This is my 'must go' place every time I visit Helsinki between the beginning of May and mid-September. It really is unique and I cannot think of anything better to do than start your day by dipping into this awesome heated pool outdoors when the sun is shining... To be honest I'd go there if it wasn't sunny.
The Helsinki Swimming Stadium features a Olympic sized (50m) heated (+30C) outdoor pool. It provides great facilities for lane swimming and running in the water whilst topping up your tan. The outdoor complex also features a kids pool, diving boards and diving platforms (up to 10m). The changing rooms (separate facilities for men and women), showers and saunas are conveniently located indoors.
The pool was built for the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics. The facilities are cleaned several times a day (and they are also renovated frequently due to wear and tear). In fact, they are much cleaner than any facilities in the UK.
Open from the beginning of May to the beginning of September
Mon - Sat 06.30-20.00
Admission to the pool
Adults €3,80 (10 tickets €33,60)
Children over 7 years, students, pensioners, ISIC Card Holders €1,90 (10 tickets €16,80)
Children under 7 free
Water slides are open between 4 June and 12 August (Half-a-day ticket costs €5)
Small kiosk/cafe outdoors
You can also visit the gym and play table tennis, volleyball and basket ball in the same building. There are two beach volley nets outdoors.
Exceptional closing times on
21 June (tills close at 16.00)
22 June 10.00-20.00
Equipment: It is possible to hire swimming suits and trunks (€3), towels (€3), small towels sit sit on in the sauna (€0,50) and soap (€0,50).
Shorts of any kind are strictly prohibited, so bring your speedos or hire some at the tills at the entrance
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Hietsu - the place to be on!
Hietaniemi Beach (Hietsu) is a big beach in Helsinki. The City of Helsinki has a lot of coast lines and also many beaches. Summertime, when it's really hot, the best thing you can do is spending time on a beach, eating ice cream and chilling out with people and friends. Hietsu is the most famous beach in Helsinki and during hot days there is a lot of people. I apologize but these pictures are not mine, I borrow them from internet. You can write "Hietaniemen ranta/Hietsu or Hietaniemi beach" on google and watch more of them. I really recommend this place for you! You can play basket ball or beach volley as well as just enjoy the atmosphere or something else. Take your time and enjoy the sun!
- Water Sports
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The beach (also known as 'Hietsu') is one of the few sandy beaches located near the centre of the town. It is rather disappointing place if you expect fine golden sand since the sand on the main beach is mainly coarse whereas some fine sand has been brought over to the part of the beach where local beach volley ball club has set up its beach volley ball nets.
The beach is nevertheless very popular and gets extremely crowded if the weather's nice.
There are lifeguards on the beach provided by the local council during the summer months (usually from early June to mid-August). They are frequently manning the beach between 10am and 6pm. They will also be able to provide you with volley ball nets if you've got your own ball.
Between early May and the end of September there should be access to indoor dressing rooms, which are pretty decent. However, bear in mind that the toilets can get pretty manky. Showers are situated outdoors.
Basket ball and beach-volley field, play ground for children, cafe (open daily between 10am and 6pm)
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Green Bike rental & repair service
Back in 2005, our first time in Helsinki, we rented bikes at the Nordic Fitness Sports Park, near the Olympic Stadium, using our Helsinki Cards to get 50% discounts on the price.
However, by 2011, both the discount and the bike shop seemed to have disappeared. We ended up going to Green Bike, which appears to be the largest bike rental operation in town. They took the time to install a baby trailer behind my bike for our 1-year old, and then we were off for the day! We ended up visiting the islands on the western outskirts of the city, across the bay from Espoo.
Helsinki is a very flat city -- in fact, Finland in general is a very flat country -- which makes biking a great way of getting around and seeing areas you wouldn't visit otherwise. If you have any questions about biking in or around Helsinki, Green Bike is probably the best place to get help.
- Family Travel
I was looking to book sports massage on a short notice and came across Helsingin Urheiluhieronta. It's pretty much in centre of Helsinki (Fredirinkinkatu 49) and they have on-line booking although this service is currently only in Finnish. I thought the on-line booking facility was great since I literally booked it in Sunday before travelling to Helsinki that evening and got a confirmation there and then that I had an appointment on Monday morning at 09.30. I was able to nip to the massage from my hotel and then head back to the hotel.
Prices (in 2012)
30 min . . . . 32 €
45 min . . . . 43 €
60 min . . . . 53 €
90 min . . . . 75 €
120 min . . . . 103 €
c. 60 min . . . . 60 €
They are also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/helsinginurheiluhieronta
- Business Travel
Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi - otherwise known as HJK Helsinki to most of us, is generally the best soccer team in the country. They play all of their home matches at Sonera Stadium (name subject to change when sponsors change - used to be Finnair Stadium) which is near downtown, just a little ways up on the Mannerheim, and right next to the Olympic Stadium.
The Veikkausliiga generally begins in April and ends in October, so there should be a chance to catch an HJK game at any time during that span. Since HJK is generally one of the top teams in the country, they usually qualify for the Champions League, so if you are around in July you might be able to catch them playing in one of those games too, although they are usually underdogs in those games.
