Known for its sea-facing landscape and diverse architecture, Helsinki is a great place to visit for any traveller. Whether you love to look at and explore world famous buildings or you’re more drawn towards experiencing natural wonders, Helsinki has it all. As a relatively compact city, Finland’s capital can be explored on foot, making this a great spot for tourists. However, this design also makes Helsinki a great place for those who are on a short time frame, yet still want to experience it all. While you may only have two days to explore Helsinki, you’ll still have plenty of time to experience the best that this city has to offer!
In a city like Helsinki there is so much to do and see. From famous buildings to historical sites, the days can be filled with entertaining and yet distinctly different experiences. While Helsinki is a city of great possibilities, there are some standout experiences that those on time constraints simply should not miss.
1. Helsinki Cathedral
Soaring above the city landscape, the Helsinki Cathedral is certainly hard to miss. The tall green dome that sits atop the cathedral is this destination’s calling card. Whilst being undoubtedly unique by day, the design of this building shines by night. When viewed in darkness by the water, this landmark seems to shine like a beacon.
Built in the mid 19th century, this whitewashed neoclassical cathedral is a must see landmark. Originally named after the Russian Tsar Nicholas I, when Finland gained independence, this cathedral has stood tall as the Helsinki Cathedral ever since.
2. Seurasaari Island
Seurasaari Island is the type of landmark that needs to be seen in order to understand the full scale of its beauty. Taking up a whole island, a few kilometres north of the city centre, Seurasaari boasts an open-air museum that showcases a collection of typical Finnish buildings from around the country. During the summer, trained guides are dressed in traditional attire in order to properly convey the life, work and history of rural Finland over the last 400 years. With workshops, farms and manor houses connected by a network of woodlands and coastal trails, this trip through Finnish history is educational and picturesque.
3. National Museum of Finland
A national romantic style building doubles as the home for the National Museum of Finland. Presenting Finnish history from the Stone Age all the way through to the present day, visiting this museum is a great way to better understand the Finnish way of life. Permanent exhibitions are divided into six parts, meaning that there are no limits when it comes to what you can learn about the country, its history and its people. With the appearance of the building reflecting Finland’s medieval churches and castles, this museum is a delight for the senses.
4. Temppeliaukio Church
You can explore the whole world and not find another church quite like the Temppeliaukio Church. The design of this church is thanks to a post-war design competition that was won by two brothers. Partially underground and cut from the bedrock, the sight of this church is awe inducing. Moving on from the rock interior, this church also boasts a circular skylight which works to flood the room with sunlight, creating stunning visual effects. Even more impressive is the fact that every decoration and piece of furniture is designed by architects. Frequently used as a concert venue, this church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
5. Finnish Sauna at Löyly
There is no better place to experience Finland’s sauna culture than at Löyly in Helsinki. Delicately placed on the edge of the sea, Löyly offers an out of this world sauna experience. Best described as an urban oasis, you can enjoy a private or public sauna at Löyly. The public saunas at Löyly, be it the traditional smoke sauna or wood-burning sauna are open every day. As Löyly occupies a stretch of the beautiful Helsinki waterfronts, patrons enjoy direct access to the sea for a refreshing swim should they need to cool down.
6. Helsinki Winter Garden
Founded in 1893, Helsinki Winter Garden is best described as an elaborate oasis of exotic plants. From a stroll through the Rose Garden to a visit to the Winter Garden, there is always a new sight to behold. Helsinki Winter Garden is a great spot to visit no matter the time of year as something will always be in bloom. Boasting over 200 species of plants in three rooms, this tropical paradise is located just a few kilometres from the city centre. Meaning that holidayers won’t have to waste precious time in transit to this popular destination.
Experience Helsinki with Albatross Tours
Whether travellers are looking for historical or nature based adventures, Helsinki really shines. Combining the best of nature and manmade infrastructure, every corner of Helsinki offers something new to explore and enjoy. However, this vast city can still be explored effectively in just a few days. By hitting the right spots, travellers can experience the best of Helsinki in mere days.
With Albatross Tours’ Northern Lights, Ice Hotels & Huskies Tour travellers can spend 9 exhilarating days exploring stops like Stockholm, Rovaniemi and even Amsterdam. Kicking off the tour in Helsinki, travellers can delight in all that the beautiful city has to offer before moving on to adventures like reindeer sledding in Lapland.