The state visit of the President of the United States will affect traffic arrangements in Helsinki
The President of the United States Joe Biden will visit Helsinki on Thursday, 13 July 2023, at the invitation of Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland. The meeting will take place at the Presidential Palace. The visit will cause changes to traffic in the centre of Helsinki.
The following special arrangements for traffic around the Market Square will be in effect on 13 July:
• Pohjoisesplanadi will be closed between Sofiankatu and Päävartiontori.
• It will be possible to walk or ride a bicycle from Pohjoisranta to the city centre through the Aleksanterinkatu–Unioninkatu route.
• Vehicle traffic from Pohjoisranta to the city centre will be possible via Aleksanterinkatu and further to southern Helsinki and the Olympia Terminal via Unioninkatu.
• The route to Katajanokka via Mariankatu and Päävartiontori will be closed. Katajanokka and the Katajanokka Terminal can be accessed via Kanavakatu directly from Pohjoisranta.
• From Eteläesplanadi, Eteläranta and the Olympia Terminal, Pohjoisranta can be reached via Fabianinkatu and Aleksanterinkatu.
• Drivers of passenger cars headed to the Olympia Terminal are advised to drive via Tehtaankatu.
• Heavy vehicles arriving at the Olympia Terminal will be directed to the route Pohjoisesplanadi – Lönnrotinkatu – Hietalahdenkatu – Hietalahdenranta.
• There will be no changes to traffic on Eteläesplanadi.
• The sections closed to pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles and the alternative routes are indicated on the attached maps.
Several convoys will travel in the Helsinki region before, during and after the meeting. The convoys will cause some interruptions of approximately 40 minutes in traffic, especially in the centre of Helsinki. Unfortunately, the exact times of the interruptions cannot be announced in advance.
The police will have aviation operations during the visit, which may cause some noise.
Changes to water transport and aviation on 13 July
The Market Square will be completely closed on 13 July starting at 7 a.m.
Ferry traffic to Suomenlinna will be handled from the Suomenlinna service ferry pier in Katajanokka. The Market Square water bus and cruise piers will be closed on 13 July.
Private waterborne transport will not be allowed in Eteläsatama. This does not apply to cruise ships sailing to Tallinn and Stockholm from the Olympia Terminal and the Katajanokka Terminal. Water traffic in the channel between the Main Guard Post and Katajanokka will be forbidden.
Those arriving at the Katajanokka Terminal or the Olympia Terminal should allow an extra hour for their trip.
Air traffic will also be restricted during the meeting. According to the current information, a temporary restricted zone will be in effect in the area from 12 July at 9 a.m. to 14 July at 9 p.m.
You can check the restricted zone at droneinfo.fi or aviamaps.com. The restrictions will be displayed 12 hours before the start of the restrictions at the earliest.
Possible interruptions to traffic on public transport routes
Tram traffic will operate as usual, but there may be changes to intervals between individual trams. Information about special arrangements in public transport is available at hsl.fi.
Those using public transport should prepare for potential interruptions of up to 40 minutes in traffic along the routes or near them.
Driving a car in the city centre should be avoided if possible due to the traffic arrangements and potential interruptions in traffic. If driving in the city centre cannot be avoided, plenty of time should be reserved for driving.
– “We ask the city residents to show understanding and community spirit to help secure a dignified and safe visit. Rarely are there such special traffic arrangements in Helsinki. The police will not unnecessarily prevent or delay traffic during the visit. We do everything we can to ensure that city residents can move smoothly both on regular days and during various summits and state visits,” says Superintendent Dennis Pasterstein from the Helsinki Police Department.