Helsinki (in Finnish; listen help·info), Helsingfors (in Swedish; listen help·info) is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is located in the southern part of Finland on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, at 60°10'N 24°56'E by the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is 564,643 (31 August 2006).^ The Helsinki urban region contains the neighboring cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, which are together called the Capital Region. This area has a total population of approximately 997,291^ citizens. The Greater Helsinki area contains several more neighboring cities and has a population of approximately 1,293,093,^ which means that one out of every four Finns lives in the Greater Helsinki area.
Surrounded by sea and a vast archipelago, Helsinki is at its best in the summer when the dialogue between the city and nature is at its fullest. Classical Helsinki's sights can be divided into an eclectic set of churches and a wide variety of museums.
A beautiful archipelago surrounds the Helsinki city center. In addition to the major islands listed below, there are scheduled services to many smaller islands, and you can also tour them by sightseeing cruise. Most of the cruises depart from the Western corner of the Market Square and last from one to several hours. Note most ferries and cruises operate only in the summer high season.
- Suomenlinna. The greatest sea fortress on the Baltic, which Sweden ignominiously surrendered without a fight to Russia, which resulted in Finland's autonomy. Still living in its own time with only old buildings, few cars and loads of old fortifications, catacombs and cast iron cannons, today the sprawling complex houses a few restaurants, theaters and museums and is a very popular place for a picnic on a fine summer day, watching the vast passenger ferries drift by on their way to Estonia and St. Petersberg. It was included in Unescoâ€™s in 1991 as a unique monument to European military architecture. Accessible by ferry from Market Square (the HKL ferry is the cheapest and most convenient).
- Seurasaari. A pleasant little island to the north of the center, filled with walking trails and authentic old Finnish houses collected from all over the country. An excellent half-day trip, especially in the summer. Entry to the park free, entry into the museum buildings 5€. Take bus 24 from Erottaja (at the northern end of Esplanadi) to the terminus (20-30 minutes), then walk across the bridge.
- Korkeasaari. A large island in the central Helsinki, connected to dry land. On Korkeasaari lies the Helsinki Zoo with approximately 200 different animal species. A 15-minute ferry connection from Hakaniemi and Market Square; for land access, take the metro to Herttoniemi and then bus 11 from the Herttoniemi metro station to the zoo gate. Entry to the zoo 5€/3€.
- Esplanadin puisto. It's really hard to miss this park situated between Kauppatori and the Swedish theatre. In the summer time it is full of people sitting on the lawn, meeting their friends and quite often also having a picnic (a must for all budget travellers). In the summer there are often also free concerts given by local artists on the stage close to Kauppatori, facing restaurant Kappeli.
- Kaivopuisto. A beautiful park by the sea in the southmost part of the city. In summer you might want to sit down for a cup of coffee in one of the seaside cafes and enjoy the view of sailboats at the sea and people on the promenade. Housing surrounding this area is the most expensive in Helsinki.
- TĂ¶Ă¶lĂ¶ Bay . Located northwest from the central railway station, this is a bay surrounded by a nice park (and lots of wild European rabbits!), dotted with attractions such as the Finlandia Concert Hall and the National Opera. TĂ¶Ă¶lĂ¶nlahti is partly in natural state which is quite rare in major cities. Walking and jogging around the bay is a popular outdoor activity.
- Sinebrychoffin puisto. Also known as "Koffin puisto", located in Punavuori disctrict next to the Sinebrychoff art museum. Popular with young people, in the summer it is full of people on picnic or just drinking (literally: "beer in a bag"), in the winter kids ride sleds down the snowy slope.
- Central Park . A huge park starting just north of the Olympic Stadium and extending for ten kilometers north, encompassing an area of over 1 000 hectares. The park is mostly in natural state.
- Lutheran Cathedral . Aleksanterinkatu. 9AM-6PM daily. The unofficial symbol of the city, this striking white cathedral dominates the central Senate Square. Based on designs by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1852, the cathedral has recently been refurbished and looks better than ever, with the 12 apostles on the roof once again looking down at the world below. Free.
- The Church in the Rock (, literally "Temple Square Church"). Lutherinkatu 3 , 494698. 10AM-5PM daily. An atmospheric if minimalistic church literally dug out of solid rock, resembling a crashed UFO from above. The roof is made of 22 kilometers of copper strips. Completed in 1969, this has become one of Helsinki's most popular attractions. Concerts are often held here thanks to the excellent acoustics. Free.
- Uspenski Cathedral. Kanavakatu 1, 634267. T-Fr 9:30AM-4PM, Sa 9:30AM-2PM, Su noon-3PM. May-Sep MWeSa 9:30AM-4PM, Tu 9:30AM-6PM, Su noon-3PM. Uspenski Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Western Europe. Free.
- St. John's Church . Korkeavuorenkatu 12, 7092370. Mo-Fr 12-15PM. The largest church in Helsinki and a fine example of gothic revival architecture. Free.
- Church of Kallio . T-Fr 12AM-6PM, Sa-Su 10AM-6PM. On top of the hill at the end of Siltasaarenkatu. The church is built of grey granite (1912) and its massive looks dominate the view from Hakaniemi. It was designed by the famous Finnish architect Lars Sonck. The church has both baroque and French romantic organs and concerts are organized frequently. Free.
Museums and galleries
Many of Helsinki's museums are as interesting from the outside as from the inside. Architecture buffs will get a kick out of Helsinki's Neo-Classical center, centered around Senate Square . Aleksanterinkatu and the Railway Station square also have some beautiful neo-classical buildings — look out for the Romantic Kalevala-esque themes on many — but unfortunately these areas also have many concrete monstrosities mixed in.
