Should the Helsinki in 2017 bid win, the city of Helsinki will be providing all attending members of the Helsinki Worldcon with free public transit during the convention, thanks to one of the grant programs we are eligible for (this one from the city’s tourism bureau). Fans typically spend $30 or so on local transit during a Worldcon, so this is a savings that will directly help attendees of a Helsinki Worldcon run around being tourists while visiting Finland.
Should you decide to do some tourism, the options are very convenient from our convention centre, Messukeskus. The Pasila local train station is immediately adjacent to Messukeskus and it’s one stop (3 to 5 minutes’ transit) from the central train station of Helsinki. There are currently between 10 and 35 trains each hour in both directions, depending on the time of day or night. Three tram lines also have a stop right in front of the site, and it’s well served by other bus and tram connections. Travel to and from the centre of the city is very simple, in other words, should you decide to have adventures elsewhere in Helsinki.
Concerned about accessibility? All buses and metros, as well as most trams and trains, are low-floor and wheelchair-accessible. Mobility scooters are allowed on low-floor trains, and wheelchairs are usable everywhere.
I’m not saying that you’ll need to go anywhere on public transit. Messukeskus shares doors with the main hotel we’ve contracted with (a Holiday Inn). You won’t have to go outside to get to the con if you’re in the main hotel, and there are several other hotels within a couple of blocks, so you wouldn’t need transit in Helsinki if you didn’t want to utilize it. However, I personally find public transit in Helsinki to be clean, pleasant, and speedy. It’s very efficient, and it gets to me to exciting places nearby, like the nearby amusement park, Linnanmaki, the sea fortress, Suomenlinna, and the contemporary art museum, Kiasma. The last of those completely deserves its own blog entry, since I was just there this week, and it was fabulous. 🙂