The best places to see in Helsinki, Finland

What to see in Helsinki in one day

Tourists often make a connection in Helsinki. Instead of waiting for the next flight at Vantaa airport, you can walk around the center.

There tourists admire the Gulf of Finland and the stylish architecture. Finns know how to harmoniously combine natural and artificial materials, simple and complex shape. Therefore, there are many unusual buildings, monuments and churches. In 2012, Helsinki was even awarded the status of the World Design Capital.

I made a walking route around Helsinki for 4 km. During the walk you can walk around the center at a comfortable pace and see the main attractions of the Finnish capital.

The route

Mannerheim Avenue is the main street of Helsinki. On the map, this is the stretch from Kiasma to the turn to the Esplanade Park. There are many stores, cafes, and popular Finnish department stores Sokos and Stockmann. Usually winter collections are on sale in November and summer collections in July. Sale in Finnish is ale. Even taking into account the euro exchange rate you can find things cheaper than in Russia.

The best time to go to Temppeliaukio is in the morning, when the light shines through the unusual roof. Photo: Jaakko Hakulinen/Flickr

Esplanade Park is a cozy linden park. In summer, it’s nice to just sit on a bench and watch passersby.

Senate Square with its cathedral is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. In the winter, there are Christmas fairs and merry-go-rounds on the square. In summer, tourists sit on the steps of the cathedral and enjoy the view of the city.

You can go to the Kaisa and Oodi libraries as architectural museums or just to read books.

Kaisa-talo is the main building of the university library. The building is built so that when you enter you can see all the floors at once and the transparent roof. Each floor of the building is narrower than the previous one, so it resembles a spaceship.

Entrance to the library is free and does not require a passport. Many books in English are available to the public: take it and read it. Comfortable armchairs are arranged around the halls, some of them opposite the wide windows overlooking the city. You can read in them, have a coffee without the librarian’s disgruntled stare.

Helsinki’s central library, Oodi, opened at the end of 2018. It is a large three-story building with an unusual shape. Admission is free, there are books in Russian, Arabic and even Somali. In Oodi you can also drink coffee, go to the cinema and work at the computer.

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The Helsinki Music House is a large cultural center in the city center. There listen to classical music and jazz. If you like concerts, I suggest stopping by there.

The House of Music has several halls, which are designed for different numbers of people. I like the large concert hall: in addition to the fact that it has great acoustics, the hall itself looks very classy.


Language. Most Finns speak English fluently. Also there are a lot of Russian speaking immigrants in the city. But before the trip I still recommend to download a translator: some inscriptions or menus are not translated into English. If you don’t know Finno-Ugric languages, you won’t be able to guess the meaning of words. For example, fruit juice is hedelmämehu.

Flight. Through Helsinki, you can get to other European cities cheaply on the Norwegian low-cost airline Norvidgin. If you get on sale, a flight to France or the Canary Islands will cost 2,000 R one way. From Moscow to Helsinki you can get on “Pobeda”. On average tickets cost 5000 P round trip.

Average cost of airfare from Moscow to Helsinki and back

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Anastasia Osian


Get on the streetcar number 2 or number 3 and drive through all the sights. It is more difficult to write an article about what to do in Helsinki for TWO days.

I am there several times a year, there are always things to do )

Egor, There is also a zoo on the island. I have been to Helsinki 11 times and always had something to do.

Rustam Kondratov

Egor, it’s easy – the second day, for example, Sveaborg.

1) You can eat at the Old Market Hall and the square nearby 2) If you have time and it’s summer, it would be interesting to take a boat trip to Suomenlinna

Anastasia, for 7 euros you can get a decent portion of fried fish, similar to our smelt.

Anastasia, from 6 euros for ukha. I liked the fried salmon and smelt. For two about 20 euros. It’s true that eating outside can be cold.

Anastasia, I do not remember, but cheaper than in restaurants. There are a lot of streetfood style shops – Scandinavian cuisine, soups, fish, etc.

Anastasia Osian

Aleksey, how much is lunch at the market and what can you eat there? I have not been there.

Yuri Suetin

I go to Helsinki 1-3 times a year, but mostly to events like hockey and concerts. For the 30th time there’s not much to do in the city, so with friends (or alone) I go to Suomenlinna, there I get out of the fence and sit with a beer on the beach, waiting for the ferry to pass, it looks nice) And to eat there all the same better in fast food restaurants, but not in a McDak, but in Hesburger: portions more, prices slightly lower.

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Suomenlinna is a great place, a fortress on an island not far from Helsinki. The ferry a year ago was 5 euros, departs from the waterfront, travels about 10-15 minutes. I advise to take a full day.

Marina, you can get on the ferry with a regular transport pass, which you can buy in the HSL app.

