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Helsinki is a vibrant seaside city with gorgeous islands and photogenic green urban spaces. The best time to visit Helsinki in April to May for warm spring weather or December to March for a winter vacation. Other months there is always plenty going on with a packed event and festival calendar.
Arrive in Helsinki with an adventurous spirit and lots of energy because this city in Finland has a lot to see and do. Helsinki is a vibrant seaside city with gorgeous islands and photogenic green urban spaces. The art, culture and food scene and nightlife are all thriving in Helsinki. Your vacation will be filled with epic moments.
The best time to visit Helsinki in April to May for warm spring weather or December to March for a winter vacation. Other months there is always plenty going on with a packed event and festival calendar.
Christmas is pretty remarkable in Helsinki, so much so they have their own Christmas street and markets. The festive tradition of decorating Aleksanterinkatu started in 1949. Lights glow, snow is usually falling and the sweet scent of cinnamon and mulled wine is in the air.
Keep this in mind when you book your flight to Helsinki from Toronto or other major airports around Canada. There are many great Air Canada flights to Europe and bargain flights that are direct or with great stopover options are waiting for you.
You will find accommodation options in all price categories in Helsinki, including hotels, hostels, and cozy guesthouses. Here are some top picks to inspire you to start packing your suitcase.
Helsinki Grand Marina is by the sea in the picturesque district of Katajanokka. Rooms are fresh and modern with excellent attention to detail and customer service. You can walk to the city centre from here, making it the perfect spot for sightseeing and shopping.
Hotel F6 is a stylish family-owned hotel in the middle of the city, with 66 chic rooms and suites. Enjoy breakfast in the central courtyard or head into town to a nearby funky cafe for a coffee-fueled morning.
Hotel St. George Helsinki delivers 5-star service in an 1840s building decorated with contemporary art with a spa and indoor pool. This luxury hotel has a philosophy of holistic care for a healthy mind, heart and body. Nearby you will find the lovely Old Church Park perfect for an afternoon stroll.
The Helsinki Cathedral is an architectural gem of Helsinki featuring tall green domes, grand stairways and a spacious square. It was built from 1830 to 1852 in honour of the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Uspenski Cathedral is another beauty. The Eastern Orthodox cathedral is the largest of its kind in Western Europe.
Helsinki is the place to soak in a traditional wood-burning Finnish sauna. There is nothing more relaxing after a long day of sightseeing than sinking into the warm waters of a steamy sauna. Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall, Allas Sea Pools and Sauna Kaurilan are three that come highly recommended.
Europe has many beautiful train stations and Helsinki Central Station is on track with the best of them. Stone giants hold lanterns at the entrance to the bus station for commuter rail and long-distance trains.
Catch a ferry from the Kauppatori pier to the 18th-century sea fortress of Suomenlinna. Construction began during the 18th century when Finland was still part of Sweden. See the King’s Gate drawbridge and Suomenlinna Museum before resting in a brewery. Then see a restored 1930s submarine before catching your ferry back to the mainland. Spare half a day to explore the area.
Kallio is a boho district that is cool and trendy. This is where hip and creative locals hang out at little bars and cozy cafes. Take your laptop, grab a coffee and join them for a chilled out few hours, then take a walk around to look for treasures at vintage and second-hand stores.
Traveling around beautiful European countries, you probably have seen many memorable churches, but never one quite like the Temppeliaukio Church. The Lutheran church that opened in 1969 is built directly into solid rock, making it a dramatic and impressive sight. Salted licorice is much-loved by Finnish people and a bit of an acquired taste. Try some, and you might have a new favourite treat.
Helsinki is a paradise for food lovers with traditional Finnish food and international cuisine of the highest quality served up at restaurants around the city. For local fare, try Baltic herring, pea soup and grilled sausages (Grillimakkara). For a sweet treat, try cinnamon buns called Pulla. Topped with icing sugar and walnuts, they can be found at most bakeries and cafes. The national drink of Finland is milk (often curdled). Try Finnish liqueurs lakka, made from the saffron-colored wild cloudberry, and mesimarja, made from the Arctic brambleberry.
More Highlights Of Helsinki
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