The capital of Finland is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and green parks. But that’s not all that makes this place special
10 AM: Old Market Hall
Start the morning along Helsinki’s renewed waterfront, where the 19th-century Old Market Hall reopened in 2014 after an impressive renovation. Serving its customers since 1889, this market sells everything from cheese, fish, shellfish, vegetables, fruit and cakes to spices, coffee and tea. They are also happy to help customers with special orders.
12 Noon: Design District
The Finnish love affair with design continues, as you’ll discover in the Design District, where 200 of the city’s best young artists, designers and creative agencies are based. The district covers Punavuori, Kaartinkaupunki, Kamppi and Ullanlinna and is full of design and antique shops, fashion stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants and showrooms.
3 PM: Ateneum Art Museum
Continuing your art sojourn, visit the Ateneum, Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The images held by the Ateneum are ingrained in the collective memory of the Finnish people: the beloved works in Ateneum’s collections date from the period of the 19th century to the modern age.
5 PM: Esplanade Park
Situated in the heart of Helsinki, the Esplanade Park serves as a promenade for visitors and a place to relax for the locals. The park and the Espa Stage host many popular events during weekends.
8 PM: Food District
North of the city centre, Kallio district houses vintage boutiques, countless coffee shops and some of the city’s most exciting restaurants. You can try Doner Harju, a kebab shop that elevates the humble Turkish street food with its spiced lamb hummus, vegetables, spicy chilli sauce and fresh herbs.
7 AM: Island Life
Nature plays a vital role in Finnish culture and over the summer months, the harbour is something that’s most in demand. You can go for simple summer shacks on one of the nearby islands, or even do a day trip. With over 300 islands in the archipelago, things never get too crowded here.
12 Noon: Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Linnanmäki amusement park has entertained fun loving people since 1950. The amusement park has a wide selection of fun rides, from ultra scary to more easy-going. The 65-year-old wooden rollercoaster still remains the most popular ride here. Go for light snacks around the area outside the park.
3 PM: Senate Square
The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel between 1822 and 1852: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.
5 PM: Shopping Sojourn
If time permits, visit the Market Square, located at the South Harbour. It is Helsinki’s most famous market. The booths here sell traditional market foods and treats, as well as handicrafts and souvenirs.
By: Elison Baine