In 1550, Helsinki was founded by Sweden's king. It's location on the mouth of the Vantaanjoki River on the Baltic Sea makes it a major competitor for southern-lying Tallinn.
Today, Helsinki is a major tourist destination, as travelers come from all over to shop, eat, and view the city's history.
Johannes Church (St. John's Church)
The Parliament House
The Office of the President of the Rep. of Finland
Finnish National Theatre
Wooden House District
If we had more time in Helsinki, these too would have been stops we made:
National Museum of Finland
Helsinki prides itself on visitors being able to get around without a personal car. The city provides many options for transportation, the main one being the Helsinki Transportation System (HSL), which includes bus, tram, metro, commuter train, and ferry. Find more information, such as where to purchase tickets, and how their system works, here.
Should you choose to forego the many public transportation options, most of Helsinki is very walkable. However, keep in mind, that there are many roads and sidewalks that may have uneven stone or bricks.
If you would like to travel to one of the islands, like Suomenlinna, you will need to purchase a ticket. If you have a Helsinki Card, the journey will be free.
Lodging + Accomodations
This hotel was a fun one to stay in. The building was formerly a county prison, renovated into a swanky hotel. Fun fact: their employees wear black and white stripes to add to the experience.
It's not the most centrally located place to stay, but since we booked our stay with points, it was perfect for what we needed. It's about a 10 minute walk to the Helsinki Harbor Market.
Food + Dining + Coffee
If you've looked at our other destination pages, you've probably noticed that we have a pizza reccomendation for each place we travel too. I (Emily) am a pizza fanatic, plus its usually cheaper and very filling. Therefore, I've made it my personal mission to find good pizza everywhere I go. Kotipizza's thing is having reigndeer pizza. You read that right. Before you get judgey, it's basically like ground beef on pizza (or sausage). Overall, we were pleased with their selections and left satisfied. Twice.
There's tons of food vendors at the market, everything from fruits and veggies to full meals. It's a great place to stop if you want some authentic street style food. We also 10/10 reccomend picking up some strawberries. We got some day-old ones that were discounted because they were so ripe, and Karson still dreams about them years later.
Old Market Hall has been serving customers since 1889. The hall is filled with merchant stalls that sell a variety of foods--fish, cheese, coffee, tea, baked goods and fresh produce.
This is a Finnish-family operated coffee chain. The best location by far is the Jugend "The Mothership" location that sits in a historic building. They serve coffee, teas, light lunch-type foods, and have a bakery and icecream shop on location. The atmosphere is suberb, and I'd definitly recommend stoping in to relax over a hot drink of your choice (I personally reccomend a chai latte and a cinnamon roll).
Small Convenience Stores
For the life of me, I cannot think of the names of these places nor can I find anything on Google Maps that verifies what my mind is trying to remember. Maybe K-Market or R-Kioski? Anyway, these are easy stops for when you're out and about, but don't want to sit down and eat. They have some pretty good pastries inside, that are also fairly inexpensive.