Helsinki is Finland’s capital city and sits on the edge of the Baltic Sea. There are approxiately 600,000 residents – much of the country’s population lives in the southern part of the country. Helsinki boasts a number of attractions and plenty of events and festivals throughout the year.
Attractions include the Temppeliaukion Church or “church of the rock” – a very unique Lutheran church that opened in 1969. The inside was carved out of solid rock – is small and entirely surrounded by both solid rock and a number of larger stacked pieces. After “church” consider a visit to Kotiharjun Sauna – a “last of an era” traditional sauna. It remains one of the only wood-fired public bathing sauna’s in Helsinki. It dates from 1928.
Hietalahden Kauppahalli Market near the Western Harbour provides an excellent introduction to some of Finland’s local products as well as imported items. After the market consider at trip to Suomenlinna. This is a short ferry ride from Helsinki and is a well maintained sea fortress on a small island built in 1748. Recommended visit time 2-4 hours. Attractions here include the fort itself, various museums and seasonal events.
Ready to visit some of Finland’s natural heritage? Nuuksio National Park is merely 30-40 minutes from central Helsinki and boasts a modern educational center, plenty of hiking trails, nice lakes and expansive woodlands.
Recommended hotel stay within Helsinki is the Hotel Katajanokka, a former prison nicely converted to a modern hotel. For more information about Helsinki, visit: www.visithelsinki.fi