Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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

I used to be invited to Helsinki months in the past by its tourism board with a view to participate of their marketing campaign named #HelsinkiSecret. Their easy but thrilling intention for this undertaking was to introduce 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 an amazing residence resort referred to as Aallonkoti, and no doubt, 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 ‘residence’, which have to be the explanation why I left part of my coronary heart there. True sufficient, it was extremely refreshing how town strikes on in such a laid-back method.

Nonetheless, don’t let its dimension idiot you. It might not be an enormous metropolis, however it’s full of tons of attention-grabbing points of interest and actions that may simply replenish your journey itinerary. For a begin although, it’s at all times nice to know the highest FREE issues to do in Helsinki, and so right here they’re!

» Fast Journey Planning

Free Issues to Do in Finland

1. Discover town on foot to see its well-known landmarks

Picture by: Ewan Bell / Go to Helsink

With an space of round 180 km², you could possibly 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 may attain sure areas or districts very quickly.

So other than parks, church buildings, cathedrals, museums, and purchasing areas, (which I might be discussing beneath in different high free issues to do in Helsinki), there are 3 different essential points of interest that you should completely see; and I wager 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 in regards to the prevalence of design and artwork amongst many others.

  • Senate Sq.: This place shows distinctive Neoclassical structure crammed with 4 domineering buildings: the Authorities Palace, the Helsinki Cathedral, the Nationwide Library of Finland, and the College of Helsinki. You may 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 lovely railway stations by BBC — and it’s no surprise why. As you set foot right here, you can 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 point of interest of public transport within the space and with the variety of passengers that come right here daily, naturally, it grew to become Finland’s most-visited constructing.

TRIVIA: Some individuals mentioned that Batman’s Gotham Metropolis was influenced by the structure on this railway station.

  • Olympic Stadium: In 1952, the Olympic Video games had been held right here. Immediately, 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 charge (€5 for adults), you may go as much as see a hen’s eye view of central Helsinki. Regrettably, January 2016 marks the renovation of the Olympic Stadium however it’s going to open up once more by 2019!

TIP: Be a part of a metropolis tour of Helsinki right here, or you can too be a 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; subsequently if you happen to can time your keep properly, you may undoubtedly get pleasure from these perks as one among your high free issues to do in Helsinki.

Anyhow, entrance charges are sometimes low-cost. However if you’d like an entire bundle deal, you may 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, nonetheless as one of many largest sea fortresses on this planet, its wealthy historical past is sufficient for it to be considered considerably of a ‘museum’ in itself (relaxation assured, there are distinct museums within the island). Now, this is without doubt one of the hottest points of interest not solely in Helsinki however the entire of Finland; in addition to, it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1991 because of the way it portrays distinctive European navy structure.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll should pay for the ferry to go to this island (which will be free with the Helsinki Card.
  • Seurasaari Open-Air Museum: that is one more island close to Helsinki that’s price trying into as a result of it’s on this place the place you may see a tranquil oasis of Finnish buildings which are specifically relocated right here with a view to completely painting the normal Finnish lifestyle.
    • FREE entrance, however you’ll should pay for the ferry to go to this island (which will 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 range 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 Modern 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 attention-grabbing neighborhood that’s positioned north of Helsinki’s middle. It’s on this district the place you will see that 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 be located subsequent to a market sq. whereby quite a 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 middle subsequent to the market sq.) and I LOVED entering into this place as a result of there have been quite a lot of colourful stalls that offered Finnish delicacies (which you’ll be able to pattern too!) and lunch spots that promote nice dishes (comparable to that of Soppakeittiö or “Soup Kitchen” the place you may get a great-tasting bouillabaisse).

4. Do some window-shopping

Picture by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

It’s a good way to acquaint your self with the standard 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 you must look out for as one of many high free issues to do in Helsinki are:

  • Moomin Store: Finnish individuals LOVE the Moomins that are mainly fairytale “trolls” (that appear to be cute hippos). If one would give it some thought arduous sufficient, they’re most likely probably the most adored Finnish icon (other than Santa Claus). Created by the author and artist Tove Jansson within the Nineteen Forties, you may see these characters up shut on this Moomin Store for instance which is positioned within the Discussion board purchasing middle.
    • TRIVIA: New prospects can get pleasure from a ten% low cost.
  • Design District: In case you are a design fanatic, strolling by the Design District might be an absolute pleasure for you! This was truly a neighborhood initiative that started in 2005 whereby they determined to cluster collectively all of the artistic companies within the neighborhood — assume vogue shops, jewellery retailers, artwork galleries, showrooms, inns, eating places, and others.

5. See town’s iconic cathedrals

Picture by: Joni Rousku / Go to Helsinki

There are two that I can consider and so they had 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 confer with its because the image of town.
    • TRIVIA: This was initially constructed as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland.
  • Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral: That is mentioned 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 inside and outside.
    • You’ll be completely comfortable 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 sometimes have an entrance charge.

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 had been very particular — principally due to how they had 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 should not the standard church buildings that you’d usually 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 had been created naturally and the remaining had been designed by two architects: the Suomalainen brothers. I swear to you, the second that I stepped into this, I used to be completely 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 mainly provides itself as a spot of calm if you wish to get away from the hype of town; however other than its perform, its facade is completely quirky — an ideal instance of latest structure.