The stadium has a capacity of just over 10,000 but I was told that it rarely sells out. Tickets are 10 Euros for seats behind the goal and 20-30 Euro for seats near midfield. Seating is general admission, so once you buy a ticket for a specific section, you simply pick an open seat - so get there early if you have a preference. Most fans generally sit on the south end, behind the goal. The HJK supporter's group sits in the southeast corner. They provide a nice atmosphere with chants and cheering for most of the game.
One thing that is disappointing is that HJK really doesn't have any big rivalries. All of the other Helsinki clubs have fallen off and been relegated over the years, leaving them as the only main team in town. I guess MyPa or one of the Turku teams (FC Inter or TPS) would probably be their biggest rivals now, so try to catch a game against one of those teams if possible.
Overall, there are obviously much better venues to take in a soccer match in Europe, but in Finland this is probably your best bet, and in Helsinki, it's pretty much your only option.
Large outdoor pool area just next door to Helsinki Olympics Stadium. You can jump from 5, 7,5 and 10 metres. Popular place for picnics with large gardean area. You are allowed to bring food and drinks to area. There is a cafe with food portions and drinks at area.
World Championships in Athletics
Helsinki is a host to World Championships in athletics 6-14 August 2005. Ticket prices range from 18 € to 305 €.
It has estimated that there's over 4 billion TV viewers in 180 countries, more than 3000 team members from 200 countries, approximately 3000 volunteers, 3500 media representatives and 5000-20000 foreign tourists. It's the biggest ever sport event in Finland.
Tram lines 4 and 10 operate between the city centre and the Olympic Stadium.
Helsinki hosted the first World Championships in Athletics in 1983.
Sports Facilities Open for Everybody
Here is a hint for all you crazy sports addicts who go on holiday and cannot be without sports abroad.
This is a multifunctional sports arena (indoors) in eastern Helsinki called Liikuntamylly. Entrace is 2e and includes any activity in the big hall.
Starting with a climbing wall, gym machines, two rooms for wrestling and budo, 200m 6-lane tracks (round), several basketball and floorball fields and lots more...
Equipment: Some equipment are handed out against a small fee.
Like Beckham: Ryan Botha of MyPa
Soccer Action at the Pohjola Stadium:
I had the chance to see the match AC Allianssi vs MyPa of the Finnish top division on June 15, 2003. Before the match, Allianssi headed the table and MyPa ranked 5th.
MyPa sports a very interesting player: Ryan Botha. He definetely looks a lot like David Beckham - as you can judge by looking at the picture I took of Ryan during the match.
He scored two lovely goals in the match and his team won this away game 4-1. Unlike Beckham, Ryan plays on the left side and he usually uses his left foot for shooting. An excellent player, he was voted MVP on that day!
Skiing in Helsinki area
There are quite plenty of cross-country skiing possibilities in Helsinki region. It may be bit difficult to find them so here is how I understand it. In Helsinki, check out the following link: http://www.hel.fi/liv/lajit/latukartat.html and select the link for the location which you are interested in. The links called Itä-Helsinki and Länsi-Helsinki show all the tracks in east and west-Helsinki, respectively. The red tracks stand for illuminated tracks where the blue ones are meant only for daylight use.
In Espoo, check out the link http://www.espoo.fi/binary.asp?page=39380&field=Image for similar map. The colors have the same meaning. Sorry about the link length but it wasn't easy to find.
- Skiing and Boarding
On a hot day (yes, they do happen) Hietaniemi beach, which many local people call Hietsu, is a good and central destination to spend the day. The beach is clean, sandy and long/wide enough not to get too crowded. It is located in the Töölö district, next to the Hietaniemi Cemetery. We found the water shallow and very refreshing; we enjoyed our day very much. For the better swimmers there’s an island not far from the shore.
Equipment: Theoretically Hietaniemi beach has many facilities, including toilets, changing rooms and cafes – but when we were there (August 2010) only one place was open, and played very loud music. So take along a towel, a swimsuit and something to eat/drink.
We had spotted there was a game between Klubi 04 and PK35 at the Finnair Stadium in the second tier of Finnish football so, guaranteed a visit by us. Saw Klubi in a previous incarnation as FC Jokerit play a UEFA cup game in Budapest several years ago before they were taken over by the giants of Finnish football HJK and, I guess, used as a feeder team.
We duly arrived at the Finnair stadium a little before kick off to find it in darkness, the only signs of life on the apparent training pitch at the side. This is where the game took place, Mrs B rightly refusing to cough up 10euros to watch when a perfectly adequate view was to be had from outside, many others having the same idea.
Stayed to watch most of the first half, little to report on, mostly youngsters in a meaningless end-of-season fixture by the look of things.
For the record a 2-1 victory for the home side was the outcome.
Last 2 photos of the "real" Finnair stadium taken earlier on a visit to the nearby Olympic stadium.
The Hartwall Areena is the largest icehall in Helsinki, you can see icehockey games here, the local team is the Helsinki Jokerit team (http://www.jokerit.com/) and there are often also rock concerts here. the Eurovision song contest was here as well.
Cycle Helsinki by Jopo
The typical bicycle in Finland is called Jopo and around the entire city of Helsinki you can find cycling paths. The route is quiet flat and a ride is very leisurley. Ask your hotel concierge for the closest Jopo rental place, or alternativley join a guided Jopo Tour.
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