Going by car to Finland in 2022 – what do I need to know?

Entering Finland by car in 2022

Entering Finland by car

Russian tourists love to travel by car to Finland. The trip opens up the opportunity to visit Europe, to admire the picturesque sites. In Finland, you need a visa, which can still be obtained.

Restrictions on entry to Finland in 2022 have been lifted

Finland has opened its borders for free entry to the Russians without any sanitary restrictions after the coronavirus from July 1, 2022. This is reported on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Finland.

Russian authorities announced the removal of restrictions on entry and exit through land borders with Finland and other countries. Now additional grounds for exit from Russia are not required. This is reported on the site government.ru.

Travel by car is allowed to people who have a Schengen visa.

The Finnish authorities have imposed restrictions on the issuance of tourist visas due to the events in Ukraine. Now they are issued only on Mondays in the visa centers in 4 cities: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Murmansk and Petrozavodsk.

Journey time

The way to the capital of Finland, Helsinki, from St. Petersburg takes about 5 hours. You will have to travel 388 km by car. To the nearest customs office 150 km.

St. Petersburg-Helsinki on the map

Road St. Petersburg – Helsinki

From St. Petersburg, go to the border in the direction of Vyborg, or roads lying through Pargolovo and Sestroretsk. And then you need to think about the route, depending on what you want to see. To Helsinki, you need to take the E-18 highway.

The way from Moscow is longer and more problematic. You can drive through it in 15 hours if you go without delays at customs.

Moscow-Helsinki on map

The capitals of two states are 1115 km apart.

Experienced travelers recommend to drive at night in order to leave the city without problems. It is comfortable to move along the M-11 highway, bypassing Vyshny Volochok.

To save money, it is best to fill up a full tank before arriving in Finland, where a liter of 95 will cost 1.5 euros.

Petrol costs

Comparison of gasoline prices in Finland and Russia

Documents required

Before you travel, you must obtain a Schengen visa. The following papers are required:

  • Application (Schengen application form).
  • One photo card 3,5 x 4,5 cm (photo requirements for Schengen visa). One photo of yourself and your family covering the whole period of your trip (find out how much insurance costs for a Schengen visa).
  • Information about hotel or private house reservation. If overnight accommodation is not required, you should state in writing why you decided not to stay anywhere. The document issued in the last 10 years will do. Mandatory requirement is the presence of two available pages (what to do if you ran out of free pages in the passport?). It must expire not earlier than 90 days after your return to Russia.

It is not necessary to specify that the trip will be made by car.

You can arrange your travel medical insurance online in 5 minutes on the Cherehapa service, which compares prices from all leading insurance companies. How to do it step by step is explained in this video.

Step-by-step instruction for the necessary papers

The order of submitting documents is as follows:

Step by step instructions for the necessary papers

  • Arrangements for an interview are required. This can be done from home. On the Internet resource, it is possible to choose either the capital or another locality in which it is available.
  • Fill out your information in the questionnaire online at http://visa.finland.eu/Russia/Moscow/Online_Application_Form.html. It takes a long time on paper, but the website works like clockwork.
  • Print out the application. You have to sign the document.
  • Take out a travel insurance policy. You can take out insurance on this website: https://cherehapa.ru/.
  • Find lodging. Or attach to the rest of the paperwork a freestyle letter of explanation as to why it is not needed.

You can download application forms on our website:

Price for opening a visa.

Russian tourists have to pay visa fee for the consular services. For standard processing of the documents (will take about a week) – 35 euros.

You can order urgent visa for 70 euros. Then the visa can be issued in 72 hours. For urgent consideration, a reason must be given, which must be serious.

At the visa application center the receipt can be paid immediately. When the papers are submitted to the embassy, it will be necessary to go to an ATM “Nordea Bank”. In the Russian capital, the offices are located at the following addresses:

  • Belorusskaya metro station. The third street. Yamsky Polya, 19, p. 1. Working without weekends, 24 hours a day.
  • Novye Cheryomushki metro station, 14 Nametkina St., bld. 2, 1st floor (VNIIOENG). Daily functioning schedule: 9:00-22:00.
  • Metro station “Belorusskaya”, “Savelovskaya”, Pravdy st. 8/13, 2nd entrance, 1st floor. Open according to the schedule: 6:00-22:00, no days off.
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St. Petersburg has a branch at Bolshaya Morskaya St., 57, lit. A, Room 20H. Mode of operation: Weekdays from 9:00 to 18:00. The contact number is 8-812-635-70-85.

Since ATMs charge 5% for the transfer of funds, you will have to pay extra for the right to enter the visa center. The amount will be up to 60 euros. In addition, you will have to pay an insurance fee.

