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24h or less in Helsinki - is it worth visiting?

Helsinki is a compact city. Main Helsinki sights are located in central area, easily reachable by foot.

If you have just 24 hours or less to explore Helsinki, it is still worth visiting. This time is quite enough to catch all main city attractions, visit best panorama view points, try local tastes, and see something extraordinary. Even if it will be your stopover visit, time spent in Helsinki will give the feeling of Finland and new travel impression.

Trains and buses from Helsinki airport drop off travellers at Helsinki central train station. This is nice place to start city tour as train stations itself is a tourist sight of Helsinki.

If you come by ferry, cruiser will be moored at south harbour just next to the Market square. It's the starting point with beautiful Old market hall, Sky wheel and many other attractions.

1. Senate Square

Must visit place in Helsinki down town and city sightseeing.

All Helsinki excursions buses pick up and drop off here, including the Hop-On Hop-Off buses.

Nice place to relax on the legendary Cathedral steps and taking a break enjoying the view.
Senate Square Helsinki
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2. Havis Amanda

It is a nude female statue - a kind of symbol of Helsinki - surrounded with fountain.

Central location: Esplanade park, the Market Square and the Old Market Hall nearby.

If you are in Helsinki 30.04, do not miss special event here: university students clean the statue and at 18.00 place a student cap on the statues head. This tradition has more than one hundred years roots!
Havis Amanda
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3. Esplanadi

Esplanadi park is an urban park in downtown Helsinki, nearby the Market Square. Many luxury shops are located on both sides of the park.

Kauppatori (Market Square) is Helsinki most international and famous outdoor market and tourist attractions in the city! Located at southern end of the Esplanadi Park. Souvenirs and street food can be found here with nice views.
Esplanadi park
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4. Esplan lava

Espa Stage – the summer stage located in Esplanade Park in front of the Restaurant Kappeli next to Havis Amanda statue. The favourite place of Helsinki residents, travellers and music lovers.

Free entertainment from the beginning of May to the end of August. If you hear rhythms of jazz, blues, folk music or rock while walking around Market Square or Esplanade - it is most likely coming from the stage. Take a look and enjoy.
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5. Old Market Hall

Atmospheric indoors market place since 1889. Local delicacies can be found here, as well as nice cafe and lunch places. It is worth a visit to see the historical building, to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.

Monocle Films video
Old Market Hall
Коттеджи Юлляс

6. Market Square - Kauppatori

Probably the most crowded place in the city, always bustling with people and vendors.

Souvenirs (everything from local made stuff, reindeer skins to woollen jumpers and jewellery) and Food (snacks, local food like smoked fish and salmon soup, fresh fruits, berries and seasonal vegetables).

Ferry to Suomenlinna departs from here, as well as various small boats to Helsinki Zoo, round trip sightseeing boats, etc.
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7. Keisarinnankivi - Czarina's stone

The oldest monument in Helsinki - Market square located - Easy to miss if not looking for it.

An obelisk with a double-headed golden eagle. A sign of Finnish history since Imperial Russia times. It was placed on the spot where Russian Tsar Nicholas I wife Alexandra Feodorovna stepped for the first time from steamship that brought her to Helsinki.
There is Latin and Finnish dedication “To the Empress Alexandra on the occasion of Her first visit to the Finnish capital“.

*Interesting: Eläinkorttelit

Walking through the Helsinki center streets is fun! Just look for the animals on the buildings walls.

The origin goes back to 19th century. Every city quarter was given a name easy to remember in addition to a number. City blocks were named after domestic, wild animals, flowers fish and birds.

8. The Presidential Palace and Changing of Guards

Presidential Palace can be seen while visiting Market Square. It is quite modest as a presidential palace, but still elegant and beautiful architecturally designed.

The Finnish Defence Force military bands perform free public concerts during the summer months in Helsinki from mid May till mid August. The main event is the Guards Parade: changing of the guard next to the presidential palace, at the Main Guard House, and a colourful parade through the city. Held on Fridays at 12-3 pm (Guards Parade at 12.30 - 2 pm, concert at 2-3 pm).

toande77 video
Presidential Palace Helsinki

9. Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral

Right from the Market Square, after passing the Bridge of Love, go up to the hill with gorgeous building of Orthodox Cathedral.

Symbolical and historical site, mandatory for amazing pictures and views.

Visions of Helsinki video
Коттеджи Юлляс

10. Seafront promenade Pohjoisranta

This is a nice seafront promenade with fresh air and beautiful views and the home of impressive historic wooden boats.

In addition, there is a bridge link to the island of Tervasaari and the recreation area. Beautiful place to walk and picnics on the nature right in the city centre.
Seafront promenade Pohjoisranta
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Helsinki Bus City Tour

Hop-on Hop-off bus excursion - All the main Helsinki point of interest in one tour.

Double-decker red buses.
Extensive Multilingual Audio Guide / personal head phones. 10 languages.

Duration: 1h 30min
Season: 2 May - 30 September
Departs every 20 minutes, 10.00-16.00

helsinki bus sity tour

Historical Helsinki Sightseeing Cruise

1½h Sightseeing Cruise - the most extensive Sightseeing Cruise in Helsinki.

