After a big breakfast we took the short walk to Senate Sq. I think this is truly the most beautiful square in Helsinki....quite a change for the architecture we saw yesterday on our walk . Overlooking the square is the massive Lutheran Cathedral , with its impressive steps leading the way. There weren't many tourists , so we had lots of opportunity to get our pictures.
Statue of Alexander 11 . Standing in the middle of the square is the imposing statue of Alexander 11 holding the Finnish Constitution.
The Three Blacksmiths Statue
We came upon this on the walk to our restaurant. It is a famous statue representing hard work and cooperation.
There are some beautiful buildings in Helsinki. We weren't sure what all of them were but we enjoyed their beauty .Lots of amazing statues and engravings adorn many .The train station is huge and very ornate.
We spotted this when we were trying to walk off our lunch. It's a big climb to just arrive at the church , which is indeed built on a massive rock.
Built in 1908 , it is much more impressive on the outside. Inside is rather stark , but has a beautiful organ and we sat for a bit and enjoyed the music.
I live in Helsinki, and I visit Linnanmäki amusment park (swedish: Borgbacken) every year with my family and friends. It's really something awesome! I recommend it definitely to families with children and teens, but also adults can have a whole lot of fun there! There are plenty of different machines and roller coasters. Linnanmäki is the greatest amusmentpark in the Nordic countries, when you look at the amount of rides!
The park was founded 1950. The prices are pretty high, but don't worry, the entry is free (unlike other amusment parks in the world) and a big part of the money they get, are going straight to an organisation which is supporting and working for the children's best in Finland.
If you visit Linnanmäki, I really recommend you to eat "Softis" (soft ice) and "Hattara"! It's lovely! And one thing about my pictures, don't belive those attractions are the only ones, I don't just have pictures from others.
I hope you can visit the park, and have fun!
Sea Life Helsinki is an awesome place to spend your day, or a few hours, if you like the underwater life. It is located inside the amusement park Linnanmäki pretty central in Helsinki, but you don't have to pay to get into the Linnanmäki area. You can take a tram (number 3) or bus (number 23 from Rauatientori) from downtown, or walk from Pasila Railwaystation.
Sea Life Helsinki offers you a lot of different cool species, everything from sharks to clown fishes and seahorses. If you want to know when they feed the fishes, you can check it up on the website. I visited Sea Life once, and I look very much forward to do it again!
There are a lot to see, and it's really worth a visit! It's good for families with children, as well as for adult singles or what ever. Enjoy your visit and have fun!
Helsinki Music Centre (Finnish: Helsingin Musiikkitalo) is a big and pretty newly built music center in the heart of Helsinki. The building is mainly made of copper and glass. It's a wonderful and green building, near the beautiful Töölönlahti (Toolo Bay). The building maybe don't seem enormous from the street, but the truth is that most of the whole construction is underground! There are many different, bigger and smaller, halls and areas inside, and the architecture is gorgeous!
The music centre was a great investment, and it has been very successful and popular. There are a lot of events every single day. You can see and listen to a big variation of music, concerts and other performances there, and I heartily recommend it for tourists as well as for the city's residents!
Töölönlahti (Toolo Bay) is a beautiful and famous bay in central Helsinki. You can walk around it, and many are doing it, some with their friends, some with their strollers, some with their dogs and some are jogging around the bay. The nature around Töölönlahti is wonderful, and if you want you can take a coffee on a cafe during your walk. This is definitely a recommendation from me, if you are in Helsinki. Take a walk, or two, around the Toolo bay. You won't regret it!
Every year there are different kind of firework shows in Helsinki. If it's not New Year or the World Championship, is it something else. Personally I love fireworks. The New Year firework show usually take place at the Senate Square. My pictures are from Merikannontie (Merikanto street) near the Rajasaari island in Helsinki. I don't remember what event it was but something nice at least. I hope you like my pictures! I have also two videos. You find them under "Videos" on my profile. Enjoy!
Central train station (rautatieasema) is the main transport hub in Helsinki with every train to other towns departing from here but also the local bus station on both sides of the train station, also most local trams pass in front of the station and also the metro station Rautatientori is there…
Even if you come by bus from the airport it will terminate here so considering the fact the train station is located in the heart of Helsinki it will be a surprise of not seeing it :) The surrounded area is full of hotels, restaurants and business offices, always pretty busy.
The station is smaller than I expected with 19 platforms so it’s easy to orient yourself, the ticket hall, an info booth, some café, kiosks and some small stores. We also took some pictures of the exterior, it was designed by Eliel Saarinen in early 20th century, the station opened in 1919. the tower with the clock (pic 1) is something that worth to be seen along with the famous male statues that hold the lamps (under renovation in 2013).
We visited the station the first day not because we wanted to take a train but because we used the lockers, they are located at the basement (pic 3), the big ones cost 4euros for 24hours and the smaller ones 3euros.
We also visited a small art exhibition at the station (pics 4-5), the info was in finnish but I think the title was rahan muuttaminen onneksi, a series of photos showing people bonds through the eyes of different artists, I liked that each of them had a different style.
Helsinki Senate square (Senaatintori) is the central square in Helsinki dominated by the impressive Lutheran Cathedral on top of the stairs. From that spot you will have great view not only of the square but also of the city down to the harbor. Most people around us were tourists of course, that’s why you could see many tourist buses on the side of the square.
