Helsinki Travel Guide

  • Helsinki
    by akkipaa
  • Suomenlinna Island & Fortress
    by smirnofforiginal
  • Suomenlinna
    Suomenlinna
    by Andrew_W_K

Helsinki Things to Do

  • Kauppatori (Market Square & Market Hall)

    4 out of 5 stars

    The old covered market of Helsinki, known as Vanha kauppahalli (Old Market Hall) is located by the harbour just south of the Esplanade. It was built in 1889 by the architect Gustaf Nyström. It continues to serve as a market for food and also contains a café.

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  • Helsingin Tuomiokirkko (Helsinki...

    4 out of 5 stars

    Helsinki is famed for its architects, but it was a German, Carl Ludvig Engel, who laid out Senate Square and designed the Lutheran Cathedral. After a fire destroyed most of Helsinki during its annexation by the Russians, the new city square was inaugurated as part of the 19th-century reconstruction of Helsinki under Russian administration. The...

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  • Suomenlinna Island & Fortress

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    My wee guide book (a Berlitz pocket guide) rates Suomenlinna as the city’s top attraction. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after all. I can see why, although the weather blighted my Sunday morning visit a bit. Autumn equinox. Showery rain. Every time I took my umbrella down it started again. It’s a fortress dating from the 1700s, built on...

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Helsinki Hotels

See all 120 Hotels in Helsinki

Helsinki Restaurants

  • Ravintola Zetor

    4 out of 5 stars

    Zetor Mannerheimintie 3 -5 We read about this in our guide book and couldn't resist trying it out. It is indeed touristy but fun and gave us a chance to try some Finnish country food. The place decorated with stuffed deer , and cowsmand a tractor or two and lots of farm house gear from long ago . I had the venison with mashed potatoes and a thin...

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  • Ravintola Kappeli

    4 out of 5 stars

    Kappeli (The Chapel) is probably one of the most well known restaurants in Helsinki and it has been operating since 1867. The restaurant's past is full of nationally well-known clientèle including writer Juhani Aho, poet Eino Leino, composer Jean Sibelius as well as artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela. The restaurant still houses the table where Eino...

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  • Kauppatori (Market Square)

    4 out of 5 stars

    I had Sunday lunch at the harbour market. Whitebait, veggies and rice. €10 the plate. You just choose from what's on offer and pay, then take your paper plate to the tables alongside. Great food. Great fun. No fuss. Highly recommended. (For those who don't know, whitebait is tiny little fried fish eaten whole.) I loved it all!

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Helsinki Nightlife

See all 256 Nightlife in Helsinki
  • Molly Malones

    Paid 2.50 euro for them to lose my coat, and then swear at me and physically abuse me and a friend when I questioned them about it. A man who wasn't working when I handed over the coat insisted I only gave them a bag, and then when I pointed out that I paid for two of us, he said that we gave them two bags and a coat. After pointing out that he...

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  • Kaarle XII

    This place is really crowded on Thursday nights. The age of the crowd is mostly 30+ and well dressed. The place has 2 levels and the bottom is more of a bar. You can easily make friends here but I found it too crowded to even walk around. Would recommend the place. Well dressed but I think you can wear whatever you like

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  • Tavastia

    Tavastia is the most famous rock-club in Finland.This is the place,where young bands would love to play.It´s so small anyway,that these days there are also spome small young bands playing. Tavastia is kind of home to HIM,one of best (or even the most) known Finnish rock/metal-bands.This is where they began.Every yaer,just before new year-and at new...

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Helsinki Transportation

  • City Public Transport

    I used the trams once during my long weekend in the city. The no 3 service runs past the street where my apartment is located (Merimiehenkatu) so it was an easy option when getting from there to the airport. Tram to the railway station and then the Finnair airport bus from the bus station. Tickets are €2.50 if bought in advance, or €3 on board....

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  • Helsinki-Vantaa Airport

    There is a bit more luxurious way to get from Vantaa to Helsinki and back, it's by renting a stretch limousine or other types of high class car with chauffeur that http://www.limos4helsinki.com/ provide. I am not sure what are the prices but you can check them by filling the form on the website or calling +45 36 95 99 55 . This service is mainly...

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  • Boats & Ferries

    Loads of people visit Helsinki for a day by boat from Tallinn (and vice versa) but there are many companies to choose from. Since I was flying home the next day, I had some qualms about choosing the Linda Line option since there seem to be frequent reports of the services being cancelled. For that reason I ended up choosing Tallink, which was just...