The best of Helsinki from the sea: islands, beautiful shores of old city districts, famous historical buildings, churches, icebreakers, harbours, villas, saunas and the zoo. You can also enjoy the traditional archipelago buffet onboard.

Daily from Helsinki Market Square 28.4-30.9.2017.
Price 23€

Vintage tram ride Helsinki

Fun way to explore Helsinki riding a vintage tram from 1909 or an open summer trailer from 1919.

The tour takes 15–20 minutes and covers the most important sights in the historical centre. Departures from the Market Square adjacent to the Havis Amanda fountain.

20.5.-18.6., 12.6., 1.7.-27.8.2017: Sat-Sun 10:00-17:00, departure every 30 min.
Price: 5€/ticket.
Katseenvangitsija video

11. Allas Sea Pool terrace

The Allas Sea Pool is situated close to the Market Square and next to the SkyWheel Ferris wheel. The entrance is after the pedestrian bridge.

Roof terrace is a great central place to enjoy the iconic Helsinki scenery. Direct view to the open sea and to the city.

Sunday–Thursday 11.00-00.00. Friday–Saturday 11.00-02.00.
Allas Sea Pool terrace
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12. SkyWheel Helsinki

SkyWheel Helsinki offers great sea-and-city center view. Helsinki from 40 meters up high! Situated in Katajanokka, beautiful location in Helsinki, next to the Market square.

Adults: 12 EUR / Children (3-11 years): 9 EUR / Toddlers (0-2 years): Free.

Note: Best on a clear day. Windows are tinted in a blueish colour to reduce sun glare (it will affect photos colour!).
SkyWheel Helsinki
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13. Ateljee bar open terraces

Fantastic view over Helsinki from 70m high. Located at the top level of Hotel Torni. Even from wc you can admire the whole city panorama (ladies toilet has the best view :-))

Best time to visit is summer nights.
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14. Magnum Helsinki PopUp Ice cream store

Magnum Helsinki offers unique ice cream experiences. Here you can create your own ice-cream flavour.

Idea is simple and exiting. Watch your ice-cream being made: pay, choose 3 favourite flavours and the type of chocolate you prefer, and that's it :) Magnum staff will mix toppings, dip the ice cream on the chocolate and add the toppings. Enjoy!

3 toppings - 5 euro.
EricksonFamily video


Finland is Home of Fazer. Do not miss the chance to discover the secret of Fazer and try all Fazer tastes at one place!

Central Helsinki Fazer cafe address: Kluuvikatu 3, 00100 Helsinki
TheFazerGroup video

16. Allas Sea Pool

Awesome experience to swim and enjoy Finnish sauna and view of Helsinki, Market Square, SkyWheel and cruise ships from warm outside pool.

3 pools: 1 for kids, 1 with sea water and 1 warm pool. Saunas. An area with sand and sun beds.

Open till 23.00, so great place to admire evening views and lights.
Price 12 euro.
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17. SkySauna

Unique Finnish Sauna experience right in the heart of Helsinki at one of the cabins on SkyWheel.

SkySauna combines sauna in the sky with a sea and city view and a comfortable massaging hot tub on the ground.

Sauna cabin fits 4-5 people at once. Possibility to rent it for special occasions and groups.
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18. Kappeli Restaurant

Old restaurant Kappeli in a few words: Atmosphere, View and good Food.

It serves classic traditional cuisine prepared from the finest raw ingredients with a view of the lovely Esplanade.

Vain ravintolaa video
food helsinki

19. Savotta restaurant

If you are about finding local Finnish food, here is a place to visit.

Savotta is a Finnish restaurant offering Finnish authentic food and atmosphere with old artefacts dating back to Finnish homes and logging sites from the old days. Waitress are wearing traditional Finnish clothes, old-shaped furniture decor.

Also locating is great - just off the Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral.
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20. Finlandia Caviar Shop & Restaurant

It is a little, family run, central located caviar shop and oyster restaurants. Here you can try a largest collection of different roes and caviars, as well as to buy one to home.

Many travellers say it is not a restaurant, it is luxury caviare experience in Helsinki!

Finlandia Caviar video
Коттеджи Юлляс

21. Majakkalaiva Relandersgrund

Old boat (1886-1888) turned into family run restaurant with a cool terrace and extremely nice views.

Inside restaurant open all year round and fin up to 60 persons. Outside terrace from May to October.

Just another nice place to experience tastes of Helsinki from sea.
Majakkalaiva Relandersgrund
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22. Stockmann department store

Stockmann is one of the best places to shop everything from food to home-ware and souvenirs and Finnish design products in a compact area.

Shopping tip: bring your passport and get 10% discount card off all regular priced purchases and 5% on food as Tourist. Visitor Discount voucher one the 8th floor at Service area.

Sale time: next day after Christmas and from 25-26.06. Enjoy *Retail therapy*!
Stockmann Helsinki

23. Kankurin Tupa souvenir shop

Kankurin Tupa is the largest souvenir shop in Finland. Located at Esplanade, at the very heart of Helsinki.

