Travel

This page helps you find your way to Finland and onwards to Cudgel War. Information is valid as of April 2023, and should work for Cudgel 2023. General guidelines should not change even later, but schedules, pricing and e.g. ferry routes do, so please check if using this information after summer 2023.

Flying to Cudgel

Luckily, Kavalahti, the Cudgel War Site, is only an hour away from Helsinki International Airport (HEL) that has a train connection to Karjaa station near the site. The drive from the airport to the site takes about an hour and the route is fairly easy. As this is the main airport in Finland, it has good connections to most European capitals and a bunch of other cities like Manchester, Gothenburg and Düsseldorf. Helsinki is a compact airport with one single terminal and good services. It is located about 20 km outside city center, the train into the city takes half an hour.

From the airport to Karjaa by train

The train station is directly underneath the airport terminal. The train route you need to take is Airport-Pasila-Karjaa: first a commuter train to Pasila, then an InterCity or Pendolino to Karjaa.

All trains from the airport stop at Pasila, so you can just get down to the platform hop onto the first train that arrives, you shouldn’t need to wait for more than 10 minutes. The trip to Pasila takes around 25 minutes.

The train from Pasila to Karjaa (Karis) is headed towards Turku. The trip from Pasila to Karjaa takes 49 minutes. On a weekday in the middle of the day there’s a train every hour, in weekends and evenings service is a lot less frequent. During Cudgel 2023 (all days) the last train from Pasila to Karjaa leaves at 21:12. During the week there’s commuter traffic and the first train from Karjaa leaves at 6:28, so you can be in Pasila already at 7:17 and consequently at the airport a bit past eight in the morning. On Saturday and Sunday (July 22 and 23), the first train from Karjaa leaves at 9:28 and gets to Pasila at 10:17, so you should be able to get to the airport at around 11. If you want to use the train connection, do not book a weekend flight back home before 13:00 (12:30, if you want to risk it).

Tickets and schedules

This is where it gets a bit complicated because of how VR, The Finnish Railroads, have programmed their system. On the way to Cudgel, buy a ticket only for the leg Pasila-Karjaa. Then, when you get at the airport, get a single ticket for the commuter train. On the way back to the airport, you can buy a ticket for the leg Karjaa-Airport. Why? Because if you buy Airport-Karjaa, VR will sell you a ticket to the very last possible commuter train from airport to Pasila and the ticket is only valid on the commuter train it’s sold for and for the next 80 minutes, but not any earlier – and you cannot change the transfer time (I checked this with VR). If the commuter train is late or cancelled, you can’t make the transfer, and even if you can, the transfer time given to you can be as short as six minutes and with luggage that is not fun. With a commuter ticket for zones ABC you can hop onto the first train that arrives after you get your ticket. On the way back things are easier, because the ticket you get will be for the first possible commuter train and will be valid for the next 80 minutes after that.
Note that there is no such thing as a (discounted) return ticket in the VR system, you do not lose money by buying two different single tickets. Pricing is flexible, but no ticket is tied to another ticket.

You can check the schedules and buy your Pasila-Karjaa and Karjaa-Airport tickets on the VR website at https://www.vr.fi/en. If you want to, you can also download their app, it is called VR Matkalla (there are links at the bottom of that web page). According to the VRinfo, if you use the app, you can also add the commuter ticket to your trip there, but I haven’t tried that. What you do need to know is that in the English (and Swedish) interface, they use the Swedish name of the city, Karis. So what you need to look for is Pasila-Karis to get to the event and Karis-Helsinki Airport to get back.

VR train search for going to Cudgel on the opening day

As to the commuter ticket to get from the airport to Pasila, you’ll need a ticket for zones ABC. It costs 4.10 euros. You can buy the ticket with a card in a blue machine at the airport (it says HSL on it). Especially if you are planning to do more travel within Helsinki capital region, you might want to download the HSL app that can sell you both single tickets and day tickets, and it has the Route Planner in it, too.

Note. Tickets are not sold on any trains, you must have a valid ticket when you get onboard. You can get a long-distance ticket from a green machine on the day of travel, but I wouldn’t advice doing that. The earlier you get your ticket, the cheaper it will be. Especially if you are using the Friday afternoon/evening trains and the Sunday morning train, you may not even get a reasonably priced second class ticket on the day of travel (in the worst case you won’t get any ticket at all!). Also, as is stated in the event announcement, you must book your ride between Karjaa and the site by June 16, 2023 and it will cost 10 euros each way. Thus, you need to know anyway by mid-June what train you’ll be on. If you make up your mind later, you have to organize your ride by yourself.

A bit on Pasila station

Pasila is not your average transfer hub: it is home to one of the biggest shopping centers in Finland, Mall of Tripla. You will not have any problems whiling away an hour or two there, in case you want to do a leisurely and stress-free transfer. When you get up from the train platform into the station hall, you end up on floor 4. You will find restaurants, bars and cafés on all floors 1-4, but it gets quieter the further down you go. On the bottom floor (1), there are also several grocery stores and Alko, an alcohol monopol store (for wine and spirits; not open on Sundays). If you found that you forgot a commodity like spare underwear or shampoo, Prisma supermarket is your friend.

Taxi from the airport to the site

For a slightly bigger group who wants no hassle, getting a taxi from the airport directly to the site may be worth the money. Taxis are not cheap in Finland and you must book in advance for a longer leg like this to avoid nasty surprises, but it may still be worth the investment. For example Lähitaksi’s price calculator estimates that a daytime trip during a weekday costs 145 euros for 3-4 persons and 195 euros for 5-8 persons. Taksi Helsinki seems slightly cheaper, 140 for 3-4 and 190 for 5-8 persons. Note that the price can be higher after 6 pm. and all day on Sundays and public holidays; Lähitaksi quotes 160 euros/206 euros for those times. Paying by card in the car is usually preferred. If you absolutely want to pay in cash, check in advance that it is ok.

