Two churces. Photo: City of Helsinki.

Meeting of Presidents to have a major impact on traffic particularly on Monday– part of city centre to be closed to vehicles

Joint release by Helsinki Police Department, City of Helsinki and Helsinki Region Transport 14 July 2018. 

Meeting of Presidents to have a major impact on traffic in Helsinki and Vantaa particularly on Monday, 16 July 2018 – part of Helsinki city centre to be closed to vehicles 

The meeting of the Presidents of the United States and Russia will have a major impact on traffic in Helsinki and Vantaa on Monday, 16 July 2018. The main impact will be felt in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace and on Mannerheimintie. 

Several motorcades will pass through the metropolitan area during the presidential visits. The motorcades will cause significant disruptions to traffic especially in the Helsinki city centre and also on routes between Helsinki Airport and the Helsinki city centre. No other traffic is allowed on routes when motorcades are proceeding. 

On Monday, the Market Square, the Esplanades and Eteläranta will be closed to all vehicular traffic. (See map.pdf.) The South Harbour can be driven to through southern Helsinki on Tehtaankatu or other routes specified by the police. The Esplanades and a few streets in the city centre will be closed to vehicular traffic on Sunday. (See map.pdf)  

Approximately from 11:30 to 20:00, vehicular traffic in the Helsinki city centre will be affected by the following special arrangements: 

  • Mannerheimintie will be totally closed at times, and various sections of the street will be closed to traffic for long stretches of time.
  • Both Esplanades – Eteläesplanadi and Pohjoisesplanadi – will be closed to other traffic.
  • Aleksanterinkatu will be closed between Unioninkatu and Meritullinkatu.
  • Access to the city centre from Pohjoisranta will be through Liisankatu.
  • Driving to and from Katajanokka will only be possible through the northern route along Meritullintori and Kanavakatu.
  • Ullanlinna, Kaivopuisto and the Olympia Terminal can only be accessed from the west.
  • The restrictions also apply to maintenance traffic. 

“Traffic disruptions will be so significant that I recommend drivers to avoid the city centre, or at least to reserve plenty of time to reach their destinations. The Presidents’ schedules may change on a short notice, which would affect traffic and could cause long and unexpected breaks in various parts of Helsinki and Vantaa,” says Chief of Police (acting) Heikki Kopperoinen of the Helsinki Police Department.  

“I wish that citizens, entrepreneurs and visitors to Helsinki will have understanding and patience for the exceptional arrangements. Nevertheless, this is a fine opportunity for Helsinki and Finland. Let’s show our city at its best and make a positive and service-minded impression of the city,” encourages Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori

The presidential visits will affect traffic as early as Sunday due to demonstrations and other reasons, but disruptions to traffic will be more limited than on the actual day of the visits on Monday. 

Public transport 

Public transport will be disrupted extensively on both Sunday and Monday, 15–16 July. Most of the disruptions and long service breaks will occur on Monday approximately from 11:00–20:00. The Metro and local trains will largely run as normal. Trams will be halted at times on Monday. Mannerheimintie will be closed at times, and many buses will be rerouted during road closures. 

Approximately 10 bike-share docking stations will be out of service on Sunday and Monday, 15–16 July. Bikes cannot be returned to or picked up from these stations. 

More information on public transport disruptions and changes to public transport services is available from Helsinki Region Transport HSL at   

Other traffic arrangements 

No-stopping zones will be expanded in the city for the duration of the presidential visits. Cars parked in these zones will be moved to nearby areas starting no later than Saturday evening.  

Water transport will also be restricted due to the presidential visits. Private vessels will be prohibited in front of the Presidential Palace on Monday. Market operations on the Market Square will be cancelled for the entire day on Monday, and the waterbus and cruise vessel piers at the Market Square will be closed. The Suomenlinna islands will be served by the Suomenlinna maintenance ferry, which departs from Katajanokka. Suomenlinna and Vallisaari can also be reached by waterbus from Hakaniemi. Water transport services at the Market Square will operate as normal during the weekend.  

Finlandia Hall will serve as the meeting’s Media Centre. Cycling will be rerouted from behind Finlandia Hall to Mannerheimintie and the eastern side of the Töölönlahti Park. Movement in the vicinity of Finlandia Hall will be restricted. 

The following websites and social media channels provide important news and updates before and during the presidential visits: 

Helsinki Police Department:

City of Helsinki:

On Twitter @helviestinta @HelsinkiKymp 

Helsinki Region Transport HSL: 

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