Do you want to put Finland? The cold is not all the same and the Finnish one has its own charm. In programming that what to do and see in Helsinki in Finland it is not necessary, for example, to take into account that the welcome is necessarily icy. With an average annual temperature of around 6 ° C, Helsinki, the destination of this Hyperborean port, is a wonderful surprise that combines a nature of great impact with a bright and lively city. The merit? Of a fairytale landscape that frames one of the nations that made technology and design the gentle weapon with which to turn pages, compared to a past that was all Lapland, cold and reindeer. Without to forget Santa Claus and his kingdom which, right in the north of the country, a Rovaniemi, reminds us, 365 days a year, that, for those who want, it can be Christmas every day.
What to do and see in Helsinki in Finland: kind capital
Wondering what to do and see in Helsinki in Finland consider, first of all, to savor its cosmopolitan atmosphere and get ready for a good dose of amazement in front of one of the most original capitals of the great north. Yes why, Helsinki it is a “city not a city” and develops, like a cluster, in a series of promontories and peninsulas where houses are never older than 450 years. The center has wide avenues flanked by buildings that testify to great liveliness, not to mention the desire to experiment, with facades ranging from Gothic to art Deco, to the contemporary avant-garde. Everything, however, fits together, as if by magic, in a graceful and suggestive harmony and, above all, in total adhesion with naturewhich invades the urban environment with green spaces, or, in winter, snow white.
Yes, nature. Just to clarify who is always and in any case the true undisputed mistress of places: in the list of what to do and see in Helsinki in Finlandin fact, the play of references, between environment and architecture, is continuous. In a derby of wonder that can also include close and frequent encounters with many animals that, for a southern European visitor, would be difficult to imagine, if not in some fairy tale. Go to the park or on the banks of the Baltic Sea, which caresses the shores of the capital, and you find yourself calling hares, squirrels, pheasants and even moose, one of the “trademark” symbols of this land. Despite the always “sparkling” climate, it must be remembered that Finns like life in the open air even in winter. Adapting is not difficult, perhaps by choosing an activity that warms, as well as the heart, also feet and hands.
What to do and see in Helsinki in Finland: the sports city
And then, here is that ice skating and even moving around by bike are normal activities that you should try even as a tourist, for a “Finnish” day. Obviously it is ski, above all, it is the national sport that is also practiced just outside the city or in the largest parks. It only takes a little more expertise to try your hand at ice fishing: do not be discouraged if it does not go very well, at the first step. After all, being able to dig the hole in the ice is a big undertaking for those who have not grown up on bread and salmon. Sport and sweat: when you think about what to do and see in Helsinki in Finland, you can’t miss the sauna, the real cure-all after every effort and after every day of work, to be alternated in moderation with a good glass of “gloggi”, a spiced wine with which you can spend hours sitting (and covered with soft fleece cloths) at the cafes in the center , watching life go by quietly, planning the next engagement. As long as it’s sporty, of course.
What to do and see in Helsinki in Finland: cultured and worldly
Helsinki is full of events that celebrate the arrival of summer and also the long winter. So, whatever season you decide to visit there is no shortage of parties: from the “Samba Carnaval”, scheduled in mid-June, to Helsinki City Marathon mid-August, at the midsummer party, to name but a few. Many other city highlights offer indoor activities against the general winter. Did you know that one of the best European orchestras plays precisely in these latitudes? Let’s talk about the Helsinki Philarmonic Orchestrafounded by Robert Kajanus in 1882. And the National ballet for those who love classical dance. So you could treat yourself to a soirée to Finland “Talo”, la Finland Hallwhich bears the signature of Alvar Aalto who thought it, since the seventies, with its futuristic, robust and at the same time very light shapes. This concert hall is one of the most iconic places, to be included in the list of what to do and see in Helsinki Finland.
Another unmissable stop in an immersion in the Hyperborean culture is the Finland Nationalmuseum, the national museum of Finland. It stands right in front of the Finland Hall, about 10 minutes walk from the center of Helsinki: this museum contains rich archaeological and ethnographic collections, depicting Finnish life, from the earliest times to the present day. Sections on prehistoric Finland and the culture of the people Sami of the Lapland are particularly interesting, and the museum building, built in 1916, is a landmark of Helsinki.