I would add another option to get to the center of Helsinki from the airport. An electric train for 5 euros, goes 25 minutes straight to the station.

Temppeliaukio church in November 2018 the entrance cost 10 euros.

I would also recommend visiting: “Helsinki City Museum” Helsinki, Aleksanterinkatu, 16, it’s on the corner of Senate Square. There are a lot of interesting and interactive exhibits. I was really happy. And the souvenir store was the cheapest there. I went to the IKEA museum in Helsinki, which was a great place to hang out. “Assumption Cathedral in Helsinki”.

And in general, I download the app “izi.Travel” – it offers good hikes.

For a budget lunch I can recommend Deli Cafe Maya, for 12 euros (salad / soup / second / dessert / coffee / tea – as a buffet).

I was in Helsinki – 2 full days. For one city, that’s a LOT. For example Debrecen was a lot of 3 days :)

What to see in Helsinki

Helsinki regularly tops ratings of the best cities in the world with the most favorable conditions for life, recreation and tourism. The capital of Finland is also characterized by a variety of architecture, a large number of interesting museums and many curious sights. Here you can perfectly relax in a big company, spend time with your child, get acquainted with Finnish culture or arrange a romantic weekend, the main thing is to know where to go.


The city’s calling card

Every city has places that are traditionally presented to tourists as its symbols, and Helsinki is no exception. If you find yourself for the first time in the main city of Suomi, you should refer to the list of its main attractions.

Senate Square – the heart of the city, here you’ll see the Cathedral, the University of Helsinki, and the State Council building.

Senate Square

Senate Square

Suomenlinna Fortress – located on the islands of the fortification system, built by the Swedes in the XVIII century. Here are also a few museums.

Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna Fortress

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Address: Suomenlinna. Opening hours: Monday through Sunday: 09:00-18:00.

Dormition Cathedral is the largest in Western Europe, an Orthodox church of red brick, topped with spires and 13 domes.

Assumption Cathedral

Assumption Cathedral

Address: Kanavakatu 1. Working time: Fri-Sat: 09:00-16:00. Opening hours: Saturday 12:00-15:00.

The monument to the composer Jan Sibelius – a huge bronze head of the musician and 600 fused metal pipes, the sounds of which, according to the guides, recall his melodies.

Address: Mechelininkatu, Sibelius Park.

Market Square – the busiest place of the city, here you can also see the fountain “Sea Nymph” and the obelisk of the Empress.

Station Square – the station building itself, decorated with pink granite, is also one of the symbols of the city.

Station Square

Station Square

Useful and very popular among tourists is Helsinki Card – the card, which includes a free ferry or bus tour (and a discount on the second tour), unlimited travel on public transport and free visits to major attractions, as well as discounts in some stores, restaurants and saunas.

Helsinki Card can be purchased for a day as well as for two or three days. The price will be 39, 51 and 61 euros. For children aged 7 to 16 it costs 17, 20, and 23 euros.

The official website with all current information about Helsinki Card in English:

Major cathedrals

About 70% of Finns consider themselves Lutherans, and therefore you will see many Lutheran churches in Helsinki. However, there are also Orthodox and Catholic churches.

Old Church – as the name suggests, one of the oldest Lutheran cathedrals in the city, preserved from the days when Helsinki was wooden. Before visiting, it is necessary to check the schedule, as the church is not always open for visitors.

Old Church

Old Church

Address: Lönnrotinkatu 6. Open: Mon-Fri: 12:00-15:00

St. John’s Church – the largest Lutheran Church in the city, built in Neo-Gothic style.

Address: Korkeavuorenkatu 12. opening times: Mon-Fri: 10:00-15:00.

St. Heinrich Church – the only Catholic church in Helsinki, built in 1860.

Address: Pyhän Henrikin aukio. Working time: Monday through Sunday: 07:00-19:00.

Mikael Agricola Church – The Lutheran Church, built in the unusual architectural style of “functionalism”.

Address: Tehtaankatu 23A. Kallio Church – one of the dominant features of the city, the church, built in the Art Nouveau style.

Kallio Church

Kallio Church

Address: Itäinen Papinkatu 2. Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 07:00-21:00, Sat-Sun: 09:00-21:00.

The main museums

In Helsinki, there are about eight dozen museums, but among them stands out three main.

The State Art Museum of Finland is a museum complex, consisting of the Ateneum Art Gallery, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sinebrychoff Museum and the Central Art Archive.

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State Art Museum of Finland

State Art Museum of Finland

Addresses: Kaivokatu 2, Mannerheiminaukio 2, Bulevardi 40, Kaivokatu 2 C.

National Museum of Finland – In this building, styled as a medieval castle, the exhibition, which introduces you to the major milestones of Finnish history and culture.

National Museum of Finland

National Museum of Finland

Address: Mannerheimintie 34.

