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Helsinki, Finland » City Info

Helsinki's booming tourism industry is paving a new growth path for the city. It is great to know that the city is trying to reform in all spheres of development. Since it is the capital, the most populous and the largest city in Finland, it is taking a significant step forward to accomplish all its targets to serving the tourism and hospitality industries. These days the city has plenty of options to fulfill any desires a modern tourist could wish for. For those people who look forward to their vacations in Europe, their search could easily end in Helsinki.

Let us see some of the superb options in the city that are available for you to rejoice.

Top 10 Helsinki Landmarks

  

Helsinki's Suomenlinna Fortress ( Visit Site )

Located off the coast of Helsinki, Suomenlinna is a group of seven islands and home to the largest sea fortress in the world. Due to its increasing historical significance and popularity among tourists, Suomenlinna fortress has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. One can visit this fortress by taking a short ferry ride of about 15 minutes. Most people visit Suomenlinna to explore its military architecture, market and fruit stalls. A number of museums subsist on the island as well as the last surviving Finnish submarine, the Vesikko.

  

Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori) ( Wikipedia )

Senate Square, an archaeological masterpiece, is designed by Carl Ludvig Eagel. It is a unique symbol of commercial, political, religious and scientific powers. Situated in the centre of Helsinki, Senate Square comprises the Palace of the Council of State to the east, the University building on the opposite side and Helsinki cathedral to the north. The place is an ideal example of the Neo-Classical design. The Emperor Alexander II statue right at the centre of Senate Square is a symbol of Finland's imperial relationship with Russia. As one of the top spots in Helsinki, it hosts a number of touristic events.

  

Parliament House (Eduskuntatalo) ( Visit Site )

Parliament House designed by the firm of Borg–Sirén–Åberg reflects real architectural style with influences of Neoclassicism as well as twentieth century modernism. The exterior is made up of Kalvola granite and the façade consists of fourteen pillars with Corinthian style designs. This masterpiece represents unity of architecture, art, workmanship and industrial design. It has a beautifully designed main lobby, the stately Session Hall and the awe-inspiring Hall of State. Guided tours are available on some special days of session.

  

Esplanadi Park ( Wikipedia )

Magnificently planned by great architect Carl Luwig Engel, Esplanadi Park is one of the favourite places of relaxation for local inhabitants as well tourists. The park attracts many visitors because of its lucrative designs, well-preserved from the ancient times. It is a centre of attraction with its marvellous monuments, old limes and lush surroundings. Located in the middle of Esplanadi Park, the centuries old Kapelli Café Brasserie is the perfect place to meet and relax.

  

Hakaniemi Market Square ( Visit Site )

Hakaniemi, an unofficial district of Helsinki, is a large and lively market place. The market square consists of oriental food stores that sell a variety of Asian products. It is a significant part of Helsinki's city centre as well as being associated with the working class and worker's associations. The market is the favourite place for buying local crafts and cheap food. Here, one can enjoy the Baltic Herring Festival in the month of October and the vintage American cars exhibition in May.

  

Helsinki Cathedral (Helsingin Tuomiokirkko) ( Wikipedia )

Helsinki Cathedral, an excellent masterpiece marks its sparkling presence in the scenery of central Helsinki. It is carried out in a neoclassical style and is a distinct example of the glorifyingly rich architectural design that bears the unique hallmark of Carl Ludvig Engel. The church looks marvellous with a tall green dome surrounded by four small domes. At present, the church is one of the most popular tourist spots as well a places of worship in the city as well as being a venue for special events. Thousands of people visit the church every year.

  

National Museum of Finland (Suomen Kansallismuseo) ( Visit Site )

The National Museum of Finland depicts Finnish life from prehistoric times to present days. In 1905, the construction of the National Romantic style building started and was completed in about five years. It was officially inaugurated for the public in 1916. Designed by Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen, this remarkable museum represents the history of Finland through six permanent exhibitions.

  

Helsinki University Library (Yliopiston Kirjasto) ( Visit Site )

The Helsinki University Library is Finland's largest multidisciplinary university library with four campuses employing about 250 people. Opened around 15 years ago, the library has an individual presence offering centralized services. At present, it has five units that impart global as well local services to the disciples. This university library offers printed books, electronic journals and e-books. An individual above 15 years (Finnish) is allowed to borrow the library materials.

