Difference between revisions of "Vihti"
Revision as of 16:22, 2 January 2017
Vihti (Swedish: Vichtis)  is a municipality in Southern Finland. Its current population is 28 666 inhabitants. Being in the northernmost part of Helsinki Region, it mixes a semi-urban bedroom suburb to living countryside with old manor houses and large amounts of unspoiled nature.
The first written mention of Vihti is dated 1433, but the official founding year in considered to be 1507, when St. Bridget's Church was built and the first vicar was appointed. The municipality as a legal entity was formed in 1867, after the law regarding municipalities was approved in 1865. The town of Nummela started to grow in 1873 when the railway station on the Helsinki - Hanko line was opened. Despite the newly opened railway connection, Vihti remained quiet and small countryside dominated by numerous farms, until in the 1970s and 80s lightweight industry started to boom the economy and Helsinki's massive growth expanded further and further to Helsinki Region. Nowadays, the population has almost tripled from the year 1950 (and Nummela's population almost tenfold) and the municipality, especially in Nummela, continues its rapid growth, mainly thanks to the tremendous amount of jobs in the Helsinki area.
Vihti can be roughly divided into three areas: Nummela, Vihdin kirkonkylä and surrounding much smaller settlements.
Nummela is the largest population centre and current municipality seat with a population of around 13,000. It is where most of the municipality's shops, restaurants, bars and other services are located, but is heavily residential. Nummela has grown considerably in the last few years due to its proximity to Helsinki and its good transport links, and it is now a decent-sized commuter town in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The town is located between two lakes and its centre is divided in two by a railway track.
Vihdin kirkonkylä (Finnish for 'Vihti parish', frequently abbreviated as Vihti kk) is the old municipality seat with a population of around 6,000. It has certainly a more historical feel than the more modern Nummela, but has a smaller selection of services and a much more pastoral and laid-back atmosphere. The 18th century church on the top of the hill dominates the landscape, and most shops and restaurants are located on the main street Niuhalanraitti or near the bus station.
Other parts of the municipality are mostly rural, with small villages, farms and forest and virtually no commercial services. These rural areas are host to many of Vihti's highlights, such as Tervalampi with its gateway to Nuuksio National Park, Ojakkala with a ski resort and golf club and Olkkala famous for its stunning old manor.
Note that, confusingly, Vihti can refer to the municipality as a whole or Vihdin kirkonkylä in particular depending on the context. On road signs and bus windows, Vihdin kirkonkylä is usually referred to as simply Vihti or Vihti kk, and Nummela is sometimes abbreviated as NLA.
Despite having a name in Swedish, Vihti is officially unilingual, where only 1.7 % of the population is Swedish-speaking (notably less than some of its neighbouring areas), so it's probably a safer bet to use English instead. As everywhere in Finland, a vast majority of the population speaks understandable or fluent English. Other than English, you can try German or other major European languages.
The closest airport for domestic and international flights is Finland's busiest Helsinki-Vantaa, located about 50 km away from Nummela. Travel to the airport by car takes about 45 minutes. Buses from airport to Nummela charge 9.20 € and bus trip takes 55 minutes, including a transfer in Espoo.
Around 50 buses daily connect Nummela to Helsinki, the bus takes 35 - 60 minutes and charges 9.30 €. Around 25 services run to Vihti kk, 65 to 105 minutes (often including a transfer at Nummela), 10.50 €. Buses from and to Helsinki depart from and arrive at Helsinki bus station's long distance terminal.
Express services from Pori and Rauma to Helsinki pick up and leave passengers on Highway 2 intersections at Nummmela and Vihti kk. Price from both cities to Nummela crossroad is 38.10 € and running time equals three hours and 15 minutes.
Number of services are given for weekdays, price examples for full price adult ticket with no supplements. Note that bus services are less frequent on weekends and buses departing between 23 and 05 charge night supplement.
Although Nummela grew from the railway station and the railroad itself is still a prominent feature of local geography, there is no longer a passenger service on the railroad, only occasional cargo trains. If you are travelling by train, however, you can select "Nummela" as your destination while buying your train ticket and you will receive a notably reduced price for the Helsinki - Nummela bus.
The municipality is located in the triangle within Highways 1, 2 and 25 crossing, so it's easy to reach Vihti by car. Some examples from some major cities:
In practice, everything within the centers of Nummela and Vihti kk can be covered easily by walking. Both places do, however, have some hills (eg when reaching the Vihti Church or Nummela flying center).
There is no public transport system in Vihti. That said, a few internal buses do run to remote villages (Ojakkala, Olkkala, Tervalampi etc) and about 25 daily connections link Nummela and Vihti kk (15-30 min, 3.60 €). Buses do run most frequently on schooldays.
Taxis are, as everywhere in Finland, new, effective, honest - and expensive. Main taxi stands are at Nummela and Vihti kk bus stations. A taxi can be ordered by phone, by dialing 0100 4114 (Nummela) or 0100 4115 (Vihti). Normally you can get a taxi with no problems, but during the weekend nights the queues can be remarkable.
Hertz offers car rentals in Nummela 
Things to do
All of the municipality, except perhaps the semi-urban twist of Nummela is located by beautiful nature. And as Everyman's Rights allow visitor to enjoy as freely as a native Finn, there are multiple options including skiing, swimming, trekking and more.
While Vihti isn't exactly a shopper's haven, it boasts totally adequate shopping options for most circumstances.
Groceries and such can be easily (and inexpensively) found in Nummela's two competing hypermarkets: Citymarket and Prisma. If you are staying longer and looking for cheap trekking equipment, fishing equipment, tools, car spare parts and alike, your best bet is Hong Kong. Nummela is also home to an innovative textile company Globe Hope, which has a factory outlet at Harjutie 14
Eating in Vihti might not be an immortal experience, due to non-existent top-flight restaurants, but you should be able to eat decently and inexpensively throughout the day.
Some of the better options are:
Vihti's night life concentrates in Nummela. It has a surprisingly vibrant scene for its size on weekends, but on weekdays bars and clubs tend to be rather quiet.
Following cities and towns can be reached directly from Nummela by car / bus, distances in parentheses.