- Ateneum Art Museum, Kaivokatu 2, tel. 173361 ( 17336228 for tickets). Tue Fri 9AM-6PM, Wed Thu 9AM-8PM, Sat Sun 11AM-5PM, Mondays closed. Ateneum can be considered the most nationally significant art museum, and it has the largest collection of paintings and sculptures in Finland. Particularly notable is the collection of works by major Finnish artists. Works include renowned interpretations of the national epic Kalevala. Entrance fee â‚¬6 / â‚¬4, or during special exhibitions â‚¬8 / â‚¬6.5. Free admission for visitors under 18. Wednesdays 5PM-8PM free admission.
- Design Museum. Korkeavuorenkatu 23, 622 0540. Tue 11AM-8PM, Wed-Sun 11AM-6PM, Mondays closed. Exhibitions of modern commercial and industrial design and modern art. The permanent exhibit in the basement showcases the history of consumer-goods design over the course of the 20th century, with a particular focus on the contributions of Finnish designers. Entrance is â‚¬7 for adults, â‚¬3 for students, and free for children.
- Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Mannerheiminaukio 2, tel. 1733 6501. Tue 10AM-5PM, Wed-Sun 10AM-8:30PM, Mondays closed. Located near Ateneum, Kiasma is everything Ateneum isn't. The sometimes unusual collections mostly include works by contemporary Finnish artists and artists from nearby countries. In addition to this, there are also periodical exhibitions. The building itself is arguably a work of art. Entrance fee â‚¬6 for adults, â‚¬4 for students, senior citizen and groups with at least 7 people. Free admission for visitors under 18. Fridays 5PM-8PM free admission.
- National Museum of Finland , Mannerheimintie 34. Tue-Wed 11AM-8PM, Thu-Sun 11AM-6PM, Mondays closed. A beautiful classical building houses this old museum, which has recently been renovated. The exhibit includes displays of artifacts and items relating to Finland's history. Admission â‚¬6 / â‚¬4, free admission for visitors under 18. Tuesdays 5:30PM-8PM free admission.
- Museum of Cultures , Tennispalatsi 2nd floor, EtelĂ¤inen Rautatiekatu 8. Tue-Thu 11AM-8PM, Fri-Sun 11AM-6PM, Mondays closed. One of Helsinki's quirkier museums, concentrates on changing exhibitions of cultures Finland. Admission â‚¬5 / â‚¬4. Tuesdays 5PM-8PM and Fridays 11AM-6PM free admission.
- Heureka Science Centre, Tikkurila , Vantaa. Mon-Wed, Thu 10AM-8PM, Fri 10AM-5PM, Sat Sun 10AM-6PM. If you have children, this is a great place for a day trip. Hands-on science tests and exhibitions plus Verne super-cinema. There's also a Heureka Shop, where you can buy interesting science-related memorabilia. Admission (exhibitions and one super-movie) for adult costs â‚¬19, for children (6-15) â‚¬12.50.
Helsinki is an olympic city, the host of the 1952 Olympic Games.
- Olympic Stadium. Mon-Fri 9AM-8PM, Sat Sun 9AM-6PM. Recently renovated for the 2005 World Athletic Championships, the stadium with its 72m high tower offers a great view over the city. â‚¬2 (adults) / â‚¬1 (children).
- Sibelius Monument, Sibelius Park. The world-famous composer Jean Sibelius' monument was designed by sculptress Eila Hiltunen and unveiled in 1967. It is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Helsinki as nearly every guided tourist tour is brought to Sibelius Park to marvel at this unique work of art resembling organ pipes, welded together from 600 pipes and weighing over 24 metric tons.
- Parliament House , Mannerheimintie 30. The House of the 200-seat Parliament of Finland was designed by J.S. SirĂ©n in the classic style of the 1920s and officially inaugurated in 1931. The interior is classical with a touch of functionalism and art deco. Tours in English at 11AM and noon on Saturdays; at noon and 1PM on Sundays; in July and August also on weekdays at 1PM. Free.
- Finlandia Hall, Mannerheimintie 13. Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM. Designed by Finland's best known architect Alvar Aalto and located across the street from the National Museum, the marble Finlandia Hall is a popular congress and concert venue in Helsinki. The building itself is worth a visit especially for architecture buffs, with guided tours available (â‚¬6 / â‚¬4, check website for schedule). Be sure to view the building also from across the TĂ¶Ă¶lĂ¶nlahti bay in the evening when it is floodlit. Free.
Location is derived from the great work of WikiMapia
Top photos chosen by u all:
Bio Rex (V)
Made by miemo
In 1960 there were 49 movie theaters in Helsinki. In 2006 there are only 8 left. The exhibition Kinostalgia is a nostalgic tribute to the old cinemas - the Holga-photographs are taken in fall 2006 in four of the oldest remaining movie theaters of Helsinki: Bio Rex, Orion, Maxim and Forum. Displayed in a solo exhibition at Galleria Lasipalatsi, Helsinki in September 2006. ---------- This photo is from Bio Rex, built in 1936. The theater currently hosts various events through the year, but is not in day-to-day cinema use anymore.
Getting Down to Busyness
Made by Arkku
As for the title: the building is both a bus terminal and a shopping centre, so it's quite a busy place. However, the higher up one goes, the less busy it gets, since the terminal and some of the largest shops are on the bottom floors. So, looking down from the top floor, as in the picture, one can see an increasing amount of people buzzing about the farther down one looks. It's even somewhat visible in the picture. =)
Made by elwisty1
Explore: Dec 16, 2007 #481 The building that lies in ruins used to be a power plant. It is going to be demolished by the end of next year. A great loss for photographers.
Made by taivasalla
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Cmon baby...light my fire !
Made by murtuza707
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ISLAS DE HELSINKI. SUOMELINNA
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Nearest places of interest:
Kalasatama Metro station
Metro goes underground