My husband surprised me for my 40th birthday with a trip to Europe in late July 2018. We fly into Dublin Ireland and have to make our way to Helsinki to meet my In-laws with my children. I'm seeking recommendations on places to go and sites to see from Dublin to Helsinki. Also is there a way to travel via trains/bus versus renting a car? Any recommendations on sites and places to go are greatly appreciated.
How much time have you got for this?
You have picked two cities on opposite ends of a continent (and with a great deal of sea in between) and you ask what to see in between! You need to narrow it down a bit.
" Also is there a way to travel via trains/bus versus renting a car?"
As Morten said, the large amount of water in between means that besides buses and trains, you will need boats. But it can be done. The Man In Seat 61 is a rail guru; he's based in London. So, he has directions for how to get almost anywhere in Europe from London, without flying. Just look at his Dublin to London page https://www.seat61.com/Ireland.htm and his London to Helsinki page https://www.seat61.com/Finland.htm, and combine them to get from Dublin to Helsinki without flying.
If you want any other advice, as Morten says, we need a lot more information. How long do you have to make this journey? What are your interests? What have you seen before in this area? How old are your children, and how many are your traveling with? What is your budget (in actual currency - terms like "moderately priced" mean different things to different people)? Etc., etc. Help us help you!
We have 10 days to get from Dublin to Helsinki. Thank you for the seat61 information. I was just last night trying to determine if we could take a train to Finland. I was hoping there were red eye trains to allow us to spend the days in the City's.
I’m sorry to say, but with only ten days, taking trains from Dublin to Helsinki is completely unrealistic. You could fly from Dublin to somewhere in Scandinavia, like Copenhagen or Bergen or Oslo, take a train to Stockholm and catch the overnight ferry to Helsinki from there. This is just an example based purely on logistics, I have no idea if this might be interesting for you and your family. Have you had any thoughts about what you would like to see on this trip?
I agree that flying at least part of the way is much more sensible, if you want to spend some time actually in places instead of just getting to and from them. There will be lots of options, as both Ireland and the Nordic countries have lots of airline competition on many routes (Ryanair, Norwegian Air, Aer Lingus, SAS, Finnair, and their subsidiaries).
To find flights, use Skyscanner: https://www.skyscanner.com/
Note that many of these flights will be on budget airlines, which can have all kinds of extra fees. Be sure to do a dummy booking (up to the point where you put in your credit card) on the airline's actual website (rather than a third party such as Expedia or Opodo) to learn all the fees.
If you want to see who flies where from an airport, look at that airport's Wikipedia page (a great trick I learned on this Forum). To start you off, here's Dublin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_Airport#Passenger
and Helsinki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki_Airport#Passenger