Helsinki might not be very welcoming in terms of weather during your visit, but it’s a lovely and unique Scandinavian city which for sure will make you want to return one day! I’ve prepared a quick guide for you to get an idea of what you can see in the Finnish capital and its heritage: Finnish with Swedish and Russian influences – let’s see the things to do in Helsinki!
What to see in Helsinki?
Waterfront area is one of the most beautiful places of the city. Be sure to visit the port and the covered old market Vanha Kauppahalli that opened in 1889. It’s the best location for the local delicacies, Karelian open pies, traditional Lohikeitto soup with salmon and cream, sandwiches with all types of seafood, and all types of meat: venison, bear, moose meat for meat eaters.
And you can also find the most delicious berries: blueberries, cloudberries, strawberries. Nearby is Kauppatori, Market Square, with a street market where you can find a lot of goodies too.
I’m sure you won’t miss the Senate square as it’s the best example of the monumental architecture in Helsinki The University of Helsinki, governmental buildings and a monument to Alexander II of Russia are located there as well as the Sederholm House, the oldest building of the city dating back to 1757. Helsinki Cathedral with a beautiful green dome, once called St. Nicholas’ Cathedral to acknowledge Nicholas I, the Russian Emperor and Grand Duke of Finland, also located on the Senate square.
More churches worth visiting are the bright red Uspenski cathedral (Uspenskin katedraali, or Assumption Cathedral), an orthodox cathedral marking Russian presence in this city, and the Church carved into the rock, Temppeliaukion kirkko, built in 1969. Be sure to check out the Kampin kappeli, or Chapel of Silence, it’s quite new – opened in 2012 – and it’s incredible! Probably, it was my favourite spot of the city.⠀
Enjoy the Nordic nature and the views of Suomenlinna (or Sveaborg), a sea fortress of the mid-18th century located on seven small islands. It was built by the Swedish till they were overpowered by the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s accessible by a ferry.
For a nice stroll along the city green park Esplanadi. If you have time for a ride, go to the monument to Jean Sibelius (built in 1967), the most famous Finnish composer – it consists of numerous musical pipes and looks really unusual. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Helsinke is a perfect city for museum lovers: there are so many things to see! First of all, I’d suggest to go to the Ateneum museum which hosts the largest collection of art Finnish and international art. What a view you can get from the Ateneum museum over the gorgeous building of Finnish national theatre and rail station square!
The National Museum of Finland is also a the must-visit. I really loved the Museum of Natural History too: it might not be very big but I loved their collection showing the local fauna, and the giraffes on the balcony outside we a really cool idea!
What about food in Helsinki?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Helsinki is a food heaven, and let me show you just a few eating options. Kappeli restaurant on Esplanade is a historical place opened in 1867, and it was loved by artists of the late 19th century. And it was very loved by us, too! It’s such an amazing space serving delicious food some of which you’re likely to taste only is Scandinavian countries.
Moomin cafe is an absolute must, there are quite a few of them around the city including the airport. Well, tell me, who’s grown up with Moomin stories by Tove Jansson and knows Moomintroll, Moominpappa, Moominmama, Snorkmaiden and Snufkin well. Hattifattener meringue was absolutely delicious!
Helsinki is a place where you’re destined to get some sweet and coffee. Fazer confectionery with the most famous Finnish chocolate are a heaven for chocolate eaters. I also liked the restaurant Aino and Paulig Kulma coffee shop where you can get Suomi coffee with a blue pattern. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You might also like my blogs about other Scandinavian cities:
Hope you liked my blog!