Helsinki’s art, architecture, and cultural practices are influenced by both Western and Eastern European traditions, giving it a distinct character and singular charm. Head to Senate Square for a look at the statues and buildings of the city’s best-known public space. You’ll see the imposing Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral as well as Government Palace. Architecture and design fans will notice the work of Carl Ludvig Engel, Eliel Saarinen, and Alvar Aalto all around town. Visit the Helsinki City Museum, the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Aalto House, or the Design Museum to learn about Finnish and Helsinkian design traditions.
History buffs will want to visit the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. Built by the Swedish in the 18th century, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features a museum, cafés, and even restaurants. To see artifacts from throughout the country’s history, spend a few hours in the National Museum of Finland.
Set aside at least a day to explore the city’s many art museums and galleries. Head to the Ateneum and Sinebrychoff Museums for a collection of classical Finnish and European works. For contemporary art, visit the Kiasma Museum.
Anyone looking to pick up a cool souvenir or a bite to eat should visit Old Market Hall and Market Square. For a cool atmosphere and trendy shops, explore the Design District or walk along the Esplanade. To take a break from the city, catch a ferry to one of the nearby islands. You’ll find historical houses on Seurasaari and Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari.
Helsinki is the cultural and economic hub of Finland and sits on a peninsula at the very south of the country and is surrounded by the waters of the Baltic Sea. It is a Nordic capital with a special charm, offering style, architecture, and a large number of museums and galleries.