The square was planned by Carl Ludvig Engel who also designed the cathedral (1830-52) and other nice buildings around the square, check the Government Palace (former Senate, it was built in 1822, served as the seat of Senate of Finland until 1918, now is the official office of Prime Minister), the University building (built in 1832) and the Sederholm house (Sederholmin talo) which is the oldest building of central Helsinki (1757). The forth side of the square is occupied by shops and boutiques, same applies for every alley around.
The large square is used for concerts or other events (snow board, art happenings etc)
In the middle of the square you can the statue of Czar Alexander II of Russia (1818-1881), the emperor that brought several reforms that increased Finland’s autonomy from mother Russia. The statue was erected in 1894 on a pedestal surrounded by several different figures that represent law, culture and the peasants (pic 3). It’s a surprise the statue remained there after Finland’s independence in 1917.
We drove downtown to Hietalahti market square but something happened and stopped for a while next to this lake.
Obviously this is not a priority for the average visitor but while our local friend was fixing his car we walked a bit around lake Toolonlahti. There’s a path next to the lake where people go use for walking/jogging/running, for us it was just an opportunity for some photo shots of the lake, the ducks, the swans etc It’s an oasis (almost) in the middle of the city where you can just relax with nice views over Toola Bay.
There are some cafes around if you need a break, we didn’t as our friend called us back…
When we asked our local friend to take us to a frea market he decided to take us to Hietalahti Market Square(Helsinki Hietalahden kirpputori), a popular spot where traditionally people go to buy second hand items, many of them are not typical “pro” vendors but normal people that sell their own old stuff, typical items that you can find in an ordinary finnish house, it feels like I was checking a folk museum :)
By the way flea markets are probably the only places in Finland where you can bargain although I guess locals seem very shy to try :) In any case the prices were low anyway.
The market was full of people in front of the historical Hietalahti Market Hall and Hietalahti Antique & Art Hall (we didn’t get inside as it was perfectly sunny), lot of people checking for things while many others were just relaxing at one of the outdoor café.
The Market Hall is open Monday to Friday 6.30am to 18.00 and saturdays 6.30-16.00
The Flea market is open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 19.00, Saturday 8-16.00, Sunday 10.00-16.00
Kiasma is a typical contemporary art museum which means some will love it while many others will hate it (so you better save your 10euros and visit Ateneum or take a visit of first Friday each month when its free).
I have to admit that I liked it but I was expecting to see more artists included, it seems they give space to only a few artists each time to express their work on a large scale with many items that spread in different rooms. Of course as expected of such a museum the exhibitions change from time to time so you don’t really know what you will see. The building is a bit confusing but don’t worry, you wont get lost, actually the museum has a serene atmosphere and the fact that it was almost empty helped to get into it much easier, of course there are times that you may think what I am doing here, where’s everybody? :)
The first thing I saw was the Visitor’s Book (pic 2), a panel where you press you hand, over the years it will wear a shape into the stone, it was put here in 2003 so what you see is the effort of the visitors after 10 years. It’s made by marble that was brought from Mount Penteli in Athens, yes right, the same marble that was used to build the Acropolis.
One room was full with large photographs of regular tattooed people, many of them were naked in sauna so I wont put any pic here, another room (pic 4) was full of smart sayings and drawings. Then I saw a room (pic 5) was “decorated” by Marja Kanervo, what she did was using materials on the walls or removed layers of paint from them and creating some pillows from human hair! Yes I know most people will ask what does this mean? but as the panel on the wall writes you better ask yourself how do I feel?
Finally I realized that in Kiasma I saw more video installations than usual, the first one showed fishermen setting out to sea in their boats but despite countless efforts the men fail, their boats are capsized by the tall waves and their fishing equipment thrown into the sea again and again… this one was moving enough. The second video was weird telling the story about a woman who begins to hear voices and although it seems realistic at first it start to get surreal with time and space becoming mixed with different cameras trying to capture the protagonist’s solid world as it crumbles… As I said this was a weird one…
The museum is open tue, sun 10-17.00, wed-fri 10-20.30, sat 10-18.00, closed on monday
The entrance fee is 10euro
Don’t miss the lovely café of the museum, especially the outdoor seats, you can actually go there without visiting the museum itself.
Drinking our coffee at the café of Kiasma museum we had the chance to see Mannerheim statue for long and check who is that man on the horse. It was designed by Aimo Tukainen and unveiled in 1960.
It represents marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (1867-1951) on his horse marching to battle. Coming from an aristocrat family he made a successful career in the Imperial Russian Army. After the Russian revolution Finland declared its independence.
He was a military leader of the Whites (White Finland) that fought during Finnish Civil War against the Reds (Finnish Socialist Workers Republic). The war was (January-may 1918) was part of WWI, whites had the support of German Empire while the Reds supported by the Russian Soviet Republic. Whites won and later Mannerheim was commander in-Chief during WWII who successfully led the defense of Finland against the Soviet Union. I’ve read that Hitler visited Mannerheim in Finland for his 75th birthday in 1942, checking on youtube later I found an interesting 11 minutes long recording of their private meeting.
After the war Mannerheim became the sixth president of Finland (1944-1946).
Mannerheim statue stands next to the modern building of Kiasma museum (pic 3). Lovers of modern architecture may find it interesting while others may say it’s another ugly example of modern art (the museum focus on contemporary art anyway). It was completed in 1998 causing lots of discussion.
Not far from the statue you can also see the Parliament building, it was completed in 1931on a small hill of Toolo district.
It has a simplified geometry with numerous columns and balusters. There are daily guided tours (usually on weekends but also on weekdays in july and august) check for details here.
Unfortunately I have only this pic from the distance because we were supposed to return later but we preferred to go fishing and didn’t regret it :)
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