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Helsinki Introduction

Helsinki is an attractive and active year-round city break destination. The second most northern capital city in the world changes with the seasons and offers lots to do throughout the year. Over 3000 popular events are held in Helsinki each year.

In summertime the terraces, parks, seaside boulevards and nearby islands are filled with people enjoying the outdoors. The nights are white and the evening entertainment stretches into the early hours of the morning. Summer is also the season for urban festivals and open-air events. Even on the hottest days of the year, the breezes off the sea remain fresh.

In wintertime Helsinki is like a fairytale land with mountains of snow, fresh paths through the parks, kids sledding down the hills and cute little dogs in jackets. The days are short but all the more precious. Helsinki is also a paradise for outdoor winter activities, such as skating and cross-country skiing. Great trails and recreational centres can be reached by tram. When the sea freezes over and the sun comes out, the ice is packed with people enjoying long walks and ice fishing; some even try ice swimming. Helsinki is at its most charming during the Christmas season. Christmas lights brighten up the streets, traditional Christmas markets sell a wide range of traditional treats and handicrafts, and Christmas concerts are held in many of the churches.

Between the two extremes of summer and winter, spring is a time when the days grow longer with breathtaking speed as nature reawakens, while autumn is a time of beautiful foliage and mild days with romantic dark evenings.

Visiting Helsinki

Attractions in Helsinki. The symbol of Helsinki is the brilliant white cathedral known in Finnish as Tuomiokirkko that towers above Senate Square. The square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. It 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.

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Helsinki Maritime Appeal. Helsinki’s maritime silhouette is part of the national landscape of Finland. In Helsinki, the sea is an essential part everyday life. The sea surrounds the city on three sides. Helsinki has almost 100 kilometres of shoreline and around 300 islands. Many of the islands are accessible for recreational use. The archipelago offers endless opportunities for experiences throughout the year.
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Helsinki is a paradise for shopaholics with any number of unique boutiques and larger shopping emporia. World-famous Finnish design is particularly popular. Design icon Marimekko has several outlets in the city selling fresh and colourful products from clothing and accessories to household items. Vuokko Nurmesniemi’s clothing creations are similarly appealing. Young Finnish fashion designers are also thriving, creating unique outfits that can often be found only in Helsinki. Check out, for example, the timeless designs by Samu-Jussi Koski in the Samuji shop. Other names worth looking for are Ilona Hyötyläinen at the Miun Shop, Paola Suhonen of IvanaHelsinki fame and Tiia Vanhatapio.
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The second most northern capital city in the world is action packed throughout the year. Over 3000 events are held in Helsinki each year, making it easy to find your own favourites. Community oriented urban culture is also thriving in Helsinki. Restaurant Day, Cleaning Day, street markets, We Love Helsinki and block parties are just a few examples of the active local culture.
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The restaurant life in Helsinki gradually got started in the early 1800s. In two centuries Helsinki has grown into a diverse restaurant city. The the 2000s the capital’s restaurant scene has been elevated to a new level of restaurants led by top chefs, and the initial French cuisine has been overtaken by a celebration of Nordic ingredients. From Michelin star level gourmet restaurants to good food at moderate prices, the selection of more than 1 200 restaurants in Helsinki is able to provide enjoyment for all tastes.
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