Tips for traveling and visiting Helsinki, capital of design in Finland

Helsinki Market Square in Finland

For many people the Nordic countries They provoke a very special attraction. That is my case since I was very young.

It was then that I visited for the first timeFinland for a longtrip to the North Cape by highway.

Then, later, I returned to Finland a couple of times on professional trips, but until recently I had not had the opportunity to meetHelsinki.

Sibelius Monument in Helsinki

A couple of summers ago I had the opportunity tovisit Helsinki, city where I was three days that, against what may be usual, were totally sunny.

And more recently I have returned to Helsinki as a stage in the trip to Finnish Lapland.

On both occasions I have enjoyed some splendid days, as you can see in the photos, which magnified the attractiveness of the city.

Specifically in summer its streets and terraces were always very crowded, no doubt in search of enjoying the sun and light, which in Finland has a value equivalent to gold.

ThusHelsinki It was presented to us as a bright city, very pleasant to walk around and discover its most outstanding monuments and its neighborhoods where its many attract your attention modernist buildings and their designer brand stores.

How to fly to Helsinki from Spain

For travel to Helsinki, every day you have direct flights from Spain of theflag company Finnish Finnair.

Note that this company offers a service on board almost of times gone by, which is appreciated on a flight of just over four hours from Madrid.

Also several days of the week you can fly with the low cost Norwegian, with the remarkable advantage of having Wifi Free on the plane.

You also have the option to sign up for one of the Baltic cruises They visit Helsinki as one of their main destinations from May to September.

Helsinki Harbor in Finland

How to get from the airport to the center of Helsinki

Once you've landed, to go from the airport to Helsinki you have the bus line of Finnair (6.30 euros the ticket) that will take you in half an hour to the city center, specifically, to the train station.

One of the first things that will surprise you in Helsinki is to know that in Finland They have Swedish as their second language.

This is reminiscent of the many centuries in which that country was under the dominion of Sweden before it became under Russian domination in 1809.

It was in 1918, after the Russian Revolution,when Finland finally achieved its independence.

Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki

Now, I will tell you that at present, young Finns do not understand that they have to learn Swedish by obligation in schools, since they prefer English as a second language.

However, don't be surprised to see the directions in two languages, with the information in Finnish and Swedish.

The best to see in the visit of Helsinki

As first advice for your trip to Helsinki, I will tell you that it is a very easy city to visit.

The most interesting monuments, the most attractive neighborhoods and the busiest streets are concentrated around the main port located in the marketplace.

Therefore, it is a city that you can meet on foot, except when you go to visit themonument to Sibelius or the house museum Seurasaari, north of the city, in the area of Meilahti

Tram in the center of Helsinki

When you arrive in this area of ​​the city you will discover that just 15 minutes by bus you can see a typical Finnish country landscape of forest and lake.

Of course, I will tell you that Helsinki is a city of trams, which from my point of view makes it more attractive.

The long trams of striking colors that pass through the center of the city allow you to move from one place to another very quickly.

Therefore, if you Helsinki visit it's going to be a scale in a Baltic Sea cruise, you must be calm because you will be able to see the most interesting of the city in a single day.

Market Square in Helsinki

The marketplace It is a large space that opens in front of the Helsinki harbor, on whose front the town hall, and is one of the nerve points of thehistoric center of Helsinki.

Market Square in Helsinki

From the marketplace the small boats that makepanoramic cruises through the islands of the archipelago ofHelsinki.

And it is also very close to the dock where the big cruise ships or the big ships of the line that from the Finnish capital take you toStockholm, in Sweden, toTallinin Estonia, or St. Petersburg in Russia.

Front ofmarketplace is the imposingUspenski Orthodox Cathedral, and from the square extends the smallTori neighborhood that joins it with the nearbySenate Square.

Esplanadi Avenue in Helsinki

From themarketplace also part of the main avenue of Helsinki,Esplanadi, which with its central landscaped area is perhaps the busiest and most cosmopolitan street in the city.

Harbor in the Market Square in Helsinki

This is where the best hotels and restaurants, the most attractive terraces and the most expensive brand stores are concentrated.

But above all, themarketplace It is, at least when the weather permits, a meeting place to tour a jumble sale with great diversity of products, from food, to handicrafts or (no doubt, oriented to cruise passengers) of souvenirs.

