Prime 10 Superior FREE Issues To Do in Helsinki (Finland)

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I used to be invited to Helsinki months in the past by its tourism board to be able to participate of their marketing campaign named #HelsinkiSecret. Their easy but thrilling goal for this challenge was to introduce town to vacationers like me as they deliberate experiences that might give us an outline of how the locals dwell on this distinguished capital of Finland. (Free Issues to Do in Helsinki)

I stayed there for every week in a fantastic residence lodge known as Aallonkoti, and certainly, such a span of time and keep was sufficient for me to fall deeply in love with Helsinki.

I can’t fairly describe the precise wondrous feeling that I felt, however the closest description that I can say is that although it’s a metropolis that’s dynamic and esthetic, it nonetheless had such a ‘small city’ feeling to it — I simply felt proper at ‘dwelling’, which should be the explanation why I left part of my coronary heart there. True sufficient, it was extremely refreshing how town strikes on in such a laid-back method.

Nevertheless, don’t let its measurement idiot you. It is probably not an enormous metropolis, however it’s full of tons of attention-grabbing sights and actions that may simply refill your journey itinerary. For a begin although, it’s at all times nice to know the highest FREE issues to do in Helsinki, and so right here they’re!

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Free Issues to Do in Finland

1.Discover town on foot to see its well-known landmarks

Photograph by: Ewan Bell / Go to Helsink

With an space of round 180 km², you might think about how Helsinki is a compact metropolis making it simply explored on foot! In any other case, with their very good tram and bus system, you’ll be able to attain sure areas or districts very quickly.

So other than parks, church buildings, cathedrals, museums, and procuring areas, (which I might be discussing under in different high free issues to do in Helsinki), there are 3 different major sights that you will need to completely see; and I guess that very similar to me, you’ll be amazed at Helsinki’s charming structure. They’re, in any case, awarded because the World Design Capital final 2012 and that claims a ton in regards to the prevalence of design and artwork amongst many others.

  • Senate Sq.: This place shows distinctive Neoclassical structure stuffed with 4 domineering buildings: the Authorities Palace, the Helsinki Cathedral, the Nationwide Library of Finland, and the College of Helsinki. You can even discover the Sederholm Home right here within the southeast a part of the sq. which is alleged to be the oldest stone constructing within the metropolis.

TRIVIA: Each 5:49PM, you’ll hear the “Sound of the Senate Sq.” which is a composition by Harri Viitanen and Jyrki Alakuijala and a moden model of the European glockenspiel (xylophone-like instrument).

  • Central Railway Station (Rautatieasema): Again in 2013, this station was known as one of many world’s most lovely railway stations by BBC — and it’s no surprise why. As you set foot right here, you’ll be awed by its design and additionally, you will see 2 distinguishing options: the clock tower and the pair of male statues which can be holding spherical lamps. That is, by all means, the point of interest of public transport within the space and with the variety of passengers that come right here daily, naturally, it turned Finland’s most-visited constructing.

TRIVIA: Some folks stated that Batman’s Gotham Metropolis was influenced by the structure on this railway station.

  • Olympic Stadium: In 1952, the Olympic Video games had been held right here. Right now, it hosts nationwide and worldwide sports activities and outside live performance occasions. One of many cool issues about that is its ‘Stadium Tower’ that rises 72 meters excessive. For a small payment (€5 for adults), you’ll be able to go as much as see a fowl’s eye view of central Helsinki. Regrettably, January 2016 marks the renovation of the Olympic Stadium however it’s going to open up once more by 2019!

TIP: Be a part of a metropolis tour of Helsinki right here, or it’s also possible to be a part of a hop-on hop-off tour bus right here.

2.Benefit from the FREE museums!

Photograph by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Finland

Most of Helsinki’s museums are paid, however they’ve sure days when entrance is free; subsequently in case you can time your keep effectively, you’ll be able to positively take pleasure in these perks as one in all your high free issues to do in Helsinki.

