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 so as to participate of their marketing campaign named #HelsinkiSecret. Their easy but thrilling goal for this undertaking was to introduce the town to vacationers like me as they deliberate experiences that might give us an summary of how the locals stay on this distinguished capital of Finland. (Free Issues to Do in Helsinki)

I stayed there for every week in an awesome condominium resort known as Aallonkoti, and undoubtedly, 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 have to be the explanation why I left part of my coronary heart there. True sufficient, it was extremely refreshing how the town strikes on in such a laid-back method.

Nevertheless, don’t let its dimension idiot you. It will not be an enormous metropolis, however it’s filled with tons of attention-grabbing points of interest 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!

» Fast Journey Planning

Free Issues to Do in Finland

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

Picture 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 excellent tram and bus system, you possibly can attain sure areas or districts very quickly.

So other than parks, church buildings, cathedrals, museums, and purchasing areas, (which I can be discussing under in different high free issues to do in Helsinki), there are 3 different most important points of interest that it’s essential to completely see; and I guess that very like 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 crammed with 4 domineering buildings: the Authorities Palace, the Helsinki Cathedral, the Nationwide Library of Finland, and the College of Helsinki. You might 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 marvel 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 are holding spherical lamps. That is, by all means, the focus 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 individuals stated that Batman’s Gotham Metropolis was influenced by the structure on this railway station.

  • Olympic Stadium: In 1952, the Olympic Video games have been held right here. At this time, 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 price (€5 for adults), you possibly can go as much as see a chicken’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!

Picture by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Finland

Most of Helsinki’s museums are paid, however they’ve sure days when entrance is free; due to this fact should you can time your keep properly, you possibly can positively get pleasure from these perks as considered one of your high free issues to do in Helsinki.

Anyhow, entrance charges are sometimes low cost. However if you’d like an entire bundle deal, you possibly can select to buy a Helsinki Card that’s price €41/day and this may 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, nonetheless 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 among the hottest points of interest not solely in Helsinki however the entire of Finland; moreover, it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1991 attributable to the way it portrays distinctive European army structure.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll should pay for the ferry to go to this island (which may be free with the Helsinki Card.
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  • Seurasaari Open-Air Museum: that is one more island close to Helsinki that’s price trying into as a result of it’s on this place the place you possibly can see a tranquil oasis of Finnish buildings which are specifically relocated right here so as to completely painting the normal Finnish lifestyle.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll should 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.
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  • Finnish Museum of Pure Historical past: to see the range of Finnish nature (from south to north of Lapland) but in addition of the world as an entire.
    • FREE on the first Friday of the month
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  • Kiasma – Museum of Up to date Artwork: because the identify implies, Kiasma reveals modern artwork collections of the Finnish Pure Gallery.
    • FREE on the first Friday of the month
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  • 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

Picture 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 you’ll find distinctive boutiques, cafes, market halls, eating places, retailers, and extra — an array of decisions 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 are 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.
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  • Outdated Market Corridor (Vanhakauppahalli): That is the oldest meals market corridor in Helsinki, relationship 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 (similar to that of Soppakeittiö or “Soup Kitchen” the place you may get a great-tasting bouillabaisse).

4. Do some window-shopping

Picture by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

It’s a good way to acquaint your self with the everyday items and fare which are distinctive to Helsinki and Finland as an entire — and who is aware of, you would possibly 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 individuals LOVE the Moomins that are mainly fairytale “trolls” (that appear like cute hippos). If one would give it some thought exhausting sufficient, they’re most likely essentially the most adored Finnish icon (other than Santa Claus). Created by the author and artist Tove Jansson within the Nineteen Forties, you possibly can see these characters up shut on this Moomin Store for instance which is situated within the Discussion board purchasing heart.
    • TRIVIA: New prospects can get pleasure from a ten% low cost.
  • Design District: If you’re a design fanatic, strolling by way of the Design District can be an absolute pleasure for you! This was truly a neighborhood initiative that started in 2005 whereby they determined to cluster collectively all of the inventive companies within the neighborhood — suppose trend shops, jewellery retailers, artwork galleries, showrooms, motels, eating places, and others.

5. See the town’s iconic cathedrals

Picture by: Joni Rousku / Go to Helsinki

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

  • Helsinki Cathedral: Smacked in the midst of Senate Sq. (talked about in #1), it’s not a marvel to know that this Lutheran Cathedral is essentially the most photographed landmark in Helsinki as it’s such a particular landmark within the cityscape — some Finnish individuals would even confer with its because the image of the town.
    • TRIVIA: This was initially constructed as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland.
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  • Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral: That is stated to be the most important orthodox church in Western Europe which is a transparent signal of the Russian impression 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 joyful to know that entrance right here is freed from cost, very like Helsinki Cathedral which is not like most cathedrals throughout Europe that sometimes have an entrance price.

6. Witness the distinctive church buildings too

Picture by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

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

Like what you see within the photographs above (the one on high of this quantity and the brown construction within the featured photograph), these are usually not the everyday church buildings that you’d typically see in cities; therefore with their uniqueness, I like to recommend that you just 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 have been created naturally and the remainder have been designed by two architects: the Suomalainen brothers. I swear to you, the second that I stepped into this, I used to be completely awed by its aesthetics!
  • Chapel of Silence (Kamppi Chapel): That is an enthralling chapel because it welcomes everybody no matter their faith, philosophies, and background. It mainly affords itself as a spot of calm if you wish to get away from the hype of the town; however other than its operate, its facade is completely quirky — an ideal instance of up to date structure.

