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Helsinki City Guide

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Sights

Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall

Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall

This gorgeous example of 1920s Classicism is the oldest pool in Scandinavia (and the world’s third-best indoor swimming experience, according to Wallpaper* magazine). Clothing is optional – and rarely worn – so entrance days are... More Read More

Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral

The largest Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe is this beautiful monument to the heavens on the eastern side of Helsinki’s harbor. It features glittering gilded onion domes, four unique supporting pillars carved from a single block... More Read More

Tuomiokirkko

Tuomiokirkko

The capital’s 200-year-old Lutheran cathedral, built by famed architect Carl Engel, is its most famous landmark. Raised atop several scores of granite steps opposite the Ionic-columned buildings of Helsinki University, the church is... More Read More

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Food & Drink

Vltava

Vltava

Serving a range of Bavarian specialties, including bratwurst, schnitzel, pork ribs and apple strudel, this Czech bar-restaurant sits adjacent to the train station in a stately Eliel Saarinen building. Popular with local commuting folk,... More Read More

Tin Tin Tango

Tin Tin Tango

Located a ten-minute tram ride (number 3) north from the city centre, this irreverent Parisian-style café is done up in Tin Tin art and buzzes with the sounds of Argentine tango. But the real reason to come is the on-site sauna and... More Read More

Suola

Suola

Set in a former nightclub, the hit restaurant Suola has just launched its new menu of great gourmet street food - sliders, hero sub sandwiches and focaccia sandwiches – with prices more akin to those of a kebab van. The wine list, put... More Read More

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Kids

Tropicario Tropical Animal House

Tropicario Tropical Animal House

This small zoo focuses on the world of tropical snakes and lizards - it has more giant snake species than anywhere else in Scandinavia. In a number of different terrariums you can catch a glimpse of some of the world’s most poisonous... More Read More

Sibelius Park

Sibelius Park

This leafy park, set just northwest of downtown, is more of an arboretum - a very scenic spot that is open year round but absolutely a joy to visit in the late spring. Also on the grounds is the Sibelius Monument, a handsome... More Read More

Sea Life Helsinki

Sea Life Helsinki

A hop skip and a jump from Linnanmäki amusement park is Sea Life Helsinki, whose underwater attractions include fifty tanks of marine life representing the Arctic, Baltic and tropical seas. Here you can observe piranhas, seahorses,... More Read More

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Shops

Nokia

Nokia

The just-renovated Nokia flagship store is the best place in the world to come to pick up one of the famed Finnish brand’s telephones, mobile devices or electronics items. Great for just browsing, or pick up a special limited edition... More Read More

Napa & Paja

Napa & Paja

This small shop has recently been transformed into an artsy bookshop and jewelry designers’ studio-cum-shop. The books they sell tend towards graphic novels, art books and other original reading paraphernalia (such as flip books), and... More Read More

Minna Parikka

Minna Parikka

Founded in 2005, Minna Parikka’s shoe designs have taken the world by storm (Lady Gaga wore some of her pumps on her 2012 Europe tour) and Parikka herself has already gone on to become one of the country’s leading lights in fashion... More Read More

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Day Trips

Tapiola

Tapiola

During the 1950s, Finnish urban planners attempted to blend new modernist housing schemes with the lush surrounding forests - efforts that frequently resulted in ugly and cumbersome compromises. Tapiola was the sole exception - a... More Read More

Tallinn

Tallinn

Now free of communist rule and a mere 90-minute hovercraft ride away across the sea from Helsinki, Estonia's capital beckons with great culture and even better shopping. Tallinn's beautiful Old Town is a treasure trove for antique... More Read More

Porvoo

Porvoo

Located 50km east of Helsinki, this compact riverside town has a medieval section boasting numerous charming 16th-century wooden houses built across densely packed cobbled streets. Porvoo also boasts a 15th-century cathedral, bird... More Read More

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Nightlife

Zetor

Zetor

This loud and quirky country-themed bar is an assemblage of dilapidated tractors, wonky tables, loud ’80s rock, inebriated clientele and plenty of irreverence. There are good sober-me-up meals, served into the wee hours - a mash-up of... More Read More

We Got Beef

We Got Beef

This casual hipster spot goes by the name of beeffi, and is the place to come for a pre-game party. Décor resembles an American diner (or possibly a student cafeteria), but this doesn't deter the hundreds of schmoozers, skateboarders,... More Read More

Tiger

Tiger

Helsinki's longest running nightclub is this multi-floored extravaganza, offering a range of black-marble dance floors, large terrace lounges and several of VIP rooms that you'll have a hard time getting into. Set in the penthouse of... More Read More

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Art & Entertainment

Svenska Teatern

Svenska Teatern

The country's national Swedish-language theatre occupies an iconic, off-white building on the main drag of Mannerheimintie. They put on regular performances of original Swedish plays as well as international hit shows in translation.... More Read More

Sinebrychoff Art Museum

Sinebrychoff Art Museum

This darling museum holds an unrivalled (well, for Finland) collection of some seven hundred 16th- and 17th-century Swedish, Dutch and Flemish paintings, along with mint-condition furniture, miniatures, porcelain and objets d'art. The... More Read More

Opera House

Opera House

The Lego-like white-tiled facade of this building leads to a sunlight-flooded interior (when there is sunlight, that is) that is enlivened by displays of colourful costumes. The real reason to come is the ballet and opera performances... More Read More

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