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Guidebook for Helsinki

Teppo

Guidebook for Helsinki

Essentials
Your near-home shop for food and other daily necessities, located conveniently at Satamakatu by the nearest tram stop.
K-market Katajanokka
3 Satamakatu
Your near-home shop for food and other daily necessities, located conveniently at Satamakatu by the nearest tram stop.
Another one of your near-home based grocery shops, located in Kruununhaka at the crossing of Meritullinkatu and Kirkkokatu.
9
locals recommend
Alepa Kronohagen
2 Kirkkokatu
9
locals recommend
Another one of your near-home based grocery shops, located in Kruununhaka at the crossing of Meritullinkatu and Kirkkokatu.
Entertainment & Activities
A Finnish experience indeed, for sauna and swimming in a truly unique setting. Also a cafe, bar and even a restaurant. In summertime even live music. The two pools are floating on the sea, the other one being very warm and the other one of sea temperature - also in winter time!
103
locals recommend
Allas Sea Pool
2a Skatuddskajen
103
locals recommend
A Finnish experience indeed, for sauna and swimming in a truly unique setting. Also a cafe, bar and even a restaurant. In summertime even live music. The two pools are floating on the sea, the other one being very warm and the other one of sea temperature - also in winter time!
For a genuinely fine sauna experience. The best in the city, indeed. You can reach it with public transportation, e.g. with bus #17 that has a stop by Market Square.
163
locals recommend
Löyly Helsinki
4 Ärtholmsstranden
163
locals recommend
For a genuinely fine sauna experience. The best in the city, indeed. You can reach it with public transportation, e.g. with bus #17 that has a stop by Market Square.
Sightseeing
What would you expect to see in a country where seas get frozen in winter time? Right, a genuine fleet of true northern icebreakers!
Icebreakers fleet
What would you expect to see in a country where seas get frozen in winter time? Right, a genuine fleet of true northern icebreakers!
Katajanokka has a considerable representation of the Art Nouveau buildings of Helsinki. Luotsikatu street with the adjoining streets is a beautiful example.
Lotsgatan
Katajanokka has a considerable representation of the Art Nouveau buildings of Helsinki. Luotsikatu street with the adjoining streets is a beautiful example.
The Market Place is one of the must-do's in Helsinki. This is also where the ferries for Suomenlinna depart. Additionally, in summer time connection boats to Korkeasaari Zoo, Vallisaari and Porvoo depart from here, as do the numerous Helsinki sightseeing cruises. So this is the epicenter of maritime Helsinki. The Presidential Castle is located on the opposite side of the Market Square. However, please do not mix it with the Swedish Embassy (yep, we are old neighbours with long complex ties in history).
19
locals recommend
Kauppatori
19
locals recommend
The Market Place is one of the must-do's in Helsinki. This is also where the ferries for Suomenlinna depart. Additionally, in summer time connection boats to Korkeasaari Zoo, Vallisaari and Porvoo depart from here, as do the numerous Helsinki sightseeing cruises. So this is the epicenter of maritime Helsinki. The Presidential Castle is located on the opposite side of the Market Square. However, please do not mix it with the Swedish Embassy (yep, we are old neighbours with long complex ties in history).
The Old Market Hall is a favourite wander for food experience.
20
locals recommend
Covered Market
20
locals recommend
The Old Market Hall is a favourite wander for food experience.
The Helsinki Cathedral, a classic must-see.
79
locals recommend
Helsinki Cathedral
29 Unionsgatan
79
locals recommend
The Helsinki Cathedral, a classic must-see.
The Senate Square has famous buildings around it such as the Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki University, and the Finnish Government Building. So this is the Centre and historical setting of Helsinki in many ways. The neighbourhood adjacent to Senate Square is the old and official part of Helsinki, built uniformly in Empire-style. Between Senate Square and Market Square there are plenty of opportunities for shopping and eating.
26
locals recommend
Senate Square (Senaatintori)
26
locals recommend
The Senate Square has famous buildings around it such as the Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki University, and the Finnish Government Building. So this is the Centre and historical setting of Helsinki in many ways. The neighbourhood adjacent to Senate Square is the old and official part of Helsinki, built uniformly in Empire-style. Between Senate Square and Market Square there are plenty of opportunities for shopping and eating.
