Finland’s capital was not what I was expecting. First of all I thought I was going to discover another Scandinavian country but as soon as I landed there a short conversation with a taxi driver taught me that Finns are actually ethnically distinct from Scandinavians and its language is not related to the other Scandinavian languages either.
So…what should you do if you decide to spend two days in Helsinki? Here you can get some ideas!
First head to Fazer, a huge café with a buffet where you will be able to try the local food and eat as much as you can for 21 euros.
Once your belly is full walk around the cathedral and admire the beautiful views from the top of its staircase. Don’t forget to go inside and contemplate the beauty of its simplicity.
Back in the Senate Square you will see other landmarks such as the Government Palace and the University of Helsinki (the oldest building in the city).
A short stroll will take you to the market square where you will see lots of little stalls where you could buy food and different souvenirs.
Right next to the market you will be able to take a ferry to Suomelinna, an inhabited sea fortress. It is a perfect place to relax and to forget you are in a capital city! The architecture there is stunning and the view of the coastline will leave you speechless.
Back in town do not forget to admire the art nouveau of the train station.
Another short walk will take you to the most unique church I have seen in Europe. Temppeliaukio (Rock church in Finnish). It is one of Helsinki’s most popular attractions because its interior walls are created naturally by the rock. The church is also a popular venue for concerts.
Also in the city centre is the Kamppi Chapel, also known as the chapel of silence, which is supposed to be a place to calm down in the busiest part of Helsinki.
Another building worth seeing is the Uspenski Cathedral, an Orthodox cathedral.
There are many museums in Helsinki but as I visited for a weekend I only had the time to explore the National Museum…If you do have more time make sure you go to the Design Museum, the Natural History Museum, the museum of modern art or the Ateneum.