Helsinki

Aerial view of Helsinki's gardens
Gardens in Helsinki

Brief history of Helsinki

Also known as Helsingfors in Sweden, Helsinki is a relatively new city established in 1550. The city has a very varied landscape. Here you have many rivers and islands among which the city stands. It was actually captured by the Russians in early 19th century but soon Finland was proclaimed a self-governing country and the previous capital named Turku lost its position to Helsinki because of its close proximity to St Petersburg.
Not many cities on earth can say that ferry’s leave from its center to other islands and cities like Tallin, St Petersburgh, Stockholm, Gdynia and others. The highlight of the city center is of course the port where you can buy fresh seafood from many stalls or take a trip to one of the many surroundings islands. A quick trip to the Suomenlinna, one of the islands close to the city, is where you will find the Fortress of Finland, a UNESCO proclaimed site that sits on four islands is a muse see for any traveler.

Photo of the famous Fortress of Finland
Fortress of Finland

Helsinki as the leader in architecture

Helsinki was in 2012 known as World Design Capital, a prestigious reward given only to a few cities recognized for making new way into future possible designs of architecture like Torino, Seoul and Cape Town. Its best to visit the city during the summer months as temperatures reach to about 25-c, but winters can get very cold and dark. Besides the city’s beautiful location and many islands you don’t have to go far to enjoy yourself. Walking through the many parks of the city is an experience worth having. Toolonlahti is a nice place to do just that, a small lake surrounded by a park and peppered with attractions like Finland’s National Opera.
Helsinki’s architecture is something to be admired. Although it was heavily damaged in World War 2, the city was quickly restored and soon hosted the 1952 Olympic Games. Something over 50 museums and beautiful churches are only the start of what you can see here. One of the most famous attractions is the Lutheran Cathedral, a huge building of amazing beauty and towering over Senate Square, another marvelous piece of engineering. Perhaps better known is only the Sibelius Monument, located in Sibelius Park it is a construction made of 600 pipes welded together resembling organ pipes.

Front view of Helsinki Cathedral
Helsinki Cathedral

History and culture preserved

Helsinki is nothing less then a city of many museums featuring all sorts of exhibitions. A visit to the Museum of Cultures is an interesting place to see the development of different cultures throughout the world and of course Finland’s past too. Or see the Submarine Vesikko, one of a few submarines that was used more then 70 years ago by Finnish Navy.
Many Olympic sties can be visited because as Helsinki has a reputation of being a city of sports. One of these complexes is the Olympic Stadium, a place where 2005 Worlds Athletic Championships took place. Nearby there are also some soccer grounds. Helsinki is also a great place for families to enjoy their vacation because it has some amazing amusement parks like the Serena Water Amusement Park, biggest in all of Nordic countries where you can ski during winter, water-slide in summer and much more. There are also some beaches that are worth checking out and are safe for families, but of course only actual during summer months.

Front of the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki
Helsinki Hartwall Arena

Helsinki is a city that never stops moving

Several events like the many film festivals can enrich your experience here if you attend. Most important is Helsinki International Film Festival. But this is just the start because there are also many concerts that is part of the soul of Helsinki.
Helsinki truly feels like a city that has a soul. Full of fun and sightseeing on every corner makes it obvious why people keep coming back every year. Its not just the free-spirited and creative atmosphere in the city that draws people here, but also its rich past and strong cultural heritage. Helsinki is without a doubt a place where it’s easy to find excitement whether there’s an event, concert, sightseeing or just some good old fashion family fun at the amusement parks.

Image of people relaxing in Helsinki
People relaxing in one of Helsinki’s many green areas

Attractions: Fortress of Suomenlinna (UNESCO Heritage), Sibelius Monument, Parliament House, Finlandia Hall, Korjaamo Cultural Factory, Linnanamaki Amusement Park, Serena Water Amusement Park, Flamingo Entertainment Center, Olympic Stadium, Military Museum, Mannerheim Museum, Military Museum Manege, Submarine Vesikko, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Gallery Forum Box, Heureka Science Center, Museum of Cultures, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki City Museum, Design Museum, Ateneum Art Museum, Senate Square, United Community Church, Old Church of Helsinki, Church of Kallio, Lutheran Cathedral,