OR 2014

Practical Information

Emergencies | Language | Food, Drink etc. | Maps | Money | Shopping |Public Transportation | Time Zone | Plugs


Emergencies: For ambulance, police, and rescue services, call 112.

The conference organizers are there to help you with any problems.

Hospitals, pharmacies: See http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/come/welcome-helsinki/useful-information. Note that all medicines are available in pharmacies only. Please ensure that your travel insurance is in order. EU, EEA and Switzerland residents should carry their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

In non-urgent police matters (e.g. in case of theft) please contact conference organizers, or Helsinki Police Department.


English is generally spoken.

Finnish is the principal language. 5 % of Helsinki dwellers speak Swedish, the other official language, as their first language. You will notice that street signs are bilingual.

Food, drink, daily necessities

Food safety: All food is generally safe. Helsinki tap water is pure and tastes good.

Diets: Vegetarian and non-lactose, even vegan options are often available. Halal and kosher foods can be hard to find.

Restaurants: Check Eat.fi Helsinki.

Groceries, and daily consumer goods: Look for these names: Alepa chain, K chain, R-kioski kiosks, Siwa and Valintatalo chains,  S-Market chain, Stockmann department store.

Cigarettes are available in most grocery stores and kiosks but may not be displayed in plain view. Ask for you brand or ask for a printed list of products available.

Wine and liqueurs are only sold in Alko stores.


Google Map with important locations


Currency: Euro. Currency may be exchanged in several offices in Helsinki City, and at the Airport. Withdrawing cash from an ATM is often an economical opetion. Exchange in banks is not recommended due to high fees; the same applies to traveller’s cheques.

ATMs can be recognized from an orange sign saying “Otto”. Stores or restaurants will not give cashbacks.

Credit Cards: All major credit cards are widely accepted.

Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory. Tipping habits vary greatly but tips, if any, tend to be modest.

Taxes: All taxes are included in the prices. Citizens of non-EU countries are eligible for tax-free returns of purchases made in shops displaying the Tax Free sign. Ask shops for instructions.


Souvenirs: Popular souvenirs include Finnish glass (e.g. Iittala), Marimekko apparel and home decor, and Moomin-themed items. We recommend Hakaniemi Market Hall near the conference venue.

Public Transport

Helsinki Region Transport runs  reliable bus, tram, metro, ferry and commuter train services in the whole metropolitan area. You can plan your trips with the Journey Planner – and check if walking or cycling would be a better option.

A single trip with one hour right of transfer . It is always cheaper to obtain tickets beforehand than to buy them from the driver. You may consider buying a day ticket (1 to 7 days). Check http://www.hsl.fi/en/tickets-and-fares for infromation on tickets and points of sale.

Taxis have a yellow TAKSI/TAXI sign on the roof, lit when unoccupied. A taxi may be called to a specific address by calling +358 100 0700. One can also go to the nearest taxi station; hailing a passing taxi is discouraged. Taxis in Helsinki are clean and spacious – and expensive.

Time Zone

In summer (during OR2014), daylight saving time UTC +3:00. Otherwise UTC +2:00.

Electricity Plugs

230 V, 50 Hz. Plugs: C (Europlug, Euro 2 pin) and F (Schuko). Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country


Weather in late June: Weather is cool for almost all visitors, and light rains occur. A light coat and an umbrella might come useful. For averages, see http://www.holiday-weather.com/helsinki/averages/june/. For current forecast, check http://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/weather/helsinki