Finland's capital is an intriguing city that blends a progressive lifestyle with outstanding contemporary architecture. Sitting on a peninsular on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the city is surrounded by water on all sides, making it a popular destination for those who want to mix a bustling city life with attractive natural surroundings. Known as the "Daughter of the Baltic", the city incorporates a network of islands, each of which has its own distinct characteristics. Korkeasaari Island is the home of Finland's largest zoo, one of the city's most popular attractions, which is accessible by bridge from the island of Mustikkamaa. Another popular tourist attraction is Suomenlinna Island Fortress, a World Heritage Site that can be explored on foot with a guided tour. Many visitors to Helsinki are fascinated by the modern architecture within the city, and one of its most famous and unusual buildings is Temppeliaukio Church, also known as the Rock Church. This unique place of worship was designed to incorporate the bedrock into its structure and is famous for its incredible acoustics. At the heart of the city centre, Senate Square provides a dramatic sight for any new visitor. Incorporating four major landmarks within the square, including the majestic Helsinki Cathedral, it's a popular point on the tourist map. Alongside its architectural wonders, Helsinki is also a centre of contemporary arts and culture. Many visitors are drawn to Sibelius Park to visit The Sibelius Monument, a modern statue of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. This famous monument resembles organ pipes and is one of the city's most popular attractions. Following a busy day of sightseeing, you can relax in the leafy surroundings of Esplanade Park, where local residents enjoy various events, such as concert performances and folk dancing.
When to fly to Helsinki
In the summer months Helsinki residents enjoy long days and warm temperatures. Between May and August temperatures are at their highest, making this a pleasant time to visit the city.
Between November and February temperatures in the city can drop below freezing, making this a less popular time of the year for visiting. However, the cold, snowy environment can have its own unique charms, so if you don't mind the cold you can get cheaper deals on city accommodation and still find plenty of interesting things to do here.
Getting around Helsinki
There is an excellent public transport system that operates within the city, allowing passengers to hop on and off the metro, trams and buses using a single ticket.