Helsinki Travel Guide
For a very inexpensive guided tour, try the Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour. Ride around in an open-top double-decker bus that stops at certain locations throughout the city in which you are allowed to get out and explore. Then get back on the bus and ride to the next destination! There are generally 15 or so stops on this tour, so be prepared with comfortable clothing and walking shoes.
If shopping and dining is how you'd like to spend a day in Helsinki, walk right out of your hotel doors and onto the street. Downtown Helsinki is full of night life, ethnic restaurants, major shopping, theaters, music halls, and sightseeing.
Dance the night away on the black-marble floor at this upscale club in the penthouse of the famous Kamppi Center. The enormous space, complete with five bars, spacious outdoor balcony lounges, and a VIP room, is the playground of well-to-do young Helsinkiers.
The store's name is Finnish for "old and beautiful," sells vintage tumblers by Aino Aalto (artist Alvar Aalto's first wife).
This funky, closet-size shop in the heart of the Design District carries kid-friendly Russian babushka dolls and vintage Steiff bears.
No trip to Finland is complete without a visit to a public sauna. Sweat it out in this hidden gem near the city center, which has a blue-tiled Art Deco indoor pool (there are separate bathing times for men and women).
The boho neighborhood of Kallio is packed with artsy bars, many of which operate as cafés by day. This one stands out for its vintage-modern chocolate-brown and orange furnishings, coordinating wallpaper, and floor-to-ceiling front windows; come for a quiet drink at night.
Five minutes from downtown on the 6 tram, this spacious shop in the Hietalahdentori neighborhood is chock-full of used Midcentury Modern sofas, chairs, and housewares by Finnish design stars.
Forage for cloudberries, lingonberries, pickled herring, and smoked salmon sandwiches among the stalls at Helsinki's harborside outdoor food market, open early morning to early evening.
Gravestones dot parks all over the city, and Finns find nothing morbid about strolling through its cemeteries, most of which were designed to double as picturesque spots for afternoon walks.
Built in 1969 and carved out of solid bedrock, the top of this modern
church (called Temppeliaukio in Finnish) hovers aboveground like a spaceship. It also does duty as a
choral and classical music venue and is known for its window-studded,