Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.14 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £1.27 | 1.45 €

One-way ticket £2.81 | 3.20 €

Beer £5.27 | 6.00 €

Main Course £10.55 | 12.00 €

About Helsinki

The so-called ‘Daughter of the Baltic’, Helsinki is a multi-faceted city that combines a trendy, cosmopolitan culture with an abundance of man-made and natural beauty.

For those looking for a city that is truly full of life, then you needn’t look further than Helsinki. For starters, it’s visually stunning, thanks to a rich mix of historical and modern architecture, alongside incomparable green spaces.

And when you’re not strolling round, open-mouthed at the aesthetic beauty, there’s the constantly evolving restaurant scene, the eclectic nightlife and chilled-out café culture to keep you entertained.

The weather might be unpredictable, but we can predict with confidence that if you head to Helsinki, you won’t be disappointed.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

It really depends on what you want to do. The months with most daylight typically attract the most visitors to the city, so if you don’t mind the crowds then this is the time for you. Whilst winter offers little daylight, you can still get into the idyllic, festive spirit and fit in lots of activities. We recommend August as the perfect time to get the last of the good weather without the flock of tourists.

Helsinki combines characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate. This makes for intriguing, extreme and often unpredictable weather patterns.

For example, the summer in Helsinki is bright, with the sun staying above the horizon for the majority of the day. But fast-forward to winter, and the sun barely makes an appearance at all. No wonder Finland has been termed ‘Land of the Midnight Sun.’

The coldest time of the year is usually at the end of January, when temperatures average -6 degrees Celsius. In July this figure reaches 17 degrees Celsius.

Whilst many may not love the cold weather winter brings, there is one bonus. If the winter is sufficiently cold enough, the incredible Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis that can often be seen in Northern Finland can make an appearance in Helsinki.

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Travioor top tips

Best views
Linnanmäki
Market Square

Insider Info

  • For the best panoramic view of the city, head to the 72-metre-high Olympic Stadium Tower (the city hosted the Olympics in 1952), where you can experience amazing views of Helsinki from above.

  • With more rides than any other amusement park in Scandinavia, head to Linnanmäki Amusement Park where you can enjoy roller coasters, bumper cars, a ferris wheel, pendulum rides, river rafting, water rides and more.

  • Pick up a souvenir, grab a tasty treat or simply enjoy the atmosphere at Market Square - known as Kauppatori in Finnish - where locals and tourists alike happily while away the hours.

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Food and drink

Main Course £10.55 | 12.00 €

3-Course Meal £61.54 | 70.00 €

Cappuccino £3.15 | 3.58 €

Beer £5.27 | 6.00 €

The Scene

As you would expect for a nation surrounded by water, seafood plays a major part in Finnish cuisine. Salmon and herring in particular are two fish that are served fresh, smoked or pickled and incorporated into a variety of dishes. We’re big fans of kalakukko, a thick rye loaf filled with lake fish and silakat, which is breaded pickled herring seasoned with salt then fried.

Meatballs and sausages feature on many a menu, whilst reindeer, elk and even bear are sometimes served as delicacies. And if you’re after something a bit different, try some salmiakki, a salty black liquorice that’s a favourite with Finns, but rather an acquired taste if you ask us.

And it’s not just food you should concern yourself with. Finns drink more coffee than anyone else in the world and cafés, or kahvilat, are found at every turn. They’re also partial to beer. And vodka. And wine.

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History

Helsinki’s Story

Sweden’s King Gustavus Vasa founded Helsinki on the mouth of the Vantaanjoki River in 1550, with it getting moved to its current location in the 1600s.

In 1748, Sweden began building the Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress off the coast of Helsinki to counter the growing threat posed by Russia. The massive project brought additional money, people and merchants to the town.

The threat soon became real, however, as Russia conquered Finland in 1809. The status of Helsinki was raised to capital of the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland three years later. The Russians drew up a monumental, Empire-style city plan to reflect the power of Russia and the Tsar.

Finland became independent in 1917, and Helsinki became the capital of the young republic. In 1952, after the damage of the Second World War, Helsinki hosted the Summer Olympics, establishing an international reputation for itself as an efficient and friendly host city.

Finland became an EU Member State in 1995, whilst Helsinki was one of nine European Cities of Culture in 2000. Further accolades have decorated the city in recent years, with Helsinki successfully hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007, getting chosen as World Design Capital for the year in 2012, and being awarded City of Design status as by UNESCO in 2014.

Language

Hei | Hello
Kiitos | Thank you

Finnish

Finnish is the Finns' mother tongue, but many also learn English and Swedish at school, as well as German, French or Spanish. But to help you out, we’ve compiled some useful basic phrases to get you started:

  • Goodbye: Näkemiin
  • Yes: Kyllä
  • No: Ei
  • You're welcome: Ei kestä
  • Excuse me: Anteeksi
  • My name is ...: Nimeni on ...

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Need to know

+358 9 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • It’s the general etiquette to remove your shoes upon entering a Finnish home (tramping through a house with muddy boots doesn’t show much respect for the host).
  • The weather is extremely unpredictable, so it’s strongly advised that you check the weather forecast, pack accordingly and bring a variety of clothing.
  • The journey from the airport to the city centre takes approximately 30 minutes and is easily accessible by bus, rail and taxi.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Finland here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Temppeliaukio

The Temppeliaukio Church, known as ‘the Rock Church’, is an underground church built inside a massive block of natural granite. An absolute must-visit.

2. Ateneum Art Museum

Get your culture fix at the Ateneum Art Museum, also known as the National Museum of Art. It’s home to the best loved classic works of Finnish art.

3. Chapel of Silence

Take some time off from the commotion of city life and visit the Kamppi Chapel of Silence, built to provide an oasis of calm in one of Finland’s liveliest urban spaces.

4. Helsinki Cathedral

Towering spectacularly above Market Square, you just have to pay tribute to Helsinki Cathedral, modeled after Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg,.

5. Finnish sauna

You can’t go to Helsinki without getting your sweat on in a traditional Finnish sauna, is a must-do if you’re looking for a complete Helsinki experience.


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