service provider and police if your phone or other valuables are stolen or lost.