Crossing the border by car

You can enter Finland through border crossings. Four points are open 24 hours a day:

  • Brusnichnoye;
  • Svetogorsk;
  • Torfyanovka;
  • Värtsillä.

Border crossings Salla and Lyuttya operate from 7:00 to 21:00.

Checkpoints on the map

Checkpoints from Russia to Finland on the map

Most often there are long columns in line before holidays and weekends. If you are guided by time, the biggest flow is at 9:00 and from 15:00 to 16:00. If there are not too many cars, control procedure takes from 30 minutes to one hour.

A video on Russia-Finland border crossing is posted below.

Documents

Passing the border, you need to show a number of documents:

  • Foreign passport with an open visa.
  • Driver’s license.
  • Passport for a vehicle.
  • A Green Card policy. If travelling with one.

Rules for entering Finland with pets

There are certain rules for travelling with pets to Finland.

  1. If you travel with a dog or a cat, you must have a veterinary passport (read the rules for exporting pets abroad and the rules for bringing pets into Finland).
  2. Pets must have a chip, it is checked at the border.

Green Card

“The Green Card is an international standard driving document. It may be used in all European countries, including Finland.

It is often issued on the way, during the trip, at gas stations and kiosks. But something can go wrong, so it’s best to get the card before you travel.

You can get your policy online in five minutes. The checkout link is: https://fintrip.ru/green-card. You can pay by bank card, Yandex.Money, and other ways.

The policy can be issued for a period from 15 days to one year. The cost of the Green Card starts at 2,450 rubles. If you won’t find it at the border, but only the international or Russian license, you will have to pay 100 euros for issuing it.

Preparation of the car

Finnish border guards pay close attention to the car to prevent accidents.

Pass the control will not be possible if the car windows are tinted. It is forbidden to have light-shielding films on the windows. The requirement for the windshield is 75% availability of light, and for the side windows – 70%.

From December to February only winter tires are allowed across the border. The pattern height for winter tires must be at least 3 mm, for summer – 1.6 mm. It is prohibited to put on one car both studded and nonstudded rubber at the same time.

Border control officers carefully check whether there is a leak of fuel or oil, how well the lights, brakes, mudguards and steering work. At the same time, the body is not carefully inspected. It is possible to pass with defects and rust.

For Finns it does not matter tuning on the car (any). In addition to gasoline in the tank you can have a canister of up to 10 liters. The fuel in the tank and canister must not be different.

Rules on Finnish roads

In the country it is comfortable to drive on the highway. All roads are in excellent condition. And the rules of the road have much in common with Russian, you do not have to adapt for a long time.

Freeways and speed limits

There are no closed toll highways in the country. But the way people drive is closely monitored by video equipment.

There are rest areas with tables, toilets, and garbage cans on the sides of the highways. Small cafes and gas stations make it possible to stop and eat.

Finns have established a rule of speed limits for different types of roads, which are respected in all regions of the country:

  • On major highways – up to 120 km/h.
  • On highways – up to 90 km/h.
  • Outside cities – up to 80 km/h.
  • In towns and villages, up to 50 km/h.
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In wintertime, these requirements may be stricter.

There are a number of rules that must be observed by the driver:

  • All passengers in the cabin must be wearing seat belts.
  • At any time of the year you should drive with dipped beam turned on.
  • Talking on the phone while driving is possible only with a wireless headset.
  • A child who is less than 135 cm in height may not ride in the front seat.
  • Children under 3 years of age must be seated and wearing a car seat belt.

Features of the ATC

A few peculiarities of the traffic rules in Europe

You may be fined for speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to allow a pedestrian to cross a road or driving through a red light.

Fines system

The most “expensive” fines drivers pay for driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding and refusing to let a passenger on the road. Besides the fines, for such violations you can be brought to the police station and become a suspect.

  • Breaking the speed limit at 16-20 km/h – 200 euros.
  • Driving through a red light – from 64 euros.
  • Ignoring the signs on the road – from 100 euros.
  • Talking on the phone without a headset – from 100 euros.
  • Not turning lights on – 50 euros.
  • Not wearing seat belt – 70 euros.
  • Refusal to stop on police demand – up to 72 euros.
  • Driving without a license – up to 120 euros.

You can find out about fines and parking in Finland in the video.

Parking

In cities and small towns in Finland there are paid parking zones, as well as free for a certain time. Here you cannot “leave your car somewhere”. You can get a fine of 10 to 40 euros for wrong parking.

Parking

Parking in Finland

It is important to pay attention to the signs. Some of them: “Pysakointi kielletty” and “Vain talon asukkaille” – it is forbidden to leave a car in a warning place.

