Things to do in Helsinki
The capital of Finland, Helsinki is a great place to visit. It’s compact, has beautiful natural settings and is home to some of the most interesting sights in Finland. If you are looking for a weekend getaway that’s not too far from home and will give you plenty of new experiences, then look no further. Helsinki has it all – museums, historic sites, excellent restaurants and cafes, as well as wonderful opportunities for activities such as ice-skating, sightseeing, winter sports or hiking in the nearby forests. Here are 10 things to do in Helsinki if you’re visiting there and have just 48 hours!
1. Travel by ferry from Stockholm, Sweden to Helsinki
In summer, you can also travel from Stockholm to Helsinki by cruise ship. However, the best way to travel to Helsinki from Sweden is by ferry. The ferries are very comfortable and you can choose to travel in a standard or deluxe cabin with a bed. The trip will take you about three and a half hours and costs around 70 euros. If you are travelling with a car, you must reserve an online. If you are travelling by foot or bicycle, there are tickets for these available at the ferry terminals. It is worth noting that the ferries from some Swedish ports may stop at the Finnish islands on the way, so you can visit them.
2. The Helsinki Railway Station Café
The Helsinki Railway Station Café is a 1920’s railway station turned into a café. This place is a great place to relax if you are in Helsinki on a weekend. While in the station, you can order snacks such as soup and sandwiches, coffee, tea and a selection of cakes. The atmosphere of the place is very relaxed and the staff are friendly. There is free WiFi and you can charge your phone while enjoying a cup of coffee. The station is open between 10 am and 9 pm Monday to Friday and between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturdays.
3. Explore the Helsinki Harbour area
The Helsinki Harbour area of the city is a great place to visit while in Helsinki on a weekend. Here, you can visit the Sea Fortress (Merisatama) and enjoy a wonderful view of the city of Helsinki from above. You can also take a walk around the city and visit the Market Hall (Kauppahalli) where you can find souvenirs and gifts as well as food from different countries. You can also visit the Miniature Park (Pieni Kylmälä) and walk through miniatures of the most famous buildings in Helsinki. If you are interested in art, you can visit the nearby Sinebrychoff Art Museum (Sinebrychoffin taidemuseo) where there are also exhibitions of art by different artists.
4. Helsinki Cathedral and the adjacent Church of St. Thomas
If you are interested in architecture, you will love visiting the Helsinki Cathedral, which is the largest church in Scandinavia. The cathedral was built in 1833, but the architecture style is mostly influenced by the 19th century. At the adjacent Church of St. Thomas, you can find the tomb of Thomas, who is the patron saint of Finland. The church is located on the corner of the Esplanadi boulevard and Cathedral Square. Next to the Cathedral Square, you will find the Old Market Square (Vanha Tori), where you can buy souvenirs and gifts.
5. The Finnish National Theatre and the Museum of Finnish Culture
The Finnish National Theatre, which was built in 1882, is a great place to visit if you are interested in architecture or theatre. The theatre is located in the heart of Helsinki, near the Esplanadi boulevard. The architecture of the building is Neo-Renaissance, which is the most common style for theatres. Next to the theatre, you can also find the Museum of Finnish Culture, which is located in the National Museum. The National Museum is also worth visiting, as it is one of the oldest museums in Finland.
6. The Temppeliaukio Church (Temppeliaukio kirkko)
The Temppeliaukio Church, also known as the Church in the Rock, is a great place to visit if you are interested in architecture or churches. This place is located in the Hietaniemi area, near the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The church houses the largest church organ in Scandinavia and is a popular tourist attraction. If you want to visit the church, you will be able to book tickets online.
7. Senate Square and the Parliament building (Eduskunta)
If you are interested in politics, you can visit the Senate Square and the Parliament building, which is located nearby. The Parliament building is worth visiting because it is the home of the Finnish Parliament. The building was designed by the architect Gustaf Nyström and was built between 1883 and 1892. The Parliament building hosts a changing exhibition about the work of the current Parliament and is open to visitors between 11 am and 3 pm from Monday to Friday or between 11 am and 2 pm on Saturdays.
8. Haltia restaurant for lunch or dinner
If you are looking for a place to eat while in Helsinki on a weekend, you can visit the Haltia restaurant, which serves local and organic food. The food is fresh and seasonal, and you can also taste some traditional Finnish dishes. The restaurant is located in the Töölö area and is a 10-minute walk from the Railway Square. If you are visiting Helsinki in the winter, you can visit the restaurant to enjoy a traditional Finnish soup called ryyni.
9. Ice-skating at Helsinki’s Harbour
Another great place to visit while in Helsinki on a weekend is the Harbour. Here you can enjoy ice-skating and see the beautiful Helsinki from above. The Harbour is beautifully decorated during the winter and is a great place to visit with friends and family. If you are visiting in the weekend, you can also enjoy a nearby market where you can buy souvenirs and gifts.
If you are visiting Helsinki on a weekend, you can explore the Harbour area, visit the Temppeliaukio Church and enjoy ice-skating at the Harbour. You can also visit other interesting places such as the Finnish National Theatre, the Parliament building and the nearby Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Helsinki is a great city to visit in the winter or summer, so you can enjoy a weekend getaway here all year round!