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Midsummer reminder: Finland's summer shutdown coming this weekend

Finland’s traditional Midsummer holiday is coming, and that means shutdowns and changed timetables across the country this weekend.

Bonfires are usually lit at the Midsummer holiday across Finland. Image: Kirsi Tolvanen

Heading to the countryside this weekend? Much of the rest of Finland has the same idea at Midsummer, so the Finnish Road Safety Council is advising motorists to plan their routes and prepare for delays, especially on Thursday and Sunday when congestion will be heaviest.

The worst jams are expected in southern Finland between 12 and 7pm on Thursday, and slightly later than that further north.

Grocery stores are now able to decide their own opening hours and both K-Group and S-Group shops should be mostly open throughout the weekend. There may be some adjustments however, and especially on Friday--Midsummer Eve--shops might close earlier than normal.

It’s best to check shop-specific opening hours online from the company’s website, if possible.

Image: Merja Siirilä / Yle

Finland’s state-run alcohol retailer Alko does shut down, however. Alko outlets are open until 9pm on Thursday, until 12 noon on Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Post Offices close their doors at 6pm on Thursday, and are closed all weekend. Helsinki’s main post office is an exception, as that opens until 12 noon on Friday, and the tourist-focused Santa Claus post office in Rovaniemi is open as usual from 9am to 6pm every day as usual.

Posti concessions located in other businesses, like supermarkets and grocery stores, are open at the same time as their host operations. There are no post deliveries on Midsummer Eve.

Banks are closed on Midsummer Eve, Friday 20 June.

Public transport on weekend schedules

Long-distance rail services operate according to Friday timetables on Thursday, with Saturday services running on Friday. On Saturday morning the schedule is that normally used on Sundays, with afternoon and evening timetables corresponding to the usual Saturday pattern. On Sunday, normal Sunday services are in operation.

Everything clear? Don't worry if not, train timetables can be checked on the VR website. Information on long-distance bus services is available at Matkahuolto, Onnibus or your operator's website.

Commuter trains run according to Friday timetables on Thursday, according to Saturday timetables on Friday and according to Sunday timetables on Saturday.

Over the weekend there will be engineering work between Helsinki and Kirkkonummi, Riihimäki and Tampere, Luumäki and Vainikkala, Kouvola and Mäntyharju and Suonenjoki and Kuopio. Rail replacement buses will operate where train services are cancelled due to this track work.

In the capital city region night bus services that normally run on Friday nights will run instead on Thursday evening and in the early hours of Friday. On Friday there will be Sunday timetables in operation, and on Saturday buses and trams will run according to the usual Sunday timetable. More detailed information is available at the HSL website.

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