Visiting Helsinki without enough time to see Old Porvoo is kind of deficient, in my mind at least. You don't see these kind of charming medieval wooden towns elsewhere, they are to my understanding a true Nordic phenomenon of a rare and very charming type. You can reach Porvoo that is 50 km away by buses departing from the Kamppi main bus station (about an hours ride per direction). In summertime, a fantastic way to visit Porvoo is by making a day trip with the boat "Runeberg", built at same year as Titanic (1912, but still going strong!) departing from the Market Square.
7
locals recommend
Old Porvoo
7
locals recommend
Visiting Helsinki without enough time to see Old Porvoo is kind of deficient, in my mind at least. You don't see these kind of charming medieval wooden towns elsewhere, they are to my understanding a true Nordic phenomenon of a rare and very charming type. You can reach Porvoo that is 50 km away by buses departing from the Kamppi main bus station (about an hours ride per direction). In summertime, a fantastic way to visit Porvoo is by making a day trip with the boat "Runeberg", built at same year as Titanic (1912, but still going strong!) departing from the Market Square.
Suomenlinna fortification used to be the military stronghold to protect Helsinki and Finland from all threats imaginable as the Gibraltar of the North. In the end, it didn't go quite so, but the history is definitely interesting and the place a popular visit for the sights and views for tourists and locals alike. It is spectacular to see the big passenger boats pass the narrow channel just a few meters from fortifications. You can reach Suomenlinna by a connection ferry departing from Kauppatori, near Allas Sea Pool.
206
locals recommend
Suomenlinna
206
locals recommend
Suomenlinna fortification used to be the military stronghold to protect Helsinki and Finland from all threats imaginable as the Gibraltar of the North. In the end, it didn't go quite so, but the history is definitely interesting and the place a popular visit for the sights and views for tourists and locals alike. It is spectacular to see the big passenger boats pass the narrow channel just a few meters from fortifications. You can reach Suomenlinna by a connection ferry departing from Kauppatori, near Allas Sea Pool.
This is the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Helsinki. There is a special, exotic and relaxing atmosphere inside, in the western minds of us Lutheran Finns.
38
locals recommend
Uspenski Cathedral
1 Kanalgatan
38
locals recommend
This is the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Helsinki. There is a special, exotic and relaxing atmosphere inside, in the western minds of us Lutheran Finns.
Korkeasaari is the number one Zoo in Finland, located in a small island separated by a strait from Katajanokka. To go there, you can take ferry from Kauppatori in summertime, or choose metro/bus connection from the north end of the island. When the weather is completely still and sounds of the city fade away in the evening, you can sometimes hear the lions roaming.
34
locals recommend
Helsinki Zoo
12 Blåbärslandsstigen
34
locals recommend
Korkeasaari is the number one Zoo in Finland, located in a small island separated by a strait from Katajanokka. To go there, you can take ferry from Kauppatori in summertime, or choose metro/bus connection from the north end of the island. When the weather is completely still and sounds of the city fade away in the evening, you can sometimes hear the lions roaming.
This Church is built into rock, that's why its is often called Rock Church. We Finns know it however as the Church of Temple Square (Temppeliaukion kirkko). It is one the most visited sights of Helsinki.
61
locals recommend
Temppeliaukion Church
3 Lutherinkatu
61
locals recommend
This Church is built into rock, that's why its is often called Rock Church. We Finns know it however as the Church of Temple Square (Temppeliaukion kirkko). It is one the most visited sights of Helsinki.
Sibelius is the most famous composer of Finland and this is a sculpture for him. Pretty much all Finns recognise at least the Finlandia hymn of Sibelius and may even get sentimental about it. His home was "Ainola" at Järvenpää about 30 km north of Helsinki, currently a museum. There used to be also other artists living in the area so there are other museums worth mentioning there as well, such as Halosenniemi and Aleksis Kivi Cottage, both by lake Tuusulanjärvi at Järvenpää.
