Welcome to Helsinki!
The capital city of Helsinki, Finland, is a vibrant seaside city surrounded by the beautiful islands of Suomenlinna. Facing the Baltic Sea, famed for its art-nouveau and Scandinavian architecture, this charming city is not short of fabulous attractions and activities. Whether you wish to wander through Helsinki’s magical neighborhoods, try local foods at the Hietalahti Market Hall, or see a live music performance inside of a church, there is plenty to do and see in Helsinki.
While the tourists arriving daily at Helsinki Airport know the most famous attractions, a worldwide local is someone who wishes to see Helsinki’s sites from a different perspective. This guide enables travelers to make the most out of their visit and experience Helsinki through the eyes of a local.
Some of the Best Things to Do in Helsinki
Now you’re in Helsinki--time to get out there and explore! The design has become a lifestyle for the Finns, and the famous Design District is home to numerous galleries, workshops, boutiques, and antique shops which have one thing in common: the minimalist Finnish design. There are even guided walking tours, which include a visit to some of the best classic design stores in the city.
A visit to Helsinki’s Rock Church is a great way to spend the afternoon. The church was designed in the late 1960s and built into an ancient solid rock of the peninsula. Thanks to its amazing acoustics, the church also serves as a concert hall.
Travelers visiting Helsinki with kids will definitely want to check out the magnificent Linnanmäki Amusement Park. The park features a giant wheel, numerous rides, and many family-friendly shows.
Worldwide Local Tip: In Helsinki, you don’t need a car to get everywhere. The city has one of the best public transportation systems in Europe, with buses, trams, metro, and ferry services--making it easier than ever to get around from any of the Helsinki hotels. Download the HSL mobile application to get the best deals on tickets. Get a ticket from R-kiosks or ticket machines. Helsinki also boasts many well-marked cycling paths and offers free Ulkoilukartta Helsinki bike maps at the city’s tourist office.
Ways to Relax in Helsinki
To take a break from all the sightseeing, follow tips from the locals and head out to the lovely Esplanade Park. It is a perfect place to have a picnic and enjoy the outdoors and the Helsinki weather. In summer, there are live music performances and a Jazz festival at the park. Venture outside the city gates to pay a visit to the peaceful island of Seurassari. Walk along the coastline and enjoy gorgeous views of the water, or visit a lovely open-air history museum to admire picturesque 19th-century buildings.
In Finland, saunas are a huge part of the culture. It soothes muscle pain, gets your blood going, and even helps with insomnia. For a local experience, visit one of the three remaining public saunas in Helsinki, the Kotiharjun Sauna.
Worldwide Local Tip: The summer season, is definitely the best time to visit Helsinki. During this time of year, the weather is nice and outdoor activities and events are plentiful. Most major festivals and events, including the Organ Night and Aria Festival, Naantali Music Festival, Black and White Theatre Festival, Midnight Sun Film Festival, Sirkus Finlandia, and the Pori Jazz Festival, are held from June to September.
Eat Like a Local in Helsinki
Locals know all the best food places in the city, and Hietalahti Market Hall is one of them. It’s a great place to mingle with locals and get to know Finnish cuisine by trying local foods like Pea Soup or Baltic Herring.
Worldwide Local Tip: No visit to Helsinki is complete without having a slice of Napoleon Cake at the oldest café in all of Finland, the famous Café Ekberg. Besides desserts, this lovely cafe also offers plenty of breakfast options including croissants, cheese, cold cuts, vegetables, porridge, muesli, boiled eggs, and creamy oven omelet.
Have an Amazing Time in Helsinki!
Many travelers find Helsinki’s unique charm irresistible. Exploring the streets of the city as a worldwide local will grant you easy access to some of the best sites, allowing you to experience Helsinki from a different point of view.