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Travel guide – Helsinki

The capital of Finland, beautiful Helsinki is a trendy city with plenty of culture, great shopping, restaurants that offer world-class food and much, much more. From the picturesque heart of the city attractive green areas, perfect for relaxation, are within easy walking distance.

Senaatintori (Helsinki Senate Square) – the Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive architectural entity. The square is dominated by four buildings: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.

Helsingin Tuomiokirkko (Helsinki Cathedral) – is arguably Finland's most famous and photographed building; it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002.

Temppeliaukio Church (Church of the Rock) – the acoustics inside this Lutheran church hewn out of the rock make it an excellent concert venue. The church is located in the heart of Helsinki and is visited by half a million people every year.

Sightseeing cruises – you can explore Helsinki's jewel-like archipelago via a number of cruise operators.

Suomenlinna – this sea fortress and its island home is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers tourists a real adventure with its tunnels, museums, submarine and fortress. Apart from exploring the area you can also visit one of the museums and during summer time there are several cafes and pleasant areas to enjoy a picnic.

Esplanadi Park – a green area in the heart of Helsinki which often plays host to various events.

Porvoo – dating from the 14th century, the second-oldest city in Finland lies just 40 minutes from Helsinki.

Nuuksio National Park – unspoilt Finnish nature makes this national park worth exploring. With its marked trails, cooking shelters and camping sites it is ideal for short hiking trips. Only 90 minutes by public transport from the city centre.

Helsinki offers visitors excellent shopping with both large malls and small boutiques with unique items. The central district contains the most stores with several famous designers, such as Marimekko and Iittala, having their flagship stores here.

Stockmann – a classic department store spread over several floors in the heart of Helsinki with groceries, electronic goods, and the latest trends in fashion, as well as exhibitions, restaurants and interior decoration.

Other popular shopping malls are Galleria EsplanadForum and Kamppi.

Market Square – a popular place in Helsinki for tourists to buy souvenirs and take a coffee break.

Design District Helsinki – you will find an entire area of 25 streets with galleries and interesting boutiques selling Finnish-designed products. It stretches from Kamppi to the core of the Punavuori area – still for many is the only real Design District. – a paradise for those interested in consumer electronics situated in Helsinki’s Länsisatama.

Helsinki is famous for its restaurants and top-quality food. The city offers both international fare and traditional Finnish dishes. Here's some recommendations for those keen to try Finnish food.

Karelian pastry (karjalanpiirakka) – pasty with a rice or potato filling.

Kalakukko – a traditional Finnish fish dish placed inside a loaf of rye bread and baked in the oven for several hours.

Reindeer fillet – tender and juicy, it almost melts in your mouth.

Smoked fish – has a pleasant smoky flavour and scent, as well as a beautiful colour.

Berries – Finnish berries are not only healthy, but they also taste incredibly delicious. How about trying some strawberry sorbet, cloudberry parfait, blueberry tart, or lingonberry crème brûlé?

Beer – try local beers when visiting Helsinki.

Long drinks – cocktail culture is growing rapidly, and offers plenty of options.

Salmari – a popular shot that tastes of salt liquorice. Try it.

Helsinki tram – runs through the city with 13 lines. If you stay for more than a day it's worth buying a multi-day ticket.

Metro – the subway in Helsinki runs east to west. Same price as the tram or bus.

Bus – also provides a good alternative to move around Helsinki.

Taxi – quite expensive but readily available in Helsinki.

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Currency in Finland – euro (€)

Electricity in Finland – 230 volts

Payment – foreign cards are well accepted everywhere in Helsinki

Tips – not necessary in Finland, as service charges and VAT are added to the check in restaurants and hotels.

Time zone – Helsinki (Finland) UTC/GMT + 2 hour.

Water – the Finnish tap water is safe to drink, not to mention delicious.

Helsinki Airport (HEL)

The airport is located 18 km north of Helsinki.

We recommend that you check in online or on a mobile device before arriving at the airport. You can also use the self-service check-in kiosks available in the departure hall of Terminal 2.

Always remember to check your airline’s terminal and check-in times.

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