If you have plans to visit Finland capital Helsinki in your next tour, it is highly suggested not to miss the UNESCO World Heritage site Suomenlinna, popular concert venue Temppeliaukio Church, open air museum Seurasaari, Russian designed Orthodox cathedral Uspenski Cathedral, amusement park Linnanmaki and contemporary art museum Kiasma.
Helsinki is the largest city of Finland with a population of 629,512. It is on the short of Gulf of Finland and some 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, Estonia.
In the Liveable Cities Index 2011 by Monocle magazine it ranked top.
Helsinki public transport system is a mix of trams, commuter rail, metro, bus, minibus and ferry. It is the only city int he country to have trams or a metro system. The first metro rail started operating in 1982 and currently the system has 17 stations. Metro expansion is under progress and more stations to come up soon.
The International Helsinki Airport is about 17 kilometres north of the downtown area.
The motorway network consists of three semicircular beltways namely the Ring I, Ring II and Ring III.
The city has second busiest passenger port in Europe and several companies operate ferry connections to Stockholm, Mariehamn and Tallinn from here.
Helsinki is one of the best places for art lovers. It is the city with too many museums and the biggest historical one is the National Museum of Finland that has collections from prehistoric times too.
You can know the 500-year history of Helsinki from the Helsinki City Museum.
The University of Helsinki houses several museums including the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Helsinki University Museum.
The Finnish Theatre, the Swedish Theatre and Helsinki City Theatre are the three significant theatres in the city. Few other to name are Teatteri Jurkka, KOM-theatre, Savoy Theatre, Q-teatteri and Alexander Theatre.
If you are music lover, Helsinki is the best place to visit. The city houses two full-size symphony orchestras named the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Don’t forget to watch them perform at the Helsinki Music Centre concert hall.
The Finnish National Opera is located in Helsinki along with several renowned bands including The 69 Eyes, HIM, Stratovarius, Hanoi Rocks, Wintersun, Ensiferum,, Poets of the Fall and The Rasmus.
Don’t miss the annual arts and culture festival called Helsinki Festival in the month of August.
The official languages in Helsinki are Finnish and Swedish. Most of the people speak Finnish. English too is spoken, but not too much.
When to go
The best time to visit Helsinki is between June and August. The climate is warm during these months and the days are longest too. You will get sunny and clear weather with temperatures ranging between 17 degree Celsius to 26 degree Celsius.
However, tourists visit the city throughout the year, but it is highly suggested to avoid the winter months if you are not comfortable with too cold weather. The temperature then drops even below zero degree Celsius.