Anyhow, entrance charges are sometimes low cost. However if you need a complete package deal deal, you’ll be able to select to buy a Helsinki Card that’s value €41/day and it will grant you entry to museums, sightseeing excursions and a lot extra!

Listed here are the highest museums which you’ll be able to enter for free:

  • Suomenlinna Sea Fortress: this isn’t precisely a museum per se, nevertheless as one of many largest sea fortresses on the earth, its wealthy historical past is sufficient for it to be considered considerably of a ‘museum’ in itself (relaxation assured, there are distinct museums within the island). Now, this is without doubt one of the hottest sights not solely in Helsinki however the entire of Finland; in addition to, it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1991 on account of the way it portrays distinctive European army structure.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll must pay for the ferry to go to this island (which may be free with the Helsinki Card.
  • Seurasaari Open-Air Museum: that is one more island close to Helsinki that’s value wanting into as a result of it’s on this place the place you’ll be able to see a tranquil oasis of Finnish buildings which can be specifically relocated right here to be able to completely painting the normal Finnish lifestyle.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll must pay for the ferry to go to this island (which may be free with the Helsinki Card) or it’s also possible to go through a bridge from Meihlahti.
  • Finnish Museum of Pure Historical past: to see the variety of Finnish nature (from south to north of Lapland) but in addition of the world as a complete.
    • FREE on the first Friday of the month
  • Kiasma – Museum of Modern Artwork: because the title implies, Kiasma reveals up to date artwork collections of the Finnish Pure Gallery.
    • FREE on the first Friday of the month
  • Nationwide Museum of Finland: to witness Finnish historical past from the Stone Age as much as the current day.
    • FREE on the first Friday of the month

3.Enterprise out into Kallio

Photograph by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

Dubbed a ‘hipster haven’, Kallio is an attention-grabbing neighborhood that’s situated north of Helsinki’s heart. It’s on this district the place one can find distinctive boutiques, cafes, market halls, eating places, retailers, and extra — an array of selections that may simply seize your fancy! So be happy to discover and pattern and let your senses go wild.

A few of which you shouldn’t miss which can be in and close to this space:

  • Hakaniemi Market Corridor: From contemporary meals to souvenirs and handicrafts, this 2-storeyed market corridor can also be located subsequent to a market sq. whereby a number of outside stalls present typical Finnish items.
  • Outdated Market Corridor (Vanhakauppahalli): That is the oldest meals market corridor in Helsinki, courting again to 1889. That is close to Kallio (particularly within the metropolis heart subsequent to the market sq.) and I LOVED getting into this place as a result of there have been a number of colourful stalls that offered Finnish delicacies (which you’ll be able to pattern too!) and lunch spots that promote nice dishes (reminiscent of that of Soppakeittiö or “Soup Kitchen” the place you may get a great-tasting bouillabaisse).

4.Do some window-shopping

Photograph by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

It’s a good way to acquaint your self with the standard items and fare which can be distinctive to Helsinki and Finland as a complete — and who is aware of, you may discover some low cost finds!

Two of the fascinating issues that it is best to look out for as one of many high free issues to do in Helsinki are:

  • Moomin Store: Finnish folks LOVE the Moomins that are mainly fairytale “trolls” (that appear to be cute hippos). If one would give it some thought laborious sufficient, they’re in all probability probably the most adored Finnish icon (other than Santa Claus). Created by the author and artist Tove Jansson within the Nineteen Forties, you’ll be able to see these characters up shut on this Moomin Store for instance which is situated within the Discussion board procuring heart.
    • TRIVIA: New clients can take pleasure in a ten% low cost.
  • Design District: If you’re a design fanatic, strolling by means of the Design District might be an absolute pleasure for you! This was truly an area initiative that started in 2005 whereby they determined to cluster collectively all of the inventive companies within the neighborhood — suppose vogue shops, jewellery retailers, artwork galleries, showrooms, resorts, eating places, and others.

5.See town’s iconic cathedrals

Photograph by: Joni Rousku / Go to Helsinki

There are two that I can consider they usually had been each marvelous sights to see!

