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The Esplanade Park & Boulevard
It is said that the Esplanade, constructed in the 1800's, served as a political dividing line of sorts when certain inhabitants of the country could not decide whether the Finnish or Swedish language should dominate!!
Proponents of the Finnish viewpoint ambled on the south side (Etelaesplanadi) while the Swedish-speaking Finns did so on the north side (Pohjoisesplanadi). Happily, this is no longer the case. This beautiful park runs between the north & south sides of the boulevard, beginning at the harbor and ending at the Swedish Theatre and today the park is a joy to those fortunate enough to visit it. We visited some of the market stalls near the harbor end before taking a stroll along the Esplanade's length. With its excellent location putting it within walking distance of some of Helsinki's favorite tourist attractions, it is a very popular place.
The Esplanade itself is a very wide, pea-gravel walkway lined with trees, foliage, flowers and seating areas. At night elegant street lamps illuminate the walk way and statuary in this beautiful area. In the Summer there are free jazz concerts and in December the traditional Christmas Market appears.
The Esplanade is not only a grand place for a beautiful afternoon stroll but also is adjacent to some of the finest hotels, restaurants and shops in Helsinki. Marimekko alone has 3 shops on the boulevard and Scandinavia's largest department store, Stockmann's will more than delight all true shoppers. You'll also find the upscale Savoy restaurant, and the historic "Kappeli" restaurant which is famous for its "Sibelius" menu featuring smoked artic char and beetroot mousse. For a little nightlife, try the hip Teatteri restaurant, bar and nightclub occupying the same building as the Swedish Theater. Don't forget the upscale Finnish souvenir shops along the way, but bring plenty of Euros for any shop you might slip into.
Esplanade Park was a really nice park, located between two main streets and surrounded by beautiful Neo-Renaissance buildings, which replaced the old wooden houses in the latter half of the 19th century. One of the best, is the Kamp Hotel on the corner of Kluuvikatu.
We walked the whole length of the street, and saw many statues of Finnish Poets.
There were plenty of Cafes and shops, and when we were there, they were setting up for a concert. The park has plenty of lawn and benches to sit on, plus ice-cream kiosks.
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
Esplanadi Park (Esplanadipuisto)
Esplanadi Park (Esplanadipuisto) is located to the West from the Kauppatori square. The park is framed with streets Pohjoisesplanadi and Etalasesplanadi, built up with buildings in style of the neo-Renaissance in the second half of the XIX century. K.Engel and J.Erenstryom were the authors of a lay-out of the park in 1812.
The park accepted the modern view in 1831. The oldest lindens were planted in 1840. The park is a favourite place of walks of the townspeople and tourists. The restaurant "Chapel " (ravintola Kapeli) with a summer terrace is located in the east part of the park. There are many small ponds decorated by figures of boys of fishers and nymphs.
- Arts and Culture
Take a load off
If you're in the city centre a lot then you will most definitely come across the esplanade. It is one of the main streets in Helsinki and leads right up to the harbour. It is a nice garden, with plenty of seats/benches for people to sit on. In one part there is also a cafe and a 'bandstand' (like in the picture to the left) where different kinds of music is played - when I was there I heard jazz perform and later a (soft) rock band.
Its a good place to just sit and relax for a bit especially if you've been doing a lot of sightseeing or shopping.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
This is the place to go if you're after luxury shopping, people watching or just going for a leisurely stroll.
The Esplanade park stretches from Kauppatori westwards to the busy Mannerheimintie street and is flanked by two streets with expensive shops, restaurants and cafés.
In summer concerts are frequently held in the park.
- Luxury Travel
The Esplanadi park is located in the centre of Helsinki, between two streets the northern Esplanadi and the southern Esplanadi. The park is opened in 1812.
In the middle of the park, you can find a statue of Johan Ludwig Runeberg. His name can´t be found on the statue, but you find the lyrics to our national anthem. Runebergs famous work was an epic poem Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat, it tells of the Finnish war with Russia in 1808-1809. The first poem "Maamme" (Our land), became the Finnish national anthem.
In summer time Esplanadi park is filled with people sitting on the grass having picnic or just enjoying the sun.
Helsinki harbour and the market square are just 10-15 min walk from the statue of Runeberg.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Esplanadi in Summer
The Esplanadi is a linear park with two streets beside it. In summer this is the place to be and be seen where there is always something going on. An ideal place to take a rest in one of the cafés under the trees and listen to some music.
