We will be in Helsinki in August and am wondering if we combine the Rick Steves walk(s) along with the Helsinki Tram Tour (#2/#3) will we cover most if not all of the same things covered in the "Helsinki Panorama" bus tour? With a family of four, the price is fairly steep for the Panorama bus tour but are willing to consider it. We save where we can on lodging and food so are willing to spend for worthwhile sights/activities.
Transit single ticket prices are a bit pricey (3.20 EUR) but a day pass may be cost effective (at 8 EUR) if you anticipate three or more journeys. That said, Helsinki is a compact city and very walkable unless you have mobility problems. https://www.hsl.fi/en/tickets-and-fares
The not walkable part is going out to Suomenlinna Island but you can get the 12 hour ferry pass for 5 EUR.
You may also want to check out the TI walking tour map: http://www.visithelsinki.fi/sites/visithelsinki.fi/files/files/Esitteet/EN/see_helsinki_on_foot.pdf
(More than just a map or book of maps, the walking guide has short descriptions of points of interest.)
If you are into nightlife, you can cram a lot into 36 hours:
36 Hours in Helsinki, Finland
By INGRID K. WILLIAMS JULY 7, 2016
Every corner of this cool Nordic city is heating up, with a renewed
waterfront, renovated museums and revived industrial spaces.
Edgar, thanks for the reply but we are specifically interested in whether just the Tram ( ~€3/person - much lower price point) and walking tours (following Rick's book) will have us cover the same ground that the "Helsinki Panorama" tour that Rick also recommends. At €31/person for the 1.5 hour bus tour it's pricey for us since there are 4 of us.
I haven't done the Panorama bus tour but it does seem pricey for an 1.5 bus ride that Tram Routes 2 & 3 sort of cover. It's one of those situations where you can pay for the convenience of someone doing the route planning and study for you or you can do cheap and do the route planning yourself. The do it your self would probably take you more than 1.5 hours.
The transit routes:
And walking is even cheaper.
We did the Panorama bus tour in May. We really enjoyed it, especially driving past the ice breakers and the stop at the Sibelius Monument. We purchased Helsinki Cards and the Panorama bus tour was included with that. We did a self-guided walk in the morning and enjoyed a bit of rest on the bus.
We didn’t do the Panorama tour as it’s way too pricey but we took trams 2&3 instead. Check this link showing the maps of both trams:
We explored Helsinki with my sister in November 2015 and the weather was awesome for walks. As has been said above, Helsinki is a very walkable city and everything is close by. We also went to the UNESCO site – the Suomenlinna Fortress and loved it! Lovely ruins and beautiful scenery around.