  • Helsinki Cathedral: Smacked in the course of Senate Sq. (talked about in #1), it’s not a surprise to know that this Lutheran Cathedral is probably the most photographed landmark in Helsinki as it’s such a particular landmark within the cityscape — some Finnish folks would even consult with its because the image of town.
    • TRIVIA: This was initially constructed as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland.
  • Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral: That is stated to be the biggest orthodox church in Western Europe which is a transparent signal of the Russian affect on Finland’s historical past. As historical past goes, this cathedral was devoted to the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) and it’s majestic each in and out.
    • You’ll be completely pleased to know that entrance right here is freed from cost, very similar to Helsinki Cathedral which is not like most cathedrals throughout Europe that usually have an entrance payment.

6.Witness the distinctive church buildings too

Photograph by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

Very like the cathedrals that I’ve listed, I’ve additionally found 2 church buildings that had been very particular — principally due to how they had been constructed.

Like what you see within the pictures above (the one on high of this quantity and the brown construction within the featured photograph), these should not the standard church buildings that you’d usually see in cities; therefore with their uniqueness, I like to recommend that you simply take the time to test them out as a part of your free issues to do in Helsinki!

  • Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Church): A Lutheran church within the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki, this was quarried out of pure bedrock so each the inside and exterior had been created naturally and the remaining had been designed by two architects: the Suomalainen brothers. I swear to you, the second that I stepped into this, I used to be totally awed by its aesthetics!
  • Chapel of Silence (Kamppi Chapel): That is an enthralling chapel because it welcomes everybody regardless of their faith, philosophies, and background. It mainly provides itself as a spot of calm if you wish to get away from the hype of town; however other than its perform, its facade is totally quirky — an ideal instance of up to date structure.

7.Take pleasure in nature within the metropolis’s inexperienced parks

Photograph by: Paul Williams / Go to Helsinki

In case you need to escape town scene in the hunt for inexperienced areas to lounge in, I can guarantee you now that there are a number of parks unfold out throughout Helsinki. The very best ones can be:

  • Helsinki Central Park: With an space of over 10 sq. kilometers, that is truly extra of a forest with trails moderately than a park, and other people come right here to jog, cycle, trip horses, choose mushrooms, and so forth.
  • Esplanade Park: Discovered within the coronary heart of Helsinki, it is a frequent place that locals would go to. Throughout summer time, there are even free concert events which can be being performed right here from the Espa stage. Some examples of the exhibits are Marimekko Style Present in June and the Jazz-Espa live performance sequence in July.
  • Sibelius Park: An unlimited and wonderful patch of inexperienced, this was named after the world-famous composer Jean Sibelius and one of many fashionable sights can be the Sibelius Monument which is a grand work of metal that resembles organ pipes and rises at 8.5 meters.

8.Watch free concert events!

Photograph by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

For extra free issues to do in Helsinki, I’ve come to know of two locations the place you’ll be able to have the prospect to observe concert events at no cost:

  • Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo): Opened simply final 2011, this first-class live performance corridor provides a variety of musical experiences. Although a lot of the exhibits are paid, there are sometimes free concert events (usually by music college students) that welcome nearly anybody. To be careful for these, take a look at their schedule right here.
  • Finnish Nationwide Opera: It is a state-owned Finnish opera that was constructed within the Nineteen Nineties and there are a number of affairs you can partake in without cost: the Saturday chamber music live performance, artwork exhibitions, manufacturing displays, artist briefings, and so forth.
  • Finlandia Corridor: Designed by the world-renowned End architect, Alvar Aalto, it is a dynamic venue for congresses and occasions. Now I did say 2 locations, however I nonetheless wished to incorporate Finlandia right here as a result of regardless that they don’t have free concert events, admission right here is free so you’ll be able to are available in and see its wondrous structure for your self.

9.Be a part of town’s annual occasions

Photograph by: Jussi Ratilainen / Go to Helsinki

“You don’t want cash to have a great time!” — and that’s completely true! Beneath are a couple of of the key happenings all all year long that could be a should in your free issues to do in Helsinki listing.