- Road Trip
Esplanadi, or Esplanaden in Swedish is actually the name for two streets and the park between them. The two streets which make up the Esplanadi are Pohjoisesplanadi (the northern street), and Eteläesplanadi (the southern street).
I have read that the boulevard was once a political dividing line, with Finnish-speaking Finns walking on the south side and Swedish-speaking Finns on the north side.
There are plenty of cafes lining Esplanadi, allowing you plenty of choice as to where you want to sit and watch the world go by.
Esplanade Park, which together with Senate Square and the Market Square constitutes the most distinctive part of Helsinki’s historical centre. It first featured in the town plan of J.A. Ehrenström in 1812 and has, right from the start, been a popular place for a stroll with the people of Helsinki. You can find the tourist information office on the Esplanadi, and also Finlands most expensive and luxurious hotel, the Kämp Hotel. Next to the hotel you will find the entrance to a shopping mall, with great stores, and also the Moomin Shop.
In the Park are a lot sculptures. In the centre of the park is a statue of J.L. Runeberg (1804-1877), Finland’s national poet and author of the Finnish national anthem, sculpted by his son Walter in 1885. In summer there are concerts daily at the Esplanade bandstand. On either side of the bandstand are fountains and statues by Viktor Jansson (Fish Boys and Water Nymphs, 1942)
In summer the Esplanadi is a long pedestrian garden where everyone seems to be: it’s full of people and buzzing with activities: concerts, mimes, people having a chat, a picnic and/or a beer… It also has a couple of cafès and restaurants. The park was originally opened in 1812 and officially it is made of two gardens. The Pohjoisesplanadi (Finnish for the North Esplanade Street) and Eteläesplanadi (Finnish for the South Esplanade street).
In the park there is a statue and a fountain: the statue is that of Johan Ludwig Runeberg, a well-known Finnish poet who wrote in Swedish verses about life in rural Finland whereas the fountain is the Havis Amanda fountain, was sculpted by Ville Vallgren, which represents a bronze maiden who standing on seaweed surrounded by four spouting sea lions (or seals)
Laid out by Engel in 1812 Esplanadi consists of 2 broad parallel streets separated by a green area. This is a popular promenade, it is a great place to sit & relax too. In the summer months there are plenty of concerts & open-air shows here. The area is surrounded by bars, restaurants & shops.
As I visited Helsinki in mid summer I especially enjoyed being here late at night when it just didn't get totally dark.
Helsinki's people watching hub
The esplanadi is flanked by a selection of shops, restaurants and residential property and runs all the way down to the harbour where there is a craft market - with a range of jewellery and Finnish produce to be bought. In winter there is a Christmas market on the Esplanadi and in summer there is live music at the harbour end. The trees, statues, and benches help make it a pleasant place to be although apparently there can be a problem with drunks congregating - although I haven't seen any. It has a different character in snowy winter to sunny autumn - I prefer the latter but enjoy soaking up Helsinki whenever I am there.
Walk along Esplanadi
Esplanadi is a nice boulevard in the centre of Helsinki. Its sides are framed by beautiful art nouveau houses, in which one can find shopping malls and expensive restaurants. The middle of the boulevard is basically a park which is at the moment under construction.
Modena at the Esplanadi Boulevard
The Esplanadi Boulevard is the heart of the tourism area, it is a great spot for people watching, but also for showing off. It is not common in Finland to see the 360 Modena model (I had to check the internet to find out what model it is, do not even assume that I recognise them). What I was wondering is that: Why I never see any nice blonde sitting next to the driver in those luxuries cars? Are the girls in Finland that smart?
Esplanadi (and Havis Amanda)
The Champs Elysee of Helsinki with a park area in the middle, flanked by neo-renaissance buildings on both sides, containing some of the most expensive shops and cafés. You wil find ice cream parlours and cafés in this park as well as a couple of fountains and monuments. One of them is dedicated to the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg who wrote the text later used in the Finnish national anthem („Maamme“). A fountain, showing a mermaid, is known as Havis Amanda (1908) and is regarded as a sylmbol of the city. She receives a graduation hat when the students of nearby Helsinki University celebrate their graduation. Kids love to ride the seals on each square of the fountain.
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