Finland’s capital city is Helsinki and you are guaranteed plenty of activities, private sightseeing tours and excellent lively nightlife when you visit here.
The compact city of Helsinki can be explored entirely on a walking tour but it is also a vibrant seaside city of large green parks and beautiful Islands, over 300 islands to be a bit more precise.
Take a boat tour to many of the islands which provide areas for relaxing on beautiful beaches, camping facilities and then there are the islands that provide significant Finnish history and cultural.
Experience, in the vast green parks just outside the city of Helsinki, the great outdoors. Here there are sports grounds and areas for outdoor activities, but also there are the beauty spots for pure relaxation on a sunny day with your favourite book.
The Finnish people may come across as quiet and let's say reserved, but once you get to know them or see them in their natural habitat (or in bars and nightclubs), your opinion will quickly change. They love to party and the nightlife, especially at the weekends, is truly entertaining with plenty of choices in restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The people are amiable and welcoming. Read More...
On a Guided Tour Explore the Cultural Islands of Suomenlinna
The choice of sightseeing tours are plentiful in Helsinki and one of the more popular tours is of the islands of Suomenlinna and the Sea Fortress which dominates the islands. This was built in the 18th-century and is only one of the reasons why Suomenlinna in 1991 it became a World Heritage site of UNESCO.
Other top places to explore or see on guided tours include Mannerheimintie, the Finnish National Museum of Art, The Finnish National Museum, Helsinki Olympic Stadium and the Rock Church.
When it comes to food in Helsinki, the scene is ever-changing and cutting edge. The world wide Restaurant Day was the brainchild of a person from Helsinki and the new generation of chefs here. Their latest thing is the Helsinki Street Food Festival. When deciding a time to visit, see if one of these festivals are on because they are great fun and tasty times.
Top 10 Things to Do in Helsinki
When on a walking tour of Helsinki’s Mannerheimintie or also known as Mannerheim Street. This is the most popular street in Helsinki and it runs from the Central Railway Station which was built in 1919 with incredible architecture. There is an equestrian statue of possibly the most famous Finnish person in history, Marshal Mannerheim. There is a number of restaurants, bars, shops and museums to be explored and enjoyed.
Finnish National Museum of Art
Learn and see a lot on a guided tour of the Finnish National Museum of Art which is also known as Ateneum due to it being the name of the building housing the art. Within the museum, there are the finest art historical collections by famous Finnish artists as well as the works of master artists from foreign lands such as Rembrandt’s Monk Reading and Street in Auvers-sur-Oise by Vincent Van Gogh.
Central Park / Keskuspuisto
Helsinki's Central Park which is a large park within the city is a great location to spend some time when not on guided tours. This park is not all landscaped gardens, it is actually more wild woodland and you can do great activities here. There are biking tours on specific tracks, walking tours through the forest and during the snowy winter months cross- country skiing tours. The park has been growing since 1911.
In late 1960, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen designed this rather unique church in the Helsinki peninsula. Its interior is underground and it was carved out of an ancient solid rock and then built directly in it. There is a glazed down roof that allows natural light to enter during daylight hours. This is also used as a concert hall and this is due to the amazing acoustics created by the unworked rock surfaces that are in the interior.
The island of Seurasaari is located east of Helsinki and is linked by a footbridge to the mainland. This is an open-air museum that you should see on a guided tour. There is a 1686 Kiruna church, old peasant houses and other timber buildings to be seen on this fascinating tour. It is the best place to learn how people lived before modern technology in Finland. In one of the buildings are displays of traditional textiles.
Finnish National Museum (Kansallismuseo)
Take a guided tour through the Finnish National Museum which was founded in 1913. Due to it National Romantic Style and tall spire it is a very recognizable building. The stunning entrance hall’s decoration was inspired by Finland's national myth the Kalevala. Within the museum are comprehensive collections of artefacts and material on the ethnography and culture of Finland. Also a fascinating prehistoric section.
On a boat trip visit the island of Suomenlinna which is among the top destinations in Finland. On a private boat tour or by ferry, you can travel to this Sea Fortress that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located across from the city of Helsinki. Built 18th century, it is made up of six islands and each offers a different atmosphere, sights and things to do. It is a lively place to stay overnight or leave on the last ferry at 2am.
Helsinki Olympic Stadium
There is an interesting story about the Olympics and Helsinki and on a guided tour of the stadium, you will learn all there is to know in great detail. A synopsis is that Helsinki was due to hold the Olympics before the outbreak of World War II but it was cancelled and finally the city got to hold the games in 1952. There is a sports Museum, a statue of the great Paavo Nurmi, a national hero in Olympic running and much more to see.
The Market Square
As you wander the city on a walking tour, you will pass through the Market Square which is the main square of central Helsinki and is nicely paved. It is here you will find northern Europe’s best known outdoor markets which runs from spring to Autumn. There are many items to be bought here such as traditional Finnish food, souvenirs and flowers. Relax in the outdoor Cafes but what out for brazen seagulls robbing food from your plate.
Visit the wonderfully designed concert and convention hall called Finlandia Hall on a guided tour. It was built in 1971 and has a Carrara marble white facade. There is also stunning marble used inside the structure along with details that appear in ceramics and hardwoods. The concert is famous for its acoustics and there are and have been some amazing performance and sounds created here. This is well worth a sightseeing tour.
Travel Tips for Helsinki
Best Time To Visit
As previously stated in the above information, Helsinki is a destination you can visit Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. However the best months are regarded to be June during the summer months, September and October for sightseeing tours and lower prices and December or January for seasonal festivals and winter activities. Find out when festivals are on during the year as they are always very entertaining times.
Accommodation, restaurants and private tours in Helsinki can have a varied range of prices. It can start from budget prices and rise quite high if you have the money to spend. For Budget holidays, the average price of an evening meal starts from US$10, lunch from US$7 and breakfast from US$5. Accommodation starts from US$30 per night per room. Transport to and from the airport in a taxi starts from US$35 each way.
Know Before Visiting
The best way to get the most of your trip to Helsinki is by booking well in advance of travelling as you will get much more reasonable rates for accommodation. The same applies for booking major sightseeing tours or guided tours. As there is no Country or city exempt from petty crime, be careful of your possessions and watch out in crowded areas for pickpockets. At night it is not advisable to walk alone in dark streets.
The climate in Helsinki is a mix of maritime and continental climate. Due to its location near the Arctic Ocean and North Atlantic, it creates cold weather and then the Gulf Stream brings the warm weather. Summer months have an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and in June there are 19 hours of sun. Winter has the average temperature of -4 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperature was in 1987 at -34.3 degrees Celsius.