Helsinki, Finland
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Discover the national pride of the Finnish people along with the Swedish and Russian legacy in this beautiful capital. Helsinki is filled with graceful architecture and monuments and surrounded on three sides by sea and tiny islands.

It’s fitting that harbourside Helsinki, capital of a country with such watery geography, melds so graciously into the Baltic. Half the city seems liquid, and the writhings of the complex coastline include any number of bays, inlets and islands.

Though Helsinki can seem a younger sibling to other Scandinavian capitals, it’s the one that went to art school, scorns pop music and works in a cutting-edge studio. The design scene here is legendary, whether you’re browsing showroom brands or taking the backstreet hipster trail. The city’s gourmet side is also flourishing, with new gastro eateries offering locally sourced tasting menus popping up at dizzying speed.

Nevertheless, much of what is lovable in Helsinki is older. Its understated yet glorious art-nouveau buildings, the spacious elegance of its centenarian cafes, dozens of museums carefully preserving Finnish heritage, restaurants that have changed neither menu nor furnishings since the 1930s: all part of the city’s quirky charm.

POINTS OF INTEREST
  • Senate Square
    The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel between 1822 and 1852: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.
  • Helsinki Cathedral
    The beautiful and historically significant Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelic Lutheran church, and for many it is the symbol of Helsinki. The church was designed by architect Carl Ludwig Engel in the 19th century as part of the Empire-style-downtown Helsinki area. The cathedral was completed in 1852.
  • Tori Quarters
    The Tori Quarters, the historical centre of Helsinki where the heart of the old town meets the new buzz of the city. Located right next to the sea, between the Market Square and Senate Square, Tori Quarters enable encounters between old and new; travellers and locals; east and west as well as city administration and the local citizens.
  • Market Square
    Located in the South Harbour at the very beginning of the Esplanade Park, the Market Square is Helsinki’s most international and famous market. The booths here sell traditional market foods and treats, as well as handicrafts and souvenirs. There is also a heated café tent where you can comfortably sip steaming hot coffee even on the coldest days in winter.
  • Old market Hall
    The Old Market Hall in Helsinki has served its customers since 1889. Merchants sell everything from cheese, fish, shellfish, vegetable, fruit and cakes to spices, coffee and tea. They are also more than happy to help with any special orders.
  • Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
    Suomenlinna is one of the most popular sights in Finland with around 900,000 visitors yearly. Tourist information at the fortress is open all year around and can be found at the pink Jetty Barracks building right by the HSL ferry quay.
  • Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
    Quarried out of the natural bedrock, Temppeliaukio Church is one of Helsinki’s most popular tourist attractions. The interior walls are created naturally by the rock. The church was designed by architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. Due to its excellent acoustics the church is a popular venue for concerts.
  • National Museum of Finland
    The National Museum of Finland illustrates Finnish history from prehistoric times to the present day. Major archaeological finds, the historical, numismatic and ethnological collections have been put together for over 200 years.
  • Sibelius Monument
    In the Sibelius park is the world famous composer Jean Sibelius’ (1865-1957) monument by Eila Hiltunen. It was unveiled 7 September 1967. The Sibelius Monument, resembling organ pipes, is made of welded steel with the bust of the composer on one side. The monument is one of Helsinki’s most popular statues and one of the most well-known tourist attractions.
  • Esplanade Park
    Situated in the heart of Helsinki, the Esplanade Park serves as a promenade for travellers and a place to relax for the locals. The park and the Espa Stage host many popular events, including the Marimekko Fashion Show in June and the Jazz-Espa concert series throughout July.

Shore & Land Excursions