  • Lux Helsinki: (January) Because the darkest time of the 12 months, mild artworks might be displayed every day from nightfall onwards
  • Style of Helsinki: (June) A positive eating pageant the place guests can pattern the perfect Finnish fare at cheap costs
  • Helsinki Satisfaction Week: (June) Celebrating gender and sexual minorities — a rainbow-colored affair, that’s for certain!
  • Tuska Competition: (July) A heavy metallic music pageant (Finland is understood for this!)
  • Helsinki Competition: (August) Held in the summertime, that is dubbed the largest arts pageant within the Nordic area.
  • Helsinki Design Week: (September) A global pageant whereby design professionals and fans alike would meet
  • Helsinki Comics Competition: (September) Stated to be the biggest comic-related occasion in Finland and Northern Europe.
  • We Jazz: (December) The largest annual jazz taking place within the metropolis!

If you would like an in depth listing of free occasions and festivals, you’ll be able to test Go to Helsinki‘s web site.

10.Enterprise outdoors the city metropolis

Photograph by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

Bus fares apart, there are a few locations simply outdoors of the middle that I urge you to discover as one of many high free issues to do in Helsinki as a result of I assure you that you’ll by no means, ever remorse it!

  • Nuuksio Nationwide Park: A couple of 40-minute bus trip away from the capital, you’ll be greeted by the huge setting of typical Finnish pure surroundings. Now, Nuuksio provides guided excursions and providers however that doesn’t imply you can’t do stuff by yourself — as a result of you’ll be able to. As an illustration, with their well-marked trails, you’ll be able to freely hike and bike by yourself (and relaxation assured, it’s merely not possible to get misplaced right here). Be at liberty to camp or do picnics right here too!
    • TIP: Be a part of a half-day journey to Nuuksio from Helsinki right here.
  • Porvoo: In simply lower than an hour, you’ll be able to go to this 2nd oldest metropolis in Finland and you’ll be completely charmed by its iconic crimson wood shore homes and cobblestone streets. For certain, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting the Outdated City which dates again to the Center Ages, in addition to the Outdated Railway Station.

• • •

Helsinki Journey Information

If in case you’re prepared to splurge a bit, listed here are some further issues to do in Helsinki:

  • Attempt the SkyWheel: open all 12 months spherical, it is a 40-meter-high Ferris wheel that may offer you a panoramic view of Helsinki. (Costs: €12 for adults, €9 for youngsters, toddlers are free)
  • Do a tram sightseeing tour: buy a day ticket and you should utilize any of the trams under for the form of tour that you’d need to do. Simply ensure to arm your self with a map so you understand the sights and the stops
    • Tram 2 for sightseeing
    • Tram 4 for an architectural tour
    • Tram 6 for artwork, design, and culinary tour
  • Expertise a calming sauna: it is best to by no means go away Finland with out experiencing its saunas! There are public saunas within the metropolis and one which I can suggest is Sauna Hermanni (€10 for adults). Nonetheless, nearly all resorts in Helsinki have their very own saunas so just remember to make the most of such.

– – –

» Entering into Helsinki

By airplane. Helsinki-Vantaa Worldwide Airport is the primary airport and from right here, you’ll be able to attain town heart through airport taxi (round €30-€4o), prepare (€5.50), or bus (€5.50).

By prepare. All long-distance trains in Finland, Moscow, and Saint Petersburg can find yourself in Helsinki the place the cease is at Rautatieasema within the Central Railway Station.

By boat. There are ferry providers from Tallinn (Estonia) and Stockholm (Sweden) to Helsinki.

– – –

» The place to Keep (Helsinki Lodging)

I extremely suggest staying in Aallonkoti House Accommodations particularly in case you’re planning on staying for lengthy in Helsinki. Nonetheless, getting an AirBnB flat may very well be a fantastic choice too since a lot of the listings may be very reasonably priced.

