Accessed by a ferry all year, the fortress island of Suomenlinna is a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site. The island hosts museums, shops, cafés, and restaurants, as well as living residences. It is a popular picnic place during the summer time, with it large grass fields and natural cliffs.
Allas Sea Pool
Right next to Kauppatori market place is an oasis in the middle of the city. The Allas Sea Pool is a complex containing a large pool area and great saunas, as well as a lookout spot offering drinks and food and hosting various events throughout the year. Allas is a popular place for people to gather together and enjoy the view over the Baltic sea.
The Old Market Hall
Build in 1888, the beautiful Old Market Hall nowadays hosts many food shops, stands and restaurants. While you can find a traditional Vietnamese place or shop Spanish ingredients, many of the shops and restaurants concentrate on high quality Finnish and Nordic cuisines.
Excavated inside solid rock and covered with a dome, the church built in 1969 is a popular attraction. The place has great acoustics and serves often as a venue for concerts and weddings. On top of the interesting architecture, even the altarpiece is an ice-age crevice!
Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Since the 1950s people have gathered to the hill of Linnanmäki to enjoy themselves. While the 67-year-old rollercoaster still remains the most popular device, the amusement park offers a wide range from fun to wild rides. From the tall rides, you can see the over the whole Helsinki and beyond. Linnanmäki has also many game arcades, as well as a theatre and multiple venues for other events, that are held on regular basis.
The Senate Square is surrounded by art-noveau buildings designed by Carl Ludwig Engel: the white Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki, and the National Library of Finland. A statue of the Russian tsar Alexander II, who was also the Grand Duke of Finland, is located in the middle of the square. The stairs leading up to the cathedral are a wonderful place to watch the sunset!
Located in the central Helsinki in a neo-renaissance building, Ateneum is the home of both Finnish and international art works from the 19th century to modern age. The exhibiton Stories of Finnish Art displays not only the masterpieces of artists such as Eero Järnefelt and Edvard Munch, but also their sketch books and notes, giving insight to the artists’ lives. Temporary exhibitions have featured names such as Tove Jansson, Pablo Picasso, and Helene Schjerfbeck.
Built in 1938, the stadium hosted the Olympic games in 1952. Today the stadium is the venue for many national and international sports events, as well as outdoor concerts. The stadium tower is 72 metres tall, and open to visitors. A restaurant and the Finnish Sports Museum are also located at the stadium.
Finnair Sky Wheel
Opened in 2014 at Katajanokka, the Finnair Sky Wheel lets you have an amazing view over the central Helsinki as well as gaze to the sea and at the horizon. The blue and white –the colours of Finland- wheel stands 40 metres tall!
National Museum of Finland
The National Museum lets you explore the history of Finland from medieval times until the 19th century. In addition to the permanent exhibition telling how the life was over a 1000-year period, there are also changing contemporary exhibitions as well as the interactive Vintti, where you can learn about the history by participating in it yourself.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma features temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. Along with augmenting its collections, Kiasma also conducts research in art. Although the primary focus is in contemporary Finnish art, the museum more often than not features also exhibitions of international artists. The beauty in Kiasma’s exhibitions is their inclusiveness: the art works and installations can be interactive and trigger all your senses!
Kamppi Chapel of Silence
Located in one of the busiest corners in the whole city and at the entrance of Kamppi Shopping Centre, the Chapel of Silence offers an opportunity to calm down and take a breath. The modern, round design is soft and protects the visitor, while blending well in the city centre.
Seurasaari Open Air Museum
Seurasaari Open Air Museum is located on a beautiful island just a few kilometres out of the city centre. The atmosphere is relaxed and tranquil, and people often come here to take a break from their busy lives. In the summertime, the traditional Finnish way of life is displayed in the cottages, farmsteads and manors of the past four centuries, that have been relocated to Seurasaari from all over Finland. You can also find a restaurant, multiple kiosks and a beach from the island, as well as a barbecue spot.
To the south of the Esplanade, the area named Design District hosts over 200 design attractions on 25 streets including museums, galleries, studios, shops, showrooms and restaurants. Design Walk, a guided tour in English on every Friday, is a good way to get an insight on Finnish design. If you prefer exploring by yourself, there are also Design District Route Maps available free of charge.
The Cable Factory is the biggest and most diverse cultural centre in whole Finland. It features three museums, a restaurant, a book store, 12 galleries, dance theatres, art schools, and acts as a venue for artists, bands, and companies doing business in the creative industries. A popular event is the Winter Circus, an annual set of a perfect blend of acting and acrobatics.
The culinary and cultural centre Teurastamo, or in English The Abattoir, presents the latest food culture in Helsinki. You can always drop by to relax in the hammocks or on the various terraces, but food plays a key role in everything happening in the area. From a public grill and picnic spots in the urban garden to various ethnic restaurants, handmade icecream and Finnish cuisine, you can find it all. Teurastamo hosts often also events, such as the Sideways music festival, or Helsinki Night Market, when the area fills up with various interesting food stalls!
Helsinki has excellent cycling routes even in the heart of the city, and is a great place to be explored from the saddle. The city bikes are a fun and convenient way of getting around. The shared-use bicycles can be borrowed for a fee by anyone in Helsinki, residents and visitors alike. In 2017 there were already 1,400 bikes in 140 locations around the city!
Ice Skating on the Railway Station
In the wintertime Helsinki features multiple natural and artificial ice skating rinks around the town, but none other is as iconic as the ice rink in the middle of the Railway station! Enjoy a good time in the middle of the beautiful city, and drop by to the pop-up café for a cup of hot chocolate.
Amos Anderson Art Museum
The biggest private art museum in Finland, the Amos Anderson Art Museum, is located in the former home of the art patron Amos Anderson. In addition to the permanent exhibition of Mr. Anderson’s own collections and the home with its furniture and stories, the museum features changing exhibitions of mostly contemporary art. A restaurant and an art shop are also located in the building.
See Visit Helsinki for many other amazing things to experience!