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A city with a difference

If you’ve never been to the capital of Finland before, you’re in for a treat. Whatever you look for in a great city, you’ll find it in Helsinki.

What’s more, you’ll soon realise that Helsinki is a city with a difference. It embraces islands, parks, beaches, entertainment, homes and businesses. And it does all this in its own inimitable way. After all, where else would you find concerts held in an underground church chiselled from rock (the Temppeliaukion kirrko), or drinks in a bar made entirely of ice (the Arctic Icebar)?

Read about our flights to Helsinki.

The islands

One of the most striking differences about Helsinki, however, is its islands. The most famous is a group of them called Suomenlinna, just 15 minutes by ferry from the mainland. Suomenlinna was formerly the most impressive of the Baltic Sea fortresses. It is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
When you go to the island, consider taking a picnic. There are plenty of places you can settle down to eat on the ramparts or in the surrounding fields. Alternatively, use one of the restaurants or cafes and while away the time enjoying the wonderful views.

There are plenty of other islands that make up the archipelago that stretches round the centre of Helsinki. Among them are Seurasaari, where you can visit the museum and take relaxing walks; Pihlajasaari, an island popular with Helsinki residents; and Korkeasaari, where you’ll find Helsinki Zoo. Please note that most ferries work only in the summer season, although some islands have access by road bridges.  

Festivals and parks

Festivals, of course, are common throughout the world’s cities but those in Helsinki are especially worth seeing – and taking part in. Among them are Vappu (Walpurgis Night) on 30 April – 1 May; Helsinki-päivä (Helsinki Day) on 12 June, the city’s birthday; and Taiteiden Yö (Night of the Arts) towards the end of August.

Helsinki’s many parks offer less hectic entertainment. Esplanadin puisto, between the Swedish theatre and Kauppatori, hosts free concerts during the summer. Elsewhere, south of the city and overlooking the sea, is Kaivopuisto. But if you prefer your parks to be slightly wilder and less ornamental, try the 1,000 hectare Keskuspuisto north of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.


Shopping in Helsinki is excellent. The main shopping area is Aleksanterinkatu. This starts at the Senate Square and continues on to Mannerheimintie.
To find something out of the ordinary, though, try the Hietalahden tori market hall. You’ll find a flea market here on summer evenings and weekends.

Travel tips

Most Helsinki residents can speak English. Staff at some of the major shops even wear badges with flags that indicate the languages they speak.

Public transport in Helsinki is very good. You have a choice of bus, train, tram, metro and ferry. A City Ticket covers most of these within the Helsinki limits and is valid for an hour at a time.

A great way of exploring Helsinki is by cycling. You can hire a bike from one of the numerous Citybike stands.
The Helsinki tourist information office is at the corner of Unioninkatu and Pohjoisesplanadi by the Market Square in the city centre.

Find cheap flights to Helsinki today.

London Heathrow to Helsinki cheap flights from can be booked on

What's up in Helsinki

Design Helsinki

Whether you're looking for clothing, cool interiors or antiques - here you'll find it! Check out the Design District!

Sauna Island

When you think of Finland, what's
the first thing that comes to your
mind? Sauna, well you either love
it or hate it.

Rent a party guide

How bizarre can it get with
BizzareOne? Don't ask us,
ask them!

Visit Finland

City of Helsinki

Helsinki Tourism Transport Airport Weather

Crew tip

Passenger tip Passenger tip

Arabia factoryshop
Arabia Centre
Hämeentie 135, tram 6
Tel: +358 204 39 3507

The complete line of homeware
brands within the Iittala group
under one roof. Whilst you are
there take a tour inside the
factory. It makes for a very
interesting insight into the
history and the production
methos of the company.
Jes, air host

Bear Park Cafe
Karhupuistor Park

Tel: +358 445 76 06  79

This is my favorite outdoor
coffee shop in a beautiful
park in Kallio. It's best if you
take the 3B tram.

Korkeavuorenkatu 4

Tel: +358 9 638 873

Small but nice and always
busy, so make sure to book
well in advance.


A must to visit is Suomenlinna,
the old fortress situated on a
group of Islands a short ferry
journey away from the city
center. Don't forget your picnic
basket and torches!

Cityguide to Helsinki Cityguide to Helsinki                 
Book a Hotel Helsinki Book a hotel in Helsinki
Rent a car in Helsinki Rent a car in Helsinki
Inhabitants: 564'000
Language: Finnish
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: GMT +2
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