Introduction to Helsinki
Capital of Finland, Helsinki is the country’s major commercial, educational and cultural hub. Located on Finland’s southern tip, the city features an impressive waterfront, along with dozens of charming bays and islets.
Wide pedestrians, an imposing cathedral and a fascinating fusion of contemporary and Art Nouveau architecture, build up an elegant and modern city centre.
Visitors can dive in Finnish heritage at Helsinki’s many museums and galleries.
Apart from edgy restaurants and lively cafes, the Finnish capital offers a wide variety of clubs that lighten up the city’s nightlife.
Most clubs have an age limit (usually 20 years old) and operate from 10pm to 4am.
Helsinki is served by an efficient public transport network, which includes the metro, the tram and plenty of bus routes. Single tickets can be bought both on-site and in advance, with the second choice offering a decent discount. A series of unlimited-travel and group tickets are available for tourists. The central area of Helsinki is easy to explore on foot, while biking around is a great choice on a sunny day. If you need a taxi you should book by phone or look for a rank, as it is not always easy to get one off the street.
Things to see and do in Helsinki
Helsinki has dozens of captivating large and smaller museums and galleries, which focus on pretty much anything from art to the city’s history to sports and toys.
Art enthusiasts should not miss Kiasma Museum, where they will be able to take and up-close look at both local and international modern and contemporary art. For anterior Finish artworks (19th-20th centuries) head to Ateneum. Occupying a former brewery, Sinebrychoffin Taidemuseo carries an excellent collection of European paintings. A worthy collection of both local and European art, from 15th century up to date, is also available at Amos Andersonin Taidemuseo. Finland’s oldest gallery, Cygnaeuksen Galleria dates back to 19th century and features paintings of the same period, housed in a lovely wooden structure. Finally, the Design Museum is dedicated to local design, from furniture to fashion, while the nearby Museum of Finnish Architecture often features exquisite temporary exhibitions.
Apart from the many art museums, Helsinki also houses a significant number of museums dedicated to the city’s history and the Finnish heritage in general. Kaupunginmuseo means City Museum and features several different buildings around Helsinki. The most impressive branch is the one located at Sofiankatu Street. The museum’s exhibits narrate Helsinki’s history from Swedish and later Russian governing, up to Finnish independence. Another must-see is the National Museum, where visitors can walk through Finnish history from ancient times to the modern day, as well as admire some Finnish folk art.
Seurasaari Island hosts a fascinating open air museum, featuring traditional buildings which have been brought here from all around Finland. Cultural shows also take place on the streets, including traditional dancing and folk crafts. Opposite to Seurasaari Island, stands Urho Kekkosen Museum which is dedicated to the former Finnish Prime Minister.
Traveling in Helsinki can be a blast for young visitors as well. Kids will have a great time trying ski-sloping simulations at Finnish Sports Museum and gazing at dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum. The city’s Toy Museum carries a vast collection of dolls, teddy-bears and other toys, which were once the privet collection of Piippa Tandefelt. A visit to the Helsinki Zoo will allow you to take a look at hundreds of local and international animal species, while a padding zoo and tropical house give children a chance to examine and touch several animals and plants. Helsinki also houses an excellent aquarium, Sea Life. Walk down the acrylic tunnels, while notorious sharks and other marine creatures swim around and above you.
Where to sleep in Helsinki
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Helsinki
Runeberginkatu 2 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 20 123-4701 / Fax: 358 20 123-4702 - Rates start from EUR 122
Strategically located in the heart of Helsinki, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Helsinki is right next to the city's newest & largest business, shopping & entertainment district. This property is only a few minutes away from the railway station & 30 minutes drive from the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport.
Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel Helsinki
3 Ruoholahdenranta, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 69360 / Fax: 358 9 6932 123 - Rates start from EUR 108
Nestled right by the sea in the city centre, the Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel Helsinki is in the rapidly growing Ruoholahti business district providing good access to most of the popular highlights that the marvellous city has got to offer.
