Helsinki, capital and the most popular city of Finland, a vibrant environmental friendly city, with a population of 1,292,232 (2019), surrounded by plenty of parks and nature attractions, is located in the south of the country, in the Uusimaa region.
WHAT TO SEE:
Helsinki Cathedral, an imposing religious building, located in Kruununhaka neighborhood, built in 1852, an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral, earlier called St. Nicholas Church and Great Cathedral, is one of the most popular sights of Helsinki and a great place to visit. Free entry.
Uspenski Cathedral, an impressive worship place, located near the promenade and the SkyWheel, in Katajanokka neighborhood, is a Russian style church, with stunning red- brick exterior, gorgeous interior, influenced by Russian architecture. Free Entry.
Temppeliaukio Church, built in 1969, is one of Helsinki most popular attractions. A Lutheran Church, located a 10 minute walk from the city centre. Temppeliaukio is a church excavated into solid rock, known as Rock Church.
The interior of the church is impressive, surrounding peaceful and architecture innovative. Opening hours are subject to events. We had to wait half an hour for a wedding to finish to enter the church. Entrance is 3€, paid on cash or by card.
Sibelius monument, a popular Helsinki landmark open to the public, located in Sibelius park. An impressive monument created by artist Eila Hiltunen, half an hour on foot by city centre, dedicated to famous composer Jean Sibelius. Very much worth visiting the lovely park where the monuments stands, sit on a bench and admire the views to the sea.
What’s not to love about Helsinki’s Old Market? Old Market Hall is open Monday-Saturday 8am to 6pm, located next to the market Square, by the promenade. Inside the old market, Vanha Kauppahalli in Finnish, there are around 25 coffee and deli shops selling delicious seafood.
Kalaliike Marja Nätti got my attention, salmon treats were so indescribably good in taste. Delicious fish, shellfish, smoked salmon -on bread, salmon pies and salads, caviar etcetera. A gourmet gem !!! Highly recommended and worth visiting. Entry to the market is free. Closed on Sundays.
When travelling to a new destination I always look for the highest point of view. Helsinki is not famous for its skyscrapers. Where can you get the best view of the city? Best views of Helsinki are from Ateljee Bar. Take the elevator to the 12th floor of Torni Hotel, located in the heart of the city, climb the spiral staircase to the bar. The view is magnificent!
Ateljee Bar, a small rooftop bar, popular and a bit pricey, gets really crowded during early evening hours. Prices vary from 6.5 € (coffee), 9 € (beers), 12 – 15 € (drinks – coktails). You can get a birds view from the toilet as well! I have never seen a ladies room with such a view!
Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), hosts exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, work of Finnish artists. HAM offers some free exhibitions as well (on the first floor). Tickets 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 Museum’s art collection.
Senate Square, one of the most popular meeting points of Helsinki city centre. An impressive square that hosts some of the most significant buildings of the city, as Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. A must see, what an architecture to admire!
NOT TO MISS:
- Kamppi shopping center, centrally located, offers a great variety of deli shops, restaurants, supermarkets, clothes stores, health and body services.
- Musiikkitalo, Helsinki Music Centre, located in the heart of Helsinki, offers free music events, photo exhibitions, Camerata concerts performed by Sibelius Student Academy, open to the public. A lovely experience, I highly recommend.
- Suomenlinna Island, a historic and nature area, accessible only by water. A ferry departs daily from the market square. Ticket: 5 € return.
- The Bad Bad Boy, a pink impressive, 8.5 meters high, statue by sculptor Tommi Toija.
- A stroll by the Design district and Esplanade Park is highly recommended.
- A ride on Skywheel, a 40-m. observation wheel, a popular attraction of the city, offering panoramic 360-degree views over Helsinki.
EAT WELL FOR LESS:
- Fafa’s, a budget option for a quick bite, serves kebab, fries, halal and hummus (price per adult 10 – 13 €).
- Soppakeittio, a must, if you love soups! Tasty, delicious and affordable!
- Cafe bar 9: Salads, pasta, chicken with veggies and noodles, salmon and meat, 15 -20 € .
- Friends & Brgrs: Wide selection of burgers, 10 – 12 € .
- If you fancy a coffee break when visiting Sibelius Monument, Cafe Regatta is situated nearby. A lovely coffee shop and surrounding, offers a great variety of snacks, sandwiches, pastries, cinnamon rolls e.t.c. One of the most popular coffee shops in Helsinki, be prepared to wait in a queue.
- Budget supermarkets in Helsinki: Lidl (the cheapest to buy groceries), Prisma, S- Market, K-supermarket, open market grocery halls (Kauppatori).
Helsinki Central Station, one of the most beautiful railway stations I have ever seen. An art gem located in the very heart of the city, has a great interior and four imposing stone statues in the entrance of the station.
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