Discover why this thriving cosmopolitan port city is a crucial, European economic and cultural center. With over a quarter of the population of Finland, history buffs, lovers of nature, culture enthusiasts and worldly shoppers will find remarkable experiences waiting for them in Helsinki.
Local Culture and Flavor
The pleasures to be found in Helsinki culture are many. For full immersion in a time-honored Finnish tradition, you can relax in an authentic wood-burning sauna. Treat your family to wild thrills at Linnanmäki, the city's oldest amusement park, or enjoy the pools and water slides of the largest Nordic water park, Serena.
A retreat within a retreat can be discovered when you visit Seurasaari, an island oasis renowned for its green hills, wetlands and herb-rich forest. At the open-air museum on the island, the traditional Finnish way of life is displayed in the cottages and farmsteads relocated here from all around the country.
Past and Present
With its rich history, Helsinki has attracted famous architects who have contributed to the staggering collection of historic landmarks that dot the city. In fact, when control of Finland passed to Russia in the early 1800s, Czar Alexander ordered a grand rebuilding of Helsinki while simultaneously declaring it the capital of Finland. The result of this massive construction project was the transformation of the city into how it stands today.
Helsinki has activities for all—from exploration of fascinating historic spots to relaxation on serene island oases.
Shop for souvenirs at the city's indoor and outdoor flea markets or antique shops. Shops are generally open on weekdays and Saturdays. In summer, department stores may also be open on Sundays.
Surround yourself in natural beauty as you visit some of Helsinki's islands. Delve into the catacombs of Suomenlinna's sea fortress or make friends with 200 different animal species at the zoo on Korkeasaari.
Uncover a part of Helsinki's past as you tour Senate Square, built in grand Empire style when Czar Alexander of Russia gained control of Finland in the 1800s. The square's impressive Lutheran Cathedral is the unofficial symbol of the city.
The Church in the Rock
Marvel at this extraordinary structure dug out of solid rock, whose roof is made of 22 kilometers of copper strips. The church often hosts concerts, ideal because of the structure's outstanding acoustics.
Delight in the breathtaking monument to world-renowned Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Designed by Eila Hiltunen, this amazing work of art resembles organ pipes and is made of 600 hand-textured pipes welded together, weighing 30 metric tons.
Heureka Science Center
Find loads of family fun at the Finnish Science Center, featuring hands-on science tests and exhibitions, a planetarium and a science adventure playground.
Cruising The World