As one of the main European capitals, Helsinki is a land full of islands, activities and rich history. Over 300 islands around this city make it an ideal place for tourists. Whether it is a summer adventure or winter vacation, the largest city in Finland offers a memorable time.
Helsinki has the most beautiful design, so genius it’s awarded the City of Design by UNESCO. That shows how much creativity and elegance it has. More of its alluring qualities include magnificent views of the sea, a lot of space for walking, hiking or biking, great food and interesting culture.
It’s not uncommon for people to come back for a longer stay after their initial visit, and since even more modest vacation apartments in Helsinki offer some breathtaking views, you don't have to be a social butterfly and overly energetic person to get a taste of its amazing architecture.
Besides the amazing cafes where you can get stuck for hours without noticing, there are more hidden beauties that await you.
Helsinki Central Railway Station
Since opened in 1919, this is the most visited building of Finland. Over 200,000 passengers walk through this landmark every day. It’s located in the center of the city with a clock tower and two huge statues of men holding spherical lamps in front of the door. Here’s a little known fact, the station has a waiting lounge for the president of Finland, 540 square feet long. Near the station are exclusive restaurants, but they might be slightly expensive.
Museums in Finland turn the haters into inspired people who end up buying a Museum Card for access to museums all around the country. The good thing is that you don’t have to pay for entrance right away, some museums offer a free pass on the first week of the month. The top four museums to check out are:
1. Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiasma is one of the leading museums of contemporary art and a huge architectural landmark. With domestic and international exhibitions, it tends to make art closer to the people and thereby offers new perspectives on life. The dominant material is the light, so the texture of the building shapes and changes according to the natural light. It has a glass ceiling, staircases that wind in a different direction, curving corridors, and ramps for all five floors.
2. Ateneum - National Museum of Art
Containing everything from modern to art dating back to the 19th century, Ateneum is considered the home of Finnish art. Since the Finnish care about perspective, the goal of this museum is to open the views of the past and into the future. Tours, workshops, and speeches from experts are available, and on the regular themed days, free ingress is provided to the new audience.
3. Kansallismuseo - Finnish National Museum
This museum contains art that represents the history from medieval times to the 19th century. In the main entrance hall, the ceiling is covered with marvelous paintings and throughout the tour visitors can see what life was like in the Middle Ages, sea voyages, romanticism and 70’s nostalgia as well as interactive workshops for studying the history and culture of Finland.
4. Designmuseo – Design Museum
There is no history and no future without art. This beautiful building from 1894 is the home of the Design Museum and its interesting exhibitions. Beside the development of design exhibitions, the Design Museum holds handicraft dating to the second half of the 19th century. Visitors can see the progress of industrial and art design as well as some Finish classics.
For a long time, there was a lot of talk about building the Guggenheim museum, but the Helsinki city council rejected the plan.
Temppeliaukio Church is called the Rock Church because of the rocks used to create the walls. It’s natural-looking with great acoustics. In fact, due to its great acoustics, concerts are often held there. Although Rock Church is one of the most popular places, Helsinki also has the Kamppi Chapel of Silence at the entrance of a shopping center.
In the middle of the rushed and crowded area, there is a place to calm your thoughts, see interesting exhibitions and even talk with the priest or a social worker. In addition, tourists of Helsinki can see Western Europe’s largest church.
Red brick exterior and golden cupolas show the Russian influence in the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral, but nothing can beat the beauty of the Helsinki symbol, an Evangelic Lutheran church, the Helsinki Cathedral.
Helsinki is a preserved blended culture of the Russian and European influence. Starting with the taste, this town has it all; the sea and nature with majestic sites, parks, amazing architecture, reliable public transportation, inspiring coffee shops and people who talk only when they have something of value to say. A place where one can relax and be surrounded by art.
Feeling adventurous? You can choose the firsthand experience from the locals, but as they tend to mind their own business and keep quiet for the most par, it’s better to go with someone. Solo or with loved ones, this trip is life changing.