Guide To A Summer Holiday In Helsinki

Summer (June to August) is a great time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Finland's capital city, Helsinki
Helsinki makes for the perfect summer holiday at leisure
Helsinki makes for the perfect summer holiday at leisureShutterstock

Art Trail

Ateneum Art Museum
Ateneum Art MuseumShutterstock

Catch the changing exhibitions at the Ateneum Art Museum. You can also take a guided tour of the museum which houses the largest collection of art in Finland with more than 20,000 works of art dating from the 1750s to the 1950s.

Celebrating Sibelius

Sibelius Park in Helsinki
Sibelius Park in HelsinkiShutterstock

Do not miss this unique homage to world famous composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) in the Sibelius Park. The monument resembling organ pipes, built by Eila Hiltunen, is made of welded steel with the bust of the composer on one side. Sibelius had composed piano pieces for five Finnish tree species the spruce, pine, birch, aspen and rowan tree.

Esplanade Park

Farmers market at Esplanade Park
Farmers market at Esplanade ParkShutterstock

Stop at the Esplanade Park, located in the heart of the city, to rest your tired feet and may be catch one of the many events that take at the Espa Stage for example, the Marimekko Fashion Show in June and the Jazz-Espa concert throughout July. On the evening of Helsinki Day on June 12, the Esplanade Park is set up with a long table decorated with white tablecloths for 1000 participants (advance reservation must). The Market Square, located nearby, is Helsinki's most famous market, selling traditional food, handicrafts and souvenirs.

Finnair sky wheel

Sky wheel at Helsinki
Sky wheel at HelsinkiShutterstock

The roughly 12 minutes' ride on this 40-meter Ferris wheel at Katajanokka (separated from the main land by a narrow canal) will offer you a bird's eye view of the city centre as well as some of the landmarks of Helsinki. (Tickets - Euro12 for adults, photography allowed.) More details here.

Art Immersion

A display from the Gardens of Future exhibition
A display from the Gardens of Future exhibitionMuseum of Finnish Architecture

The Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA) is celebrating design and architecture through a special joint exhibition of the Architecture Museum and the Design Museum on the way to a new architecture and design museum. The urban garden set up in the MFA's courtyard will see a variety of programmes, from lectures to lunches to yoga. The exhibition titled "GARDEN FUTURES: DESIGNING WITH NATURE" is on till 31st March. More details here

The Decades of Our Architecture is a permanent exhibition taking you on a journey through the decades of Finnish architecture. The style features, technical solutions, materials and interiors of different periods are followed from the national romanticism represented by the first domestically graduated architects through classicism, functionalism and the modernism that created our international reputation to the 1970s.

Located in Viikki, in the heart of Helsinki, the Gardenia is a luxuriant tropical garden.

Go on a cruise

Enjoy a sea cruise off Helsinki. Cruises depart regularly from the Market Square between May and September. You can choose from a range of sightseeing, dining and thematic cruises.

Kamppi Chapel of Silence

If the sights and sounds of Helsinki has left you dazed, calm yourself at the Kamppi Chapel of Silence located at the entrance of the Kamppi shopping centre. It is intended to be a place where people can have a moment of silence and meet each other.

Linnanmäki Amusement Park

The amusement park has something for everyone, with its rides ranging from easy going to super scary. The park also enclose the 53-meter high Linnanmäki panorama tower and the 34-meter high Ferris wheel called Rinkeli (Ticket Euro8). More details here

Midsummer marvel

Midsummer celebrations in Finland
Midsummer celebrations in FinlandShutterstock

Finland celebrates Midsummer in style. Join the local people as they enjoy the Midsummer Eve on June 19 with bonfire, dances, and even weddings.

National Museum of Finland

An artwork on display at the National Museum of Finland
An artwork on display at the National Museum of FinlandShutterstock

Learn about Finland in a nutshell at this museum which showcases Finnish history from prehistoric times to the present day. Children will enjoy the interactive exhibition at the Workshop Vintti. More details here

Olympic Stadium

From the top of the 72-meter high Stadium Tower you can see the urban sprawl of central Helsinki.  Admission charges apply. More information here

Senate Square

The Senate Square in Helsinki
The Senate Square in HelsinkiShutterstock

For a dose of new-classical architecture, take a round of the Senate Square.  The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel between 1822 and 1852 Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. On the south-east corner is the Sederholm House, Helsinki&rsquos oldest stone building. If possible, be at the square at 5.49pm to hear the Sound of the Senate Square, as it travels from one building to another it lasts for 5 minutes 18 seconds and is composed by Harri Viitanen and Jyrki Alakuijala.

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

The Seurasaari Island is specially known for its midsummer celebrations with handicraft exhibitions, folk dancing and music. Take a peek into Finnish housing of yore and learn about Finnish folk tradition at the open air museum here. Guides in national costumes will show you the cottages and salons of former times. Ferries run from the Market Square in Helsinki town. Find out more here

Summer concerts by military bands

Enjoy free concerts by the Finnish Defence Force military bands, including the changing of guards at the Main Guard House and a colourful parade by the marching bands. The military bands perform at the Esplanade stage at 2 pm and on Fridays, the Guards Parade takes place from 12.30-2 pm, followed by a concert from 2-3 pm.

Take a tram tour

Trams in Helsinki
Trams in HelsinkiShutterstock

A tram tour is a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Helsinki in a leisurely manner. In fact, many people consider Tram 2 as the sightseeing tram for Helsinki. Those interested in the city's architecture, can take the Tram 4 while those wanting a culinary must go on the Tram 6. All-day tickets available here

Temppeliaukio Church

Rock Church in Finland
Rock Church in FinlandShutterstock

Also known as the Rock Church, it has been quarried out of the natural bedrock and designed by architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. Owing to its excellent acoustics, the church is a popular venue for concerts.

Tori Quarters

See where the old town meets modern Helsinki. The historical building of Tori Quarters are now being renovated to create new spaces and addresses. Spend time browsing the boutiques, craft shops, renewed public spaces and cafes and restaurants here.  

Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral

Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral
Uspenski Orthodox CathedralShutterstock

Relive your history lessons at this cathedral, the largest Orthodox Church in western Europe, with its golden cupolas and redbrick facade indicating the Russian impact on Finnish history.

Visit a sea fortress

Suomenlinna, Finland
Suomenlinna, FinlandShutterstock

Suomenlinna, one of the biggest sea fortresses in the world, lies off the Helsinki coast. Ferries available from the Market Square. This 1748 monument is now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Take one of the guided tours that start from the Visitor Centre and the Suomenlinna Museum at the centre of the fortress. Then take a break at the restaurants or cafes. Find out more here

City Zoo

No visit to any city of repute is complete without a visit to the city zoo. Said to be one of the oldest zoos in the world, the Helsinki Zoo houses nearly 150 different animal species from the arctic tundra to the tropical rainforest. More information here

Getting There

You can fly directly to Helsinki from Delhi and Mumbai. Indians require to apply for a visa to visit Finland.

For more information and event details visit their website

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller