Prime 10 Superior FREE Issues To Do in Helsinki (Finland)

I used to be invited to Helsinki months in the past by its tourism board to be able to participate of their marketing campaign named #HelsinkiSecret. Their easy but thrilling purpose for this undertaking was to introduce the town to vacationers like me as they deliberate experiences that may give us an outline of how the locals stay on this distinguished capital of Finland. (Free Issues to Do in Helsinki)

I stayed there for every week in a fantastic condo lodge referred to as Aallonkoti, and certainly, 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 rationale 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 measurement idiot you. It is probably not an enormous metropolis, however it’s full of tons of fascinating sights and actions that may simply replenish your journey itinerary. For a begin although, it’s all the time nice to know the highest FREE issues to do in Helsinki, and so right here they’re!

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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 may 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 aside from parks, church buildings, cathedrals, museums, and buying areas, (which I might be discussing beneath in different high free issues to do in Helsinki), there are 3 different essential sights that you could completely see; and I guess that very similar to 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 concerning the prevalence of design and artwork amongst many others.

  • Senate Sq.: This place shows distinctive Neoclassical structure stuffed with 4 domineering buildings: the Authorities Palace, the Helsinki Cathedral, the Nationwide Library of Finland, and the College of Helsinki. You possibly can even discover the Sederholm Home right here within the southeast a part of the sq. which is claimed 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 referred to as one of many world’s most stunning railway stations by BBC — and it’s no surprise why. As you set foot right here, you may 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 day by day, naturally, it grew to become 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 the moment, 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 fowl’s eye view of central Helsinki. Regrettably, January 2016 marks the renovation of the Olympic Stadium however it can open up once more by 2019!

TIP: Be part of a metropolis tour of Helsinki right here, or you can too be 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 if you happen to can time your keep nicely, you possibly can undoubtedly take pleasure in these perks as considered one of your high free issues to do in Helsinki.

Anyhow, entrance charges are sometimes low-cost. However if you need an entire bundle deal, you possibly can select to buy a Helsinki Card that’s price €41/day and this can grant you entry to museums, sightseeing excursions and a lot extra!

Listed below are the highest museums which you’ll be able to enter for free:

  • Suomenlinna Sea Fortress: this isn’t precisely a museum per se, nevertheless as one of many greatest sea fortresses on the planet, its wealthy historical past is sufficient for it to be thought to be considerably of a ‘museum’ in itself (relaxation assured, there are distinct museums within the island). Now, this is likely one of the hottest sights not solely in Helsinki however the entire of Finland; apart from, it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1991 as a consequence of the way it portrays distinctive European army structure.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll must pay for the ferry to go to this island (which might be free with the Helsinki Card.
  • Seurasaari Open-Air Museum: that is yet one more island close to Helsinki that’s price wanting 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 to be able to completely painting the standard Finnish lifestyle.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll must pay for the ferry to go to this island (which might be free with the Helsinki Card) or you can too go through a bridge from Meihlahti.
  • Finnish Museum of Pure Historical past: to see the variety 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
  • Kiasma – Museum of Up to date Artwork: because the identify implies, Kiasma displays modern artwork collections of the Finnish Pure Gallery.
    • FREE on the first Friday of the month
  • 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 fascinating neighborhood that’s situated north of Helsinki’s heart. It’s on this district the place one can find distinctive boutiques, cafes, market halls, eating places, retailers, and extra — an array of selections that may simply seize your fancy! So be at liberty 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 recent meals to souvenirs and handicrafts, this 2-storeyed market corridor can also be located subsequent to a market sq. whereby a whole lot of outside stalls present typical Finnish items.
  • Previous 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 moving into this place as a result of there have been a whole lot of colourful stalls that supplied Finnish delicacies (which you’ll be able to pattern too!) and lunch spots that promote nice dishes (resembling that of Soppakeittiö or “Soup Kitchen” the place you will get a great-tasting bouillabaisse).

4. Do some window-shopping

Picture by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

It’s an effective 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 may discover some low-cost finds!

Two of the fascinating issues that it’s 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 principally fairytale “trolls” (that seem like cute hippos). If one would give it some thought arduous sufficient, they’re in all probability probably the most adored Finnish icon (aside from 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 buying heart.
    • TRIVIA: New prospects can take pleasure in a ten% low cost.
  • Design District: In case you are a design fanatic, strolling by way of the Design District might be an absolute pleasure for you! This was truly an area initiative that started in 2005 whereby they determined to cluster collectively all of the artistic companies within the neighborhood — assume trend shops, jewellery retailers, artwork galleries, showrooms, accommodations, 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 and so they have been each marvelous sights to see!