72
locals recommend
Sibelius Monument
72
locals recommend
Sibelius is the most famous composer of Finland and this is a sculpture for him. Pretty much all Finns recognise at least the Finlandia hymn of Sibelius and may even get sentimental about it. His home was "Ainola" at Järvenpää about 30 km north of Helsinki, currently a museum. There used to be also other artists living in the area so there are other museums worth mentioning there as well, such as Halosenniemi and Aleksis Kivi Cottage, both by lake Tuusulanjärvi at Järvenpää.
Getting Around
This pier is where Helsinki sightseeing cruises depart. Several providers. There truly is some serious archipelago in front of Helsinki.
Stromma - Helsinki Sightseeing by boat
This pier is where Helsinki sightseeing cruises depart. Several providers. There truly is some serious archipelago in front of Helsinki.
A ferry terminal for ferries to Stockholm and Tallinn. There are several ferry terminals in the city but this is the one that is really nearby.
9
locals recommend
Viking Line
8 Skatuddskajen
9
locals recommend
A ferry terminal for ferries to Stockholm and Tallinn. There are several ferry terminals in the city but this is the one that is really nearby.
Hop-On Hop-Off Red Buses
Parks & Nature
A city park in the centre of Helsinki. For a leisurely stroll, cafes and shopping. The cafe/restaurant "Kappeli" which you'll for sure notice, was constructed in 1867. Facing Kappeli, on Pohjoisesplanadi street, are restaurant "Aino" (recommend) and Robert's Coffee "Jugend" which is phenomenal inside (really great Jugend style hall, I mean).
43
locals recommend
Esplanadi
43
locals recommend
A city park in the centre of Helsinki. For a leisurely stroll, cafes and shopping. The cafe/restaurant "Kappeli" which you'll for sure notice, was constructed in 1867. Facing Kappeli, on Pohjoisesplanadi street, are restaurant "Aino" (recommend) and Robert's Coffee "Jugend" which is phenomenal inside (really great Jugend style hall, I mean).
This is a protected reed area famous for birds with nice marked walking routes and bird watching towers, and a bird-watching hide by a pond.
Lammassaaren pitkospuut
This is a protected reed area famous for birds with nice marked walking routes and bird watching towers, and a bird-watching hide by a pond.
This is the flagship national park near Helsinki. The distance is about 35 kilometers or 1 hour with public transportation.
64
locals recommend
Nuuksio National Park
84 Nuuksiontie
64
locals recommend
This is the flagship national park near Helsinki. The distance is about 35 kilometers or 1 hour with public transportation.
Vallisaari is a recently opened area (it used to be a restricted area due to former military use) with a scenic walking route in summer time. Boat transportation to Vallisaari departs from Kauppatori.
21
locals recommend
Vallisaari
21
locals recommend
Vallisaari is a recently opened area (it used to be a restricted area due to former military use) with a scenic walking route in summer time. Boat transportation to Vallisaari departs from Kauppatori.
Haltiala is at the other end of Helsinki Central Park, which extends as a greenway for 15 kilometers north from Helsinki. Haltiala which is a forested outdoor area is at the other end of it. The Haltiala Garden is a proper farmhouse with many kinds of animals around to be looked at, such as lambs, pigs, cattle and cats. If you have strong feet and a brave heart, you may want to give a try to a close to 40 km bicycle loop heading north via Central Park and returning along Vantaa river... map reading skills required, though! Otherwise, I'd take a bus.
11
locals recommend
Haltialan kotieläintila
17 Lagmansvägen
11
locals recommend
Haltiala is at the other end of Helsinki Central Park, which extends as a greenway for 15 kilometers north from Helsinki. Haltiala which is a forested outdoor area is at the other end of it. The Haltiala Garden is a proper farmhouse with many kinds of animals around to be looked at, such as lambs, pigs, cattle and cats. If you have strong feet and a brave heart, you may want to give a try to a close to 40 km bicycle loop heading north via Central Park and returning along Vantaa river... map reading skills required, though! Otherwise, I'd take a bus.
Arts & Culture
The flagship arts museum of Finland. A fifteen minute walk away. Or take the tram #4 to go near.
