Vaasa Finland

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Description: Open source travel guide to Vaasa, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.

Vaasa was an important place of governance when Finland was part of Sweden. It started in the 14th century when Korsholm castle was built near the village of Mustasaari. In 1606 the village of Mustasaari was granted city status and five years later it was renamed Wasa in honor of the Swedish royal lineage. The old names live on in the municipality that surrounds Vaasa as it is called Korsholm in Swedish and Mustasaari in Finnish. The old town of Vaasa burned to the ground in 1852, and when it was rebuilt it was relocated closer to the sea some six kilometers northwest from its original location. In the same process the town was renamed Nikolainkaupunki (Sw: Nikolaistad ) in honor of Russian Czar Nikolai I. as Finland at that time was a Grand Duchy under Russian rule (1809-1917). In its new location Vaasa (or Nikolainkaupunki) became a important sea-faring city and a local business man named Carl Gustaf Wolff (1800-1868) was at one point the biggest shipowner in the nordic countries. When Finland proclaimed its independence in 1917 the name of the town was again reverted to Vaasa. The town was made capital of the white side (conservative, bourgeois) for a short while during the civil war (1918) when Helsinki was occupied by the red side (socialist, communist). It has since then been known as The White City. since the support for the whites was very strong in the area. Around 25 percent of the towns population is Swedish-speaking and even more are bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) and the ties to Sweden are strong in the area. In the area surrounding Vaasa the majority of people are Swedish-speaking. Vaasa is shielded from the open sea by the many islands in the archipelago. The nature of this area is nearly unique in the world as it continuously rises from the sea as the sea level due to post-glacial rebound. The Kvarken Archipelago. which is a UNESCO world nature heritage site, is just around the corner.

All trains from Helsinki to Oulu and Rovaniemi via Tampere stop at Seinäjoki. From there you can take connection trains, which head to Vaasa. There are also trains that go straight to Vaasa via Seinäjoki. Three of these trains also go from Vaasa to Jyväskylä via Seinäjoki. Check timetables at the state railway company (VR) [2].

There are west coast bus connections from Oulu to Turku. which go through Vaasa. Buses associate Vaasa also to Tampere. Pori and Kokkola. Check Matkahuolto for timetables and such [3] ].

People arriving with their own motor- or sailboat can make use of Wasa Segelförening (one of Finlands oldest sailing societys, ) [5] on the island of Vaskiluoto. They run the official guest harbour of Vaasa and offer good services for the occasional boat captain. There's a good view over town from the harbour and it's a two kilometer walk into the center.

There are daily regular flights from Vaasa airport to Helsinki (Finnair [6]. Blue1 [7] and Golden Air/Finncomm Airlines [8] ), Stockholm, Sweden (Blue1) and 4 times a week to Umeå, Sweden (airBaltic [9] ).

  • Airport Bus to and from Central Square
    • At weekdays (Mon-Fri) hourly from early morning to late evening, local bus lines 4, 10 and 40 - see more information from Vaasan paikallisliikenne [10]
    • Ticket price 2,50 €
  • Airport Taxi
    • Price from 16 to 25 €
    • Order at earliest 2 hour before arrival or departure time of airplane, but if morning airplane, last evening before 22:00
    • Order calls for airport taxi, +358 6 100 411 or from Finnish mobile phone 0600 30011
    • Airport Taxi web site [11]

The city is quite compact and most things to see are within walking distance. The commercial center and nightlife is concentrated in the area around the market square.

The local bus traffic to other parts of the city and the surrounding municipalities leave mainly from the southern end of the market square or from the western side of Rewell Center shopping mall. Bus lines typically have interval of one hour or half an hour per line. The office for the city buses, Vaasan Paikallisliikenne [12]. is situated on the second floor of Rewell Center. There is a graphical route planner[13] to find suitable bus routes and timetables.

There are two taxi stations in the center of Vaasa (Hovioikeudenpuistikko 10 and 23 ). You can call a taxi to any address through the number +358 6 100 411 (when calling from abroad the number is +358 6 3200 111 ).

There is a local company called Vaasan Taxivene (tel. +358 500 667 760 or +358 400 594 967, ) [14] that offers taxi services by boat. This service is best suited for groups rather than individuals since the rates tend to be quite high for the lone traveller(a taxiboat for nine passengers is €140/h ). The same company organizes special archipelago cruises and waterskiing.

Another company is Neptune Service [15] (tel. +358 50 5812920) that offers fast and reliable water taxi service throughout the archipelago for up to 6 passengers.

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