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 parts: 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 characterized by its location between two lakes and a steep esker that divides it, 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 originally grew from the railway station in the town and the railroad itself is still a prominent feature of local geography, there is no longer a passenger service on the railroad, only cargo trains. If you are travelling by train from elsewhere in Finland, 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:
- Helsinki (45 km / 40 min): Drive Highway 1 towards Turku, then take Highway 2 towards Pori
- Lahti (115 km / 90 min): Drive Highway 4 towards Helsinki, in Mäntsälä take Highway 25 towards Hanko
- Tampere (172 km /two hours): Drive Highway 3 towards Helsinki, in Hyvinkää take Highway 25 towards Hanko
- Turku (128 km / 80 min): Drive Highway 1 towards Helsinki, turn left to Highway 2.
In practice, everything within the centers of Nummela and Vihti kk can be covered easily by walking. Both places are, however, somewhat hilly (around the Vihti Church or the esker in Nummela).
The public transport system within Vihti is not very developed. About 25 daily connections link Nummela and Vihti kk (15-30 min, 3.60 €), and a few buses a day do run to some remote villages (such as Ojakkala, Olkkala and Tervalampi). Buses run most frequently on schooldays.
Taxis are, as everywhere in Finland, new, effective, honest - and expensive. The taxi stands are located by the 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 without any problems, but during the weekend nights the queues can be remarkable.
Hertz offers car rentals in Nummela by the bus station 
- Nuuksion kansallispuisto (Nuuksio National Park), (Tervalampi), ☎ 358 205 64 4790, . Always open. This small (on a Finnish scale) but interesting national park offers plenty to see for nature lovers, with no cost. The park entrance on the Vihti side is somewhat quieter than the one on the Espoo side. To get there by public transport, there is an (infrequent) bus connection from Helsinki, Nummela and Vihti kk. Look further details from it's own article Free.
- Pyhän Birgitan kirkon rauniot (Ruins of St Bridget's Church), Kirkkoniementie, Vihti kk, . Always open. With the ruins of Vihti's old medieval church that hasn't operated in hundreds of years but hasn't completely perished, the small ruins stand in beautiful landscape and a pretty view over the lake. Occasional religious services during summertime.. Free.
- Hennolan kotieläinpiha, Lepluhdantie 73, Ojakkala, ☎ 358 9 2271649, . Jun - Aug 11.00 - 18.00. This small but pretty farm stocks a wide variety of farm animals (pigs, chickens, cows, sheep, goats, horses) to watch and pet, plus an idyllic cafe. Open in the summer months. Adult / child 7 / 3 €.
- Vihdin kirkko (Vihti Church), Kirkkotie, Vihti, ☎ 358 9 3478500, . Jun - Aug 12.00 - 15.00. Vihti's current church, built in 1772. Located on a hill overlooking Vihti kk, a beautiful graveyard and large trees surround the church. Limited opening hours, but can be arranged outside opening hours by dialing to vicar's office (see number below). Religious services year-round. Free.
- Vihdin museo (Vihti Museum), Kirkkoniementie 1, Vihti kk, ☎ 358 9 4258 3185, . Sun 12-15. Vihti's museum is located in two different houses. Standard display features village life in the 19th century. Very limited opening hours during the winter, but less so during the summer. Adult / child 2 € / free.
All of the municipality, except perhaps parts of the semi-urban area of Nummela, is located in the immediate proximity of beautiful nature. As the Everyman's Rights allow free access to nature in Finland, Vihti is known for its great outdoors activities, such as skiing, swimming, trekking and more.
- Nuuksion kansallispuisto (Nuuksio National Park), (Tervalampi), ☎ 358 205 64 4790, . Always open. This small (on a Finnish scale) but interesting national park offers plenty to see for nature lovers, with no cost. The park entrance on the Vihti side is somewhat quieter than the one on the Espoo side. To get there by public transport, there is a bus connection from Helsinki, Nummela and Vihti kk. Look up further details from it's own article Free.