Some trustworthy companies you can try; you may have to fill in a booking form or call them or install an app to get any kind of quote out of them, which is a bit annoying:

The site address is given in the event announcement: Björnvikintie 109, Inkoo. You may also see Björnviksvägen, Ingå, and that’s the same thing, just in Swedish. The postal code is 10230. Note that this is not the only road in Finland called Björnvikintie/Björnviksvägen. If the price is off by a lot or if the travel time is a lot longer than an hour or the route goes eastwards from the airport (instead of westwards), make sure you are not trying to book a trip to Loviisa/Lovisa instead!

Renting a car at the airport

If you are comfortable driving in general and maybe want to have the freedom to go shopping and sightseeing during the event, consider renting a car. The six car rental companies available at the airport are Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt. You can find their links directly on the Helsinki Airport Car Rental page. When pricing a rental, remember that gas currently costs around 2 euros per liter.

Driving in Finland is easy during summer as it is always light and never slippery. The route is also easy: drive out of the airport, head to Ring III west (länteen/väst), drive until it ends, then head on to 51 towards Hanko (the non-Helsinki direction). Then drive until at the turn off to Björnvikintie. You’ll be driving 100 km/h at that point, so prepare for the turn; there should be an SCA sign where Björnvikintie starts.

There is a real risk of a deer collision on Road 51, so be careful especially if driving in the dusk. Note also that there are speed cameras both on Ring III and on Route 51; if you are an EU citizen, the ticket may follow you all the way home. Speeding fines are related to your income and can quickly go up to several hundred euros, so pay attention to the speed limits.

If you want to buy groceries, there are two places where you can do it on the way to site with a minimal detour: Either Jumbo shopping center near the airport or the hypermarkets at Kirkkonummi junction. There are no bigger shops near the site, Inkoo has some smaller ones (and a tiny Alko in the port), but requires a side trip.

To get to Jumbo, when you come to Ring III, do not turn onto the ringroad, instead head straight on towards Vantaanportti. Then you already have the shopping center on your left, just turn left at the next traffic light and go find parking. The grocery stores (Citymarket and Prisma) are on the bottom level and Alko (for wine and spirits) is handily located at the back between them. If you want to eat, head up one level, or even two, and you can also check out the part called Flamingo.

If you just want groceries, Prisma and Citymarket at Kirkkonummi can be faster. Drive towards the site until you see a sign to Kirkkonummi. Follow it to get off the highway. At that point Prisma is already on your right, and Citymarket is behind it. If you need some non-food supplies like a piece of sporting equipment, Prisma is probably better. Citymarket may have even more food, but there’s more than enough at Prisma. Alko is in the same building with Prisma, but if you want a cup of coffee or some food, Citymarket has more options to offer (Prisma just has a Hesburger). Both hypermarket buildings also have a pharmacy, in Finland you have to get all your medication there (also over-the-counter things like ibuprofen).

Travel by land and sea

There are ferries from Sweden and Germany to Finland. If you come from Sweden, getting into Turku/Åbo or Naantali/Nådendal is likely to be more economical than going to Helsinki, even though the drive is then a bit longer. For some Nynäshamn-Hanko may also make sense. In Helsinki the Swedish ferries come into the middle of the city which means an annoying half-hour to get out at all, although there’s less city traffic in July than other times of the year. The ferry from Travemünde docks at Vuosaari Port, so then you just drive on Ring III for a longer time (do not attempt a shortcut through inner roads, that will only make you annoyed).

If you drive from west (Turku/Hanko), stop at Karjaa for groceries to avoid longer side trips. If you come from Turku, you can also stop at Kauppakeskus Skanssi on road 1 soon after the city (turn off at Intersection 4). There’s a Citymarket, an Alko, and quite a few cafés and restaurants in the shopping center.

Taking a ferry without a car

You can come by ferry without a car and take a train from Turku or Helsinki to Karjaa. In Helsinki you will need to take a tram on a commuter ticket to get to the Railway Station (unless you fancy walking 2-4 km), so you need to get an AB commuter ticket before you get on the tram. You may find a machine in the ferry terminal, or use the HSL app. Then get a train ticket from Helsinki to Karjaa/Karis, see the instructions above for flight passengers. In Turku things are more difficult due to a rail reconstruction project, you can only take a train from Turku (Kupittaa) station to Karjaa/Karis. You will need to take one bus into the center and another bus from the center to Kupittaa to get to the train. Use Föli Route Planner to find out about schedules etc, your starting point is ”Turku Satama” and your target is ”Kupittaan rautatieasema”. Paying for the trip is easier than in Helsinki, Turku regional traffic Föli takes payment by contactless card, and you can even pay in cash when getting onboard. The ticket is valid for two hours, so you only need one to get from port to Kupittaa station. For train schedules and ticket information, see the instructions for flight passengers.

Remember that however you end up at Karjaa station, you must book your transits between Karjaa station and the site by June 16, 2023, and they cost 10 €/person/trip. If you don’t know by then how you are going to travel, you will have to sort it out by yourself.

Additional information

Book your pickups and dropoffs by emailing the address on the event announcement. You can also ask for travel advice, if the above isn’t enough. If you are on Facebook, join the Cudgel War Discussion Group to find travel mates and get travel tips.