A note for the driver

  • In Finland you are not allowed to use or have an anti-radar on the road.
  • To get your bearings in a foreign country, it’s best to load maps into your navigation device beforehand.
  • If you break the rules on the road, you can not avoid the penalty. On the video camera you will see the license plate number, which will be submitted to customs. When driving out the driver must pay the amount of the violation. Failure to pay will automatically deprive you of the opportunity to visit the country again. When paying, an additional fee of 5% for translation is charged.
  • On country roads you can meet moose and deer in the north. If you obey the speed limit and carefully assess the signs, you can avoid accidents. Areas with wild animals are marked with road signs.

Attractions in Finland

Finland is a picturesque country with an interesting history, in which every traveler will find an attraction for themselves. Many begin their route with Helsinki, a city with a quiet and measured pace of life.

In the summertime are popular beaches of the river Vatnaa and Lake Suomi. The main tourist spots of the capital of Finland can be seen in the city center. Senate Square, ancient churches, sculptures of artists, naval fortress Sveaborg, the church in stone, free art museums – this is just a small list of places worth a look, while in the country.

Old Castle

A castle on Lake Suomi

Seinäjoki is a small town in the west of the country, founded in the 19th century. From the border to drive over 300 km, it is possible to get to the city in four hours.

Tourists are attracted primarily by a unique architectural complex. The founder of the attractions is the architect Alvar Aalto, known as the ancestor of modernism in Scandinavia. The complex consists of six buildings and a bell tower that stretches 65 meters into the sky.

In Seinäjoki also recommended to visit the park-museum of Törnävä, which is located 3.5 km from the center. It was home to three generations of ancient industrialists. Many events take place in Seinäjoki: the Provinssi and Tango rock music festivals, the Solar Sound music festival, the Vauhtiajot Race & Rock meeting of hard rock and motorcycle fans.

Seinäjoki

The village of Iittala is on the road to the west. Here are engaged in production of unique artistic glass. Tourists organize excursions to the glass factory and glass products museum.

The plant is available to visit on weekdays, but there are exceptions on holidays and official holidays of the country. Tours should be booked in advance by calling +358 20 439 6230 or mailing iittala.museum@iittala.com.

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In the village of Nuutajärvi there is also a glass factory. In the museum you can learn about its rich history of more than 200 years, see both ancient and modern unique items made of glass. Tourists can buy souvenirs.

Video: 10 places in Finland, which will decorate your Instagram

Overnight accommodations

If the trip by car takes more than one day, you need to solve the question of overnight accommodation. The most comfortable are 4* hotels in Helsinki. But the fee per night is from 16,000 to 20,000 rubles.

Hotels with two stars are much cheaper, they are located near the center of the capital. For example, good options are hotels Kongressikoti Hote or Hotel Sofia. Hotels are convenient and have parking.

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You can search for a place to stay online at Booking.com

Glo Hotel Art

Glo Hotel Art, Helsinki, 4*

Budget options are quickly dispersed by tourists, so the trip should be planned well in advance.

Travelers by car is convenient to stay in hotels and hostels outside the city. For example, 4 km from the central part of Seinäjoki is hotel 3 * Seinäjoen leirintäalue, consisting of several buildings. In addition to the usual amenities, the complex has an area for children and a terrace.

It is possible not to rent a room, but to rent a clearing where it will be convenient to set up tents. The cost of such a service is 1179 rubles per night. Double room costs 4400 rubles.

In addition, the Finns offer to rent cottages and cabins. This will especially appeal to fans of recreation in picturesque places. The price – from 3000 rubles, it all depends on the area and the arrangement of the house.

How to go to Finland by car

Driving to Finland

All about traveling to Finland by car in 2022! Nuances of border control, the quality of Finnish roads, interesting routes in the country and places to relax. Bonus – tourist tips.

Finland is not yet receiving tourists from Russia. Take a look at the list of open countries. For convenience, we give pre-dedicated prices for travel and flights. Information about visas and flights may not be up to date, check with official resources.

Road trips to Finland are very popular among the Russians. The way to the northern country does not take much time, and the cost of the trip is quite affordable. For residents of Northwest Russia is one of the cheapest ways to be in Europe. During a trip by car in Finland, it is interesting to get acquainted with the original architecture of Finnish cities, visit local festivals, museums and nature parks.

Content:

How much to drive to Finland

The road from St. Petersburg to Helsinki takes 5 hours (388 km). In order to get to the closest border point to the city, you need to overcome only 150 km. From St. Petersburg leave for Vyborg, or make your way through Pargolovo and Sestroretsk. Further way depends on the upcoming route in Finland. For Helsinki, it is highway E18.

