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Hop-On/Hop-Off Red Bus Helsinki
Monday, June 8, 2015  
With only a few hours to explore Helsinki on our Royal Princess Baltic cruise, we decided to take advantage of Red Buses double-decker Hop-On/Hop-Off. One of the best ways to see European cities is by Hop-On/Hop-Off (HoHo) buses. The concept is pretty simple: you purchase a 24- or 48-hour pass and you can get on and off the bus as often as you like. The buses make regular stops every 30 minutes at Helsinki's most popular attractions. We found the Red Buses bus right outside of the cruise terminal building making it very convenient to just walk off the ship and onto the bus.

Red Buses HoHo at the Helsinki cruise terminal

Red Buses offers two different passes in Helsinki, a 24-hour pass, or a 48-hour pass which also includes a boat tour. The 24-hour pass (bus only) is 25€ (about $34US) while the 48-hour pass (bus+boat) is 35€ (about $46US). With most cruise lines charging $69 and up for a city tour, it is easy to see why these HoHo buses are growing in popularity. You can see the city and its famous landmarks at your pace.

The upper deck of the HoHo bus is best for picture taking

When the weather is nice, and dry, there is no better place to sit than on the top deck of the double-decker bus. Not only do you get fresh air, but you have the best opportunity to take photos. It was raining when we got on the bus in Helsinki, so a tarp was extended to protect riders from the elements.

There are headphones at each seat, or you can use your own

Free route maps are available when you board the bus. The Red Buses HoHo makes 14 different stops in and around Helsinki. Each seat is equipped with headphones connected to an audio system that gives details, in a choice of several different languages, about the sights as you approach or pass by them. The system uses a standard mini-jack, so you can plug in your own headphones or ear buds if you wish. Each of the buses is also equipped with FREE Wi-Fi, making it an even better value.

One of the popular stops in Helsinki, and a great place to "hop off" is Market Square. Local merchants have booths set up selling all kinds of handmade crafts, souvenirs and even local food. This is also the stop where you can pick up the boat tour, if you purchase that option.

Market Square

The next stop from Market Square is Senate Square; however, if you hop off at Market Square, it is only a few blocks to walk to Senate Square. There are many upscale shops and cafes in this area as well as the impressive Lutheran Cathedral and Presidential Palace.

Lutheran Cathedral in Helsinki

After spending about 45 minutes exploring the shops near Senate Square, we boarded another Red Buses bus for the ride back to the cruise terminal. We can HIGHLY recommend the Red Buses HoHo as an affordable alternative to a cruise ship excursion. The ability to see Helsinki at your own pace is a huge advantage. And, of course, you will save money, too!

For more information, go to their website at

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@Adriana, it is possible that the HoHo schedule will change when cruise season begins. Check their website and email them your question.
Thursday, December 1, 2016 12:00 AM  
We will arrive to Helsinki from MSC Magnica Cruise next may 2017. The cruise will be arriving at 8h00 am, I want to know if the HoHo bus will be at that time at the terminal cruise as the schedule reads that the depart is until 10;00 am. Thank you
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 12:00 AM  
@MERCY, I am just guessing that they don't start service until 10am, that is when most businesses open. 7am is for those with ship excursions.
Monday, May 16, 2016 12:00 AM  
The schedule of the Red Bus reads that they start at 10:00 am and our ship gets to Helsinki at 7:00 am. Would they be at the port that early or do we have to wait until 10:00 am? Thanks so much for your help.
Monday, May 16, 2016 12:00 AM  
@Tina, Assuming that your ship docks at the main cruise ship terminal, which I think it does, then yes, the HoHo bus will depart from just outside the terminal, and return to the same place. Follow the signs in the terminal building. Have a fun and safe trip!
Sunday, April 24, 2016 12:00 AM  
We will stop at Helsinki from Royal Caribbean Scandinavian cruise this coming May. From its terminal, are there HOHO buses waiting outside? And do these buses return to the terminal? Thank you.
Sunday, April 24, 2016 12:00 AM  
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