VR is Finland’s national rail operator connecting 200 train stations across the length and breadth of the country, from the stunning seaport city of Helsinki to Lapland and the Arctic Circle via the Santa Claus Express. The Finnish railway system has been operational for over 160 years, and today VR runs an extensive network of modern and comfortable high-speed trains in Finland, including 800 daily commuter rail services and 250 long distance journeys. Passengers can choose between InterCity (high-speed double decker trains), Commuter and Pendolino trains (high-speed, single deck trains) which travel at 136 mph (220 km/h).
Experience the beauty of Finland with its extensive train network! VR trains connect you to captivating destinations throughout the country, from vibrant cities to serene landscapes and snowy forests. Read on to discover cozy overnight sleeper trains and car trains (so you can explore more remote areas). Discover the convenience of traveling from Helsinki train station to various destinations across the country. Find out how to buy VR train tickets, sustainable travel in Finland and book your Finnish train adventure today.
Omio is an official VR train partner, meaning we’ll offer the latest deals, provide up-to-date information on VR schedules, offer easy booking for VR trains and send live updates and notifications if there are any changes to your journey. Passengers can also choose between a number of travel options using our ticket filters, which can be adjusted according to ticket price, departure times or the journey duration. Download the free Omio app today to browse in the language of your choice, receive e-tickets to save on printing and get real-time notifications on your mobile.
Whether you’re planning to explore the Finnish capital of Helsinki, looking to experience to experience the spectacular northern lights or take an icy dip in the great lakes on the country’s eastern flank, there are over 200 train destinations across Finland that are well-catered by VR trains.
Helsinki Central Railway Station: Finland’s busiest train station (and voted one of the most beautiful by the BBC in 2013), Helsinki Central, is the main hub for long-distance routes across Finland and includes night train options. Centrally located in the city, the station is well-equipped with cafes and restaurants, restrooms, lockers and sound-proofed workspaces. The main accessible route for wheelchair users can be found via the archway/corridor of Elielinaukio Square.
Tampere: Finland’s second largest city and just 1 h 33 minutes from Helsinki by train. The station is almost a hundred years old with around 80 trains coming in and out everyday. Tampere station is equipped with restrooms, ticket machines, accessibility assistance service, luggage lockers and a waiting room that is open 24 hours. There is also a loading dock for travelers taking a car on their journey.
Joensuu: located to the east, Joensuu train station is small but has all the basic amenities for travelers arriving or departing from this station. Essential services include accessible access and assistance, ticket machines, restrooms and luggage lockers. Most trains are operated by VR’s InterCity or Pendolino trains towards Helsinki.
Kolari: one of the stations located in the far north of Finland which is served by the Santa Claus Express from Helsinki. Trains to Kolari include comfortable night trains with car carriages, giving you the possibility to extend your onward journey to ski resorts and further into the Arctic Circle. The Kolari train station has toilets, lockers, ticket machines, taxi stands and provides assistance for passengers with accessibility requirements. Other stations served by the Santa Clause Express from Helsinki are Kemijärvi and Rovaniemi (the official hometown of Santa).
Take the Santa Clause Express and see reindeers in Finland’s snowy landscapes. Credit: Unsplash
Not sure where to begin your VR adventure? Check out these popular VR destinations for travel details and nearby attractions:
The best way to find the cheapest VR train tickets is to book as far in advance as possible. There are a range of different VR tickets including single tickets, holiday tickets and multi-tickets. Children under 18, seniors and military personnel are eligible for discounts. On commuter trains, children under 7 travel free while on long-distance routes children under 4, and without a seat, get a free ticket. There are often seasonal deals in winter and summer and as an official VR partner, discounts can be added via Omio when booking online or on the app.
Single ticket: available for specified train journeys on long-distance routes. Great for those making a stand-alone journey. The ticket can be exchanged before departure for a €5 fee (per leg of the journey). If exchanging for a more expensive ticket, the difference in price will have to be paid. On commuter trains, the single ticket is valid for two hours on all commuter trains on your route.
Multi-tickets: a good option for those making multiple journeys along the same route. Multi-tickets are valid for 6 months on long-distance routes (including commuter trains that are part of the journey), or 4 months for sole use on commuter trains. Buying Multi-tickets saves commuter train passengers 20% off the price of a single ticket.
Night trains: going skiing or visiting Rovaniemi, Santa’s official hometown? Night trains travel from the south to the north of Finland through forests and snowy landscapes. These double-decker trains are designed to be comfortable and affordable, whether you’re alone or traveling with family and friends. There are several cabin options to book including an entire sleeper cabin, cabins with adjoining doors, accessible cabins, cabins with a shower, and the option to reserve a car space.
Holiday tickets: great for those traveling to multiple destinations during the summer months. This ticket offers passengers unlimited VR train travel from 5 days to 30 days, you can choose depending on how long your vacation is. Holiday tickets will display the passenger name and date of birth so remember to bring your ID on the train.
Assistance tickets: if you need assistance along your journey, free assistance tickets are available for eligible passengers. Passengers will need to present relevant medical certification to the ticket inspector.
The streets of Helsinki. Credit: Unsplash
VR trains are well designed, modern and comfortable with plenty of amenities. Onboard facilities include Wi-Fi, power outlets, and a restaurant car or cart. The restaurant car offers a range of hot and cold foods including regional dishes, light salads and healthy snacks for children. There are options for wine, craft beers, fizzy drinks and smoothies too. On sleeper trains, the restaurant car closes at 2 a.m. and opens again for breakfast at 4 a.m. There’s ample luggage space, skis, snowboards and prams which can be taken onboard free of charge. Bikes can also travel free on VR commuter trains. Simply place it in the designated bike zones. For those traveling on long-distance trains, there is a small fee to reserve bike space.
Looking for a little more comfort? Planning on working while you travel and need a quiet space? It’s possible to upgrade from the basic Eko ticket (economy) to Ekstra class. For a small fee, Ekstra class tickets give passengers premium comfort and privacy when they travel. Some of the perks of Ekstra class include single seat rows with spacious chairs and more legroom, free Wi-Fi, power sockets at the seat, tea and coffee, sound absorbing carpets and no passage through the Estra class cabins, meaning complete peace while traveling.
Working compartments: on the high-speed long distance trains it’s possible to book work private compartments of between 2 and 6 people (depending on the train type) with free Wi-Fi, desk space and charging portals.
Family cabins: book a cabin with four seats and two stools for children. The family cabin gives extra space for games, storytime and food. There is a play area nearby, free Wi-Fi, and a baby change toilet close to the cabin.
VR is committed to creating sustainable train travel and promoting carbon neutrality across its company. Around 95 percent of VR trains run on electrified routes and for the remaining 5 percent, VR have been offsetting the emissions since 2019. VR’s offset emissions go towards a forestation project in Columbia and the construction of a solar plant in India. Trains remain one of the greenest ways to travel and explore Finland and beyond.