82
locals recommend
Ateneum
2 Kaivokatu
82
locals recommend
The flagship arts museum of Finland. A fifteen minute walk away. Or take the tram #4 to go near.
The new arts museum in Helsinki and quite a special one indeed. Don't forget to check out the roof outside. Easily reached with tram #4.
27
locals recommend
Amos Rex
22-24 Mannerheimintie
27
locals recommend
The new arts museum in Helsinki and quite a special one indeed. Don't forget to check out the roof outside. Easily reached with tram #4.
Museum for modern art. Easily reached with tram #4.
141
locals recommend
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
2 Mannerheiminaukio
141
locals recommend
Museum for modern art. Easily reached with tram #4.
The National Opera and Ballet of Finland. Easily reached with tram #4.
17
locals recommend
Finnish National Opera
58 Helsinginkatu
17
locals recommend
The National Opera and Ballet of Finland. Easily reached with tram #4.
Main entrance to the main building of Helsinki University. Round the corner at Yliopistonkatu, "Tiedekulma" or "Think Corner" is a nice university space featuring cafe, bookshop and a discussion forum programme.
Helsingin yliopisto
33 Fabianinkatu
Main entrance to the main building of Helsinki University. Round the corner at Yliopistonkatu, "Tiedekulma" or "Think Corner" is a nice university space featuring cafe, bookshop and a discussion forum programme.
The Music Hall of Helsinki, featuring concerts for classical music. Easily reached with tram #4.
Music Hall
The Music Hall of Helsinki, featuring concerts for classical music. Easily reached with tram #4.
This museum is a great place to those of us interested to learn about fauna of Finland.
41
locals recommend
Finnish Museum of Natural History
13 Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu
41
locals recommend
This museum is a great place to those of us interested to learn about fauna of Finland.
Seurasaari is an outdoor museum area, good for making a walk in a nice inner island looking at historic wooden buildings. And squirrels, those will you see!
79
locals recommend
Seurasaari
79
locals recommend
Seurasaari is an outdoor museum area, good for making a walk in a nice inner island looking at historic wooden buildings. And squirrels, those will you see!
The Finlandia Hall, designed by world-famous architect Alvar Aalto, is known for its architecture. A place for concerts and conferences.
25
locals recommend
Finlandia Hall
13 Mannerheimintie
25
locals recommend
The Finlandia Hall, designed by world-famous architect Alvar Aalto, is known for its architecture. A place for concerts and conferences.
Food Scene
For a traditionally Finnish menu, check out the web pages of https://www.asravintolat.fi/en/ for restaurants "Savotta" (by the Senate Square), "Saaga" (Lapland experience) or "Savu" (which actually is in one of the oldest buildings of Helsinki even though you wouldn't believe it as it is only a simple wooden storage house originally). Another nice Lapland -style restaurant is "Lappi" (https://lappires.com/en/homepage/).
Restaurant Savotta
For a traditionally Finnish menu, check out the web pages of https://www.asravintolat.fi/en/ for restaurants "Savotta" (by the Senate Square), "Saaga" (Lapland experience) or "Savu" (which actually is in one of the oldest buildings of Helsinki even though you wouldn't believe it as it is only a simple wooden storage house originally). Another nice Lapland -style restaurant is "Lappi" (https://lappires.com/en/homepage/).
In case the stereotypically Finnish restaurants listed before would not be to your liking due to too many fellow international travellers, you may want to try a couple of authentic places in which the other customers would for all likelihood be locals. Traditional food, simple classics. "Kolme Kruunua" at Liisankatu 5 (https://www.kolmekruunua.fi/en/menu-en/a-la-carte-en) would be one and "Wellamo" at Vyökatu 9 the other. For excellent Finnish food in a stylish location with no extra hassle you could try "Aino" restaurant at Pohjoisesplanadi 21.
Gallery Restaurant Wellamo
9 Gördelgatan
In case the stereotypically Finnish restaurants listed before would not be to your liking due to too many fellow international travellers, you may want to try a couple of authentic places in which the other customers would for all likelihood be locals. Traditional food, simple classics. "Kolme Kruunua" at Liisankatu 5 (https://www.kolmekruunua.fi/en/menu-en/a-la-carte-en) would be one and "Wellamo" at Vyökatu 9 the other. For excellent Finnish food in a stylish location with no extra hassle you could try "Aino" restaurant at Pohjoisesplanadi 21.
