Published by Johnny Ward on May 17, 2012
If you’re used to South East Asia, or if you’re a fan of $30 a day backpacking budgets, Finland is gonna be a shock to the system, this place is pricey. But with the Northern Lights, Lapland, Santa Clause’s official house, husky and reindeer sledding and the arctic circle, it’s really got a lot to offer backpackers.
Alas, all is not lost when it comes to cash though, check out my tips on how to travel in Finland for cheap!
Don’t come here alone folks. If you come alone, it’s gonna cost you a bomb, there’s no way around it. So if you don’t have at least one other person to travel to Finland with you, put it on the backburner – come back when you have a friend or two to join you.
A dorm bed in a hostel costs around $30 per night, and there aren’t too many available. A budget hotel costs around $70 per room per night. So if there are 3 or 4 of you, you can crash in one room, easy.
Better yet, use couchsurfing. Finnish people are great, they’re really sociable and outgoing and not only will you save $30 a night by couchsurfing, you’ll get some real local experiences too.
There are two ways to eat for cheap in Finland. Eat kebab and pizza lunch time specials for $6 (Finland has a lot of immigrants, and it’s standard practice to have discounted lunch menus like that) or buy your groceries in a S Market branch, of which there are loads. Bread, ham and cheese will only cost you $3 or so.
In Helsinki, I asked for a return ticket to Lapand on the train. It’s around 13 hours away, the lady behind the counter quoted me…. Wait for it…. 257 Euro ($340) each way, $680 return!! WTF?! For a return bus ticket, the fee is $300 return.
However, if you’re with 1, 2 or 3 friends renting a car is a much better option. For 5 days, a car will cost about $300 ($60 each) + petrol. Roadtripping is awesome, it gives you a lot of freedom and is much, much cheaper than the crazy public transport here.
Lay off the beers, and try not to buy alcohol in bars, and certainly not in clubs! Bring hard liquor from whatever country you happen to be in before (Russia, Estonia etc), it’ll be 30% of the price that you’ll have to pay in Finland.
Ok guys, Finland is always gonna hit ur wallet hard but if you’re smart, you don’t have to break the bank entirely. You can squeeze buy on around $70 a day, if you’re really careful. Happy travels!