It doesn’t matter if you’re in Helsinki for a weekend or an extended vacation, the city offers a lot to discover for everyone. Apart from impressive buildings and rugged forests, friendly Finns will make your stay unique. The article contains nine of the most popular attractions.
Spend a day at Suomenlinna
If you stay in Helsinki for a few days, you should definitely see the Suomenlinna Fortress, which means “Finnenburg” in English. A cheap 15-minute ferry takes visitors from the Finnish mainland to the archipelago off the coast of Helsinki, home to UNESCO-listed buildings. In the 18th century, when Finland was still part of the Kingdom of Sweden, the fortress was built to protect against the sea power of Russia.
Today, the Sea Fortress is a popular Finnish tourist attraction that serves both as a place to relax and learn about history. Visitors’ desire for discovery will be satisfied by the numerous tunnels, hidden corners and beautiful surroundings. There are also cafes, restaurants and small shops on Suomenlinna.
Tasting Finnish delicacies at Kauppatori
In the center of Helsinki, right next to the port, is the popular Finnish market Kauppatori. Here, travelers will find everything a tourist wants: fresh fish straight from a fishing boat, traditional cuisine, souvenirs and creative works of Finnish artists and artisans for every taste. Also around the market square is full of various cafes. A ferry departs from the port to Suomenlinna.
Admire contemporary art in Kiasma
Contemporary art lovers will find what they are looking for at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Stephen Hall. On four floors of a modern building, those who wish can get acquainted with the works of various artists. With its exhibitions, the museum wants to bring contemporary art into everyday life and make it accessible to a wide audience.
Have a beer at the SparaCoff Pub
You should also consider a relaxing program in the evening. In addition to its many cozy bars, the SparaCoff Tram Pub offers a very special experience: locals and vacationers can enjoy a beer here while the bar rolls around Helsinki on wheels. The converted tram is especially impressive with its bright red color.
Enjoy the tranquility of Kamppi Chapel of Silence
In the central district of Kamppi, there is the Chapel of Silence of the same name, surrounded by people in a hurry and the bustle of the city. The warmth of the wooden walls and the serenity of the chapel are designed to stop the hustle and bustle and give people the opportunity to escape from everyday stress for a moment.
Visit impressive churches
You can find enough amazing buildings in Helsinki. Especially popular and famous is the Temppeliaukio church, which impresses with its architecture: the church is built into a granite rock, its walls are made of unhewn stone. Numerous skylights ensure that sunlight can still enter the building.
Helsinki Cathedral and Cathedral of the Assumption are also ideal places for tourists interested in architecture. Historic churches adorn the urban landscape and attract numerous visitors.
Visit the Finnish sauna
If you love warmth, take the opportunity to take a steam bath in a real Finnish sauna. Although many Finns now have their own sauna, there are still many public saunas where tourists can experience typical Finnish traditions first hand. For example, Loulu offers a combination of design and classic sauna, Kulttuurisauna offers a direct view of the sea, and Kaurilan sauna offers a traditional wood-heated sauna.
Ride the roller coaster in Linnanmäki
If you are traveling with children, you simply must set aside a day for Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki. Numerous attractions, from 4D cinemas to Ferris wheels, carousels, roller coasters and a hall of mirrors, will make the children’s day truly unforgettable. But keep in mind that the amusement park is closed in winter.
Hiking in Nuuksio National Park
If you spend a little more time in the Finnish capital, you should not miss the impressive natural surroundings!
No wonder they say that Finland is a real paradise for nature lovers: Nuuksio National Park, located near Helsinki, is ideal for spending a day relaxing from the city and getting to know the natural corners of the country. Buses to the park run several times a day.