Helsinki Vacations

Long cold winters mean that Helsinki, the capital of Finland, comes doubly alive in the summer. The snow melts away from the bike trails lining the city and outdoor cafes spring up everywhere. This is a good time to visit Suomenlinna, a fascinating sea fortress dating to the mid-1700s. The traditional saunas (try cooling off outdoors in the winter ... Read more
for a bracing thrill) are available for a cleansing sweat, perhaps necessary after partying on Helsinki’s islands and peninsulas during one of its yearly festivals like Vappu, a carnival-esque bacchanale. English and Swedish are widely spoken, and the architecture calls to mind a mini St. Petersburg (a role Helsinki has played in more than one film). The Ateneum art museum has one of the most significant collections in Finland, or check out the Sibelius Monument, a tribute to the native composer, which resembles giant organ pipes fused together. Look for the Market Halls open year round to sample Finnish treats including beaver sausage and smoked fish. A European capital which is relatively unassuming but fascinating in its own right, Helsinki has a personality all its own.
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Helsinki places to stay and top hotels

Helsinki things to do and experiences

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Helsinki

Weather

Unless you are planning on combining your trip to Helsinki with a jaunt north to see the Northern Lights or to participate in Finland’s varied winter activities, it is best to avoid the city during the brutal ... Read more
cold, which averages 25-35F (-4-2C) from November through March. The shoulder seasons in April and October have lower rates, but temperatures are still chilly in the 40s (7-10C), so it’s best to focus your attention on indoor attractions (hello, saunas!). May through September is perfect picnic weather, but expect to pay high-season rates, especially around big festivals like the summer solstice.

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Top Helsinki restaurants

  • Fazer Cafe
    9.210 reviews
    $$$$
    Breakfast & Brunch, Cafe
    Popular withFoodiesFamilies
  • Tukkutorin Kala Oy
    10.02 reviews
    Seafood
    Popular withFoodies
  • Kappeli
    8.410 reviews
    $$$$
    Bar, Cafe
    Popular withFoodiesHistory
  • Shelter
    10.01 review
    Local Traditional Cuisine
    Popular withSolo FemaleFoodies
Helsinki

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Helsinki reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 8.2
    Foodies
  • 7.9
    History Buffs
  • 7.8
    Adventure Travelers
  • 7.7
    Green Travelers

Member Reviews(106)

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San Francisco, California, USA
Community Manager

Helsinki truly surprised me with its vibrant cafe culture, surrounding nature, and relaxing saunas. I highly recommend visiting, and it feels very safe as a solo female traveler.

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Helsinki it's an amazing city but the best part is for sure it surroundings full of nature. Suomenlinna and Seurasaari are little islands around the city that have pure beauty and nature. if you want to be a little bit adventorus and see the wild like of northen countries then you shoul

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsWellnessGreen Travelers
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Klang, Malaysia

We start our tour through the city centre, with a visit to Senate Square, flanked by the Helsinki Cathedral, Government Palace, University Helsinki and National Library. Then proceed to the Rock Church (Temppeliau kio) visit the largest Orthodox Church in Western Europe: Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral and have a photostop at the artistic Sibelius Monument.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Los Angeles, California, USA

Somewhat off the beaten track of Europe, this city should definitely not be missed. With a great blend of Europe and Russia, this city is a great escape from mainland Europe.

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London, UK

Wonderfully efficient, modern Scandinavian city. Finns are proud and more independent than their immediate neighbours and it shows in this almost frontier city. Beautiful bridge between east and west.

Recommended for:Business TravelersFamily TravelersLuxury TravelersHistory Buffs
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Glasgow, UK

Helsinki is an amazing city with lots to do. Small enough to be explored entirely on foot there are amazing bars and restaurants as well as some excellent cultural sights. Be sure to visit the Suomenlinna Island for a dose of local history and a great day out.

Recommended for:History BuffsAdventure Travelers
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Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Helsinki is a great introduction to Finland, but as with any country your travel here shouldn't be limited to its capital. Experience what Helsinki does best--that's architecture and design. There are a smattering of nice museums and the historical attraction and tranquility of Suomenlinna Island fortress. If you know where to go, you'll also get a taste of what's further ahead in the rest of Finland, which is saunas and tasty local food. The nice green space and beaches that Helsinki offers, pales in comparison to what's further north.

Recommended for:Art & Design Lovers
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Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Do you like nordic culture? Do you like history? Are you keen on design? Then you should visit Helsinki. The simple but effective Finnish design stole my heart. They know how to use wood to make great furnitures, and the design of it is just so special. Helsinki city card is good to have if you are going to visit a lot of sites.

Recommended for:Family TravelersAdventure TravelersArt & Design Lovers
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New York City

I did not fall in love with this city, but there were things I especially did enjoy. The esplanade area and the design district. The market down by the harbor and Senate Square. I was disappointed by the food. What I did find interesting was the monument to Jean Sibelius, the late classical music composer and a "hero" to the people of Finland. One of my favorite composers. (see photo)

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers
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Los Angeles, California, USA
Ambassador

Very culturally rich, affordable and home to some of the nicest people on earth. LGBT fun and friendly! Very easy to take a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia by boat. Take a daily Sauna and enjoy the local art and food scene! Saunas are located everywhere and are a daily ritual of locals. The food is surprisingly diverse and exotic. Must try Bear and Elk.

It is extremely easy to get by for English and Swedish speakers. Most everybody embraces foreigners and tourists with open arms and even enthusiasm.

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersFoodiesLGBTQ
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