Holiday travellers at Helsinki Central Railway Station (Image: Lehtikuva)


THE STATE-OWNED RAIL COMPANY, VR, has doubled the length of their popular Allegro train which runs between St Petersburg and Helsinki, as thousands of tourists travel to the Finnish capital this week for New Year’s celebrations.

The period after Christmas up to the middle of January is the most popular time of year for Russian tourists to visit Helsinki, with the Helsingin Sanomat reporting that an estimated 10,000 such visitors are estimated to arrive over the next few days. 

In the first half of this year, Finland welcomed over 150,000 tourists from Russia, up considerably from the year before. This isn’t the first time that VR has taken steps to enhance the Allegro route.

In anticipation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, during which several games were hosted in St Petersburg, VR doubled the number of carriages, as well as doubling the number of departures.

While Russian New Year is typically quite a muted affair, many families tend to go on holiday in the first week of the New Year, with Finland typically being one of the most popular destinations.


Adam Oliver Smith – HT

Image: Lehtikuva