The road from Moscow takes much more time. It takes 15 hours (1115 kilometers) to get from the Russian capital to Helsinki – if you don’t have to stay at the border. Experienced tourists advise to start from Moscow at night, while there is no traffic on the streets and when leaving the city. It is convenient to use a toll section of the M11 highway, which bypasses Vyshnii Volochok.

Tip. If you want to save on fuel, before crossing the border fill the tank completely.

How to go to Finland by car

Asikkala. Photo: Taneli Lahtinen / unsplash.com.

Going through the border

To enter Finland, tourists need a Schengen visa and a passport with a validity of at least 3 months at the end of the trip. Differences: the application form is filled online, and the insurance is bought from an insurance company accredited by the embassy, and it must start on the day of application for a visa.

Usually the Finnish Schengen visa is issued within 6-9 days. It costs 35 euros plus 26.75 euros for the consular fee. Express visa can be done for 70 euros. Learn how to get a visa to Finland.

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It is possible to cross the border in several places. Four points are open round the clock: Svetlogorsk-Imatra, Torfyanovka-Vaalimaa, Brusnichnoye-Nuijamaa and Värtsilla-Niirala. The border crossings at Salla-Salla and Lyuttya-Vartius are open from 7:00 to 21:00.

Most cars at the border pile up on weekends, on pre-holiday days and at 9 a.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. Border control procedure takes from 0.5 to 1 hour if there is no heavy traffic.

Map of border points

In 2022, tourists going to Finland by car present a package of documents for control at the border:

  • passport with a valid visa;
  • driving license;
  • vehicle passport;
  • Green Card policy;
  • power of attorney for the car;
  • For children – passport;
  • For a dog – a veterinary passport.

When traveling to Finland by car, you can have an international and Russian driver’s license. If you do not have a Green Card, you have to buy a policy at the border. But it will cost 100 euros more.

What you need to know about traveling to Finland by car and how to prepare a car:

  • It is forbidden to enter with fully tinted windows and the use of light-shielding films. Windshield must transmit light by at least 75% and side windows by 70%.
  • Only studded tires are allowed in the winter months and summer tires are allowed in the spring, summer and fall. Cars that have different tires on one axle, as well as cars that have both studded and nonstudded tires are not allowed in the country.
  • At the border crossing point is obligatory to check up gasoline and oil leakage, serviceability of lights, brakes, operation of mudguards and steering. Dents, rust and unusual tuning of the cars do not interest anybody.
  • Except for gasoline in the tank, you are allowed to take no more than 10 liters of fuel in a canister. It must be the same fuel that is used to fuel the car.

Going through the Finnish border. Tips

Finnish roads

Driving your own car in Finland is a lot of fun! All highways have a flat surface. There are no toll roads, but control over compliance with traffic rules – a lot of video cameras. There are plenty of rest areas with tables, benches, toilets and garbage cans along the tracks. You can stop and eat at cafes and gas stations.

Speed limits are in force all over the country: 120 km/h on highways, 90 km/h on highways, 80 km/h on country roads and 50 km/h in populated areas. In winter, the speed is reduced.

When driving in Finland by car, follow the local rules:

  • All passengers must wear their seat belts.
  • The driver must always use dipped beam.
  • Children under 135 cm are not allowed to sit in the front seat, and a baby under 3 years of age must be carried in a car seat.
  • Talking on a cell phone is only allowed through a wireless headset.
  • Significant fines or even arrests are stipulated for drunk driving, driving at a red light, speeding violations and refusing to let a pedestrian pass in a designated place.

What you need to know when travelling to Finland by car

(Photo: unsplash.com / @jhonkasalo)

There are paid parking lots and time-limited free parking in cities and smaller towns. Fines for parking violations range from 10 to 40 euros.

When planning your budget for a trip to Finland by car in 2022, consider the cost of fuel. It is expensive here. The average price of 1 liter of gasoline is €1.56, gasoline 98 – €1.64, and diesel fuel – €1.39.

Tips:

  • In Finland it is forbidden to use or even carry in a car radar.
  • Don’t forget to download Finnish maps to your navigation device.
  • If you break the traffic rules, the video recorder sends the number of your car to the customs office. When leaving the country, violators are asked to pay a fine. If you refuse, you will be deprived of your next entry visa. Keep in mind that when paying a fine in a Finnish bank, a 5% transfer fee is charged. Important detail: local bank branches are open only on weekdays.
  • Be careful on country roads in Finland. Sometimes moose cross the road unexpectedly. Usually it happens in spring when animals are looking for convenient pastures for feeding. To avoid trouble, watch the warning signs, observe the speed limit and distance.