Mannerheim Museum is a memorial dedicated to one of Finland’s main national heroes and it tells the story of the legendary commander’s life.

Mannerheim Museum

Mannerheim Museum

Address: Mannerheiminaukio 2. Working time: Tue: 09:00-17:00, Wed-Sat: 10:00-20:00

Places for romantic walks

In Helsinki, there are also several interesting places that are likely to appeal to couples in love.

Park Annala – a perfect place for nature lovers, here you’ll find silence, mirrored ponds and an amazing butterfly garden.

Annala Park

Annala Park

Address: Hämeentie 154.

The Bridge of Love is a corner of the city where Finnish newlyweds swear love to each other and leave heart-shaped locks on the railing.

Bridge of Love

Address: Kanavaranta, 7F.

Botanical Garden – here you can walk among the flowering plants and admire the beautiful giant lily “Victoria”.

Address: Unioninkatu 44. Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 09:00-20:00.

Gardenia Greenhouse – an amazing tropical garden in the heart of the European capital will not leave romantic fans indifferent.

Address: Koetilantie 1. Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00-18:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00-17:00.

Museum of vintage cars is a great place for lovers of vintage cars: you can look at the cars of the 20th century and even sit behind the wheel of rarities.

Museum of Retro Cars

Museum of vintage cars

Address: Munkkisaarenkatu 12 Opening hours: Thu-Sun: 12:00-15:00.

Temppeliaukio: The church in the rock is one of the most unusual and most romantic sights in the city: from the side it looks like a mysterious spaceship, half-landed in a rock. Inside are granite walls, an amphitheater of benches, an organ and a mystical atmosphere.

Address: Lutherinkatu. Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00-17:00, Thu-Fri: 10:00-20:00, Sat: 10:00-18:00, Sun: 12:00-18:00.

Where to go with a child

Helsinki is a great tourist destination for the whole family: you can find a lot of places that will interest both children and adults.

Zoo Korkeasaari is the largest animal park in Finland. It is located on an island Korkeasaar.

Address: Mustikkamaanpolku 12.

Park “Linnanmäki” is one of the most fun places in the city, where you will find a variety of attractions and an observation tower, from which you can see Helsinki from the bird’s eye view.

Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Address: Tivolikuja 1. Opening hours: Monday through Sunday: 16:00-21:00

Farm pets “Fallkulla” – here the child can communicate with pets and even learn how to take care of them.

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Address: Fallkulla, Malmi.

Waterpark Serena – the largest water park in Suomi, open all year round.

Address: Tornimaentie 10.

Zoological Museum – the exhibitions, in a fascinating form telling about the structure of the world, will certainly appeal to young naturalists.

Zoological Museum

Zoological Museum

Address: Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13 Opening hours: W-Thursday: 09:00-17:00, Sat-Sun: 11:00-16:00

“Evrika” is an educational center for the whole family where you can play and learn a lot of new and interesting things about the world.

Address: Tiedepuisto 1. Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 10:00-17:00, Thu: 10:00-20:00, Sat, Sat: 10:00-18:00.

Sea Life Oceanarium – thanks to 50 aquariums you will plunge into the mysterious world of sea nature and see the inhabitants of the Baltic Sea, as well as inhabitants of tropical waters.

Sea Life Oceanarium

Sea Life Oceanarium

Address: Tivolitie 10. Opening hours: Thu-Wri: 10:00-17:00, Wed-Sat: 10:00-20:00: 10:00-20:00.

Unusual places in Helsinki.

If you have already managed to take pictures at all the major attractions of the city and bypassed all the museums you are interested in, then try to change the familiar route, and perhaps the Finnish capital you will discover a completely different side.

The Chapel of Silence is a designer chapel with a curving facade, built in 2012.

Chapel of Silence

Chapel of Silence

Address: Simonkatu 7 Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 07:00-20:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00-18:00

One hundred years of Finnish democracy – a monument of twisted stainless steel symbolizing the right of women to be elected to parliament.

Address: Mannerheimintie 30.

The orthodox Ilyinsky cemetery is not at all scary, although a bit gloomy: here you can see many ancient gravestones and beautiful monuments, as well as the graves of some famous personalities, for example, Faberge.

Address: Lapinlahdentie 2.

The fence near the Tennis Palace – here is the largest graffiti in the city: it was painted by a whole group of Finnish artists.

Address: Salomonkatu 15.

An abandoned Olympic swimming pool is a dilapidated reminder of the competitions held here in the 50s. According to local legends, the ghosts of the athletes live here.

Abandoned Olympic swimming pool

Abandoned Olympic Pool

Suvilahden Skeittiparkki – If you are interested in urban extreme sports and want to see how gutsy Finnish youth perform a variety of tricks, check it out.

Address: Kaasutehtaankatu 1.

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