Railway Station (Rautatieasema) ( Wikipedia )

The Railway Station (Rautatieasema) is one of the most popular landmarks in Helsinki. It is a site of attraction as well focal point of public transport in the Greater Helsinki area. The railway station (Rautatieasema) has been newly renamed as the Helsinki Central Railway Station. It is the most visited-building of Finland and the point of origin of many commuter rail services operated by VR Company. It is the busiest station on the Helsinki Metro known as Rautatientori metro station as well as being lots of travellers' first experience of the city as they arrive by train.

  

Rock Church (Taivallahdenkirkko / Temppeliaukion) ( Visit Site )

Temppeliaukion Kirkko, well-known as Rock Church is a beautiful example of modern architecture. Designed by architect brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, its construction was completed in 1969. It is built completely underground and has a ceiling made of copper wire. It is one of the top-notch tourist destinations in Helsinki. Taivallahdenkirkko is famous for hosting classical concerts and other live events.

Top 5 Bars

  

A21 Cocktail Lounge ( Visit Site )

A21 Cocktail Lounge is a perfect blend of cocktail party, fun atmosphere and sparkling lights. Step into a wonderland, which is fully designed to offer cocktail parties, events and meetings. The bar can be exclusively booked for fashion shows, private parties and reunions. Experience the cosy atmosphere as well as privacy to organize a get-together with friends.

  

Ahjo Bar & Club ( Visit Site )

Ahjo is an excellent bar cum club, for those who are looking for exceptional music, great atmosphere, and awesome cocktails. It is a part of the Klaus K, Finland's first design hotel. The bar is just the right place to have a drink, dance and enjoy some good music. Try Austria’s elite wine along with a plate of antipasto.

  

Corona Bar & Billiards ( Visit Site )

Enjoy the right combinations of a street bar and billiard hall at Corona Bar & Billiards. It is a unique place to try some great snooker shots as well experience playing pool strokes in a refreshing atmosphere. Well-kept facilities are provided for beginners as well as experienced players. For refreshment, customers are served a range of beers along with starters and snacks.

  

CUBA! Bar & Cafe ( Visit Site )

Make your life more lively and full of fun at Cuba Café & Party Room. It is the coolest place, if you are looking for fun and excitement. This bar always attracts a vibrant crowd and an energetic environment. Enjoy excellent gigs such as Tidjan, Lightinenb and Anna Ihanainen as well drink twelve different mojitas.

  

Ateljee Bar

Ateljee bar is ranked as one of the best bars in Helsinki. Founded in 1951, the bar has a classic influence and a classy atmosphere. Located on the rooftops of the famous Sokos Hotel Torni, it offers great ambience and surroundings. One can enjoy cocktails and a great view of Helsinki with a breath of fresh air coming from the seaside. The bar also provides exhibition space for young and talented artists.

Top 10 Activities

Helsinki Sightseeing Tour

Explore the city’s several tourist spots and stunning places. Feel the essence of countless holiday experiences as you can visit the many parts of Helsinki. Try capturing the modern as well as historic importance of the city. Visit famous spots such as Suomenlinna Fortress, Senate Square, Parliament House and the Hakaniemi Market Square by availing excellent public transportation systems.

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Helsinki Audio City Tour

Get a chance to feel the city's pulse with an audio-visual experience. Listen to the commentary in more than 12 languages such as Finnish, Swedish, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Latin and Helsinki dialect through a headphone. Go back in time and explore the history of the city with special sound effects and audio interactions. Visit interesting places such as the Senate Square, the Presidential Palace, the City Hall, the Opera House and Finlandia House.

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Helsinki Card

Discover the city with a handy and economical card. Make the most out of Helsinki card by travelling to countless places and tourist spots. The card provides all in one facility. One can use it as a transport ticket, entrance ticket, and discount coupon. Helsinki card comes with a guidebook that provides information about important attractions, excellent maps and transport routes. It offers a discount of up to 30% in many places.

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Serena Water Park ( Visit Site )

Indulge in a unique enthralling experience at Helsinki's largest tropical water amusement park. Get a chance to relax in the tropical warm waters of the Serena's fountains, bubble pools and children terraces. Enjoy the water slides and brave the thrashing waves offered by a large wave pool. Try the black hole tube slide with special sound effects and lights. Enjoy a day full of adventure.

Kaunissaari Island Tour ( Visit Site )

Kaunissaari in Sipoo islands has plenty of opportunities for those who like outdoor recreational activities. It is a favourite destination for sauna and beach lovers. About 2 km long and 800 m wide, the island of Kaunissaari is known for its rocky shores and sandy coasts. This island is an ideal place for sightseeing and photographic tours. One can also try fishing, camping and hiking at Kaunissaari.