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Helsinki Shopping

See all 204 Shopping in Helsinki
  • Stockmann

    Stockmann is the oldest and biggest department store in Helsinki. It is part of a chain with branches in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. You get almost everything at Stockmannns, from Finnish souvenirs to cars. There is even a 4-storey Academic bookstore of Stockmann next to the department store.

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  • Forum

    Forum is one of the most famous shopping center in downtown Helsinki. It's big and a renovation has started. They're going to build it bigger and more beautiful inside the building. More shops and restaurants are going to fit in. Forum was established 1985 so it's pretty old. The location is perfect and I really recommend this shopping center for...

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  • Kamppi

    Ruohonjuuri is a lovely shop selling organic fruits and veggies, as well perfumes, candles, juices and so on... If you are traveling with ababy and want to cook him food (like I did) this shop is perfect. Ruohonjuuri is open during the week 10.00 to 21.00. On Saturday it closes at 18.00. SUnday opening times are: 12.00-18.00 Veggies and fruits are...

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Helsinki Local Customs

  • No tipping in Finland (but you can leave...

    I don't actually agree with the 'no tipping' custom. Finnish people might not tip very often, but when they do tip, they show that they liked the food, the place and the service - just like anywhere else in the world. You are not obliged to tip a certain amount (e.g. 10-20%), but as a general rule, I leave about 10% tip, if I am happy with the...

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  • Washing carpets at the beach

    Every Finnish house I ever visited was always scrupulously clean. In winter I had to place all my employer's rugs in the snow, let them harden a little, then beat them with a carpet beater. In summer women don their bikinis head to the beach and give their carpets a wash.

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  • Vappu (1st. of May)

    I was fortunate enough to be in Finland for Vappu - May the 1st. This marks the beginnings of spring after a long, cold, dark winter and Finns wear their summer clothes for it even if it's still snowing!!! On the Eve of Vappu the Havis Amanda statue gets a bath and a student cap is placed on her head. On May 1st everyone wears their student caps...

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Helsinki Warnings and Dangers

  • The Finnish drivers

    Having just returned from Helsinki I didn't realize cars driving extraordinarily fast, and I felt safe on pedestrian crossings. I really don't understand what the people below experienced. Only the bicycle lanes are a bit confusing sometimes and you might find yourself blocking them. Also quite frequently cyclists drive on the sidewalks. That was...

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  • Pickpocketers in the tram/restaurants

    In the past few summer weekends, there have been a number of incidents in the trams where people have been robbed of their wallets, either from their handbags or pockets. There are increasingly more skilful pick pocketers in Helsinki these days due to the free movement of people within the EU and the Schengen Agreement, which enables organised...

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  • All I can think of them part 1 of 2

    In addition to my general Finland warnings or dangers here's all I can add concerning Helsinki.ANIMALSAnimals, insects etc. are no problem except very seldom some pet dog which newer means any harm if you ask the owner (even if it has already bitten and it tries to eat you). Sometimes a lonely moose can be found wondering near the Centrum but that...

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Helsinki Tourist Traps

  • Linnanmaki Amusement Park

    Okay, it's an attractionpark and it's very close to the city. But that's about it. It's mind of rundown, no atmosphere andn no special attractions. Though not cheap. If you want to go to an attractionpark, better go to some other place (Germany, France, the Netherlands). If you want to do sightseeing in Helsinki, better spend your time enjoying...

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  • Kiasma (The Museum of Contemporary Art)

    This is just my opinion but I think Kiasma (Museum of Contemporary Art) is a waste of time. I get all the contemporary art I need when seeing this building. I have been there once and that was enough for me. Well, I'm not a big art's friend anyway so forget my opinion if you like the art. You can't miss Kiasma (lucky you ;)) since it's located in...

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  • Water bus/ferry services to Suomenlinna

    In summertime, you find loads of sightseeing looking like boats (water busses) docked right in front of the Market Square ready to take you to Suomenlinna for a day. Nice you might think - except that they charge you much more than what you would get charged if you took the ferry that the locals take, run by the island's public utility company and...

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Helsinki What to Pack

  • Cold in winter, not that cold in...