In my recent trip to Helsinki I could see the great atmosphere that is lived in this market, where there is no shortage of bars where to eat and have a beer sitting on its terraces.

Helsinki Old Market

I could not visit the great building of Old Market which was then under construction, but instead if I entered theHelsinki City Hall, which is open to visitors, and where you can find temporary exhibitions or sit and make a query on a computer.

Helsinki Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral in Helsinki

Next to the aforementioned marketplace you have theUspenski Cathedral, of orthodox rite, with its facades of bricks of striking red color and its golden domes.

Designed by a Russian architect, it was completed in 1868.

With a facade of characteristic Russian architecture, inside it shows a single nave with the characteristic Byzantine style and decoration.

Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki

Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki

From there through the streets of the so-called Tori neighborhood (Tori Quarter) you arrive at the great esplanade of the Senate Square.

You will be in the monumental center of the city, with the imposing and very white Helsinki Cathedraland the building of Senate.

Of Lutheran rite, the building is neoclassical in style with a very bright white color, which was built between 1830 and 1952.

Chapel of Silence Kamppi in Helsinki

Chapel of Silence Kamppi in Helsinki

But the design, which will be the protagonist in your Helsinki visit, will be present in two other temples that, if you can, you must see in the Finnish capital.

On the one hand, the best known as the Chapel of Silence Kamppi, curious wooden construction that you find in one of the most central commercial squares of the city.

And on the other hand, the not too distant stone church Temppliaukio, one of the corners of Helsinki most visited by tourists.

Design District Store in Helsinki

Design District in Helsinki

Following the aforementioned Esplanadi Avenue you arrive at the so-called Design District, where many stores are concentrated where design is the protagonist, especially from prestigious Finnish brands of clothing, furniture, glass or porcelain.

And very close you can go up to the terrace of Hotel Tori, a glazed cafeteria from where you have the best panoramic views of Helsinki.

Panoramic cruise around Helsinki

In a city open to the sea, as it is Helsinki, on your visit you should not miss getting on a boat to do a panoramic cruise that in an hour and a half gives you a different view of the city.

Cruise around Helsinki

During the cruise you can see the small islands that surround it, as well as several of the ten leisure ports available, with more than 10,000 berths.

If you make this cruise on a day as splendid as the one I enjoyed, it is hard to believe that in winter the sea is covered by ice, except for the sections opened by icebreakers to allow navigation of the line boats linking Helsinki with Stockholm Y Tallin.

Excursion to Suomenlinna fortification

If you have enough time on your visit and enjoy a good day, it is worth doing the Boat trip to the fortress of Suomenlinna.

Viewpoint of the Tori Hotel in Helsinki

It was built in 1748 and declared World Heritage by Unesco as an example of European military architecture in its time.

This very pleasant walk through green fortified places, between large canyons, and with several museums, like the one the old one has become Finnish submarine Vesikko, it can take you between two and three hours.

your Helsinki visit it will be incomplete if you don't go to any of its covered markets.

Helsinki Old Market

Helsinki Old Market

In the same port you have the Old Market, the main of these buildings, but you also have others of this type of market very similar to theStockholm Ostermalms Saluhall in which very striking shops are combined with bars and tapas areas.

And next to them, a very busy street markets.

The prices in Helsinki They are expensive compared to Spain, although it has the advantage over other Nordic cities, such as Stockholm or Oslo, that you will pay in euros.

Helsinki Market Square

How much does it cost to eat in Helsinki

So, I will tell you that the price of a tram ride It is 2.20 euros, a coffee, 2 to 3 euros and a pint of beer, between 5 and 7 euros.

Eat in an establishment fast food (Chinese, pizza ...) will cost you between 9 and 12 euros, plus the drink (if you are in a hurry on a budget, you will have in favor that it is a country where you get free tap water).

If your budget is more generous, for the main course of one of the numerous Finnish restaurants, but also Italians or Orientals, you will have to pay between 18 and 28 euros, so a dinner will not drop by 40 euros per person.

Gastronomy in Helsinki

Of course, to eat (between 12 and 14 hours) bars and many restaurants offer you a noon menu whose price is 10 to 12 euros, plus the drink. Enough to eat.

You only have left enjoy the visit of Helsinki.

Video: Helsinki Vacation Travel Guide. Expedia (January 2020).