Lahti has a population of 100,000 making it the 7th largest city in Finland by population. The area of the city is 154,6 square kilometres, of which 19,54 km² is water. Current mayor of Lahti is Jyrki Myllyvirta.
Lahti is exactly 104 km from Helsinki, a one-hour drive on the expressway number 4 connecting the two cities.
There is an almost hourly ExpressBus coach connection from Helsinki-Vantaa airport to Lahti bus station operated, departing from platform 13 in front of the international flights terminal. The service operates round the clock, although there may be a gap of 1 to 2 hours between services in the small hours of the night. The trip takes between 1 h 15 min and 1 h 30 min depending on whether the service calls in towns on the way. In some cases, there is a change of coach at Kerava but it is well co-ordinated and easy. Tickets cost €20.50 (round trip €36.90) for adults, €10.30 for Finnish students (ISIC not accepted) and children of age 4-16. Children under the age of four travel free.
Travel from Helsinki to Lahti by train takes about an hour. The train service is provided by VR, the national train company. Trains are also preferred by locals, because they’re fast and comfortable. There are several train types:
- Local train Z (Lähiliikennejuna Z). Costs around €16,40 adult, €8,20 child (6-16 years). – Stops at Pasila, Tikkurila, Kerava, Haarajoki, and Mäntsälä. Goes hourly from about 6AM to roughly midnight. 1 hour travel time.
- InterCity trains (InterCity-juna). Costs over €20 adult, over €10 child. Very comfortable trains, usually with 6 wagons, 3 of them are double-deckers. Stops at Pasila, Tikkurila and depending on the train also at Kerava. Most of the Intercity trains continue onwards from Lahti and are only few minutes faster than the Z train. Current (winter 2009) timetable indicates 54 minutes travel time.
- Pendolino trains. Costs over €20 adult, over €10 child. Very comfortable trains and they tilt while turning (allows faster speeds). Stops only at Pasila and Tikkurila before Lahti. 48 minutes travel time. All of the Pendolino trains continue from Lahti.
- Allegro train, travel between Helsinki and St. Petersburg stops in Lahti.
If you travel with children, you should choose Perhelippu (Family ticket). With each adult, one child can ride for free. For example, if you have three children, you will only pay for 2 adults and 1 child.
The train station is less than ten minutes walk from the city center. Cross Mannerheiminkatu and take Rautatienkatu or Vesijärvenkatu towards north. = Leave the radio hill to your left and railway tracks behind you. City center is around Aleksanterinkatu.
Check more informations from VR’s websites.