The factThe prices in Finland are often higher than in Germany.
But that’s not why I’m missing out on the beauty that Finland has to offer me. In my study year I had enough time to uncover all cost traps and to look for alternative ways – because
the truth is: it is no great art, even with a small budget to expensive countries to travel.
I now present you my 18 tips with which I managed to travel a lot and experience a lot with my limited student budget in Finland.
1. Flying with Ryanair, AirBerlin and FinnAir is cheaper than ferrying
One advantage that Finland offers is the short flight time of about two hours. So the plane ticket doesn’t cost that much, if you take care of it early enough and are a bit more flexible with the departure times and date.
Travel cheap to Finland with Ryanair!
The highest price for a return flight was 130 Euro when booking 14 days before departure with AirBerlin. The lowest price I paid with Ryanair, this one was under 40 Euro for a return flight about 3-4 weeks before departure. Also with Finnair you are under 200 Euro just before departure.
Ryanair : from Bremen to Tampere
AirBerlin: from Berlin (and other German cities) to Helsinki
Finnair: flies from Berlin non-stop to Helsinki and from there Finland-wide
I recommend all environmentally conscious frequent flyers to reduce your CO2 emissions by supporting the climate projects at Atmosfair to compensate.
Getting around Finland
It’s also worth knowing a few tips for getting around Finland.
Saving money when traveling by train
2. Register with Vr
Riding the train is not only environmentally friendly, but also fun. You can watch the Finns at the morning beer meeting in the restaurant, do your work on the laptop (free wifi access also in the buses) or just watch the landscape pass by.
For a non-Finnish student or pensioner, train travel in Finland is not exactly cheap.
But you can also benefit from offers like z.B. from Turku to Helsinki for 5 Euro, or times Finland-wide for 20 Euro, benefit.
The Offers valid only for registered Vr customers. However, the registration is very easy and takes only a few minutes.
3. Save across Finland with Interrail
The race for the unbeatable price/speed/comfort ratio makes the Interrailticket for longer journeys. Often you can save more than 50%, sleeping cabins are available from 20 Euro surcharge. Fast. Cheap. Uncomplicated. 3 days (in total, not consecutively) driving costs for under 25 year olds 87 Euro, for all others 118 Euro.
But: order online early enough, otherwise shipping will cost something!
be careful: as an Interrailticket holder, you don’t get a discount for bus rides.
Save on bus travel
4. Book bus trips online!
At Matkahuolto you will find all scheduled and long-distance buses. Often you find beside the regular price a Online bargain price. I myself got a bus ticket from Turku to Helsinki airport 1h before the bus departure for 7 Euro, a week before it cost 2 Euro.
Another advantage is that you don’t have to print out the ticket. Your name will be entered in the system at Matkahuolto.
When riding a bus in Finland, there are long distances to cover, but this does not have to be expensive.
5. The Onnibus makes early bookers happy
The bus company Onnibus (Finnish Onni for luck) offers very reasonable prices. A few bus tickets are for the very lucky already for 1 euro to have. Onnibus also offers the best price for the long distance of 600 kilometers from Helsinki-Oulu from 10 euros to! This is especially interesting for you if you want to travel to Lapland want to travel cheap.
6. For those in a hurry: Low-price flights at Norwegian Air
From 39,00 Euro per route you can also get Flight from Helsinki to Lapland indulge, z.B. to the Santa Claus town Rovaniemi, from where you can travel very well to the more distant regions of Lapland.
For all time-savers, the W-Lan access available in all transport options (except some buses in Lapland) is interesting!
Also by car you can travel cheap in Finland
7. Thumbs up!
The cheapest way to get around is hitchhiking. Hitchhiking is popular in Finland especially where there are no trains and only a few buses: Lapland.
According to the experience of my friends, the probability that you will be taken is quite high – despite the relatively low traffic is often stopped.
Drivers have to travel long distances and are happy to be entertained. Also, compassion is more often shown: in bad/cold weather, drivers often take pity and give you a ride after all.
I am not yet an expert about hitchhiking in Finland.
In June I will hitchhike through Finland and Norway. Here you can find my article on the subject Hitchhiking and fear.
If you’re looking for an expert opinion, Bruderleichtfuss has everything you need to know about hitchhiking on his blog!
8. Ride with us – save money
Also in Finland you can use a carpooling service. Besides Blablacar there is also the Finnish equivalent Kyydit and Greenriders.
There is also some Facebook groups, which are in Finnish, nevertheless you are not denied to make a request in English.
Just search for the place you want to go on Facebook and with a little luck you will find a suitable group. For example: Inari-Rovaniemi Matkaajat Facebook group .
9. Ride a bike in the city!
If you are in a city from which you want to discover the nature, I advise you to rent a bike. Finland is made for cyclists: the country is predominantly flat, with many bike paths equipped, away from the noise of the streets into the nature (Update: unfortunately not always! So it is better to always check the chosen route on Google Maps beforehand.)
A bus ride costs about 3 euros, daily rent for bike often only 10 euros, for a week even only 40. You save a lot of money, stay fit, don’t depend on bus times and can discover a lot more.
