Things to do in Helsinki
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).
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.
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,
After strolling the park-lined Esplanade, claim one of the tables that spill out onto the sidewalk in the summer. Have a banana parfait with cardamom foam and chocolate sauce while the crowds of shoppers parade by.
Jackie O. sported the company's togs in the 1960's, and their graphic, oversize patterns—which adorn everything from sundresses to slick plywood trays—have since become classics.
This funky, closet-size shop in the heart of the Design District carries kid-friendly Russian babushka dolls and vintage Steiff bears.
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.
The tiny, tucked-away bar at the top of the Sokos Hotel Torni affords the best views of the city. Ride up to the 13th floor, then take the little staircase from there to the rooftop.