7. Take pleasure in nature within the metropolis’s inexperienced parks

Picture by: Paul Williams / Go to Helsinki

In case you wish to escape town scene looking for inexperienced areas to lounge in, I can guarantee you now that there are quite a lot of parks unfold out throughout Helsinki. The very best ones can be:

  • Helsinki Central Park: With an space of over 10 sq. kilometers, that is truly extra of a forest with trails relatively than a park, and other people come right here to jog, cycle, trip horses, decide mushrooms, and many others.
  • Esplanade Park: Discovered within the coronary heart of Helsinki, this can be a widespread 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 reveals are Marimekko Style Present in June and the Jazz-Espa live performance sequence in July.
  • Sibelius Park: An unlimited and beautiful patch of inexperienced, this was named after the world-famous composer Jean Sibelius and one of many fashionable points of interest 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 may have the prospect to look at concert events at no cost:

  • Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo): Opened simply final 2011, this first-class live performance corridor provides a variety of musical experiences. Although many of the reveals are paid, there are sometimes free concert events (usually by music college students) that welcome nearly anybody. To be careful for these, try their schedule right here.
  • Finnish Nationwide Opera: It is 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 many others.
  • 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 wished to incorporate Finlandia right here as a result of despite the fact that they don’t have free concert events, admission right here is free so you may are available and see its wondrous structure for your self.

9. Be a part of town’s annual occasions

Picture by: Jussi Ratilainen / Go to Helsinki

“You don’t want cash to have an excellent time!” — and that’s completely true! Beneath are just a few of the foremost 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, mild artworks might be displayed every day from nightfall onwards
  • Style of Helsinki: (June) A tremendous eating pageant the place guests can pattern the perfect Finnish fare at affordable costs
  • Helsinki Satisfaction Week: (June) Celebrating gender and sexual minorities — a rainbow-colored affair, that’s for certain!
  • Tuska Pageant: (July) A heavy metallic music pageant (Finland is thought for this!)
  • Helsinki Pageant: (August) Held in the summertime, that is dubbed the largest arts pageant within the Nordic area.
  • Helsinki Design Week: (September) A global pageant whereby design professionals and lovers 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 occurring within the metropolis!

If you need an in depth listing of free occasions and festivals, you may test Go to Helsinki‘s web site.

10. Enterprise exterior the city metropolis

Picture by: Jussi Hellsten / Go to Helsinki

Bus fares apart, there are a few locations simply exterior 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 can be greeted by the huge setting of typical Finnish pure surroundings. Now, Nuuksio provides 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 may. As an example, with their well-marked trails, you may freely hike and bike by yourself (and relaxation assured, it’s merely inconceivable to get misplaced right here). Be happy to camp or do picnics right here too!
    • TIP: Be a part of a half-day journey to Nuuksio from Helsinki right here.
  • Porvoo: In simply lower than an hour, you may go to this 2nd oldest metropolis in Finland and you can be completely charmed by its iconic crimson wood 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 keen to splurge a bit, listed here are some further issues to do in Helsinki:

  • Strive the SkyWheel: open all 12 months spherical, this can be a 40-meter-high Ferris wheel that may offer 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 should use any of the trams beneath for the type of tour that you’d wish to do. Simply be certain 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 soothing sauna: you must by no means depart Finland with out experiencing its saunas! There are public saunas within the metropolis and one which I can suggest is Sauna Hermanni (€10 for adults). Nonetheless, virtually all inns in Helsinki have their very own saunas so just be sure you make the most of such.

– – –

» Moving into Helsinki

By airplane. Helsinki-Vantaa Worldwide Airport is the primary airport and from right here, you may attain town middle through airport taxi (round €30-€4o), practice (€5.50), or bus (€5.50).

By practice. 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 suggest staying in Aallonkoti Residence Accommodations particularly if you happen to’re planning on staying for lengthy in Helsinki. Nonetheless, getting an AirBnB flat may very well be an amazing possibility too since many of the listings will be very reasonably priced.

In case you’re extra into inns, listed here are another finest selections:

– – –

» Getting Round Helsinki

By foot. As I’ve talked about above, Helsinki is not a dizzyingly huge metropolis; so you may 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 cell and ticket machine, €3.20 from the driving 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 a further €1.52 is charged for each kilometer.

– – –

» Should-Strive Helsinki Meals & Drinks

For genuine Finnish breakfast. Open sandwiches are sometimes eaten presently 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 many others. One instance can be tattikuorrutettua or reindeer fillet).

For snacks and dessert. Try 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 finest eaten with cloudberry jam)

For drinks. Positively make it a degree to drink Finnish espresso! Do you know? Finland truly has the very best espresso consumption per capita on this planet so if you wish to expertise this ‘espresso tradition’, head on to cafes and check out a cup of jo. In case you’re searching for beers as a substitute, pale lagers are widespread 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 usually see indicators which are in each of those languages. Nonetheless, it’s truly round 91% of the inhabitants who speaks Finnish — the Swedish indicators nonetheless stay as some kind of adherence to their historical past.

Relaxation assured, everybody, can converse English properly sufficient so there’s no must exit of your approach to study the language; however in fact, beneath are phrases that you should use to by some means ‘impress’ the locals.

Good day: 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!

• • •

» High Helsinki Excursions «

• • •


We didn’t anticipate 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 good concord, that I can completely agree with nearly anybody who makes an announcement that the architectural scene right here is captivatingly impeccable.

However in fact, it’s not all in regards to 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 wager 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 may also help maximize your journey as you acquire a full expertise of this Finnish surprise. Secure travels!

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