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Cycling in Helsinki

Female biker in Helsinki's Kalasatama district

Cycling in Helsinki is growing more and more popular. A survey from a few years back found that more than half of Helsinki residents say they cycle weekly. Most say they use their bikes primarily because they are an easy way to get around.

Helsinki has over 1,500 kilometres of well-maintained cycling paths. The city strives to keep these routes safe and pleasant, as cycling is a very sustainable mode of transport. It keeps traffic under control, reduces harmful emissions and brings many social and health benefits.

What are Helsinki’s biking rules?

Can I bicycle on the sidewalk? Do I need a light? MyHelsinki has put together a great list of things to remember when cycling. Rules about biking are taken seriously in Finland.

Bicycle routes

If you are looking for great cycling routes in the city, the MyHelsinki website is a great place to start. It has several articles on the subject, starting with this one on three popular routes. Another features a nice selection of cycling routes in Helsinki’s Central Park, a verdant forest that runs the length of the city. My Helsinki has also collected information on bike shops in Helsinki for all of the city’s avid cyclists.

In addition, the city’s website has compiled a handy list of 29 scenic cycling routes in Helsinki that you can cross off one by one. Downloadable maps show the different routes, which range in distance from 10 to 30 kilometres.

Last but not least, cyclists can use the HSL Journey Planner to map out the ideal bike route for their commute or leisure time. Simply adjust the settings to indicate a bike as your mode of transport. To learn more about HSL, see our section on Public transport.

City bikes

Cycling in Helsinki is easy even if you don’t own a bike! Since 2016, Helsinki has had a city bike service for residents and visitors to the city. This convenient bike sharing option is available between April and October each year.

Simply register for a daily, weekly, or season pass and collect a bicycle from one of the many city bike stations in the region any time you need it. When you are done, you can return the bike to any station. 

A daily pass costs EUR 5, a weekly pass costs EUR 10, and a season pass costs just EUR 35 – a very inexpensive price for the use of a bike for seven months! All passes allow for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes.  

Helsinki City Transport also runs the centrally located Helsinki Bike Centre, which is open from May to September. The Helsinki Bike Centre provides emergency bicycle repair, tire pumping, supervised parking for bicycles, and advice and information on cycling and bicycle repair for everyone in the city.

Year-round cycling

Helsinki is stepping up its winter maintenance of 150 kilometres of bike paths, in order to encourage cycling year-round. Currently, 12 per cent of the city’s adult residents do so.

Winter is no reason to stop biking in Helsinki, as this short video from Visit Helsinki shows.