Helsinki Holiday Guide
The art, architecture and culture of Helsinki have all been influenced by both Western and Eastern European traditions, which gives the city a special character and special charm. Go to Senaatintori (Senate Square) to view the sculptures and buildings. Here you’ll see the imposing Tuomiokirkko (Lutheran Cathedral) and the Valtioneuvoston linna (Governmental Palace). Lovers of architecture and design will recognize the works by Carl Ludvig Engel, Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto. Visit the Helsingin Kaupunginmuseo (City Museum), the Arkkitehtuurimuseo (Museum of Finnish Architecture), the Aalto-House or the Design Museum to learn about the design traditions of Helsinki and the rest of Finland.
If you love history you should definitely go to the Suomenlinna. This sea fortress was built in the 18th Century by the Swedes. It is now on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses a museum, cafés and even restaurants. If you want to see the ancient treasures of Finland, spend a few hours in the Museovirasto (National Museum).
Spend at least a day exploring the many art museums and galleries. Go to the Ateneum and the Sinebrychoff for a collection of classic Finnish and European works of art. For modern art, visit the Kiasma Museum.
Find a nice souvenir or a delicious snack at the Kauppahalli Vanha (the Old Market Hall) or the Kauppatori. Stroll through the Esplanadi nearby, or explore the Design District for its hip and trendy shops. If you need time away from the city, take a ferry to one of the nearby islands. On Seurasaari you can view historic homes, while on Korkeasaari you can pay a visit to the Helsinki Zoo.