Rivoli Jardin Hotel Helsinki
Kasarmikatu 40 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 681500 / Fax: 358 9 656988 - Rates start from EUR 92
Scandic Continental Hotel Helsinki
Mannerheimintie 46 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 47371 / Fax: 358 9 47372211 - Rates start from EUR
Scandic Grand Marina Hotel Helsinki
Katajanokanlaituri 7 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 16661 / Fax: 358 9 1666500 - Rates start from EUR 115
Ideally placed in the oldest & most beautiful quarter of the city, the Scandic Grand Marina Hotel Helsinki is within 1 kilometer from city centre & is in proximity to a number of Helsinki attractions including Kaivopuisto Park, Uspenski Cathedral, Central Helsinki & the Market Square.
Scandic Marski Hotel Helsinki
Mannerheimintie 10 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 68061 / Fax: 358 9 642377 - Rates start from EUR 235
Positioned in the centre of Helsinki, the Scandic Marski Hotel Helsinki offers easy access to various city attractions like Market Square, Uspenski Cathedral, National Museum of Finland & many other that are found in the vicinity.
Scandic Simonkentta Hotel Helsinki
Simonkatu 9 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 68380 / Fax: 358 9 6838111 - Rates start from EUR 110
Positioned at Simonkatu 9, the Scandic Simonkentta Hotel Helsinki offers easy access to various city attractions like Kamppi shopping centre, market square, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art & many other that are found in the vicinity.
Seurahuone Hotel Helsinki
Kaivokatu 12, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 -9-69141 / Fax: 358 +358-9-6914010 - Rates start from EUR 145
Hotel Seurahuone Helsinki is positioned in the heart of Helsinki. Visitors can explore sigtseeing spots such as Aleksanterinkatu, Linnanmaki Amusement Park & Suomenlinn.
Sokos Hotel Albert Helsinki
Albertinkatu 30, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 20 1234638 / Fax: 358 20 1234639 - Rates start from EUR 100
The Sokos Hotel is positioned close to the very centre of Helsinki, in the bohemian heart of art & design, & is easily accessible from the Helsinki International Airport.
Sokos Hotel Aleksanteri Helsinki
Albertinkatu 34, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 011 358 20 1234 643 - Rates start from EUR 87
The Sokos Hotel Aleksanteri is positioned in the centre of Helsinki, next door to the historic Alexander Theatre. It is also possible to reach the property from the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport.
Sokos Hotel Helsinki
Kluuvikatu 8 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 011 358 20 1234 601 / Fax: 358 9-176 014 - Rates start from EUR 103
Positioned at the corner of Yliopistonkatu & Kluuvikatu, the Sokos Hotel is positioned right in the centre of Helsinki's shopping area. Our hotel is at a walkable short distance from the train station & the waterfront.
Sokos Hotel Presidentti Helsinki
Etelainen Rautatiekatu 4, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 011 358 20 1234 608 / Fax: 358 9-6947 886 - Rates start from EUR 148
Sokos Hotel Presidentti is wonderfully located next to the Kamppi mall, in the heart of Helsinki offering world class accessibility to a wealth of cultural attractions & the best shopping in town.
Sokos Hotel Torni Helsinki
Yrjonkatu 26, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 20 1234604 / Fax: 358 9 43367100 - Rates start from EUR 131
This welcoming as well as discreet hotel is ideally located in the heart of the splendid city of Helsinki offering good accessibility to most of the prominent attractions that are found in the surrounding.
Sokos Pasila Hotel Helsinki
Maistraatinportti 3 , Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 358 9 1882817 / Fax: 358 9 1882820 - Rates start from EUR 89
Sokos Pasila Hotel is positioned in Lansi-Pasila district & boasting its excellent traffic connections. It is within close proximity to Helsinki Congress & Fair Centre & the Linnanmaki amusement park.
Sokos Vaakuna Hotel Helsinki
Asema Aukio 2, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: 011 358 20 1234 610 / Fax: 358 9-4337 7100 - Rates start from EUR 128
Positioned in the heart of Helsinki, Sokos Vaakuna Hotel Helsinki is 21 kilometers from the airport & is near to various attractions such as the historic monuments, great architecture of the old city, art as well as entertainment venues.