32nd IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering

May 16-20, 2016 · Helsinki, Finland

It is with great pleasure that the organizers of the 32nd IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering invite you to take part in ICDE 2016 to be held in Helsinki, Finland, from May 16 to 20, 2016. As the capital of Finland, Helsinki is a vibrant city on the Baltic Sea renowned for its design and friendly atmosphere. The venue is at Aalto University's School of Business, which is located right in the city center.
  • Helsinki_City
  • Finlandia_Hall
  • Venue
Photos now available in Photo Gallery under 'General Information'.

Finland in a Nutshell

Finland, a member of the European Union since 1995, counts about 5.3 million inhabitants and with a surface area of roughly 338 000 km2 is the fifth largest country in the EU. With almost 200,000 lakes and dense forests that account for two thirds of its surface area, Finland is a northern country of great natural beauty. This page focuses on the attractive Finnish capital, Helsinki. Details on sites outside of Helsinki are in the Beyond Helsinki page.

Helsinki, The Capital

The city of Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden and has been the capital of Finland since 1812. The capital enjoys a unique architecture that beautifully amalgamates the old with the new while reflecting influences from both the East and the West. Following a colourful history, Helsinki today is a bustling centre of Finland's cultural and business life with a population of 0.6 million. In 2011, a quality of life survey run by British Monocle magazine ranked Helsinki as #1 in the world due to reasons such as a low-crime rate, top-notch education, well run city services and a food-culture that is constantly developing. An efficient public transportation system makes getting around Helsinki quick and easy.

In short, Helsinki is large enough to provide all services that a major conference may require, yet small enough to make delegates and their families feel at home during their stay.

Greater Helsinki

Together with the neighboring cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, Helsinki forms the so-called Helsinki Metropolitan Area (also known as Greater Helsinki) with a population of over one million. Over the past decades the area of Greater Helsinki has gained a reputation as an exciting, clean and safe host destination to numerous international events. In this respect, Helsinki has a lot to offer: excellent conference and exhibition facilities, pleasant hotels in various price categories, a well-organized public transportation system and lots of opportunities for leisure activities.

Getting Around in Helsinki

The public transport system in Helsinki, operated by HSL, is efficient and easy to use. Of great help in getting around is the so-called Journey Planner. All HSL public transportation tickets can be used to hop on buses and trams, to get on the underground and on the local trains and even to board the ferries going to Suomenlinna.

Should you need to travel within Greater Helsinki (trips to neighbouring cities Espoo, Kauniainen or Vantaa) you will need to a buy a so-called regional ticket or a regional multi-day ticket, all fares are listed here. When buying from a vending machine, just select a regional ticket instead of a Helsinki (single-zone) ticket.

An attractive option is the Helsinki Card which gives you unlimited travel within Helsinki for 24hrs, 48hrs or 72hrs (including the ferry to Suomenlinna) plus free entry to many tourist attractions. The Helsinki Card also entitles its holder to some discounts including reduce fare on Finnair's City Bus (to/from the airport). The card can also be bought online. An optional Helsinki Card Region enables travel within Greater Helsinki.

Buying a Ticket for the Helsinki Public Transport

Ticket Type Single Ticket Single-Day Ticket Multi-Day Ticket, 2-7 Days (recommended)
A single ticket is valid for 60 minutes from the time of purchase (plus an extra 20 minutes when going to Suomenlinna). A single-day ticket allows unlimited travel on all HSL public transport for a period of 24 hours. A 2-day multi-day ticket remains valid for 48 hours from activation and a 3-day multi-day ticket remains valid for 72 hours from activation and so on.
Get It from Available from ticket vending machines, from the driver, or via your mobile phone by sending an SMS message containing 'A1' to the number 16355. This will only work from Finnish operators though. Available from drivers or vending machines. Can be purchased from vending machines (not the pink-colored though) and will be immediately active. Multi-day tickets are also available from kiosks known as 'R-Kioski' (a local convenience store chain), these tickets are activated on their first use.
Single Zone (within Helsinki) 2.70€ (vending machine) or 3.20€ (from driver) 8.00€ 12.00€ for 2-days, each additional day costs 4.00€
Multi Zone (e.g. from Helsinki to Espoo) 5.50€ 12.00€ 16.00€ for 2-days, each additional day costs 6.00€

Taxis and Car Rentals in Helsinki

Taxis are easy to hail in the city centre except during the busiest periods. Taxi stands are conveniently located throughout the centre.

There are several international as well as local car rental agencies to choose from, most of which have their own counter at the airport.

Sightseeing Tips in Helsinki

Proximity to the sea with a lovely archipelago, its many well-kept parks, its museums and art galleries, the colorful Market Place, shops and restaurants to everyone's taste, make Helsinki a popular travel destination. Several cruise operators offer short and pleasant sightseeing sea cruises right from the Market Square. The cruise operator Strömma offers sightseeing around Helsinki and beyond.

Within easy walking distance from the Venue are the Sibelius Monument and the Temppeliaukio Church along with the Senate Square, considered by many as the heart of Helsinki. The surrounding countryside is also within easy reach and offers ample opportunities for excursions and for just relaxing in privacy.

Shopping Tips for Helsinki

Stockmann, one of the largest department stores in Scandinavia, is a must for all shopping aficionados. Just a block away, adjacent to the central railway station, is Sokos, another large department store that is also well-stocked with the latest fashion. Within easy walking distance from the Venue and on the other side of Sokos, towards the Kamppi bus depot, just in the corner of Mannerheiminkatu and Simonkatu, you will find Forum, a shopping mall with around 100 stores.

Don't forget the Market Place or Market Square (that's 'Kauppatori' in Finnish, pronounced 'KAH-oup-pa-tory') with its souvenirs and food stalls. The market opens up early in the morning, around 06.30am, and remains open until 6pm (until 4pm on Saturdays). So if you are an early riser, you might like to start your day with a coffee and a doughnut at the Market Square with its nice sea view and then take Tram No 2 (direction Nordenskiöldinkatu) to the Venue.