Katajanokka is a hub of eclectic architecture and intriguing relics from the Russian rule in Helsinki. Mostly dating back to the early 1900s, the area is home to western Europe’s largest Russian Orthodox church and a small harbor with cruise ferries. Wander through the charming streets to admire its interesting architecture.
The magnificent Uspenski Cathedral greets visitors to the northwestern part of the district. Admire the grandiose dark red façade with green spires and golden domes. Enter the church to see how its ornate nave differs from the simpler interiors of the city’s Lutheran churches.
Enjoy a picnic on the lawn in this serene area. Wander up the hill on which the church stands for a panoramic view of the Katajanokka neighborhood. Go on the Finnair Skywheel for a vista from 131 feet (40 meters) in the air.
Other notable landmarks include the complex of yellow buildings of the former naval barracks and the unusual cube-like structure of the Stora Enso headquarters. Explore the Luotsikatu part of the district for its rows of art nouveau buildings. The Tallberg House is among the highlights with its black turrets and crimson facade.
Stroll through the small port in the southern part of the district. Take a ferry to an international destination, such as Stockholm or Tallinn. The harbor contains a restaurant and shops. Peruse the stalls in the market that opens here in the afternoon and purchase souvenirs and fresh fish.
Learn about the refined status and artistic ambiance of the neighborhood, where former Finnish President Mauno Koivisto and the composer Einojuhani Rautavaara reside. Note that the neighborhood is technically an island due to an artificial canal that cuts it off from the mainland. Cross one of the three bridges to get here.
Katajanokka is a headland a little to the east of downtown Helsinki. Walk east for 15 minutes from the Helsinki Railway Station to reach the narrow canal that separates the neighborhood from the mainland. Ride a bus to one of the many stops on the mini island. Nearby attractions include the Senate Square, the Havis Amanda statue and the Market Square.