Lego Show Theme Park

It is a famous park in Helsinki specially designed for children. The Lego theme park is divided into three main parts, the first being "Lego Sport" that introduces the Lego-stars who play hockey and volleyball. "Lego Make" offer children the opportunity to construct their own heroes from Lego pieces. "Lego Create" attracts many young visitors. Also, one can enjoy a ride on electro-mobiles, jump on trampolines and study several Lego sets.

  

Linnanmaki Amusement Park ( Visit Site )

To enjoy a day full of fun and adventure, plan a trip to the Linnanmaki Amusement Park. It is the oldest and the most beautiful park offering plenty of rides, midway games, games arcades and play area for kids known as the Fairytale Valley. This amusement park is maintained by the Children's Day Foundation.

  

Rastila Camping ( Visit Site )

Spend quality time at Rastila Camping located at Vuosaari in eastern Helsinki. It is the most famous camp site in the area and offers 4-star accommodation facility, saunas, a restaurant and a beach! The site provides guests with well-maintained recreational facilities. One can enjoy winter swimming as well spend some time at the nearby shopping centres.

  

Vuosaari Paddling Center ( Visit Site )

Experience adventurous kayaking activities organized by the Vuosaari Paddling Center. Indulge in this unique activity from the beginning of June until the end of the August. Enjoy every moment with full satisfaction. Beginners can plan guided tours, trips and courses.

  

Hietaranta Beach ( Wikipedia )

Experience nature's beauty and power by swimming in the waves on this beach. Try your swimming skills as well play beach sports. The beach also offers a children's playground, basketball court, beach-volleyball area and weightlifting section.

Top Helsinki FAQ's

Q.1) What is the Capital of Finland?

Ans: Helsinki is the capital and the largest city in Finland. Its population is about 588, 941 (January 21, 2011). The city is located between St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm.

Q.2) Which languages do people speak in Helsinki?

Ans: The official languages of Helsinki are Finnish as well Swedish. The majority of the people speak Finnish because it is also the native language of the original residents. Swedish is spoken by the minority.

Q.3) When to visit Helsinki and in which season?

Ans: Helsinki stays cold in winter so tourists prefer to visit the city in summer months. In summer, the city temperature does not rise more than 20°C and doesn’t go below 10°C. Hence, it is an excellent destination to plan summer vacation ie between June and September.

Q.4) What are the type of government, the currency and the time zone of Helsinki?

Ans: Like other European countries currency of Helsinki is Euro and its time zone is EET (UTC+2) and in summer it is (DST) EEST (UTC+3). The type of government in Finland is Republic.

Q.5) Is Helsinki safe for tourists?

Ans: Helsinki is safe for tourists. However, one should always be careful while travelling. Keep an eye on your luggage, handbags and mobile phones. Avoid late night travelling. Avoid talking to drunken passengers especially in trams, buses and metros.

Q.6) How is the public transportation in Helsinki?

Ans: Helsinki has a well-maintained public transportation. One can explore the city by buses, trains, trams or the metros. Helsinki region transport is responsible for public transport ticket system. A single charge card can provide an option to travel in the Helsinki metropolitan areas. This single card is easily available and valid for 1-7 days.

Q.7) How to reach the city’s international airport?

Ans: Helsinki-Vantaa International airport (HEL) is located about 20 kilometres northwest from the city centre. It is easily accessible by bus, taxi and metro. You can also use a boat to reach the airport. However, one can also hire a ferry to reach the city centre near the international airport.

Q.8) What is the country code of Finland?

Ans: Helsinki is situated in Finland and its country code is 358. The area code for Helsinki is (0)9. However, mobile number starts with (0) 40, (0) 50, etc.

Q.9) What is emergency phone number in Helsinki?

Ans: For police, fire department and an ambulance, people in Helsinki dial 112. It is a universal number applied for all services. Police in Helsinki are very reliable and trustworthy. You can contact them in case of emergency.

Q.10) Where to use Helsinki card?

Ans: Helsinki card can save time, money, and energy. It offers free entry to main sites, museums and public transport. With this card, you can avail a wide variety of bonuses and discounts.

Q.11) Which are the best dining options in Helsinki?

Ans: Helsinki is a treasury of restaurants. You can get tasty and delicious dishes in many restaurants in the city. Some of the best dining options are Pannonia, Kuurna, Kynsilaukka and Mai Thai.

Q.12) What are the options available for first-time visitors?

Ans: Enrol for Helsinki expert’s audio city tours, if you want to explore the city. These tours are organized everyday throughout the year. The audio city tours are offered in twelve languages such as Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Helsinki dialect and even Latin.

