If you’re planning a trip to Finland this autumn, you might be wondering what some of the must-visit places in Helsinki are. You’ll be pleased to know that Helsinki won’t be too cold at this time of year, with average temperatures of around 14 – 16 degrees centigrade. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your winter woollies though, and make sure to pack some comfortable shoes for walking, as there are so many must-visit places in Helsinki that you could find yourself on your feet all day! Here are some places you simply can’t afford to miss during your trip.
Whether you’re dotty about design, adore architecture or go crackers for creativity, you need to visit Helsinki’s Design District; it’s one of the must-visit places in Helsinki. The best way to see the area is on foot, on one of the tailored walking routes – you can find more information about the routes and what you’ll see on Helsinki’s official tourism website: visithelsinki.fi. For those interested in sustainability, the ‘sustainable design shopping and local food’ walking route will be right up your street!
Opened in 1950, this popular family amusement park is home to plenty of thrilling, white-knuckle rides as well as more relaxed rides perfect for younger visitors. Don’t leave without a ride on the wooden rollercoaster – it’s more than 50 years old, but don’t let that scare you! Once you’ve had your fill of rides, there are plenty of games to enjoy at the amusement arcades, or take in a live performance at the outdoor stage.
Some people go on holiday for the sun, sea, sand and local food, whilst others like to soak up some of the culture and tradition of a country. If the latter applies to you, you’ll love Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, where you can see a range of buildings and interiors dating back to the 18th century – it’s a real insight into how people used to live, from peasants and crofters to Finnish gentry. Take a guided tour or enjoy craft demonstrations by the guides, dressed in traditional national costumes, a great way to understand local culture!
Opened in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki, and once you see it for yourself you’ll understand why! Hewn out of bedrock, the church is a popular concert venue thanks to its acoustics and a night here watching local musicians play won’t be something that you will forget in a hurry! Make sure you pack your camera as you’re sure to take some stunning shots of the interior.
You might think that if you’ve seen one zoo, you’ve seen them all, but you haven’t seen Helsinki Zoo! It’s one of the world’s oldest zoos and was founded in 1889, yet still retains a charm today that children and adults alike will love. Home to more than 200 species of animals, you’ll be able to spot many endangered species that are part of the zoo’s protection program. Helsinki Zoo is not only a great spot for a family day out, it’s a great place for a cozy date too!
Helsinki is a great place to relax and unwind, and where better to do so than in one of the city’s many traditional saunas? The Kaurila Sauna is a wood-heated sauna dating back to the 19th century where you can enjoy a Finnish log sauna experience that is sure to ease aches and pains, leaving you feeling refreshed! If you’re travelling with a group of friends, you can even take advantage of private hire for the day – an adjoining room has a huge wooden dining table where you can enjoy dinner after your experience.
Are you a fan of the unknown? If so, you’re going to absolutely love this quirky little gallery, which shows regularly changing exhibitions with one noticeable twist – you don’t find out who the artists are until after the show! The idea is to allow you to experience the art without being influenced by context or preconceptions about the artist, but to enjoy it for what it is. You’ll find a range of artists' exhibits here, from relatively unknown names to acclaimed artists from across the globe, and part of the fun is trying to guess who the artist is!
The title of this might not sound instantly appealing, but Finland is renowned for its herring, so it would be rude not to try it really! If you’re staying with friends or in self-catering accommodation with cooking facilities, come and check out Helsinki’s annual herring fair, which is the oldest traditional event to be held in the city, dating back to the mid 1700s. This year you’ll find the fair running from 6th – 12th October.
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium was constructed in 1938, and the views from the top of its 72 meter high tower are out of this world! You’ll be able to see the whole of the city, and afterwards, why not take a stroll around the Sports Museum of Finland, to find out more about the country’s sporting history. A visit to the tower is another great photo opportunity during your holiday, so make sure you don’t get caught out by forgetting to charge your camera!
Whatever your idea of a good time, you’ll find it here in Helsinki, whether you love shopping, art and culture or history. These 9 places are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cool things to do in Finland, and you don’t have to spend your whole break in Helsinki; you could take a day trip to one of the other nearby towns and cities or a hiking tour in the Finnish countryside, which has some of the most spectacular scenery! Where are your favorite places to visit in Helsinki, and what do you think of it as a top holiday destination?
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