What to do and see in Helsinki in Finland: squares and museums
To better understand the Finnish capital, one cannot fail to visit Senaatintori, the “political” and historical heart of the city. Dating back to the first half of the 19th century, this area is the neoclassical epicenter of Helsinki and was built by the German architect Carl Ludvig Engel, who was also the “official” architect of the skyline of Tallinn in Estonia. Engel was heavily influenced by the architecture of St.Pietroburgo, and the Senaatintori was, in fact, used as a sort or stand-in for the Russian metropolis, in numerous Cold War spy films, including Gorky Park (1983) and White Nights (1985). In front of the statue of Tsar Alexander II, the white dome Tuomiokirkko it is flanked by the large neoclassical facades of governament Palacethen the University of Helsinki, then the cathedral and, to close this theory of unmissable must-haves, here is the National Library of Finland.
Think about what to do and see in Helsinki in Finland and imagine that everything has to do with cold and winter and, instead, as soon as you arrive, you immediately understand that Helsinki is, always and above all, a city by the sea. So, to understand its link with the Baltic, here is an essential step Suomenlinna, the sea fortress, which lies about 1.5 km offshore from the port of Eteläsatama and can be reached in about 15 minutes by ferry. The sturdy building was once the last stronghold of the Swedish Empire, with an internal population larger than the entire Helsinki agglomeration. Founded in 1748 to protect the coast from frequent Russian raids, the fortress island was eventually ceded to Russia in 1808. This splendid fortification was one of the main reasons why the Russians moved the capital from Turku in Helsinki in 1812. Now the places are Unesco world heritage sites and contain the Suomenlinna museumthe Ehrensvärd museum, an exhibition linked to toys and life in the times of duties and customs. The places also have a very rich multimedia system that facilitates their use, making this fortress one of the places not to be missed. In the summer, the green areas surrounding the buildings are ideal for picnics.
What to do and see in Helsinki in Finland: music and geometry
Is called Kiasma and is one of the most beautiful museums in contemporary art of Northern Europe. Built by the architect Steven Holl, this museum alone is worth a visit for its forms. The geometric waves that caress it are a kind of public sculpture. Inside, here is an anthology of Finnish art and design from 1960 to today, with about 4 thousand pieces on display. The museum has an excellent bookshop and the design café is a popular meeting point in the city, to feel a bit Finnish and not just tourists.
Certainly in the list of what to do and see in Helsinki in Finland you can try to attend a classical music concert, but in any case we must not forget that much of the “soundtrack” of this country and many of the rhythms that have permeated it and formed the character also derives from Jean Sibelius (1865 -1957), one of the leading figures of the end of the millennium. The monument that remembers him, the Sibelius monumentti, consists of a series of steel tubes designed and shaped by the sculptor Eila Hiltunen who wanted to enhance the rebel strength of the great composer, under Russian rule. Sibelius has written songs that have become synonymous with Finnish patriotism: first and foremost the famous “FinlandWhich became the symbol of the Finnish independence struggle.
It is called instead Temppeliaukion Kirkko and it is for everyone the church “in the rock”, one of the symbols of Helsinki and one of the most representative buildings in Helsinki. Designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainenthe church was built in the rock below Helsinki and finished with stone quarried in situ. Its internal walls have been left rough, with an almost unfinished appearance. The roof is a futuristic dome of copper plates. One of the best occasions to appreciate the acoustics, as well as the beauty, is to participate in one of the concerts that take place regularly there.
The Ateneum, the home of the Finns
It is the treasure chest of the country: for thisAteneumbetter known as Finnish National Galleryis one of the must-haves among what to do and see in Helsinki in Finland. With all the enthusiasm that the Finnish capital ignites, when one thinks of its contribution to the history of design, one risks forgetting the oldest history of Finland which is, instead, rich in as much art and symbols. To remind us of every detail of the past, think of this gallery next to the railway station. Inside, you can see works by Albert Edelfelt, the Von Wright brothers and Akseli Gallen-Kallela, whose most famous triptych celebrates “Kalevala”, The Finnish national epic.
From the past to the future, passing through the most recent present: one cannot fail to consider the cable factory of Kaapelitehdas that reconnects the threads of a great technological tradition that made modern Finland great. In a word, the story of Nokia. Originally the former cable factory was based in the Ruoholahti district. Now its spaces house a colony of artists, among the most lively and active in Finland. Today, the building houses 12 galleries, design studios, recording studios and offices of dance companies, theater companies, TV and radio stations, as well as three art museums.