Q.13) How to greet Finns?

Ans: Finns like etiquette and manners. They feel pleased when you greet them in their languages. Two famous phrases “HEI” means ‘Hello’ and pronounced “HAY”. Another “KIITOS” means ‘Thank you’ and Pronounced “KEY TOSS”.

Q.14) Which is the most famous symbolic building of Helsinki?

Ans: The Helsinki Cathedral is the most prominent building and symbol of the city. It was built in neo-classic style and designed by Carl Ludvig Engel.

Q.15) Which is local media in Helsinki?

Ans: The city offers two public service local radio stations such as YLE Radio Suomi (Finnish-language) and YLE Radio Vega (Swedish-language). The TV news programme is transmitted by YLE. Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet are two popular newspapers in Helsinki. These two function as local and national newspapers.

Getting Around in Helsinki

One of the best ways for getting around in Helsinki is public transportation. The city has well-maintained public transportation and is ranked in-between one and five in all of Europe. Travellers use trams to visit one destination to another. However, other modes of public transportation include buses, ferries and the metro system. Many tourists use buses for visiting in and around the city. Bus tickets are less expensive and available within the budget of everyone. For unlimited travel in different parts of the city, you can apply for the Helsinki card that provides facility to travel on all public transportation.

Buy a Helsinki area travel card available at tourist office as well main metro station for unlimited travel in trams, buses and metro for a few days. The public transportation is a major supplement for moving around in the city. However, tourists can also choose other options such as bike, car rental, and walking. Helsinki is a compact city as well safe for travelling. Tourists can also hire a bike to visit many places.

Bus System

Bus system, a backbone of public transportation is available in almost all parts of Helsinki. Its routes and timetable are managed by the HRT, but it is fully operated by many independent companies. Buses are lifeline of the city and work as feeder lines for Helsinki Metro. Major routes are connected to the Helsinki Central railway station for passenger’s convenience. Buses that belong to the internal lines are numbered alphanumerically. Regional buses that are managed by the HRT move in the downtown (metropolitan area) of Helsinki. Both internal lines and regional buses have the same operational hour.

Taxis

Taxi is also a reliable medium of public transportation in Helsinki. It is easily available at the city centre as well the taxi centre. The taxi inspectors are also responsible for guaranteed reliable services to the customers. Special care is given by the taxi inspectors to maintain the frequency of taxis on altering circumstances such as sudden changes in weather. Advance booking is easily available two weeks before journey as well as half an hour before the desired pick up time. One should confirm about special requests on the time of advance booking to minimize confusions. Special requests include a mini bus (max. 8 passengers), estate cargo transportation, a multilingual driver, and a pet permit. In case of remote pick-up point, a taxi is available 15 minutes before scheduled time. Helsinki taxis accept major paying and credit cards.

Rail

Rail is an excellent option for public transportation. The city is served by Helsinki Central railway station, a widely recognised landmark and the focal point of public transport. It is a significant point of origin for major trains in the local VR commuter rail network. This railway station is a well-known destination for trains that cover a large proportion of long-distance in Finland. It caters to thousands of passengers as well hosts the busiest Rautatientori metro station. Internet ticket booking is another easy way to book a ticket, however one can also buy ticket at the booking office. International train tickets are also available at major railway stations as well special cares are given to disabled passengers.

Car Rental

Car rental is a best option if you want to explore the city at your own. Helsinki car rental offers excellent services to fulfil customers’ interest and satisfaction. Hire a car according to your requirement and feel the difference of travelling with freedom. Tour in and around the city, experience waterfronts, visit huge open-air market (or Senate Square) and see rich neo-classical Lutheran Cathedral. Drive to other places according to convenience and ease. Rent a car that comes in your budget from luxury cars to SUVs. Choose a company that offers facilities that suite your needs. Before you plan to hire a car, you must get familiar with traffic rules as well carry a valid international driving license.

Communication in Helsinki

Helsinki, a top-notch tourist spot, is a very popular city in Finland. It has well-maintained communication network so that the travellers do not have to face difficulties during their stay. The city is a modern connectivity hub. Almost the entire city has fully equipped WiFi access, a handy map and internet cafes.

Telecommunication is highly intense in Helsinki. There are three major operators: the Finnet Group, the Telecom Finland, and the Telivo. Helsinki telephone is a major part of the Finnt group. It is the largest independent telephone company in Finland. There are two types of radio services such as public service local radio stations and privately-owned local radio stations. YLE telecasts regional TV programme.

Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet are local as well as the national newspapers.