Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant environmental friendly city though an expensive destination to travel. Read my guide on the cheap things to do in Helsinki and enjoy the best of the city on a budget.
The Finnish capital is located in the south of the country, in the Uusimaa region. According to a Eurostat study of 2017 Finland is the eighth most expensive country in Europe.
WHAT TO SEE IN HELSINKI ON A BUDGET
- Visit the Helsinki Cathedral located in Kruununhaka neighbourhood. The Evangelical Lutheran cathedral was built in 1852. Earlier called St. Nicholas Church and Great Cathedral the impressive building is one of the most popular sights of Helsinki and a great place to visit (FREE)
- The Uspenski Cathedral is located near the promenade and the SkyWheel in Katajanokka neighbourhood. The Uspenski is a Russian style church with stunning red- brick exterior, influenced by the Russian architecture (FREE)
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- The Temppeliaukio Church was built in 1969. The Temppeliaukio is one of Helsinki most popular attractions. Temppeliaukio is a church excavated into a solid rock known as the Rock Church. The interior of the church is impressive, the surrounding peaceful and the architecture innovative. The opening hours of the church are subject to events planning (3€).
- Sibelius monument is a popular Helsinki landmark open to the public located in Sibelius Park. The Sibelius is an impressive monument made by the artist Eila Hiltunen. The monument is dedicated to the famous composer Jean Sibelius. Visit the lovely park where the monument stands, sit on a bench and admire the views of the sea (FREE).
- What’s not to love about Helsinki’s Old Market? The Old Market Hall is open Monday-Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm. The Market is located next to the Market Square by the promenade. Inside the Vanha Kauppahalli, there are around 25 coffee and deli shops selling delicious seafood.
- The Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) hosts exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, exhibits work of Finnish artists. HAM offers some free exhibitions as well, check it out on the first floor. Entrance fee: 12/10€ .
- There is a great variety of public art, monuments and sculptures located in the parks and streets of Helsinki, which is part of the Museum’s art collection.
- Visit the Senate Square, one of the most popular meeting points of the city (FREE). The square hosts some of the most significant buildings of the city: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.
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- Visit Suomenlinna Island, a historic and nature surrounding. A ferry departs daily from the market square. FEE: 5€ return.
- Visit The Bad Bad Boy, a pink impressive, 8.5 meters high, statue made by sculptor Tommi Toija (FREE).
- Stroll by the Design district and Esplanade Park (FREE).
- Take a ride on Skywheel, a 40-m. observation wheel to get a panoramic 360-degree view over Helsinki. FEE: 13€
- Visit Helsinki Central Station, one of the most beautiful railway stations I have ever seen (FREE).
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEW OF THE CITY
Helsinki is not famous for its skyscrapers. The best views of Helsinki are from Ateljee Bar. Take the elevator to the 12th floor of Torni Hotel, climb the spiral staircase to the bar. Ateljee Bar is a small rooftop bar that gets really crowded during the evening. The prices vary from 6.5 € (coffee), 9 € (beers), 12 – 15 € (drinks – cocktails). You can get a birds view from the toilet as well! I have never seen a ladies room with such a view!
WHERE TO TASTE SALMON
Visit Kalaliike Marja Nätti in the Old Market. Taste delicious fish, shellfish, smoked salmon -on bread, salmon pies and salads, caviar etcetera. A gourmet gem!
WHERE TO SHOP
Kamppi shopping centre offers a great variety of deli shops, restaurants, supermarkets, clothes stores, health and body services.
WHERE TO ENJOY A CONCERT FOR FREE
Musiikkitalo is located in the heart of Helsinki. The Music centre offers free music events, photo exhibitions, Camerata concerts performed by the Sibelius Student Academy.
WHERE TO SHOP ON A BUDGET
Visit Lidl which is the cheapest supermarket to buy groceries.Visit Prisma, S- Market, K-supermarket, the open market grocery halls (Kauppatori).
WHERE TO EAT WELL FOR LESS
- Fafa’s, a budget option for a quick bite, serves kebab, fries, halal and hummus (10-13€).
- Soppakeittio is a must if you love soups!
- Cafe bar 9: Order salad, pasta, chicken with veggies and noodles, salmon and meat, (15 -20€).
- Friends & Brgrs offers a wide selection of burgers (10-12 €) .
- Visit Cafe Regatta by the Sibelius Monument. Cafe Regatta is one of the most popular coffee shops in Helsinki, be prepared to wait in a queue.