Keskusta (City Center)
contains Senate Square and
other public buildings.
Katajanokka across the bridge from Senate Square
Site of the
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Krunnunhaka (The Old City)
district. Contains antique furniture, book and clothing shops and art
Tervasaari (Tar Island)
a little island
connected to Kruununhaka by a man made isthmus. A beautiful park with
University Botanical Gardens as a centerpiece. Ice hockey in winter.
Museum of Worker Housing and is a short walk from Helsinkiâs amusement
located north of the train station and near Kallio. Contains the City
Theater; Olympic Stadium, the Finnish National Opera House, Finlandia
Hall, and the natural Science Museum. It is also the site of the ultra
modern church cut into the cliffs, Temppelinaukion kirkko.
Punavuori An upscale area beneath TĂ¶Ă¶lĂ¶ toward the
end of the peninsula. Contains many fashionable galleries and boutiques as
well as museums.
Eira Helsinkiâs most fashionable area is bordered by
parkland. Contains Helsinkiâs best park: Kaviopuisto. Free
concerts are offered there.
Outlying Islands : (connected by foot bridges to the mainland)
Suomenlinna (Finlandâs Castle)
: site of the Open Air
and Other Attractions
Taidemuseo (Ateneum Museum of Finnish Art)
-Fri. 9-6 (also Wed.-Thurs. 6-8) Sat., Sun. 11-5.
2,3,4,6; all buses to Rautatientori Square
principal gallery and covers Finnish and international art from the 19th
century. It is housed in a handsome 19th century building.
roulette, blackjack, and slot machines
(Finlandia Hall). This white, winged concert hall was one of architectAlvar
Aalto's last creations. It is especially impressive on foggy days or at
night. Guided tour. Karamzininkatu 4, 09/40241.
tours are offered. InfoShop open June-Aug., weekdays 9-4, weekends noon-4
for inquiries and tickets.
are usually held in the evening.
Gallen-Kallelantie 27, TarvaspĂ€Ă€
4 from in front of the Sokos department store on Mannerheimintie. From the
Munkkiniemi stop transfer to Bus 33, or walk the 1 mile through the woods to
Mon.-Thurs. 10-8, Fri.-Sun. 10-5; Sept -May, Tues.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 10-5.
northwest of Helsinki on the edge of the sea is the estate of the Finnish
Romantic painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela (which the artist designed
himself). Gallen-Kallela lived there from its completion in 1913 until his
death in 1931. Inside, the open rooms of the painter's former work spaces
make the perfect exhibition hall for his paintings.
Kaupunginmuseo ( Helsinki City Museum)
9-5; Sat.,Sun. 11-5
Headquartered in the âstreet museumâ of Sofiankantu, the City Museum has
branches throughout the city, including the nearby Sederhom House. The main
museum has an informative exhibit on the history of Helsinki. The âStreet
Museumâ portrays changing styles of street architecture. Start at the
harbor end and walk on the cobbled streets past the artifacts. The walk
begins in the 800âs and ends in the 1930âs.
Linja-autosema. HvittrĂ€skintie 166, Luoma, Kirkkonummi,
from Helsinki's main bus station (45 min. ride).
weekdays 10-7, weekends 10-6; Sept.-May, weekdays 11-6, weekends 11-5
northwest edge of the Espoo area, 25 miles west of Helsinki, is the studio
home of architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen. In
an idyllic position at the top of a wooded slope, the property dates back to
the turn of the century, and has been converted into a museum. The main
house is constructed in the national Art Nouveau style, with its rustic
detail and paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Saarinen lived here, and his
grave is nearby.
Exhibitions are arranged in summer. There is a delightful sauna beside the
lake and the whole area is a ruggedly-beautiful nature park.
Puistok. on the water.
large, shady, path-filled park was once the site of a popular spa that drew
people from St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and all of Scandinavia until its
popularity faded during the Crimean War. All the spa structures were
eventually destroyed except one, the Kaivohuone, which is now a
popular restaurant. Across from the entrance of Kaivohuone, take
Kaivohuoneenrinne through the park past an Empire-style villa built by
Albert Edelfelt, father of the famous Finnish painter who bore the same
name. Built in 1839, it is the oldest preserved villa in the park.
weekdays 6:30-2, Sat. 6:30-3; June-Aug., weekdays 6:30-2 and 3:30-8, Sat.
well known Helsinki market, open year-round, wooden stands with orange and
gold awnings welcome tourists and locals alike who come to shop, browse, or
sit and enjoy coffee and conversation. You can buy a fresh perch, a bouquet
of flowers, or a fur pelt or hat. In summer the fruit and vegetable stalls
are supplemented by an evening arts and crafts market.
