Helsinki has been the capital of Finland since the country's independence in 1917 and is the central political, cultural and economical hub of the country. The Helsinki metropolitan area, which also comprises the neighbouring cities Espoo and Vantaa, as well as number of smaller municipalities, is one of the fastest growing regions in Europe, with currently about 1.5 million inhabitants.
Helsinki itself is often named as one of the most modern, cleanest and safest capitals in Europe and hosts five universities, the largest of which are Helsinki University and Aalto University (in Espoo), which regularly are named in the top 100 and 200 of worldwide university rankings, respectively.
As the northernmost capital in Europe, Helsinki has a mild climate in summer, and the sun doesn't set before 23:00.
There are many things to do in Helsinki: You can explore the compact city center which is characterised by neoclassical, Jugendstil and modern architecture; visit one of many museums; take a trip to the island fortress Suomenlinna; or for a particularly Finnish experience, go to a Sauna. Tourist guides can be found e.g. at MyHelsinki and Visit Finland.
Helsinki region is home to about 80 museums. The Finnish National Gallery comprises three museums located in the city centre: The Ateneum features classical Finnish and international art, in Kiasma you will find contemporary art, and Sinebrychoff Art Museum is both home to classical paintings and a historic house museum by itself. Helsinki City Museum is dedicated to the city's rich history, and the National Museum of Finland to the history of the country. Helsinki Design museum is one of several musems devoted to design, both Finnish and international.
A popular tourist attraction is the 18th century sea fortress Suomenlinna, spread across 6 linked islands. Suomenlinna can be easily accessed by ferry from Kauppatori, the market square; ferries are part of the public transport system and take 15 minutes. There are no less than 6 different museums on Suomenlinna, among them the history-focused Suomenlinna museum, the quirky Toy Museum and a restored submarine.
Did you know that "sauna" is the only Finnish word that is known around the whole world? That saunas are believed to have been part of Finnish culture for 9,000 years, and that a sauna was often the first buildings erected in a new village? That nowadays there are estimated to be 2 million saunas in Finland (at a population of 5.5 million)?
Clearly, saunas are a central element of Finnish culture, which visitors to Helsinki can experience in one of dozens of public saunas.
The new venue for ICON is Dipoli at Aalto University. As part of the Aalto University's centre campus, it is situated university's Otaniemi campus in Espoo, Finland: The building is close to metro station at Aalto University and easily reachable from the city center of Helsinki. This modernist building was designed by famous Finnish architects Reima and Raili Pietilä and opened in 1966.
Most travelers arriving to Helsinki will arrive at the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, which is situated 19 kilometers to the north of Helsinki city centre. Helsinki-Vantaa can be reached by direct flight from most European capitals and several other cities in Europe, America and Asia.
Two train lines, I and P, which are part of the Helsinki public transit system, run from the airport to the central railway station about every 5 minutes. The train ride takes about 30 minutes.
You can buy tickets from the following spots:
Please note that it is not possible to buy a ticket on the train.
The entrance to the train station is in the corridor between the terminals.
The Finnair City Bus line operates directly between Helsinki Railway Station and the airport, taking about 30 minutes. The public transit bus lines 415 and 615 also connect the airport with the city and take about 50 minutes to the railway station, stopping on several other locations along the way.
Bus stops at Helsinki Airport
The bus stops for both arriving and departing buses are located in front of the terminals.
Bus stops for Terminal 1
Bus stops for Terminal 2
A journey by taxi from the airport to the centre of Helsinki takes 20–30 minutes and costs 40–50 euros. The taxi stands are located right outside the arrival areas of the terminals.
In addition, Helsinki can also be reached by ferry from Russia, Estonia, Sweden, and Germany. Information about ferries can be found here.
The conference organisers have booked room quotas for the conference participants in the following hotels. When the reservation is made via the registration form, the below-mentioned prices are valid until the quotas are reached.
Delegates are of course free to make their own accommodation arrangements.
Either way, early reservation of accommodation is strongly recommended as Helsinki is popular with tourists in May.
For the hotels below, a hotel deposit of one night must be paid in advance, together with the registration fees. The hotel deposit will be deducted from the total cost of accommodation. The remaining hotel payment will be charged at the hotel upon check-out. Reservations without full deposit payment cannot be accepted. The hotel has the right to charge all booked nights in case of late cancellation or early departure.
If you are paying the fees against an invoice, kindly note that your reservation is guaranteed only after we have received the payment. If you require accommodation outside the given dates, please contact the local secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
All room rates include breakfast and VAT.
Radisson Blu Hotel Espoo
Situated on the edge of the shimmering Gulf of Finland, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Espoo invites you to explore the stunning coast and landscape of Finland. The conference venue can be reached by foot, and from the nearby metro station, you can get to Helsinki city centre within 30 minutes.
Distance from conference venue: 300 m
Room rates (per room / night)
EUR 160,00 Standard single room
EUR 180,00 Standard double room
EUR 185,00 Superior single room
EUR 205,00 Superior double room
Original Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden
Original Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden is a meeting place in the heart of the growing Tapiola district in Espoo, close to good public transportation connections. Here, you can get friendly service and stay like you're at home.
The hotel is located next to the shopping center AINOA and the Tapiola Keskusallas pool, where people can ride SUP boards in summer and go skating in winter. From the nearby metro station you can get to the conference venue in 10 minutes and to Helsinki city centre in 30.
Distance from conference venue: 2 km
Room rates (per room / night)
EUR 150,00 Standard single room
EUR 170,00 Standard double room
Scandic Grand Central
Scandic Grand Central is located in the stunning historic building designed by the famous Eliel Saarinen at the Central Railway Station, where old-fashioned charm meets modern style in an inspirational way.
The rooms in the original part of the hotel building are charming, with wide window sills, paned windows and thick walls. The rugged modern rooms in the new part are light, bright and spacious, with high ceilings: the window extends from the ceiling to the floor, offering full height city views.
Local and long-distance trains as well as the metro stop right next to the hotel.
Distance from conference venue: 9 km (25 min by metro)
Room rates (per room / night)
EUR 159,00 Standard single room
EUR 179,00 Standard double room