Latest Things to See and Do in Helsinki

When I landed in Helsinki, I really didn’t know what to expect. Of all the capitals of northern Europe, Helsinki has the least “buzz”.”

Helsinki was founded by the Swedish king in the 16th century and was originally intended to compete with the busy commercial port of Tallinn. Unfortunately, growth was slow, and most of the city died during the plague of 1710. Only when the Russians annexed the region, it began to develop and grow into the city that it is today.

Moderna (less than 1 million people live here) and not as popular as Stockholm or Copenhagen, Helsinki is a modern and modern capital that is home to a vibrant art and music scene. It is full of museums, cafes and green areas. You can easily do most of your sightseeing in the city on foot, as it is compact. The best part is that Helsinki sees a fraction of the tourists that other Scandinavian capitals receive.

So that you can make the most of your visit, here is my list of the best things to do in Helsinki:

1. Take a Free Walking Tour

One of the first things I always do when I arrive at a new destination is a free hike. You will see the main sights, learn about the history and culture and have a local expert at your disposal to answer all your questions.

Green Cap Tours offers a free 1.5-2 hour tour that serves as a solid introduction to the city. Just give your guide a tip at the end!

2. Visit the Post Museum

A museum about the post office sounds absolutely boring, but I found it surprisingly interesting. The museum highlights the history of postal service in Finland, from boats and sledges in the 1600s to the Moderna service. There are tons of relics, galleries and short films about how mail delivery worked in such a sparsely populated and hostile environment. He does an excellent job by picking up a boring topic and making it entertaining, accessible and educational.

3. Relax in Sinebrychoff Park

This small 18th-century park was originally a private garden of a Russian businessman, before becoming a public park in the 1960s. Today it is a popular place for picnics, relaxation, events and sledding in winter. There are many cafes nearby, so grab a snack and come here to relax and watch the day go by. In summer it is very popular among the locals.

4. Explore the National Museum of Finland

As a history lover, I always appreciate a good museum. I’ve been to more than my fair share of underfunded and disappointing museums over the years. Fortunately, this was not one of them.

This museum has a large collection of Finnish artifacts from the Stone Age to the present, including jewelry, coins, tools, weapons and more. With the most comprehensive collection of Finnish cultural history, the museum is ideal for learning more about Finnish folk culture and the Finno-Ugric people. The permanent collections can be viewed alongside a fascinating series of rotating pop-up exhibitions. The museum also offers workshops and guided tours. It is a good place to get an overview of the history of Finland.

5. Wander the Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by Sweden in 1748 on an island off the coast. Originally called “Sveaborg” (Castle of the Swedes), it was built as a deterrent against Russian expansionism. Finally, in 1918, when the country gained independence, it was renamed “Suomenlinna” (Finnish Castle). A visit here is a relaxing way to spend half a day. You can explore the fort, Walk around the island or relax in one of the many parks.

There are also many interesting buildings here (including six different museums) and some secluded beaches.

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