Explore Jyvaskyla cheap by bike – daily rent 10 Euro.
Don’t eat yourself poor – so you can eat cheaply
10. Always have lunch provisions with you or save at the buffet!
- Eating out in Finland is quite expensive, you can hardly get something warm to eat for less than 12 euros. It’s best to always plan something ahead and have it homemade sandwiches with. So you can save about 70 euros a week.
- If you do end up eating out, you will very often come across buffet food. Finns love buffets! Also keep in mind that Water and also often other (non-alcoholic) drinks always free with the meal and a bottle can easily cost 3 euros in Germany. Also the Tipping is generally already included in the price. So the dinner in the hotel for 16 euros may seem like a lot, but if you add it all up, it is often not more expensive than in Germany. In return you will get delicious regional food with local drinks in small hotels in Lapland, which you can’t get anywhere else!
11. Lidl – an oasis in the middle of the expensive Finnish supermarket landscape
Cheap food shopping in Finland you can do at Lidl – here you save about 30%! In addition, you can also get many local products, should you ever get homesick. Lidl can be found in almost all major Finnish cities. It’s worth shopping there for your upcoming backpacking trip!
12. How to enjoy in another time seasonal and local in Kaupahalli (market hall)
If you are in a city, you can also eat in a market hall. There you can also besides good offers very good fresh and often cheap local food try, dust off lunch offers and enjoy the flair of an old Kauppahalli on the side.
Kauppahalli offer local and seasonal produce – if you look closely, you can often pick up bargains on lunch
14. Local kebab snack bars
As with us, you will find kebab restaurants in all Finnish cities – they offer one big advantage: pizza sizes are measured differently in Finland than in Germany. What for us is a large pizza, there is a pizza of medium size. So you get a risiege pizza for two starving or 3 normal people for 6 euros and be full all day long.
Cheap accommodation in Finland
Hotels or. hostels can be quite expensive or even non-existent. The best possibility for me to stay was always offered by the Couchsurfing. I learned many unique, entertaining people know me too tell a lot about the region could, Secret tips given or with me Excursions undertaken have.
This often results in real Friendships emerged.
But beware: couchsurfing is much more than free accommodation and should not be considered as such. Do not take advantage of your hosts, but also offer them something: in the form of a souvenir, dinner or funny stories.
A helpful article on how to rock couchsurfing can be found here.
A good alternative, to the more and more commercial becoming Couchsurfing, offers Trustroots for hitchhikers. The community is growing with every month, I am sure Trustroots will soon be THE platform for hitchhikers.
Although I haven’t tried it myself yet (as I always preferred Couchsurfing), it has its advantages Airbnb also a few cheap treasures, like this example in high Lapland.
For me, private accommodations, whether paid or unpaid, offer by far the best way to stay in a city or in the countryside.
For me, traveling cheap doesn’t mean spending as little money as possible, but getting a lot for the money and that includes hospitality, entertaining evenings, local tips and warm people.
16. My own little house – the tent
Tenting is the cheapest way to stay overnight and is thanks to the Everyman’s Right allowed everywhere in Finland, except on private property. If you’re just outside of a city this is an excellent way to save money.
For example, if you are going to Turku, you can pitch your tent on the island of Ruissalo.
Advantages: completely free of charge, no city noise, wonderful location and not far from Turku. Hygiene is provided by the nearby campsite, where you can take a shower and get ready for a small fee.
17. Take money in cash, pay with card and do not withdraw anything
Withdrawing money can be quite expensive. I have the DKB credit card somewhere in the closet unused and can not speak from experience yet. If you also don’t have a special card for traveling, just take some cash with you and pay everywhere with card – almost everywhere possible (yes, also in long-distance buses), doesn’t cost you anything extra either.
For example, in the last nine months I have spent about only 50 euros in cash in Finland.
18. Enjoy the nature and the everyman right – completely free of charge!
If you have decided to travel to Finland and experience adventures there, it is certainly not because of Finland’s cities. In Finland, there’s something that’s totally free: nature. No matter where you go, you will always encounter it and it has a lot to offer. Finland has countless long and short distance hiking trails, many national parks and lakes. Just pack your backpack, take your tent and experience Finland from the best side for cheap.
Nature offers breathtaking experiences for free.
More about the Hiking in Finland you can find out here.
Conclusion: If you take my tips to heart, it is very easy to travel Finland cheaply.
Here again the most important tips Summarized:
- You can buy cheap bus tickets at Onnibus and Matkahuolto
Tip: Online at Matkahuolto they ask you for a PINS number when booking, just ignore it!
- Train travel is often affordable as a registered Vr user or with an Interrailticket
- Take advantage of hitchhiking
- take care of your food before day trips by bringing something with you
- shop at Lidl
- Use Couchsurfing, Airbnb and Trustroots
- Spend most of your time in nature
How to experience true adventures in Finland without spending much.
When does your adventure start?
Did the article help you and do you know any other tips and tricks on how to travel Finland on the cheap?