Helsinki: Things to do in a day trip

Helsinki, the capital of Finland is a beautiful city. Just because the city is not connected to the other countries by rail or road, Helsinki is less traveled.  But once you visit the city as a week end trip or just as a day out, you will surely fall in love.

Helsinki Cathedral

The city is calm and quiet. The “sound of silence” will give peace to your ears. Secondly the architecture. By virtue of the location, Finish architecture is influenced by both European baroque architecture and Russian architecture. If noticed carefully, Russian influence can be observed in Finish culture though Finland is not a socialist country but politically a social democratic country.

Uspenski Church : An example of Russian influence on Baroque structure

People only visit this city either as a stop over while going to Rovaniemi (Santa Claus’s village) or people add Helsinki with their trip to Scandinavia. The second option is very popular. Helsinki is connected with Stockholm by cruise service on Baltic Sea. Two different shipping companies run this service – Tallink Silja Line and Viking Line. Both have some pros and cons. Personally I liked the Tallink Silja Line but it depends on the travelers’ own choice.

Suomenlinna during fall

Though it was a weekend long tour , but actually 6 to 7 hours are there for the travelers to explore Helsinki. I wish to visit Helsinki again and stay there at least for 3 days. But in this travelogue, I will guide how to utilise these seven hours effectively.

Helsinki Street

Set the map:

Except Suomenlinna, all the attractions of Helsinki can be reached by walking. Please set the Google Map accordingly. Suomenlinna can be reached by boat. 

Helsinki Cathedral:

Built in the 19th century as a tribute to Czar Nicholas I, Helsinki Cathedral is the most recognisable thing in the city’s skyline. Structurally this senate style cathedral is different from any other cathedral in Europe and a major structure of neo classical style. The white cathedral has a tall big green dome surrounded by four other domes.

Helsinki Cathedral (front view)

The surrounding area of helsinki Cathedral is known as Senate Square.

Uspenski Church:

The magnificent massive cathedral is set upon a hillside on the Katajanokka peninsula overlooking the city. The eastern orthodox church is built in baroque style but a strong Russian influence is observed in the architecture. The brick red church has large green domes with gold crosses. It’s interior is extensively decorated with eastern orthodox iconography.

Uspenski Church

Get lost in the fortress Suomenlinna:

Located at the entrance to Helsinki’s harbor Suomenlinna can only be accessed by boat. Suomenlinna Fort was constructed by the Swedes in 1748 and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nowadays, it’s a park and residential area. There are a lot of interesting buildings that give the feeling of time travel to the 18th century.

Suomenlinna as seen from the cruise

Please check the timetable in the morning and plan for the entire day accordingly. The fare of the boat is 5 Euro but free with a Helsinki card.

Street of Suomenlinna during fall

Visit the archipelago:

Helsinki Archipelago is made up of 330 islands. The cute little islands can be travelled by opting for a trip from Helsinki Port. The 1-2 hours trip (Cost approximately 20 Euro) will give you the beauty of small green islands during summer. The islands become colourful during fall. 

Helsinki Archipelago in a cloudy afternoon

Some of the boats have dining facilities that will give you the pleasure of enjoying a meal on the sea.

Relax at Esplanade Park:

Helsinki is famous for the lush green parks where people hang out, play sports and picnic during summer. Keivopuisto Park and Esplanade Park are the most popular among them. Though Keistopuisto Park is a bit far from the port, Esplanade Park is just beside the port. Get a coffee, choose a bench, relax and enjoy the view of harbor.

Esplanade Park during fall

During Fall, the viewer can experience a riot of colours.

Fall colour in a park

Shopping and Hangout in Market Square:

Located next to the port, Market Square is the busiest and charming part of the city. Usually this market is swarming with tourists but many local people come here to get fresh vegetables, fish and meat. Tourists like this place to get souvenirs, t-shirts and obviously for a sumptuous meal. 

Market Square, Helsinki

Moose meat is a very famous food of Finland. You can get this dish in the market square.

Moose Meat Ball with mashed potato and vegetables

Notes:

  1. Please complete your trip and be in the queue for Stockholm ferry at least 45 minutes before the departure time.
  2. Plan your Suomenlinna Trip according to the time table of the boat.
  3. For archipelago Trip, check the timetable of the boat.
  4. For travelling in winter, please check the sunset time before going to Suomenlinna or opting for the archipelago trip.

3 comments

  1. Hello.

    Great post. If you return, why do not visit elsewhere in Finland. My country offers art, nature, culture, ice sculptures, sand sculptures, snow sculptures, bear carving contests habits, culture, handicrafts, quilts and unique things which do not exist elsewhere like poor-man statues and of course happenings which are only in my country! I have told more about these in my about-page, I show here one of those happenings which are unique in the world:

    Reindeer race 1

    If you read my about, you will notice that my unknown country has made world’s biggest cruise ship, world’s biggest snow castle, which is much more that snow castle and world’s oldest surviving diving suit. It offers possibility to spend a night inside the snow castle, having cold drinks in ice bar, ice restaurants and snow chapel in which it is possible to get married. Cruising on some of our lakes in midsummer on board of old steam ship is an experience, which will stay in mind all the life. Experiencing a white night, because sun do not set, is something difficult to understand. If you love Samba, then you could follow it Helsinki. Our churches are unique on the countryside. They are generally wooden and bell towers are separated from them.

    If interested in, then here is my:

    About me

    Have a wonderful day!

    Like

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