Helsinki is pretty safe during the nights (and I’d say during the days Helsinki is supersafe). When heading home at night, I normally walk or bicycle in downtown – I never feel unsafe. Central Railway Station is a bit dodgy at nights but isn’t that same in every capital? Only place I don’t go during the night is Park Kaisaniemi (Kaisaniemenpuisto) next to the Helsinki railway station – it has a bad reputation. During weekend the vast number of drunks can be surprising but remember – they are just Finnish drunks and normally pretty easy going.
It is also possible to live without a car (as the bloggers of this site do). Be it day or night, public transportation is excellent way of getting around. Of course it is quieter at nights – metros stop working around midnight, trams a bit later. Some busses go throughout the night but not everyplace is reachable. You can get even to Suomenlinna ferry with HSL ticket (best to check schedule if travelling there late in the evening). For all public transportation you can buy either single tickets, sms tickets or buy a travel card that you can top up with value or time. There is an excellent online journey planner for checking the public transportation schedules, it works also in English and Swedish. One of the handiest way to use journey planner is to write the address you want to start your journey and the wanted destination, the page will find the most suitable public transportation or bicycle route for you. And some extra – If you are travelling with a child (0-6 years old) in a pram, you don’t need to buy a ticket in HSL public transport!
Taxis are pretty expensive, but very safe. In general the meter is always on and you can trust the driver knows what (s)he is doing. Be aware that when bars are closing around 3-4 am there can be long queues for taxis (and in winter time it’s freezing cold to wait in a queue outside!) If you are just going a short way I always recommend walking or bicycling.
Here are few pics from our nightly ride during the weekend – me, my husband and our two daughters (who are elementary school aged) had a lovely evening with friends and around midnight we bicycled home. Our journey was less than two kilometers in downtown Helsinki (from Etu-Töölö to southern parts of town) and it was very lovely to bicycle that late. It’s not mandatory wearing a helmet in Finland but you see many people doing so. By the way – remember to lock your bike – even though it’s a safe city, bikes do get stolen.
I took the pictures when bicycling – so you understand they aren’t totally sharp…