CHOOSE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Top Three Things to Do in Helsinki
Helsinki is one of the most exciting holiday destinations in Scandinavia. Located on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, the White City of the North offers a stunning blend of modernism, history and culture. Whether you’re coming for an event in Helsinki or just taking a quick trip to observe the breath-taking Northern Lights, you will never run out of things to do in Helsinki!
Experience the Grand Architecture of Helsinki
Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustav I of Sweden, so unlike many European cities, this relatively young metropolis has a noticeable absence of castles, fortresses and other ancient landmarks. However, the dearth of medieval influences has allowed the city to be developed in a functional yet stylistic neoclassical, Jugendstil and Kansallisromantiikka architecture. The emergence of contemporary architectural design rooted in nature over the last century has also provided the cityscape with an even richer depth.
So do a walkabout and experience the Kansallisromantiikka design of Helsinki’s Railway Station, the clear glass and hand-polished façade of the Finnish National Gallery, the red Kalvola granite and fourteen Corinthian columns of the National Parliament, and many other grand structures here.
The Market Halls of Helsinki
If you’ve just woken up in your hotel room and are wondering what to do in Helsinki today, why don’t you make a visit to the three market halls in the city?
Start off with a kakkukahvi, which means a wonderful cup of Finnish coffee and a piece of sweet pulla bun, at the Old Market Hall (kauppatori) near the harbour. Check out the stalls, and don’t be surprised to see reindeer horns and hides among fresh fishes, berries and souvenir mugs.
Next, head on over to the 115-year-old Hietalahti Market Hall for lunch. The delicious cuisines available here range from Japanese to French! Once you’ve finished lunch, spend the rest of the afternoon at the Hakaniemi Market, where you will find a wide array of handicrafts, clothes and cheese that will make perfect presents for friends and family.
Savour the culture of the Finnish Sauna
Sauna is part of Finnish culture, so no trip to Helsinki will be complete without visiting at least one. Fortunately, saunas are found everywhere here – even restaurants have saunas. Your hotel will definitely have one, or two, and maybe even three!
However, not all saunas are created equal. If you want to experience the best saunas the city has to offer (especially if you’re in town during Sauna Day), we have three recommendations for you:
• Skywheel Sauna – the world’s first and only sauna in a Ferris wheel
• Loyly – probably the fanciest sauna around, with an excellent view of the sea. It’s also a popular hangout for local celebrities.
• Bastion Bistro – the sauna is located inside a restaurant, which is located inside a UNESCO World Heritage site on the island of Suomenlinna off the coast of Helsinki.
These are just the tip of the iceberg – there are plenty more places to visit, sights to see and food to try at Helsinki. See you soon!