Luonnontieteelinen Museo (Natural
9-5 (Wed. also 5-8) and Sat,Sun 11-4
16,23,21v; tram 4,10
is guarded by a bronze elk, just one of many animals in the museumâs vast
collection. The mammal hall is one of the best in Europe, a series of
tableaux showing Finnish wildlife in their native habitats.
(Museum of Contemporary Art)
13, 21v; tram 4,10
09/1733-6500 or 1733-6501.
for the boldness of its curved steel shell, the bold postmodern design is
the creation of American architect, Stephen Holl. This striking museum
opened in 1998 and displays a wealth of Finnish and foreign art from the
1960s to the present.
(June-Aug.) Wed-Sun. 11-5, rest of the year.
said to be the oldest house in Helsinki. Its one time owner, Johan
Sederholm, was an 18th century Finnish businessman who rose from
poverty to great wealth and distinction.
many summer festivals and events
harmony of the three buildings flanking Senaatintori exemplifies
neoclassical architecture. The architecture is in the Russian Imperial
style which was encouraged by Tsar Alexander I in his bid to make Helsinki a
stylistically eastern capital after it was annexed by Russia from Sweden in
1809. The asquare and its major buildings were designed by German architect
Carl Ludvig Engel.
square's west side is one of the main buildings of Helsingin Yliopisto
(Helsinki University); on the east side is the pale yellow
Valtionneuvosto (Council of State), completed in 1822. At the lower end
of the square, stores and restaurants now occupy former merchants' homes.
Seurasaari Open Air Museum)
minute walk from the opera house or take Bus 24 from city center.
guided tours in English at 11:30 and 3:30.
09/4050-9660 in summer; 09/4050-9327 in winter.
Mid-May-late May and early Sept.-mid-Sept., weekdays 9-3, weekends 11-5;
June-Aug., Thurs.-Tues. 11-5, Wed. 11-7; mid-Sept.-mid-Nov., weekends 11-5.
an island about 2 miles northwest of the city center, the Seurasaari Outdoor
Museum was founded in 1909 to preserve rural Finnish architecture. Its
vintage farmhouses and barns were brought to Seurasaari from all over
Finland; many are rough-hewn log buildings dating from the 17th century. All
exhibits are marked by signposts along the trails. There are nearly 100
marvelous buildings to explore including a manor house, traditional
farmhouses and a church, some dating from the 17th century. .
Seurasaari Island is connected to land by a pedestrian bridge, and is easily
reached from central Helsinki.
The Sibelius-Monumentti (Sibelius Monument)
monument, by itself, is worth the walk to this lakeside park. What could be
a better tribute to Finland's great composer than this soaring silver
sculpture of organ pipes?
(National Museum of Finland)
11-8; Thurs.-Sun. 11-6.
Saarinen and his partners blend characteristics of Finnish medieval churches
and castles with elements of Art Nouveau in this example of the National
Romantic style, which recently reopened after renovations. The museum's
archaeological, cultural, and ethnological collections explore Finnish life
from prehistoric times to the present.
Helsinki Botanical Gardens
Kaisaniemi, Unioninkatu 44
Botanical Gardens are open Tue-Sun 11 â 17. The outdoor gardens are open 7 â
8 daily May-Sept.; 7 â 6 during the rest of the year.
charged for entry to greenhouses. There is no charge for admission to the
outdoor garden areas.
Botanical Gardens belonging to the University of Helsinki are in Kaisaniemi,
a short walk from the Railway Station towards Hakaniemi. They consist of a
large outdoor area surrounding the greenhouses, which have just reopened
after a major renovation.
Gardens (University of Helsinki)
Conservatory (Helsinki City Winter Gardens)
Mon-Sat 12 â 15 and Sun 12 â 16.
winter Mon-Fri 8 â7, Sat-Sun 9 â5; in summer Mon-Fri 8 â6 and Sat-Sun 9 -3
1 to August 31, guided English-language tours leave from the ticket booth at
Artillery Bay daily at 10:30, 1, and 2
leave at half hourly intervals from the Market Pier
(EhrensvĂ€rd-society, tel. 09/6841850).
historic fortress is built on four interconnecting islands. There are
several museums on Suomenlinna, including a main exhibition center, the
Military Museum, the Coast Artillery Museum, and a doll and toy museum.
There are also several art galleries, craft studios and restaurants.
Exquisite gardens and acres of parkland make this a
perennially popular excursion from Helsinki.
(+358-9) 668 880
(+358-9) 668 154
residence of the fortress commandant, the museum is named in honor of
Augustin EhrensvĂ€rd, under whose direction most of the fortifications were
Suomenlinna Doll and Toy Museum,
(+358-9) 668 417.
museum in an old Russian villa.