Should you’re extra into resorts, listed here are another greatest selections:

– – –

» Getting Round Helsinki

By foot. As I’ve talked about above, Helsinki is not a dizzyingly massive metropolis; so you’ll be able to simply discover it with out the necessity to hop on a tram or bus.

By tram, bus, or metro. All public transportation in Helsinki has a standardized cost:

  • Tram ticket for 1 hour: €2.50
  • Single ticket: €2.70 through cellular and ticket machine, €3.20 from the motive force (card button “1”)
  • Regional ticket: €5.50 legitimate for 80 minutes inside and between Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen (card button “2”)
  • Full area ticket: €8 legitimate for above plus Kerava, Sipoo, and Kirkkonummi (card button “3”)
  • Day ticket: €8

By taxi. Taxis begin at €5.90 on weekdays and €9 after 8 PM and Sundays, and an extra €1.52 is charged for each kilometer.

– – –

» Should-Attempt Helsinki Meals & Drinks

For genuine Finnish breakfast. Open sandwiches are usually eaten right now of the day, if not puuro (porridge).

For lunch and dinternal. Don’t miss out on hernekeitto (pea soup that’s historically served on Thursdays) in addition to any ‘sport’ meals (moose, deer, duck, and so forth. One instance can be tattikuorrutettua or reindeer fillet).

For snacks and dessert. Take a look at pulla (candy cardamom-flavored bread), Runeberg’s tart (generally served round February to commemorate the nationwide poet J.L. Runeberg), rönttönen (pastry with berry filling), salmiakki (salty black liquorice sweet), and vispipuuro (candy pink porridge).
My favourite: Leipäjuusto (contemporary cow’s milk cheese which is greatest eaten with cloudberry jam)

For drinks. Undoubtedly make it some extent to drink Finnish espresso! Do you know? Finland truly has the very best espresso consumption per capita on the earth so if you wish to expertise this ‘espresso tradition’, head on to cafes and check out a cup of jo. Should you’re searching for beers as a substitute, pale lagers are frequent and the preferred manufacturers are Koff, Lapin Kulta, and Karhu.

– – –

» Useful Finnish Phrases

Finnish and Swedish are the two major languages in Finland, which is why you’ll usually see indicators which can be in each of those languages. Nevertheless, it’s truly round 91% of the inhabitants who speaks Finnish — the Swedish indicators nonetheless stay as some form of adherence to their historical past.

Relaxation assured, everybody, can converse English effectively sufficient so there’s no have to exit of your approach to study the language; however in fact, under are phrases that you should utilize to by some means ‘impress’ the locals.

Howdy: Moi (MOI), Hei (HAY), Terve (TEHR-veh)
Thanks: Kiitos. (KEE-tohss)
Sure: Kyllä (KUUL-la), Joo (yoh)
No: Ei. (ay)
Goodbye (formal): Näkemiin. (NAK-eh-meen)
Goodbye (casual): Hei hei (HAY-hay), Moi moi (MOI-moi)

Excuse me / I’m sorry: Anteeksi (AHN-tehk-see)
Is there somebody right here who speaks English?: Puhuuko kukaan täällä englantia? (POO-hoo-koh KOO-kahn TAAL-la EHNG-lahn-tee-ah?)
Assist!: Apua! (AH-poo-ah!)
Cheers!: Kippis!

• • •

»Prime Helsinki Excursions «

• • •


We didn’t anticipate such a small metropolis like Helsinki to have a lot vitality and flexibility! I used to be even amazed at how the ‘outdated’ and the ‘new’ mix in such excellent concord, that I can completely agree with nearly anybody who makes a press release that the architectural scene right here is captivatingly impeccable.

However in fact, it’s not all in regards to the exterior options, since there may be nonetheless a lot extra to like about Helsinki: the meals, the nightlife, the tradition, the historical past, the seasons, the music, and the folks! And I do guess that you simply’ll come to like all of them too.

Right here’s to hoping that this listing of free issues to do in Helsinki might help maximize your journey as you achieve a full expertise of this Finnish surprise. Protected travels!

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