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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.

Airport Overview

Located approximately 5km (3 miles) west of the centre of Vantaa, and 17km (10.6 miles) north of Helsinki’s city centre, Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL) is Finland’s main international airport. It was first built for the Summer Olympics of 1952 and now serves an average of 12.5 million passengers per year.

Current renovations at Helsinki Airport, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, include a complete overhaul of the waiting lounge, baggage and check-in areas. The addition of several shops, cafes and restaurants is also set to enhance the airport, while the relocation of existing retail and dining establishments will improve passenger flow and free up space for more chairs in the seating areas. The airport building itself is divided into two terminals, separated by a distance of 250 metres (820 feet), and internal pedestrian connections offer quick transfers between them.

Helsinki Vantaa International Airport is clean and staff are helpful and friendly. Security checks and customs are generally quick.

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This is useful information about Vantaa

Photo of Helsinki   Helsinki
Temp on Avg for this month inVantaa14.2 °CSource: World Weather Online
Avg rainfall for this month inVantaa46 mmSource: World Weather Online
Average flying time toVantaa2 hrs 55 mins
Rate of exchange inVantaa€1.00 = £0.80Source: Oanda
Airlines that fly toVantaaBritish Airways, KLM and Finnair
Deals available on flights toVantaa300
Partners with offers toVantaaCheapOair.co.uk, Crystal Travel and British Airways
Number of partners with deals toVantaa6
Cheapest flights offer toVantaa£123
Average flight offer toVantaa£296

 How much do things cost in Helsinki?

  • Cheap meal: £9.56
  • Bottle of wine: £9.56
  • Taxi - fixed fee: £5.58
  • Cappuccino: £2.60
  • Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre): £2.12
  • 1 hour taxi waiting fee: £34.51
  • 1 mile taxi journey: £1.95
  • 3 bedroom flat in city centre: £1369.84
  • Pack of Marlboro cigarettes: £4.46
  • Loaf of white bread: £1.79
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