    In winter: lots and maybe even more of warm clothes, the temperature in Helsinki might get as low as -30... In summer : the temperature isn't necessarily that high in summer either.. so a couple of long trousers and gardigans could be good. Umbrella is a must in Helsinki as you never know when it happens to rain!

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  • In winter bring warm clothes &...

    The weather is getting more unpredictable everywhere, but traditionally the climate in Helsinki has been transitional between maritime and continental. Summers are mainly hot/warm, with temperatures ranging from cool to hot (15-30°C). The warmest month is July, but in general summer days are mild and sunny, with up to 19 hrs of daylight. It is...

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  • Hot summers, cold winters

    The winter is pretty cold in Helsinki. It doesn't need to be that cold, but colder than in many other countries. The temperature is though warmer in Helsinki than if you go to eastern and northern Finland. The same thing summertime, the coasts are a bit colder. This is because the warmness and coldness is coming from the Asian continent. Finland...

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Helsinki Off The Beaten Path

  • The Sibelius Monument

    The image is taken from the inside of the monument, it was unusual as the wind was blowing through the tubes themselves. There are pipes of varying diameters, so they make an interesting collection - they have different edges and cuts so they have worn at different speeds and have reacted differently.

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  • Vanhankaupunki (old city)

    The city of Helsinki is was founded by Gustavus Vasa, the king of Sweden, more than 450 years ago. He needed the city as a new trading post in southern Finland and a competitor to Tallinn in Estonia. People from Rauma, Ulvila, Porvoo and Tammisaari had to move to Helsinki on the king's request. The date on which this order was issued, 12.6.1550,...

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  • Suomenlinna Fortress

    Suomenlinna Fortress is an old fortification dating back to the year 1748. You will pass by it, when-ever you enter or leave the port of Helsinki like I did in June 2017 onboard the german cruiseship M/S Delphin. Suomenlinna Fortress was built by the Swedish King Adolf Frederik on a total of 6 islands that were connected by bridges and walls, in...

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Helsinki Sports & Outdoors

  • Pasila

    Petanque during the cold season The temperature is high enough for outside plying from may to September. From October to April it is mainly less than +10 degrees celsius About 7 months an year petanque is played inside at Helsinki Petanque hall. It has been there since 1997. The first petanque hall was opened 1988. This is the third...

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  • Helsinki Petanque Hall

    Petanque during the cold seasonThe temperature is high enough for outside plying from may to September.From October to April it is mainly less than +10 degrees celsiusAbout 7 months an year petanque is played inside at Helsinki Petanque hall. It has been there since 1997.The first petanque hall was opened 1988. This is the third location.It is...

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  • IFK

    It wouldn’t be right to visit Helsinki during the season and not go to an ice hockey game. I thought of going to see Jokerit - now in the KHL - but they were to be playing on the Saturday and I wanted to go to Tallinn that day. IFK (still playing in the Finnish Liiga) had a home game against KalPa on the Friday. Ideal. It was a good game. IFK won...

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Helsinki General

See all 193 General in Helsinki
  • Water City

    Helsinki is very much a city on the water as its located on the sea and various sea inlets. When we were here in the eighties these froze over in the winter and you could walk or even drive on them. Not sure if this is still the case.

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  • Sightseeing tour on tram 3T/3B

    A popular possibility to get an overview of Helsinki is to take a trip by tram 3T/3B. These lines serve a round tour along the main sights of Helsinki. The trip lasts about 1 hour and you can even get a free brochure about the sights along the tour at the Tourist Information Office.A single ticket for the tram can be bought for 2 Euro from the...

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  • Snow

    When I lived in Finland in 1985 to 1986 the winter was freezing cold. The temperature dropped to minus twenty. The sea froze over and there was snow everywhere. People were used to it. They changed to winter tyres, central heated all the buildings, employed people to clear the streets(all the snow was piled up at the sides with the occasional...

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Explore Deeper into Helsinki
Uspenskin Katedraali (Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral)
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Temppeliaukio (Rock) Church
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Esplanadi Boulevard
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Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium)
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Linnanmaki (Amusement Park)
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Ateneum
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City Bikes
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On the Rocks
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Sauna (The Finnish Sauna Society)
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Vanhakirkko (Old Church)
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Vanha ylioppilastalo (Old Student House)
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Uusi Ylioppilastalo (New Student House)
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Presidentinlinna (Presidential Palace)
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Korkein oikeus (Supreme Court)
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