All roads lead to Turku: 5 ways to get to Turku from anywhere in the world

For many, travelling is about extra stress, fatigue, and insane prices – but it does not have to be like that! After solo traveling in over 15 countries on a student budget, I learnt that planning in advance and thinking outside the box can save you a fortune on travel expenses. It can also make your trip enjoyable and memorable – in a good way. 
In this blog post, I share student tips on how to save money and find the fastest route to Turku from anywhere in the world. If you are soon starting your studies at UTU, begin planning your trip as early as possible and explore multiple options to find the one that suits you the best!

1. Flying directly to Turku

Turku has its own international airport with direct flights to Stockholm (Sweden), Gdansk (Poland), Riga (Latvia), and Rome (Italy). Depending on how early in advance you book the ticket, prices can vary from €20 to €200 (before the luggage fee). So, even if you live outside the EU, it may be worth using one of the above-mentioned cities as a connection instead of flying to Helsinki, as it can save you both money and time. 

Note: if you choose to travel via one of the European countries, check before booking the ticket if your citizenship allows you to enter these countries for transit on your way to Finland. 

Screenshots with example flight prices, showing different ways to get to Turku
Example prices: Riga-Turku direct flight via AirBaltic (duration: 1 h 5 min); Gdansk-Turku direct flight via WizzAir (duration 1 h 30 min, the price: zl109, which is about €25).  Make sure to check multiple dates, as direct flights may be scheduled on specific week-days only.

Turku Airport is located just a 15-minute ride away from the city, and there is a regular bus service  (Bus No. 1) going from the airport to Turku city centre even at night and in early mornings. If you are going to live in TYS Student Village, you can take Bus 1 to the city centre (get off at the bus stop Lidl Turku Keskusta, Eerikinkatu 4) and then change to Bus 50 going to TYS student village (remember to cross the road to get Bus 50 going in the right direction).

2. Flying to Helsinki + bus/train to Turku

Helsinki has a big international airport with flights scheduled to 121 destinations in 39 countries, so it is one of the most popular ways to get to Finland from abroad. If you arrive to Helsinki Airport, you can take a bus operated by Matkahuolto to Turku directly from the airport. You can also commute to Helsinki city centre to get more bus and train connections to Turku. To get to Helsinki city you can take a local I and P trains departing from the Airport’s underground station, or Bus 600. These trains and the bus will take you to Helsinki city centre, with the Central Train Station and Kamppi Central Bus Stations located 500 m away from each other.

To learn more about how to get from Helsinki Airport to Helsinki city centre check out Helsinki Airport’s guide or “Your Path to Turku” guide from UTU (Step 6). For the local connections between Helsinki Airport and Helsinki city you don’t need to buy a ticket in advance, but it’ll save you time if you download HLS app to buy the ticket when you arrive to Helsinki Airport.
From the Central Train Station in Helsinki you can get VR trains to Turku (you can book the ticket in advance on VR website, which will be much cheaper than buying it directly at the railway station).

NOTE: if you travel via VR train, you don’t have to buy a separate HLS ticket to get from the Airport to the train station – you can buy a single ticket for both parts of this journey on VR website. Simply choose Helsinki Airport as your departure and Turku Kupittaa (currently the only train stop in Turku and the closest to Student village). Keep in mind that usually gives you very short transfer time, but with the same ticket, you can catch an earlier local I or P train than suggests. You can also get a student discount, if you have a Finnish student card on your Tuudo app by the time you arrive to Finland.

VR train to Turku example prices

From Kamppi Central Bus Station, you can take a bus to Turku operated by multiple companies, such as OnniBus and FlixBus. While FlixBus is the most popular student choice in mainland Europe, I always commute with OnniBus in Finland, as it has buses going between Turku and Helsinki throughout the day. There are discounts for Finnish university students (a student card or certificate is required to board the bus with a student ticket). As with train tickets, buying your bus ticket online and in advance can save you up to €10-15). 

3. Tallinn to Helsinki by ferry + bus/train to Turku

Ferry is not just a way to get from point A to point B. It is a great way to explore Finnish life and culture. While it is exhausting to spend your journey crammed on a plane, train, or bus for hours, ferry is an island filled with exciting things to do. From live Finnish concerts, to open decks, you can walk all around this enormous ship and enjoy the views, chatting to strangers, or simply resting anywhere you choose – no restricting seatbelts and turbulence alarms! If you have never travelled by ferry before but enjoy the sea, it is a must to try it out. The Tallinn-Helsinki ferry takes about 3 hours, and the tickets start form €15-20. 

You can book a Tallinn-Helsinki ferry from Eckerö LineTallink Silja Line, or Viking Line. On the ferry, you can use a luggage locker to have a good look around the ship without worrying about your belongings. When you arrive to Helsinki port, you can take a tram from the port to the Central Railway and Bus Stations.

4. Stockholm to Turku by ferry

While using Tallinn as a connection on your way to Turku means that you will have to arrive to Helsinki first and then get a bus or train from Helsinki to Turku, taking a ferry from Stockholm means you can arrive directly to Turku without extra legs. Tallink Silja Line and Viking Line offer direct Stockholm – Turku ferries with the duration of the trip around 11 hours and the prices starting from €40.

5. Lübeck (Travemünde) to Helsinki by ferry + bus/train to Turku

This is a rather eccentric option, but still a working one! Travemünde – Helsinki ferries are operated by Finnlines. Since the trip takes about 30 hours, the tickets are quite pricey ranging from €200 to €750. If you choose this route to get to Turku, you will first arrive to Helsinki. From Helsinki you can get to Turku by train or bus.

Whatever route you choose, a big help for your relocation trip will be packing as light as possible, read student blog post on what to take and not to take with you when moving to Turku.

Additionally, you can find helpful links on transportation in Finland in “Your Path to Turku” guide from UTU.