Helsinki Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Helsinki. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here exploring Helsinki Travel tips. Allow me to share with you how to get around this beautiful city so that you can get the most out of your travel experience. Hang on!
Finland’s thriving waterfront capital Helsinki is situated at the northeastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Nestled between Sweden and Russia, the city overlooks more than 300 islands in the water of the archipelago. Known as the White City of the North for its traditional use of light granite, the city is a seamless blend of traditional and modern design.
Helsinki Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Helsinki
When searching for Helsinki travel tips, the first thing to get information about is how to best get from the airport. Helsinki is served by Helsinki Airport, the biggest airport in Finland. It’s modern, efficient and clean. Situated in the suburb of Vantaa, 19 kilometers from the city centre and you can get to Helsinki from the airport by three great transport options: by train, bus, or taxi.
Train: There are two electrical train lines that run directly from beneath the airport terminals to the city. It’s clean, comfortable and spacious. Good value for the low price of €5 and gets you into town in only 27 minutes.
Bus: The 40 minute bus ride costs only €3 and gets you into Helsinki central without any hassle.
Taxi: The fastest way to get into town is by taxi, however the prices get higher later on the hour on the day. In only 18 minutes and around €50, you can get a taxi directly outside the arrivals hall.
Helsinki Travel Tips – How To Get Around Helsinki
When searching for Helsinki Travel tips wanting to know the best ways to get around the city is what we will cover right here and right now. Helsinki is by population not a large city, with around 600.000 people living here. There are excellent public transport options that will cover all the corners of this city. And because it’s not a big city, it’s very walkable and easy to get around.
Helsinki’s trams are clean, fast, frequent and a charming way to get around the beautiful streets of Helsinki. If you’re planning to stay around the central area, the tram will get you covered by far.
Helsinki Public transport
Buses are a clean, efficient and easy way to get around in Helsinki. If you buy tickets in advance it costs €2.80, and if buying it on the bus it costs €4.
The metro is one of the best in the ways to get around Helsinki, especially if the weather is bad. There are two lines, the M1 and the M2. Both follow through the central part of the city.
Taxis are easy to find, but not so easy to hail directly on the street, download the TaksiHelsinki App for the most convenient way to get your taxi.
Best Places To Stay In Helsinki
There are a couple of great places to stay in Helsinki when looking for Helsinki Travel tips. Let’s get into the places that are the best and why to get the most out of your Helsinki experience.
Downtown / Kluuvi
Staying in the city center of Helsinki will get you close to most major tourist attractions and the central station within walking distance. The main street running through downtown is Aleksanterinkatu, which becomes a pedestrian only street on weekends and is home to main shopping areas, restaurants, nightlife and entertainment in Helsinki.
Katajanokka is an island in the East of Helsinki that is one of the quieter places to stay. Situated within walking distance of the Market Square, with several tram lines connecting the city. If you want to stay outside of the city center and have a peaceful experience, this is a great place to stay.
Located south of downtown is an area that was built in the 1990’s and is a newer area along the sea shore. The vibe here is younger and more trendy, with venues, galleries, museums and halls that host concerts and festivals.
Here you’ll find out that the city of Helsinki is Finland’s hub for both national and international cuisine, looking deeper into Helsinki Travel tips. These are some of the best locally sourced staples of Southern Finland and dishes that are popular throughout the entire country.
The Finnish equivalent of this recipe includes pork and mustard with Finnish pancakes for dessert and is especially popular amongst the armed forces. It is sometimes referred to as Thursday Soup as it is still traditionally eaten on Thursday.
Fish is hugely popular in Finland, the amount of lakes and proximity to the Baltic Sea offer a diverse range for sale. Arguably the most well regarded locally caught fish in Helsinki is the Baltic herring. On the south harbor there are fishmongers or restaurants. Some of the most popular variations are new potatoes with herring (silli) or even pickled herring.
