The capital city of Finland, Helsinki, is the vibrant seaside city, surrounded by more than 300 islands and numerous national parks. Reputed as the Design Capital, Helsinki is known for its stunning gothic architectures, forests, lakes, coastlines, wonderful café culture, cool music scene and a hub for the best culinary delights. Seamlessly blending with rich history and its tradition, Helsinki is considered as one of the best cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Known to be a country having the highest number of coffee drinkers in the world, the numerous cafes in the capital are no surprise. Otherwise laidback, the capital city comes alive when it is about the music festivals. The Finns are also known as great party lovers. The unbeatable rock shows to classy cocktail lounges in the weekend nights, Helsinki has much to offer to everyone. The beautiful city of Helsinki can be explored easily on foot or one can try taking a tram ride within the city. There are a wide variety of things one can opt for in Helsinki. Let’s check out the top 8 things you can do whenever you visit Helsinki next..
The Lutheran Cathedral
The Lutheran Cathedral, overlooking the Senate Square and the harbour is an iconic landmark of Helsinki. This magnificent towering architecture by Carl Engel, rising high on the northern side of the Senate Square, has become the symbol of the city as well. The church also known as the heart of the city, dominates the senate square and skyline of Helsinki. One of the architectural delights, the imposing church can’t go unnoticed. Earlier known as St. Nicholas Church, this cathedral was a part of the 19th Century re- construction of Helsinki after a fire destroyed most of the city during its annexation by the Russians. So, whenever you visit Helsinki, a visit to the Lutheran Cathedral is a must.
Sail to the Suomenlinna fortress
If you are in Helsinki, a visit to the sea fortress named Sumenlinna is mandatory. The world heritage site, the Suomenlinna, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Easily accessible by ferry from the market square of Helsinki, the sea fortress offers unique experiences for its visitors. The fortress has a significant historical importance in shaping the
country as it had served in the defense of three eras, first Sweden, then Russia and finally Finland. This unique monument of military architectures is open throughout the year.
Visit Temppeliaukio Church
The churches in Helsinki are free to visit. Helsinki has some of the best churches with their unique architectural designs. One of them is the famous Temppeliaukio Church, which is also known as The Rock Church. Built into the rock, covered with a huge dome, it is an excellent example of modern architecture. Due to its unique architecture, the church has become a huge tourist attraction. The church is also a popular venue for concerts because of its excellent acoustics.
Ride Helsinki Trams
The trams are the heart line for the citizens of Helsinki. The most convenient and budget friendly way to explore the city is to take a tram ride within the city. The effective yet old transportation system of the country is easy to opt for if you want to be a part of Finnish culture. You can take Tram number 2 for sightseeing, though tram number 4 also takes you to another fantastic ride with beautiful views.
Sip a cup of coffee with a local
Don’t be surprised if you come across plentiful cafes in Finland. Reputed for having the highest number of coffee drinkers in the world, the café culture is one unique thing about this Nordic country. You can literally go on café hopping with your friends in Finland. Sitting in a cozy yet stylish café, sipping the best coffee and indulging in endless conversation is the best way to enjoy the wintry evening in Helsinki. You can easily bond with the otherwise quiet and introvert locals over a cup of coffee. I simply had a great time exploring various cafes in town.
Visit Market Square
One of the most buzzing places in Helsinki is the market square of the city. Located at the South Harbour, the market square is the most famous market of Helsinki. From the traditional Finnish food, delicious pastries, hot coffee, vegetables, souvenirs, handicraft, etc., you can find the best of everything here. The cheerful atmosphere of the market and a great view of the shoreline make it one of the most visited places for tourists as well.
Take a tour of Helsink’s Design District
Helsinki is also known as the Design capital. One of the most desired places for designers and artists in the world, Helsinki provides inspirations for creativity. The capital city of Finland, Helsinki’s Design District is a hub for boutiques, design studios, showrooms, museum and galleries, featuring some of the most innovative designs in terms of products, clothing, home décor, etc. No wonder the most accomplished and renowned designers are from Finland. If you are someone who is keen on designs or any artistic work, a visit to the Design District is a must.
Experience Finnish Sauna by the sea
Your trip to Finland is not complete if you come back without experiencing the Finnish Sauna. Finland has more than 3 million Saunas with over 5 million people in the country. The Sauna is the most important part of their lifestyle and also a cultural identity. The Finns just don’t visit the sauna to clean themselves; rather they consider sauna the place for relaxation, to unwind and meditate. It’s also the place where you release your stress. It is said that nothing can be more finish than experiencing the Finnish Sauna in Finland. So don’t shy away from experiencing the sauna the Finnish way. There are public saunas as well. Don’t miss the most popular one named LÖYLY in Helsinki for your sauna session with a great sea view.
Winter is here and it is the perfect excuse to travel to the winter wonderland, Finland.
About the author
Parnashree Devi is a travel writer, photographer and a passionate film maker. The infinite passion to share her travel stories led her to foray into the world of blogging and the existence of ‘My Travel Diary’. Being a globetrotter, she has been travelling to different destinations on various Press Trips by some of the prestigious Tourism Boards and Top End Luxury Properties across the world. She has also been associated with leading Brands for social media campaigns and collaborations.