(+358-9) 181 46238
coastal submarine used during the second world war.
of coastal defense equipment
(+358-9) 1814 5296
material used by various services mainly in 1939-1945.
(Temple Square Church).
Lutherinkatu 3, 09/494-698.
10-8, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-1:45 and 3:15-5:45.
with a copper dome, this modern Lutheran church is carved into the rock
outcrops below and around it. The sun shines in from above, illuminating the
stunning interior with its birch pews, modern pipe organ, and cavernous
walls. Ecumenical and Lutheran services in various languages are held
throughout the week.
(Lutheran Cathedral of Finland)
Square, Unioninkatu 29.
Mon.-Sat. 9â-6, Sun. 12-â6; Sept.-May, Mon.-Sat. 10â-6, Sun. 12-â6.
steps and green domes of the church dominate Senaatintori. Completed in
1852, it is the work of famous architect Carl Ludvig Engel. Wander through
the tasteful blue-gray interior, with its white moldings and the statues of
German reformers Martin Luther and Philipp Melancthon, and the famous
Finnish bishop Mikael Agricola. Concerts are frequently held inside the
church. The crypt at the rear is the site of frequent historic and
architectural exhibitions, and houses a little cafe in the summer.
Mon. and Wed.-Fri. 9:30-4, Tues. 9:30-6, Sat. 10-4, Sun. noon-3; Oct.-Apr.,
Tues. and Thurs. 9-2, Wed. noon-6, Fri. noon-4, Sun. noon-3.
a small rocky cliff over the North Harbor in Katajanokka is the main
cathedral of the Orthodox church in Finland. Its brilliant gold onion domes
are its identifying features, but its imposing redbrick edifice, decorated
by 19th-century Russian artists, is no less distinctive. The cathedral was
built and dedicated in 1868 in the Byzantine-Slavonic style and remains the
largest Orthodox church in Scandinavia.
Public Swimming Pool
21 B; tel. 60 981
also visit the Finnish Sauna Society on Lauttasaari (tel. 678 677),
where it is possible to try a traditional "smoke sauna".
Harjutorinkatu 1; tel. 753 1535
sauna (pronounced sa âow-nuh)
thousands of years, sauna has been an essential part of Finnish culture and
tradition. Sauna is a place to get washed, relax, meditate, have meetings,
make important decisions Until the mid-1900's, it was also a place to give
estimated that in Finland, with five million people, there are one million
saunas. Most Finns go to a sauna at least once a week.
sauna is an insulated, heated (80-100 degrees Celsius) room where people
(men and women separately, except within the family) gather naked to enjoy
the warmth. There are usually wooden benches and a stove (heated with wood
or electricity) in one corner of the room. Water is thrown on the hot stones
of the stove for steam: lĂ¶yly fills the room, makes the heat more
intense, and stimulates perspiration. One can also lightly stroke oneself
with a wet birch switch called vihta or vasta. If it gets too
hot, one can cool down outside and then go back to lĂ¶yly again. This
might go on for hours while chatting or discussing business.
months of the midnight sun, coastal regions, including the Turku archipelago
land Islands, are a sailing and fishing paradise.
first capital, is the country's oldest city. Fire has destroyed it several
times over the centuries, but its biggest blow was the transfer of the
capital to Helsinki in 1812. Today, Turku is a substantial city with fine
is the only surviving 18th-century area of medieval Turku
summer, artisans work inside the old wooden houses.
is the national shrine of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. It
dates from the 13th century, and the museum here is open daily.
founded in 1280, is the most notable historic building in Finland. It houses
an interesting museum, with many rooms decorated to evoke a specific decade
or century. Situated on the southern coast of Finland, Turku is the most
likely gateway to the country if you are coming from Sweden.
land province, with its own flag and culture, comprises more than 6400
autonomous islands. Several dialects of Swedish are spoken, and few Ă
speak Finnish. This beautiful island is perfect for bicycle tours, camping
and cabin holidays, and for experiencing the islanders' distinctive culture,
expressed in folk dancing, Maypole decorating and small-town charm.
ferries connect Ă
land to both Sweden and the Finnish mainland. Free
transport is provided by inter-island ferries. Sund is accessible by bus and
bicycle from the dock.
at the eastern end of the main island, with its impressive Kastelholm Castle
is the most interesting town on Ă
land . Of strategic importance during the
16th and 17th centuries, the castleâs exact age is not known, but it was
mentioned in writings as early as 1388.
Jan KarlsgĂ„rden Museum
This open-air museum is one of the best places in Finland to witness
ruins, is a memorial to the time when Ă
land, together with the rest of
Finland, was under Russian rule. The main fortress, finished in 1842, was
large enough to house 2500 people.