- Hill Side Golf, Luolaistentie 24, Jokikunta, ☎ 358 020 7411 280, . N/A. Two full-18 courses plus 9-hole course. Opening hours shall be updated soon. Adults weekdays / weekends 39 / 45 €, juniors (under 16) 15 €.
- Vihti Golf, Jussinrinne 1, Ojakkala, ☎ 358 9 2252 550, . N/A. Full 18 course plus 9-hole course. Opening hours shall be updated soon. Adults weekdays / weekends 48 / 58 €, juniors (under 16) 35 / 40 €.
- Vihti has nine public beaches. Three of them qualify the EU-standard -rating "Excellent", they are Myllylampi, Otalampi and Varikkaa. Full list of beaches and their locations can be found from the municipality's website . Be aware, that because of short summers, water might be colder than you expect (18-22 Celsius being normal), even on hot summer days.
- Vihti Swimming Hall (Vihdin uimahalli), Hiidenvedentie 3, Nummela, ☎ 358 9 4258 3179, . Mo - Fr 13 - 20, Sat closed, Sun 11-16. Vihti's swimming hall is small and basic, yet somewhat nationally famous for being home of Finnish swimming legend Jani Sievinen. One 25 m pool for adults plus children's pool. Your easiest chance to visit public sauna in Vihti. Adult / child 4 € / 2 €.
While Vihti isn't exactly a shopper's heaven, it has totally adequate services for many circumstances, particularly in Nummela. The town centre of Nummela has the largest selection of specialty stores. A large selection of groceries found in Nummela's two competing hypermarkets Citymarket and Prisma. If you are staying for longer and are looking for cheap trekking equipment, fishing equipment, tools, car spare parts and the like, your best bet is Hong Kong. Nummela is also home to an innovative ecologically oriented textile company Globe Hope, which has a factory outlet at Harjutie 14
Eating in Vihti might not be an unforgettable experience, but some better restaurants have popped up recently. Some of the better options are:
- Il Punto, Pilkkukuja 2, Nummela (Next to the roundabout in the town centre.). Nice cafe with salads, pasta and the like
- Cafe Casalen, Pisteenkaari 4, Nummela (Next to the roundabout in the town centre.). Cafe and design gift shop. Soups, warm meals, salads and sandwiches.
- Cantina Antonio, Pisteenkaari 4, Nummela (At market square).
- Heng Feng, Tuusantie 3, Nummela (Close to bus station).
- San Pietro, Vihdintie 3, Nummela, ☎ 09 2226199. One of the best Indian / Finnish Cuisine in the area!
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.
- Cantina Antonio, Pistenkaari 4, Nummela (At market square). While a Mexican restaurant at daytime, this one doubles as a crowded disco / night club during Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
- Ned Kelly's, Pilkkukuja 1 (Adjacent to Market square). On weekdays laid-back cafe / bar, turns into crowded night club on weekends. Especially popular with younger locals.
- Air Hotel, Lentokentäntie 5, Nummela (Nummela airport), . About a mile away from the town center, Air Hotel is next to Nummela's leisure flying center 85.
- Selli Majoitus, Linjalankuja 3 A, Vihti kk (At Vihti kk's bus station), . This option offers lodging in an old police station's premises. If looking for a longer stay, they do have really affordable weekly and monthly plans. from 60€.
Following cities and towns can be reached directly from Nummela by car / bus, distances in parentheses.
- Helsinki (45 km / 28 mi) capital city of Finland
- Turku (127 km / 79 mi) old capital at west coast
- Hanko (100 km / 62 mi) charming southern harbor town
- Lohja (19 km / 12 mi) mid-size modern town, with interesting mine museum and medieval church
- Hyvinkää (49 km / 30 mi) industrial town, important railway hub
- Pori (200 km / 124 mi) old town at West Coast, home of Pori Jazz -happening
- Rauma (213 km / 132 mi) one of Finland's oldest town, with stunning wooden Old Town.
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