Documents for travelling by car to Finland

(Photo: jackmac34 / pixabay.com)

Housing prices in Finland

If the trip around Finland by car is designed for several days, you need to decide on the issue of accommodation. In the center of Helsinki, hotels are expensive. According to reviews of tourists, comfortable rooms offer hotels 4 * Glo Hotel Kluuvi and Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Helsinki. However, they cost 16000-20000 rubles per night.

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Much cheaper, for 4200-5400 rubles, you can stay at a hotel 2 * with parking, which are located at some distance from the center of Helsinki. For example, in Kongressikoti Hotel or Hotel Sofia. Keep in mind that low-cost options should be booked in advance, because they are in high demand among tourists.

Where to go in Finland by car

(Photo: booking.com / Seinäjoen leirintäalue)

When traveling around Finland by car, it is convenient to stay overnight in cheap suburban hotels. The 3* Seinäjoen leirintäalue hotel complex is 4.3 km from the center of Seinäjoki. It is a well-appointed campsite surrounded by a garden with a terrace and a children’s playground. Some rooms have kitchenettes with a microwave. Prices here are quite democratic. A place to pitch a tent costs 1179 rubles, and a double room in a chalet costs 4400 rubles per night.

If you would like to live in nature, you can rent cottages and small houses. Prices start at 3000 rubles and depend on the proximity to Helsinki, airports and popular tourist attractions. Not bad reviews from tourists received Holiday Village Himmerki and Villa Wästä-Räkki.

Tip. In roadside cafes and restaurants, which are far from the border, not always know English.

Reviews for driving in Finland

(Photo: booking.com / Holiday Village Himmerki)

Itinerary of the trip in Finland

Tripster – interesting excursions in Finland in Russian.

What to see on your own during a trip to Finland by car? Most tourists start their car trip from the capital of the country. Helsinki is a beautiful and hospitable city. Despite its high status, it has a quiet atmosphere and measured pace of life.

In summer, you can visit the local beaches, which are located on the banks of the Vantaa River and nearby islands. The main sights of Helsinki are located in the city center. These are Senate Square, Lutheran and Orthodox cathedrals, a monument to composer Sibelius, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the church in the rock Temppelinaukio and the sea fortress Sveaborg.

What to see in Finland during summer by car

(Photo: insouciance / flickr.com / License CC BY-SA 2.0)

Connoisseurs of unique architecture, Finnish furniture, paintings and glassware from Helsinki go to Seinäjoki in western Finland. The road there takes just over 4 hours (360 km). The city of Seinäjoki lies in a picturesque river valley and is known for its large architectural complex. It was designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto, who is often called the father of modernism in Northern Europe. The complex includes six buildings and a 65 m high bell tower.

At 3.5 km from the city center, on the site of a rich manor of the nobility, there is a park and museum area Törnävä . A car trip to Finland is a good idea to coincide with one of Seinäjoki’s popular festivals: the Provinssi Rock Festival, the Tango Festival, the Solar Sound Music Festival, or the Vauhtiajot Race & Rock, a festival for rock music and bike enthusiasts.

How to go to Finland by car

(Photo: jonathan rieke / flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0 license)

On the way to Seinäjoki lies Iittala . The humble village is home to Iittala, one of the country’s most famous art glassworks. The glassblowing factory and glass museum are open to tourists.

Near Seinäjoki is Nuutajärvi village. The history of the local glassblowing factory has more than 225 years. This is the oldest glassblowing factory in the country, where craftsmen and artists create unique items of coloured glass. In the building of the former warehouse, built in the XIX century, open store, which sells souvenirs and gifts made of glass.

When you travel around Finland by car in 2.5 hours from Seinäjoki it is easy to get to the town of Jyväskylä, where the architect Alvar Aalto lived and worked for many years. There is a museum for tourists with glassware, original lighting fixtures and Finnish furniture.

By car from Moscow to Finland

(Photo: unsplash.com / @stevenspassov)

Conclusions

Pros of traveling by car to Finland in 2022:

  • Traveling by private car is cheaper than flying or traveling by rail.
  • A car makes us much more mobile. In one car trip you can see more interesting places and get to places where public transport does not go.
  • You don’t have to pay for tours and bus tickets.

Costs and inconveniences:

  • Strict parking regulations.
  • Expensive gasoline.
  • Fines in Finland are higher than in Russia.
  • Language problems when using the Finnish car service.

In any case, the positive aspects of a car trip to Finland far outweigh the disadvantages of an independent car trip.

See also:

How to go by car to Finland

Photo: @kirsipirukas / unsplash.com.

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