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The capital city of Finland, Helsinki is a leading designer city, known for its world-class architecture, and is also called the Daughter of the Baltic. Founded in 1550 the city is located on the tip of the peninsula and on 315 islands at the edge of the Gulf of Finland. This proves that Helsinki is as much a metropolis as a wonderful amalgamation of bays, beaches, inlets, and natural wonders. In summers the city sparkles in the sun and there is a frenzy of Finns making way to the parks and outdoors. The winters see the city carpeted under a rich snow cover leading to various adventure activities of ice skating and ice fishing. However, Helsinki does not disappoint no matter the season or time, with its fresh foods, wonderful natural outlets, myriad museums and buildings, and a multicultural enthusiasm
Things to do in Helsinki, Finland
Churches, buildings and museums make up for much of Helsinki’s major city attractions. The Suomenlinna known as the Gibraltar of the North is a fortress built in the 1700s. It was later invaded by the Russians and today retains its old-world charm in form of the old fortifications, cast-iron cannons, and catacombs with few inhabitants that still stay on here. However, it is extremely popular amongst the locals with its many cafes, theatres, and museums. The cluster of the islands connected by bridges this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit during the summers and, though entry to the island is free, one has to pay for the ferry ride to get there.
The Suomenlinna Museum, the Ehrensvard Museum the home of Augustin Ehrensvard the designer of the fortress and the Lelumuseo the adorable doll museum are some of the museums found here. The Ateneum Art Museum is one of the most prominent museums in the city and has the largest number of paintings and sculptures in Finland. It houses the works of famous Finnish artists from the 19th century through to 1950. The museum itself is housed within a neo-Renaissance 1887 building adding to its charm and grandeur.
The Design Museum is another notable museum home to fantastic industrial and commercial designs. The design incorporates all sorts of designs from clothing to furniture through Finland’s history and traditions.
Some other museums of Helsinki include Helsinki City Museum, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Cultures, The National Museum of Finland, Gallery Forum Box, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Military Museum, Submarine Vesikko, Heureka Science Centre and more.
Some of the important buildings of the city are the Parliament House, the Finlandia Hall a concert venue, Korjaamo Cultural Factory with its galleries and cafes, Sibelius Monument within the Sibelius Park and the Tropicario a large collection of snakes and lizards.
The churches of Helsinki are wonderful architectural delights and some of them that merit a visit, include the Lutheran Cathedral dominates the Senate Square and is one of the most iconic buildings of the city. The Uspenski Church, the Church in the Rock, St. John’s Church, Kallio Church and the old church of Helsinki are some of the other churches located in the city.
The Olympic Tower 72 meters offers stunning views of the city, whereas the Olympic Stadium with the largest outdoor pool is another attraction of the city. During summers the Hietaniemi Beach and the Aurinkolahti Beach are some of the better places to visit.
Besides, many farms surround the city and are worth a visit, such as the Harmala Farm, Fallkulla Farm, and the Haltiala Farm.
Helsinki is quite incomplete without its gorgeous islands that are not only scenic landscapes but also have a social and cultural life of their own. Some of the islands are the Pihlajasaari known for its beaches, Korkeasaari known for the Helsinki zoo, Vallisaari for its fortifications and the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum full of authentic houses and walking trails.
Helsinki is also home to a number of open park spaces that crowd during the summers. Some of the parks include the Esplanadi Park in the heart of the city, Kaivpuisto by the sea, Toolonlahti and many more.
Helsinki is a metropolis, however very rooted in its approach and character. It is the capital city from where onwards one can venture into the other adventures of Finland; however, on its own, Helsinki is a wonderful tourist destination rich in its building, designs, museums, and parks. At the same time, it offers a number of activities such as a vintage tram ride, biking, ice skating, snowshoeing and more.
Its impressive dining and drinking outlets, luxury restaurants and fresh foods make Finland a delight for the connoisseur of cuisine. The city seeped in wondrous natural settings is a definite visit on any travelers list.
How to reach Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki has an international airport and is well-connected by air with major international cities. It is also accessible by road from other towns and cities of Finland, as well as from Sweden and Norway.
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