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Sights in Helsinki

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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... 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... 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... Read More

Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church)

Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church)

A few hundred metres south of the Sibelius Park, this breathtaking underground stone-hewn church is built right inside a massive block of natural granite. Completed in 1969, the circular, serrated rock walls inside run right up to the... Read More

Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna

This eighteenth-century fortress island is just a few kilometres off Helsinki’s coast. It holds several historical museums, although visitors will equally enjoy exploring the craggy headlands and quiet bays. On warm days, unpack your... Read More

Spårakoff Pub Tram

Spårakoff Pub Tram

This bright red streetcar-as-mobile-pub-crawl prowls about city streets with thirty passengers and unlimited reserves of Koff beer. With regular departures, it’s a great way to see the city (sober or otherwise), since the route takes... Read More

Seurasaari Museum

Seurasaari Museum

This spectacular open-air museum is made up of hundreds of wooden buildings brought to Seurasaari island from different regions of Finland and reassembled and furnished in complete period detail. Together, they create an unrivalled... Read More

Pihlajasaari Island

Pihlajasaari Island

These two small islands linked by a narrow isthmus and footbridge are a haven of wild flowers, long grasses and swaying pine and rowan trees. A network of walking paths leads through the forest to a series of beaches. Alternatively, the... Read More

Parliament Building

Parliament Building

The Neoclassical style of this solemn, imposing building, replete with fourteen pompous Corinthian columns, was spiced up with a dash of Art Deco and functionalism. The guided tours of the structure and its 200-seat plenary session hall... Read More

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium

Site of the second postwar Olympic Games in 1952, today this complex is best visited for its 72m-high tower, which offers unsurpassed views over the city and a good part of the southern coast to boot. Nearby you’ll find the Sports... Read More

Nordic Walking Tours

Nordic Walking Tours

Forget the Segway or standard-fare coach tours. Get to know the city via Scandinavia’s most popular athletic activity – a sort of power walking assisted by cross-country ski poles specially modified for use on streets. Led by local... Read More

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Reopened in 2008 after a floor-to-ceiling renovation, the country’s premier zoological museum is housed in a building originally constructed as a Russian school for boys. Today, four permanent exhibits walk visitors through Finnish... Read More

Museum of Workers’ Housing

Museum of Workers’ Housing

This collection of renovated wooden buildings were constructed during the early 1900s to provide housing for impoverished country folk who moved to the growing city to work as street cleaners and refuse collectors. Six of the... Read More

Mannerheim Museum

Mannerheim Museum

Though largely unknown outside Finland, Carl Gustaf Mannerheim was the nation’s best-known statesman. During the early 20th Century, he filled his villa with the spoils of empire, as well as many medals from his illustrious career.... Read More

Kulttuurisauna

Kulttuurisauna

Due to open in 2013, this contemporary sauna is Helsinki’s first new public sauna to be built in decades. Set on the Hakaniemenranta waterfront, it is also one of the most energy-efficient in the world, featuring a wood-heated... Read More

Kotiharjun Sauna

Kotiharjun Sauna

One of the world’s only authentic wood-heated urban public saunas, this Helsinki institution is located in the blue-collar-turned hip district of Kallio. Inside, resident Nurse Diesels maintain the temperature at a balmy 80°C as they... Read More

Kamppi Chapel of Silence

Kamppi Chapel of Silence

Located smack on busy Narinkka square, this tranquil (and award-winning) space is a sort of art installation project offering a retreat from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The non-ecumenical structure is meant to instill a sense of... Read More

Hietalahdentori Square

Hietalahdentori Square

Flanking the 1870s-era buildings that formerly housed Finland’s oldest brewery, this waterside square in the southwestern city centre functioned as a Russian horse barracks during World War I. Today it’s best known for its daily... Read More

Hakasalmi Villa

Hakasalmi Villa

This building dates back to the 1840s and was built by a councillor and patron of the arts, whose collection inspired the founding of the museum. It now houses engaging, long-term exhibitions that frequently focus on the cultural... Read More

Cygnaeus Gallery

Cygnaeus Gallery

Art patron and Professor of Aesthetics at Helsinki University Frederik Cygnaeus built this lovely yellow-turreted summer house over a century ago, filling it with an outstanding collection of art. Today the exhibit is beautifully laid... Read More


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