Like surprises? May we suggest that you pack your bags and fly to Helsinki! Cool and brilliant at the same time, the capital city of Finland is the definition of a modern and futuristic Nordic city.
The beautiful city of Helsinki is pedestrian-friendly with tons of things to do and see. Artistic and unique museums, plenty of stunning islands to discover, great food, crazy sauna culture, and above all, warm people – this city surely deserves more visitors!
If you are already planning a Helsinki trip in your head, let us give you a quick tour of this quirky, creative, and naturally stunning city!
How to spend 3 days in Helsinki – a fun itinerary!
1. Make time for the museums, there are over 80 of them!
One of the top things to do in Helsinki is to visit a museum, it has tons of them. From historic to creative ones, there are more than 80 museums in the city. The National Museum of Finland was opened to public in 1916. It exhibits a huge collection of artifacts from the pre-historic times to the 19th century. Make sure you have ample of time at hand to explore every bit of the museum.
Photography enthusiasts, here is the museum that will draw you to Helsinki. One of the oldest photography museums in Europe, the Finnish Museum of Photography is not a stranger to avid photographers. The museum collection has over 2.5 million photographs. The best place to learn about rural Finland is at the Seurassari Open Air Museum. The museum consists of 87 buildings collected from different provinces of Finland. If you are not pressed for time then you can go ahead and check out the Design Museum, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Ateneum Art Museum – they are definitely worth a visit.
2. Sit, ponder, and marvel at the stunning churches
Just like museums, Helsinki takes pride in its numerous churches. Not only they serve as a place of worship, but they also rank as Helsinki’s top attractions. The architecture and design draw crowds in huge numbers. The most striking of all churches, the Helsinki Cathedral is hard to miss, especially when you arrive in the city by sea. A tribute to Tsar Nicholas of Russia, this cathedral is the symbol of the city.
Built in 1969, this rather strange looking church was cut from a rock. The outside might look like something from outer space but the interior leaves you speechless. The Temppeliaukio church or the Church of the Rock should be part of your Helsinki itinerary.
3. Forget your worries and relax in a sauna
Sauna has been an integral part of Finnish culture, so much so, that there are over three million saunas in the entire country of Finland!! Learn the art of relaxing from the Finns and complete your Helsinki trip by chilling in a sauna. Located near the Market Square and floating atop the Helsinki harbor, Allas Sea Pool is loved by both, tourists and locals. Sweat it out in a sauna or cool down in the pool, or just chill on the wooden deck and watch the day go by, Helsinki holiday can’t get any better than this! Löyly, Suomen Saunaseura, Kotiharjun Sauna are other noted saunas of the city. Do check them out.
4. Visit the islands
If you are bored of the city life, try island hopping. Helsinki is an archipelago consisting of 300 islands – and that’s a good count, isn’t it! Come summer, and the Finns are out and about exploring the islands. The most visited Suomenlinna island, also a fortress, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it has six museums, including the Submarine Museum. The island is best explored on foot and you can easily spend half a day learning about Finnish history and admiring nature.
Pihlajasaari island is another favourite among locals and is pretty close to the city centre of Helsinki. It has stunning sandy beaches and is a great spot for picnics, swimming, and sunbathing. Valkosaari & Luoto Islands, Vallisaari, Kaunissaari, and Lonna are ideal to enjoy a Finnish summer.
5. Eat, stroll, and relax
Holidaying at times can be stressful; constantly on your toes to visit multiple tourist attractions – you need some time to stop and relax. Thankfully, Helsinki has tons of parks for relaxing and to unwind after a busy day. You can head to Sibelius Park, Esplanade Park, or Sinebrychoff Park to rest amidst nature. If you love strolling, do check out the cool and hip Kallio neighborhood. It is the go-to place for musicians, artists, students – it’s the coolest party hub of the city. Bar hopping on mind? This is your place!
And of course, there is the famous Market Square which is the heart of Helsinki. It is the best place to shop, eat, and feel the vibes of the city. As far as the food scene goes, Helsinki has some awesome places to eat. Savotta Rivantola, Café Regatta, Ekberg Café – they are not only popular among foodies, but it’s an experience in itself to visit them.