Helsinki Travel Guide

Aug 06, 2023 By Sean William

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a place with breathtaking views, unique cultural experiences, and plenty of activities to entertain the whole family? Look no further than Helsinki – Finland's enchanting capital city full of life!

From exploring its many parks and cafes to taking in its unique culture, Helsinki boasts an unforgettable experience for everyone. In this guide, we provide a comprehensive overview of everything to see and do while in the beautiful city of Helsinki, from popular attractions and eateries to events throughout the year.

Whether you're planning your first visit or looking for new things to explore during your next stay here's everything you need to know about planning your perfect trip!

What to Know Before Traveling to Helsinki

Before planning your Helsinki itinerary, you must know a few things. First and foremost, the city is very expensive regarding accommodation and dining out. Prices for hotels and meals can be double or triple what they are in other cities. Additionally, public transportation is fairly limited due to heavy snowfall in the winter months. For this reason, taxis are often more reliable than buses or trams.

Finally, Helsinki offers an eclectic mix of culture that ranges from traditional Finnish experiences, such as sauna visits and reindeer rides, to modern activities, like shopping at one of the many malls around town. Knowing which type of experience you want before arriving will help make your visit even more enjoyable!

The Best Hotels in Helsinki

Helsinki boasts a variety of luxurious hotels for travelers looking to stay in the city. Here are 10 of the best options for those seeking comfort and convenience during their stay:

1. Hotel Haven

Located right on the waterfront, this hotel offers stunning views and an array of amenities.

2. Scandic Grand Marina

This stylish hotel is near many attractions and features a sauna, restaurant, and bar.

3. GLO Hotel Helsinki Kluuvi

This modern hotel provides convenient access to shopping centers and nearby attractions like Suomenlinna Fortress.

4. Original Sokos Hotel Presidentti

Offering easy access to Helsinki Central Station, this hotel features spacious rooms with modern furnishings.

5. Hilton Helsinki Airport

Perfect for those looking to stay near the airport, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and a variety of dining options.

6. Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Helsinki

This contemporary hotel has an on-site spa just steps away from the city center.

7. Klaus K Hotel

Featuring an eclectic mix of traditional Finnish style and modern design, this hotel offers a unique experience for travelers.

8. Cumulus City Hakaniemi Helsinki

Located in the heart of Helsinki's popular Hakaniemi district, this hotel offers easy access to many attractions.

9. Nordic Hotel Forum

Home to various restaurants and bars, this hotel is perfect for those exploring Helsinki's nightlife scene.

10. Hotel Fabian

Boasting an ideal location near many of the city’s main attractions, this hotel also features its wellness center and sauna.

The Most Famous Parks in Helsinki

Helsinki has stunning parks and outdoor areas perfect for exploring the city's natural beauty. Be sure to check out these 10 parks while in town:

1. Kumpula Botanic Garden

Featuring over 5000 species of plants from around the world, this park offers plenty of activities for visitors throughout the year.

2. Kaivopuisto Park

This popular park is located near the shoreline with statues, monuments, and various flora and fauna.

3. Töölönlahti Bay Park

This large open area sits on the waterfront with beautiful views, perfect for those looking for peace.

4. Hietaniemi Beach Park

This park offers various activities, including beach volleyball, swimming, and windsurfing off the shoreline.

5. Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

Set on a small island just outside Helsinki's city center, this museum features over 100 traditional wooden houses and various cultural activities throughout the year.

6. Sibelius Park

Named after Finland's most famous composer Jean Sibelius, this stunning park is home to statues and monuments dedicated to his work.

7. Suomenlinna Fortress & Sea Fortress Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been standing since 1748 and provides visitors with a stunning view of the surrounding area.

8. The Esplanade Park

This large public park is located in the city center and offers plenty of activities for visitors, including concerts and events throughout the year.

9. Kaisaniemi Park

Featuring an array of playgrounds, statues, and even a mini zoo, this park is perfect for families looking to spend some time outdoors.

10. Uspenski Cathedral Park

Set on Helsinki's oldest Russian Orthodox church grounds, this park features lush gardens and breathtaking city views.

Money Saving Tips

  • Plan your trip to get the best deals on flights, accommodation, and activities.
  • Consider taking public transport instead of a taxi for shorter distances.
  • Choose restaurants that offer lunch specials or dinner buffets.
  • Take advantage of free admission days at museums and attractions.
  • Look out for discounts on tourist cards.
  • Visit during nonpeak seasons to avoid high prices.
  • Purchase day tickets for public transportation when traveling multiple times in one day.
  • Buy food from local grocery stores rather than dining out every night.
  • Make use of public parks and outdoor spaces instead of paying for entertainment venues.
  • Take advantage of affordable accommodation options such as hostels and Airbnb.

Safety and Security

Helsinki is one of the safest cities in Europe, and visitors should feel safe exploring its sights and attractions. The Finnish police are highly trained and well-equipped to handle any security threats. Since Helsinki is a fairly small city with low crime rates, there's no need to be overly concerned about safety while visiting.

However, taking basic precautions when traveling around the city is still important. For instance, always keep your valuables (such as wallets or mobile phones) securely tucked away. It's also recommended that you avoid walking alone late at night, especially in unfamiliar areas of town. Additionally, be aware that pickpocketing is not uncommon in crowded tourist areas like markets or train stations, so it's best to keep your wallet and other important items close at hand.

The Finnish police are also available 24/7 in case of any emergencies. For non-emergency situations, tourists can contact the Helsinki Tourist Police, who assist in multiple languages. In addition, the city offers a free Safety Guard service for visitors who need an escort home after dark. To take advantage of this offer, call 1066 (the Helsinki emergency number) and request a safety guard.


Q: What is the best time to visit Helsinki?

A: The best time to visit Helsinki is during the summer months of June, July, and August, when temperatures are mild and pleasant. Although winters can be cold, they provide a unique feel to explore the city with fewer crowds and picture-perfect snowscapes. However, no matter what season you plan your trip, you will surely have an unforgettable experience!

Q: What are some popular attractions in Helsinki?

A: Some of the must-see attractions in Helsinki include Senate Square & Cathedral, Market Square & Town Hall, Sibelius Monument, Suomenlinna Fortress Island, Rock Church (Temppeliaukio), Seurasaari Open Air Museum, and National Museum of Finland.

Q: What kind of events happen in Helsinki?

A: Helsinki hosts various exciting events throughout the year, from music festivals to cultural celebrations. Some popular annual events include the Midnight Sun Film Festival, Flow Festival, Kuopio RockCock Music Festival, Suomi Areena Food & Wine Fair, and Vappu Spring Carnival. There are always plenty of things to do in Helsinki – no matter what time you visit!


Helsinki is a vibrant and exciting city with many attractions, unique events, and incredible cuisine. Whether planning a family vacation or just a weekend getaway, Helsinki has something for everyone! With its spectacular natural surroundings, fascinating culture, and inviting atmosphere, it's no wonder why Helsinki is one of the most popular destinations in Europe.

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