Observe Rich Finnish Heritage in Helsinki

Helsinki (Finnish) or Helsingfors (Swedish) is the capital of Finland. Founded in 1550, the "Daughter of the Baltic" has been the Finnish capital since 1812, when it was rebuilt... more

Observe Rich Finnish Heritage in Helsinki

Helsinki (Finnish) or Helsingfors (Swedish) is the capital of Finland. Founded in 1550, the "Daughter of the Baltic" has been the Finnish capital since 1812, when it was rebuilt by the tsars of Russia along the lines of a miniature St. Petersburg, a role it has played in many a Cold War movie. Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel. The best time to visit is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine.

If you see only one place in Helsinki in the summer, make it Suomenlinna. The "Gibraltar of the North" was once the greatest sea fortress in the Baltic, built by the Swedish in the mid-1700s at great expense to protect their eastern flank. But when the Russians invaded in February 1808, the bulk of the unprepared and bankrupt Swedish army hastily withdrew, allowing the Russians to conquer Helsinki without a fight and besiege the fortress. With no reinforcements in sight, commander Carl Olof Cronstedt surrendered unconditionally two months later, and Finland was ceded to the Russians. Cronstedt's actions probably saved countless civilian lives, but King Gustav IV needed a scapegoat and sentenced him to death for treason; fortunately, the losing king was himself soon overthrown, and Cronstadt lived out his years gardening.

Today's Suomenlinna is still living in its own time with only old buildings, few cars, fewer than a thousand inhabitants and lots of old fortifications, catacombs and cast iron cannons. But it's not just a museum: the sprawling complex houses restaurants, cafes, theaters and museums, and is a very popular place for a picnic on a fine summer day, watching the vast passenger ferries drift by on their way to Estonia and St Petersburg. It was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1991 as a unique monument to European military architecture.

Places near Helsinki

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Helsinki Photos


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Helsinki Links

The Panorama Suite is a Bed and Breakfast in Finland, located in the Helsinki area with a great panorama view all the way to the city and the sea. The B&B is ideal for people who want to visit the beautiful islands, hike in the forest or visit inter...

The National Museum of Finland ( Finnish: Suomen kansallismuseo, Swedish: Finlands nationalmuseum) presents Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day, through objects and cultural history. The Finnish National Romantic style building is ...

 Located in Mikonkatu, right next to the Main Railway Station. Offers R & B and Top 40 hits in a nice lounge-type bar with big comfortable sofas and a dance floor. Reasonably cheap.

Public transport in Helsinki consists of bus, tram, metro, train, and ferry services. The system is managed by Helsinki Region Transport (HRT). The diverse public transport system of Helsinki region consists of trams, suburban metro railways, the su...

Things do to in Helsinki

 This is the largest water park in the Nordic countries with some 2,000 sq.m. of heated pools indoors. The buildings have seen their best days, but kids love the water slides. An extra 1,000 m² of outdoor area is open in the summer. Serena is at its...

Tallinn, the capital of Estoria, lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, only 70 km (43 mi) south of Helsinki. At the historical and medieval heart of the city is the hill of Toompea, covered in cobbled streets and filled with medieval ho...

 A Helsinki institution better known as Kalle, this former church hasn't had a renovation in years and really needs one. It still continues to pack in a hard-partying thirtysomething crowd, especially on Thursdays. No less than six different bars (a...

  Finnkino Tennispalatsi was the first cinema in the world offering THX and SDDS standard equipments in all halls. Tennispalatsi was opened after a complete makeover 26 February 1999. 14 halls and 2697 seats offer a unique setting for watchi...

Hietaniemi Beach

en.wikipedia.org - Outdoor Activities

Hietaniemi Beach, Hietaniemenkatu. It's safe to say that most people don't come to Helsinki for the beaches, but on a hot summer day Hietsu (as it is known among the locals) is a good place to be. Beach volleyball, swimming and various events are po...

Helsinki Nightlife

 A Helsinki institution better known as Kalle, this former church hasn't had a renovation in years and really needs one. It still continues to pack in a hard-partying thirtysomething crowd, especially on Thursdays. No less than six different bars (a...

Helsinki Dining

 Located in Mikonkatu, right next to the Main Railway Station. Offers R & B and Top 40 hits in a nice lounge-type bar with big comfortable sofas and a dance floor. Reasonably cheap.