Kanavaranta is a nice short waterfront pedestrian street just round the corner from the apartment with food, cafes and bars, next to a nice guest harbour, with old schooners and a lighthouse ship facing the area. My favourite stroll, unbeatable in summertime. The restaurants include "Shelter" (good and cosy), "Niska" (for a pizza experience) and "Nokka" (high-end except for bargain lunch). Cafe Johan&Nyström is my favourite in Helsinki for its coziness.
Kanalkajen 5
5 Kanavaranta
Kanavaranta is a nice short waterfront pedestrian street just round the corner from the apartment with food, cafes and bars, next to a nice guest harbour, with old schooners and a lighthouse ship facing the area. My favourite stroll, unbeatable in summertime. The restaurants include "Shelter" (good and cosy), "Niska" (for a pizza experience) and "Nokka" (high-end except for bargain lunch). Cafe Johan&Nyström is my favourite in Helsinki for its coziness.
You can enjoy a restaurant lunch or evening meal in hotel restaurant "Linnankellari" in the premises of former Helsinki County Prison dating back to 1888. Before 2002 it was serving only its original clientele and after 2007 anybody, as a hotel with stylishly visible signs of its former use. Lunch is served 11.30-14 and a la carte after 5 pm. https://linnankellari.fi/en/food-drink/
Hotel Katajanokka
1 Merikasarminkatu
You can enjoy a restaurant lunch or evening meal in hotel restaurant "Linnankellari" in the premises of former Helsinki County Prison dating back to 1888. Before 2002 it was serving only its original clientele and after 2007 anybody, as a hotel with stylishly visible signs of its former use. Lunch is served 11.30-14 and a la carte after 5 pm. https://linnankellari.fi/en/food-drink/
Restaurant Nokka is your high end restaurant nearby. They also serve a simple but good quality option as for your lunch.
10
locals recommend
Ravintola Nokka
7 Kanalkajen
10
locals recommend
Restaurant Nokka is your high end restaurant nearby. They also serve a simple but good quality option as for your lunch.
In addition to the restaurants of Kanavaranta street and the Finnish restaurants I have listed, there are various ethnic restaurants nearby such as Italian "Rodolfo" (Kirkkokatu 5), Korean "Korea House" (Mariankatu 19), Nepalese "Mount Everest" and "Nepali Chulo" (Luotsikatu 12 and Meritullinkatu 13), Thai "Doi Thai" (Meritullinkatu 5), German "Zinnkeller" (Meritullinkatu 25) and Cafe Lov (e.g. Flammkuchen, Mariankatu 13), Chinese "Furuma Cuisine" (Katajanokanlaituri 5) and Vietnamese "Cafe No.5" (for lunch, Kirkkokatu 5).
Ravintola Rodolfo
5 Kirkkokatu
In addition to the restaurants of Kanavaranta street and the Finnish restaurants I have listed, there are various ethnic restaurants nearby such as Italian "Rodolfo" (Kirkkokatu 5), Korean "Korea House" (Mariankatu 19), Nepalese "Mount Everest" and "Nepali Chulo" (Luotsikatu 12 and Meritullinkatu 13), Thai "Doi Thai" (Meritullinkatu 5), German "Zinnkeller" (Meritullinkatu 25) and Cafe Lov (e.g. Flammkuchen, Mariankatu 13), Chinese "Furuma Cuisine" (Katajanokanlaituri 5) and Vietnamese "Cafe No.5" (for lunch, Kirkkokatu 5).
Your preferred cafe could be this particular one, Cafe Johan&Nyström, that is my personal favourite in Helsinki for both its coziness and next door location.
28
locals recommend
Johan & Nyström - Kanavaranta
7 C Kanalkajen
28
locals recommend
Your preferred cafe could be this particular one, Cafe Johan&Nyström, that is my personal favourite in Helsinki for both its coziness and next door location.