Although the impression given outside, there are interesting things to do in Helsinki, vibrant capital of Finland. My stay was not too long, but a weekend is sufficient to have a good tour of the city… also through a running experience, of course 😉 .
City center and Senate square
The Senate square comprises some of the most notable architectonic elements of Helsinki. Behind the statue of Tsar Alexander II, you can admire the Chatedral (Tuomiokirkko), and its white, neoclassical beauty. The Cathedral stairs are often hosting locals and tourists spending some time in the beautiful, large square.
The church does not only celebrate the regular religious (protestant) functions. It hosts in fact the opening and closing sessions of the Finnish Parliament, and the celebrations of the University of Helsinki.
You will find two other important religious buildings, unique and different, in the heart of Helsinki. One is the Temppeliaukio, the Church in the rocks. The meaning is literal: this church has been built by carving a block of granite in the city.
The dome on top was realized with a single copper cable. The light filters from narrow windows, creating unique games of light.
Also the acoustic created is very good: therefore, the church is used for classical music concerts, hosting hundreds of people.
Another important church is the Chapel of Silence, in Narinkka, a very noisy area. This wooden small chapel, built in 2012, will insulate you from the outer sounds. You can enjoy a break of tranquility, in this wooden island in the middle of the chaos.
The market square and food experience
The market square (Kauppatori) on the harbor, is very close to the Senate square. It will be a good opportunity for shopping, and discovering of local products. These range from souvenirs, crafted by local artisans, to typical food experiences.
In particular, food stands will give you the chance of tasking local specialties: fish or meat based, but also sweet treats.
Sauna and SPAs
Finnish sauna is a must if you are visiting Helsinki! It is so integrated in the Finnish culture that many residential buildings have a shared sauna. Finnish people love enjoying sauna once per week, naked, combining the hot with a cold embrace with water or, when possible, snow.
I recommend two possibilities: Allas Sea Pool, a complex with sauna, cold pools, restaurants and bars, combining leisure and relax. In alternative the public sauna of Löyly, 2-3 km outside the city center. Also in this case you will have the chance to go directly from the sauna to a swim in the Baltic sea, if you dare!
Another experiences I want to mention, which I did not have time for, is a visit to the Kallio district. This vibrant part of the city is famous for the design, the multicultural environment, and its pubs and bars. You can also find more info on the official website for tourism for Helsinki.
I hope you liked my travelling tips. Contact me or find here below how to book your trip to Helsinki with good deals 🙂
Read the review of Helsinki City Running Day