Helsinki Winter Garden and Palm House

Helsinki – Free things to see and do

In addition to a large selection of world renowned museums, galleries and attractions for which an entrance ticket is required, there are many inexpensive ways to enjoy a short break in Helsinki.  Listed below are my suggestions for some really lovely free things to see and do. Helsinki City Museum - located on the corner of …

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A Guide to Helsinki’s Best Seaside Cafes

Finn's love their coffee, consuming the most per capita in the world.  As you might expect, there's a vibrant coffee culture and to experience the best that Finland has to offer you really need to try an authentic cinnamon bun (korvapuusti).  Versions of these buns have been around since the 18th century and it has …

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Helsinki Market Square and Cathedral

Making the most of the Helsinki Card

A three day Helsinki Card might at first glance seem expensive as it costs €74 but as it covers a wide range of attractions and scenic boat trips that can cost at least €20 each then it's possible to make substantial savings whilst using the card.  It is also valid on public transport including trams, …

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Visit Helsinki Sign

Helsinki – A guide to the perfect weekend break

Visiting Helsinki, Finland's beautiful capital city is a delight at any time of year.  Located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the Helsinki archipelago consists of over 300 picturesque islands and wherever you are in the city, it is never far from the sea. Getting there: Helsinki International Airport is located in the …

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Day 1.  A walk to Tervesaari island, Helsinki

With Finland celebrating its centenary this year and the country being a firm favourite of ours, it seemed only natural that we should make a return visit this summer.  On arriving into Helsinki airport late the previous evening, we spent our first day enjoying a walk around the market square which is always a beautiful …

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Day 2.  The National Library of Finland and the Bank of Finland Museum

Dominating Senate Square is Helsinki Cathedral, built in the neo-classical style this landmark building was completed in 1852 and its tall green dome can be seen from many parts of the city.  Senate Square was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel in 1852 and the cathedral was his masterpiece, majestically dominating the surrounding buildings.  The large …

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Day 3. A Day in Tallinn

We often visit Estonia's capital Tallinn whilst we are staying in Helsinki as it makes for a pleasant day out or overnight stay.  Several ferry companies ply the route taking between 90 minutes on the fast ferry to two and a half hours on the larger, more comfortable car ferries. This summer we spotted an …

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Day 4.  The Arabia district of Helsinki

Just north of the centre of Helsinki and at the terminus of the No. 6 and 8 trams lies the Arabia district where we found much of interest to occupy us for several hours.  Starting off by the tram terminus is the Iittala and Arabia design centre and outlet store where we were able to …

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Day 5.  Kamppi and Herttoniemi, Helsinki

A MasterChef type outdoor cooking competition was taking place in Narinkkatori square just outside Helsinki's Kamppi shopping centre so we decided to join lots of other inquisitive people and take a look at what was happening.  The event was hosted by Lidl and was the national finals of their Grillimaisteri barbecue competition. Lidl Grillimaisteri barbecue …

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Day 6.  The Tall Ships Race in Kotka, Finland

Having previously enjoyed seeing the Tall Ships in Helsinki in 2013 we were keen to catch up with them again, this time in Kotka.  Located on the south coast of Finland, Kotka's city centre is situated on Kotkansaari island.  Getting from Helsinki was very easy, we booked with Onnibus who have regular daily services between the cities, …

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