Here you can find Scandinavian style gifts and handicrafts, Finnish design products, home items, Moomins, wool and wood. In the basement level there is an amazing all-year Christmas shop (worth visiting to be inspired by winter!).


Our 7 Helsinki Hotels selection. Something special to stay during your Helsinki breaks.


# Helsinki luxury cottage rental prices from 650 euro/2 nights.
# Lakeside cottages and villas with sauna (serviced or self-catering).

Igluhut – Sleep with reindeer

Unique accommodation at Nuuksio Reindeer Park, 50 km to Helsinki. Handcrafted Iglu cabins are made from natural materials. You can watch and feed the reindeer from the huts window. The guide will take you in the reindeer park.

Accommodation for 2 persons. Ecotoilet, limited washing facilities, a mini fridge, electric kettle, coffee/tea/water and a bucketful of lichen for feeding reindeer.

See: Igluhut with reindeer
See: Igluhut with reindeer
Igluhut – Sleep with reindeer
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We've selected 5 hotels in Helsinki for a different budget we could recommend. Scroll through the hotel list below to get an idea where to stay.

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1. Hotel Kämp is a luxurious SPA hotel in very heart of Helsinki. Senate Square - the main Helsinki place to visit - 350m from the hotel. Kämp Spa os free for guests: traditional Finnish sauna, steam bath and a spa lounge.
Hotel Kämp >
Kamp hotel Helsinki
Tips to plan Helsinki trip:
Helsinki center city hotels
Arport Hotels
Boutique Hotels



Helsinki Baltic Herring Market 2019

The Helsinki Baltic Herring Market is one of the oldest ongoing event traditions in Finland, it has been held since 1743. Throughout the years, the Market has changed from a marketplace to a wider public event bringing together archipelago traditions and modern food culture.

The aim of the City of Helsinki is to hold on to the tradition, and to support the livelihood of fishers. A new focus will be placed on widening the scope of the event into a celebration for all citizens.

Helsinki airport hotels
Date: 06 October 2019 - 12 October 2019
Address: Market Square, Ullanlinna and Kaisaniemi, Eteläranta, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Traditional Sailing Day 2019

Traditional Sailing Days gather the large Finnish sailing ships at South Harbour.

Then the audience is welcome to visit the ships and meet the crews.

Market Square / South Harbour 13.10. 10.00-16.00

Free entry

Traditional Sailing Day
Date: 13 October 2019
Address: Market Square, Ullanlinna and Kaisaniemi, Eteläranta, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Allas Moonlight Swim

Allas Sea Pool is organizing moonlight swim outdoors in a heated pool during autumn season under the glooming light of the full moon.

Allas Sea Pool
12.11. 19.00-22.00
12.12. 19.00-22.00

Tickets 14€ at the entrance

Allas Moonlight Swim
Date: 12 Novembr 2019
Address: Allas Sea Pool, 00160 Helsinki, Finland
Viaporin Kekri. Suomenlinna Helsinki

Created with respect and consideration for Suomenlinna’s past, Viaporin Kekri is an opportunity to explore Finnish history, a modern interpretation of an old Kekri tradition, and an experiment in creating new meanings out of centuries-old believes and customs.

It gives its visitors a unique chance to explore and experience Suomenlinna islands from a new perspective and see its darkest corners that are usually closed for the general public.

Suomenlinna 2.11. 14.00-23.00

Free entry

Viaporin Kekri.  Suomenlinna Helsinki
Date: 2 November 2019
Address: Suomenlinna, 00190 Suomimenlinna Helsinki, Finland
Lucia Parade 2019

Each year a young maiden is chosen to represent St. Lucia on Lucia Day 13 December. Lucia is crowned in the Cathedral at 17:00 after that she will descend the Cathedral stairs to the Senate Square.

The Lucia parade starts from the Senate Square at approx. 18:00, route: Aleksanterinkatu-Mannerheimintie-Eteläesplanadi-Market Square

Lucia Parade
Date: 13 Desember 2019
Address: Senate Square, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki Christmas Market 2019

Helsinki Christmas Market is the oldest and largest event of its kind in Helsinki. Taking place in the centre of Helsinki in the Senate Square the Christmas Market attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The centre of the market is home to a cluster of licensed food courts focusing on regional specialities. In the gift alleys surrounding the food courts, there are over a hundred vendors selling traditional handicraft, the latest design and utility products, as well as produce from primary producers and farms.

The heart of the market beats to a hugely popular, old-fashioned merry-go-round offering free rides to children and others who are young at heart.

Senate Square 6.-22.12.

Helsinki Christmas Market
Date: 06 Desember 2019 - 22 Desember 2019
Address: Senate Square, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
New Year's Eve at the Senate Square in Helsinki 2020

Helsinki’s official New Year’s Eve celebrations will kick off once again with a special programme.

Senate Square Helsinki 31.12.

Free entry

New Year Eve at the Senate Square in Helsinki
Date: 31 Desember 2019
Address: Senate Square, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Viber: 358 45 8557055
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