Helsinki Things to Do Tips by sabsi
Helsinki Things to Do: 1,193 reviews and 1,931 photos
Kauppahalli is Helsinki's old market hall at the port. Built in 1888 this is one of these typical scandinavian market halls that i love. You can buy bear salami and reindeer sausages here or just suck in the atmosphere!
Directions: At the port, on the right side when you're facing the sea.
Helsinki in winter
In winter Helsinki has a special charme I think - especially around the port. The sea is frozen. As the big ferries and the small Suomenlinna ferry are still in service the ice contains of little pieces which gives the whole port a somewhat special look.
All lakes are frozen, too. People walk their dogs on Töölönlahti which is covered in snow. With blue skies it's beautiful (and not too cold ;) And if you are cold, there's always a nice cafe to warm up...
If you are into modern art you have to go to Kiasma, the museum for contemporary art. Here you will find changing exhibitions, a great modern building and some very strange art installations!
There's a lovely cafe with one of the nicest terraces in Helsinki in Kiasma as well.
Friday evenings from 5 to 8.30 the entry to the museum is free. A nice way to spend a few hours before diving intot the nightlife of the city ;)
Address: Mannerheiminaukio 2, 00100 Helsinki
Directions: Opposite the Parliament Building.
Closed on Mondays!
Other Contact: www.kiasma.fi
Before you go to Finland - get prepared for your trip by watching movies!
Aki and Mika Kaurismäki's movies like 'Leningrad Cowboys go America' or the silent movie 'Juha' are typically Finnish and they can help ya get prepared for a holiday in Finland pretty well. I saw Juha with the original film orchestra playing live along to it -it was fantastic!!! The latest Kaurismäki film "The man without a past" is excellent as well. If you get a chance go and see it!
The Helsinki episode of Jim Jarmush's film Night on Earth is great as well but I fear you might cancel your trip after having seen that one ;-)
If you understand German try to get 'Zugvoegel - einmal nach Inari' -- the funniest (rail-) road movie I've ever seen!
If you want to watch a film in Helsinki you have to go to 'Tennispalatsi' a new multiplex cinema. Really nice and all english and american films are shown in English with subtitles in Finnish and Swedish!
Directions: Tennispalatsi is in Helsinki behind the main bus station.
Go to Linnanmäki, Helsinki's amusement park. It's a cute park with many attractions and a nice atmosphere! It's a mixture of old fashioned stuff with really modern stuff - great! The park celebrated its 50th birthday in 2000.
Don't miss going into the funny house "Vekkula". Normally a children thing but really amusing for everyone!
Entrance to the park is free. You can buy a wristband to go on all the rides, there are different prices, for adults, kids, for a day, just for an evening etc. A single ride is 4.50 € which is rather expensive I think! If you are into the rides you better get a wristband!
Address: Take the tram 3T, it stops there.
Other Contact: http://www.linnanmaki.fi
Finnish National Museum
Another piece of Helsinki's beautiful architecture is the National Museum at Mannerheimintie.
In here you will learn a lot about Finnish history starting from the iron age up to today. I liked the bit about the 20th century best here with nice film clips from Finland's history as well as Nokia phones, war times stuff etc. There's also a nice part on the Finnish people which is quite interesting (but it still didn't help me understand them ;).
I can recommend to visit this museum on a rainy day to learn more about the Finnish history. When you are not interested in history or when you don't catch a rainy day in Helsinki it's ok if you don't come here I think!
Address: Mannerheimintie 34
Helsinki hosted the Olympic summer games in 1952 and now you can go on top of the stadium tower! You have a great view of Helsinki from there.
I heard that when the stadium was built the height of the tower was the equivalent of the Javelin World Record. Don't know whether it's true though...
A trip up the tower costs 2€.
Address: Olympic stadium, Paavo Nurman Kuja 1
This orthodox cathedral looks so Russian - even films that were supposed to be set in Russia were filmed here because of its looks.
Don't forget to go inside, it's even more beautiful on the inside (see next tip). The church is open to visitors in summers.
Directions: On the hill on the left side of the port (facing the sea)
Aleksis Kivi - a paradise for pigeons
The Finnish poet Aleksis Kivi got his statue in front of the National Theatre. His novel Seitsemän veljestä (Seven Brothers) is kind of the national book of Finland. One day I'll read it .... and then I'll let you know more about it (check back in 2042 for that ;)
For me the main station of Helsinki is the most beautiful building in the whole city (ok apart from Tuomiokirkko maybe ;). It was built in 1919 and it shows Finnish National Romantic architecture at its best. The four grumpy looking guys at the front are just so wonderful....
The inside is quite nice as well.... and I just love watching the people boarding the Moscow train here!
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