These pancakes actually come from Finland’s eastern neighbor, Russia, but Finns have put their own spin on the recipe by offering savory fillings in addition to sweet. They have added toppings including sour cream, onion, pickles, mayonnaise, or shrimp in order to make them main meals as well as afternoon snacks.
This trend originates from Sweden but it has caught on so much that Finnish people will dress up and book tables at expensive restaurants during crayfish season or even host crayfish parties. They can also be found at fish stalls and although they aren’t cheap, they are still enjoyed as a seasonal treat in the Autumn.
Plenty of bakeries and cafes in Helsinki serve Finland’s take on cinnamon buns that are common and widely popular throughout the country. These cakes are shaped more like bread rolls and topped with icing sugar and walnuts and are usually served with afternoon tea.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Helsinki
Suomenlinna is a giant maritime fortress spread across seven islands.
Built by the Swedes in the mid-1800s to defend their eastern territories, but Helsinki was overrun by the Russians at the start of the 19th century. Board the ferry from Kauppatori and in a few minutes you’ll be in one of the most amazing buildings in Scandinavia.
Built in the 19th century, called St. Nicholas’ Cathedral, in honour of the Russian Tsar Nicholas I who was also Grand Duke of Finland.
This tall green dome of this landmark soars above the Helsinki cityscape, and from the water at night it seems to shine like a beacon.
Whatever the reason for visiting Helsinki, this whitewashed neoclassical cathedral is one of the sights you need to check out. After Finnish independence in 1917 the name simply changed to the Helsinki Cathedral.
Locally known as “Espa”, this green space right in the middle of the city is a place where tourists and Helsinki residents come to enjoy picnics, relax and be entertained in summer. In the summertime this space in front of Cafe Kappeli is the Espa Stage becomes an outdoor venue with an exciting schedule of shows and live music performances. Come in July for Jazz-Espa, a month-long jazz festival, or in June for
the Marimekko Fashion Show.
The Temppeliaukio Church is the result of a post-war design competition, won by Suomalainen Brothers and was inaugurated in 1969. The building is partly underground and has been hewn from the bedrock, which forms the interior walls. Around the central dome is a circular skylight, through which sunlight floods into the main chamber during the day. Every piece of decoration and furniture inside this majestic church was beautifully designed by the architects.
Seurasaari is an open-air museum a few kilometres north of the city centre that has put together a collection of typical Finnish buildings from around the country.The museum is open all summer and this is when trained guides are decked in traditional garb can tell you about life and work in rural Finland over the last 400 years. Old workshops, farms, manor houses and cottages are connected by a network of trails, making for gentle walks through woodland or next to the coast.
The largest orthodox church in western Europe, sitting on a rise in the Katajanokka, one of Helsinki’s upmarket areas. If you’re looking for sights that illustrate Russia’s century-long engagement with Finland, this orthodox cathedral in Pormestarinrinne is the best place to begin.
From the outside the church’s origins are unmistakable when you see its red-brick towers and their golden cupolas. Inside take a look at the
Iconostasis, with its set of beautiful paintings depicting the virgin Mary and an array of saints.
Old Market Hall
The Old Market Hall near the water in Eteläranta has been around since 1889. It’s a striking byzantine revival building, worth checking out even if you don’t need to do any shopping. If you would like to pick something up you’ll be tempted by all sorts of stalls selling fresh produce including meat, fish, fruit and veg, but also Finnish cakes and cheeses. Open all days except Sundays.
Bonus: Urban Sauna visit
Bathing Sauna is extremely popular in Finland, and there are three million of them around the country, a large quantity of which are found right here in Helsinki. Many are open to the public, and whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, it’s just one of those things you have to try in Finland. For public saunas try the districts of Kotiharju, Merihaka, Hermanni, or the new “Löyly” complex at the southern end of Helsinki peninsula. Some sauna etiquette to remember is that: Men and women are usually separate, naked is best but towels are allowed, and it’s usually best to keep your voice low if you have to talk at all.