  • Helsinki Cathedral: Smacked in the course of Senate Sq. (talked about in #1), it’s not a surprise to know that this Lutheran Cathedral is probably the most photographed landmark in Helsinki as it’s such a particular landmark within the cityscape — some Finnish individuals would even seek advice from its because the image of the town.
    • TRIVIA: This was initially constructed as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland.
  • Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral: That is stated to be the most important orthodox church in Western Europe which is a transparent signal of the Russian influence 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 completely satisfied to know that entrance right here is freed from cost, very similar to Helsinki Cathedral which is in contrast to most cathedrals throughout Europe that usually 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 picture), these aren’t 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 remaining have been designed by two architects: the Suomalainen brothers. I swear to you, the second that I stepped into this, I used to be totally awed by its aesthetics!
  • Chapel of Silence (Kamppi Chapel): That is an enthralling chapel because it welcomes everybody regardless of their faith, philosophies, and background. It principally affords itself as a spot of calm if you wish to get away from the hype of the town; however aside from its perform, its facade is totally 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 in quest of inexperienced areas to lounge in, I can guarantee you now that there are a whole lot of parks unfold out throughout Helsinki. The most effective ones can be:

  • Helsinki Central Park: With an space of over 10 sq. kilometers, that is truly extra of a forest with trails reasonably than a park, and other people come right here to jog, cycle, trip horses, choose mushrooms, and so on.
  • Esplanade Park: Discovered within the coronary heart of Helsinki, this can be a frequent place that locals would go to. Throughout summer time, there are even free concert events 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 collection in July.
  • Sibelius Park: An enormous and wonderful patch of inexperienced, this was named after the world-famous composer Jean Sibelius and one of many common sights can be the Sibelius Monument which is a grand work of metal that resembles organ pipes and rises at 8.5 meters.

8. Watch free concert events!

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 observe concert events 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 concert events (typically by music college students) that welcome nearly anybody. To be careful for these, take a look at their schedule right here.
  • Finnish Nationwide Opera: This can be a state-owned Finnish opera that was constructed within the Nineties and there are a number of affairs that you would be able to partake in without spending a dime: the Saturday chamber music live performance, artwork exhibitions, manufacturing displays, artist briefings, and so on.
  • 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 regardless that they don’t have free concert events, admission right here is free so you possibly can are available in and see its wondrous structure for your self.

9. Be part of the town’s annual occasions

Picture by: Jussi Ratilainen / Go to Helsinki

“You don’t want cash to have a superb time!” — and that’s completely true! Under are just a few of the main happenings all all year long that could be a should in your free issues to do in Helsinki listing.

  • Lux Helsinki: (January) Because the darkest time of the 12 months, gentle artworks might be displayed every day from nightfall onwards
  • Style of Helsinki: (June) A nice eating competition the place guests can pattern one of the best Finnish fare at cheap costs
  • Helsinki Pleasure 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 fanatics 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 largest annual jazz taking place within the metropolis!

In order for you an in depth listing 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 may be greeted by the huge setting of typical Finnish pure surroundings. Now, Nuuksio affords guided excursions and companies however that doesn’t imply that you would be able to’t do stuff by yourself — as a result of you possibly can. For example, 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 happy to camp or do picnics right here too!
    • TIP: Be part of a half-day journey to Nuuksio from Helsinki right here.
  • Porvoo: In simply lower than an hour, you possibly can go to this 2nd oldest metropolis in Finland and you may be completely charmed by its iconic purple picket shore homes and cobblestone streets. For certain, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting the Previous City which dates again to the Center Ages, in addition to the Previous Railway Station.

• • •

Helsinki Journey Information

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

  • Attempt the SkyWheel: open all 12 months spherical, this can be a 40-meter-high Ferris wheel that may give you a panoramic view of Helsinki. (Costs: €12 for adults, €9 for youngsters, toddlers are free)
  • Do a tram sightseeing tour: buy a day ticket and you need to use any of the trams beneath for the form of tour that you’d need to do. Simply be sure to arm your self with a map so you already know the sights and the stops
    • Tram 2 for sightseeing
    • Tram 4 for an architectural tour
    • Tram 6 for artwork, design, and culinary tour
  • Expertise a calming sauna: it’s best to by no means depart 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). Nonetheless, virtually all accommodations in Helsinki have their very own saunas so just be sure you benefit from 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), prepare (€5.50), or bus (€5.50).

By prepare. 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 companies from Tallinn (Estonia) and Stockholm (Sweden) to Helsinki.

– – –

» The place to Keep (Helsinki Lodging)

I extremely advocate staying in Aallonkoti House Inns particularly if you happen to’re planning on staying for lengthy in Helsinki. Nonetheless, getting an AirBnB flat may very well be a fantastic possibility too since a lot of the listings might be very reasonably priced.

For those who’re extra into accommodations, listed here are another greatest selections:

– – –

» Getting Round Helsinki

By foot. As I’ve talked about above, Helsinki is not a dizzyingly huge 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 cellular 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

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.

– – –

» Should-Attempt Helsinki Meals & Drinks

For genuine Finnish breakfast. Open sandwiches are usually 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 ‘sport’ meals (moose, deer, duck, and so on. One instance can 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 (recent cow’s milk cheese which is greatest eaten with cloudberry jam)

For drinks. Positively make it some extent to drink Finnish espresso! Do you know? Finland truly has the best espresso consumption per capita on the planet so if you wish to expertise this ‘espresso tradition’, head on to cafes and check out a cup of jo. For those who’re in search of beers as an alternative, pale lagers are frequent and the most well-liked manufacturers are Koff, Lapin Kulta, and Karhu.

– – –

» Useful Finnish Phrases

Finnish and Swedish are the two essential 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 converse English nicely sufficient so there’s no have to exit of your approach to be taught the language; however after all, beneath are phrases that you need to use to someway ‘impress’ the locals.

Whats up: 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!

• • •

» Prime Helsinki Excursions «

• • •


We didn’t count on 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 excellent 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 concerning 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 listing of free issues to do in Helsinki can assist maximize your journey as you acquire a full expertise of this Finnish surprise. Secure travels!

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