7. Get pleasure from nature within the metropolis’s inexperienced parks

Picture by: Paul Williams / Go to Helsinki

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

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

8. Watch free live shows!

Picture 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 possibly can have the prospect to look at live shows at no cost:

  • Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo): Opened simply final 2011, this first-class live performance corridor affords a variety of musical experiences. Although a lot of the exhibits are paid, there are sometimes free live shows (typically by music college students) that welcome nearly anybody. To be careful for these, try their schedule right here.
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  • Finnish Nationwide Opera: This can be a state-owned Finnish opera that was constructed within the Nineties and there are a number of affairs which you can partake in at no cost: the Saturday chamber music live performance, artwork exhibitions, manufacturing displays, artist briefings, and so forth.
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  • Finlandia Corridor: Designed by the world-renowned End architect, Alvar Aalto, this can be a dynamic venue for congresses and occasions. Now I did say 2 locations, however I nonetheless needed to incorporate Finlandia right here as a result of despite the fact that they don’t have free live shows, admission right here is free so you possibly can are available and see its wondrous structure for your self.

9. Be a part of the town’s annual occasions

Picture 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 foremost happenings all all year long that could be a should in your free issues to do in Helsinki record.

  • Lux Helsinki: (January) Because the darkest time of the yr, gentle artworks can be displayed every day from nightfall onwards
  • Style of Helsinki: (June) A high-quality eating competition the place guests can pattern one of the best Finnish fare at cheap costs
  • Helsinki Satisfaction Week: (June) Celebrating gender and sexual minorities — a rainbow-colored affair, that’s for certain!
  • Tuska Pageant: (July) A heavy steel music competition (Finland is thought for this!)
  • Helsinki Pageant: (August) Held in the summertime, that is dubbed the most important arts competition within the Nordic area.
  • Helsinki Design Week: (September) A global competition whereby design professionals and fans alike would meet
  • Helsinki Comics Pageant: (September) Stated to be the most important comic-related occasion in Finland and Northern Europe.
  • We Jazz: (December) The most important annual jazz occurring within the metropolis!

In order for you an in depth record of free occasions and festivals, you possibly can test Go to Helsinki‘s web site.

10. Enterprise outdoors the city metropolis

Picture 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 affords guided excursions and providers however that doesn’t imply which you can’t do stuff by yourself — as a result of you possibly can. As an illustration, with their well-marked trails, you possibly can freely hike and bike by yourself (and relaxation assured, it’s merely unattainable 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.
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  • Porvoo: In simply lower than an hour, you possibly can go to this 2nd oldest metropolis in Finland and you’ll be completely charmed by its iconic purple picket 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.

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Helsinki Journey Information

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

  • Strive the SkyWheel: open all yr spherical, this can be 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)
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  • Do a tram sightseeing tour: buy a day ticket and you need to use any of the trams under for the form of tour that you’d need to do. Simply make sure that to arm your self with a map so  the sights and the stops
    • Tram 2 for sightseeing
    • Tram 4 for an architectural tour
    • Tram 6 for artwork, design, and culinary tour
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  • Expertise a soothing 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 advocate is Sauna Hermanni (€10 for adults). However, virtually all motels in Helsinki have their very own saunas so just be sure you reap the benefits of such.
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» Stepping into Helsinki

By airplane. Helsinki-Vantaa Worldwide Airport is the principle airport and from right here, you possibly can attain the town heart through airport taxi (round €30-€4o), practice (€5.50), or bus (€5.50).

By practice. 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.

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» The place to Keep (Helsinki Lodging)

I extremely advocate staying in Aallonkoti Condominium Motels particularly should you’re planning on staying for lengthy in Helsinki. However, getting an AirBnB flat could possibly be an awesome possibility too since a lot of the listings may be very reasonably priced.

In case you’re extra into motels, listed here are another finest decisions:

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» Getting Round Helsinki

By foot. As I’ve talked about above, Helsinki is not a dizzyingly massive metropolis; so you possibly can 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 cell 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
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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.

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» Should-Strive Helsinki Meals & Drinks

For genuine Finnish breakfast. Open sandwiches are sometimes eaten at the moment 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 ‘recreation’ meals (moose, deer, duck, and so forth. One instance could 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 finest eaten with cloudberry jam)

For drinks. Undoubtedly make it some extent to drink Finnish espresso! Do you know? Finland truly has the 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. In case you’re on the lookout for beers as an alternative, pale lagers are widespread and the preferred manufacturers are Koff, Lapin Kulta, and Karhu.

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» Useful Finnish Phrases

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

Relaxation assured, everybody, can communicate English properly sufficient so there’s no have to exit of your method to be taught the language; however after all, under are phrases that you need to use to in some way ‘impress’ the locals.

Good day: 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!

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» Prime Helsinki Excursions «

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General

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 ‘previous’ and the ‘new’ mix in such good concord, that I can completely agree with nearly anybody who makes an announcement that the architectural scene right here is captivatingly impeccable.

However after all, 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 individuals! And I do guess that you just’ll come to like all of them too.

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

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