While visiting the northern tip of Europe may be the greatest pleasure for a traveller to experience, did you know that you can cover a lot of places in Helsinki, in just a matter of two days? Enveloped with close to 315 islands, the Finnish capital city of Helsinki, has a distinct collection of historic structures and museums, on display. Even though Helsinki is the 4th-largest city of all Nordic nations, it retains its balance of nature amidst the 75% of the country’s foreign corporates dwelling here. Once upon a time, Helsinki was constituted by the King Gustav of Sweden in 1550 AD. Ever since then, it has evolved into one of Finland’s most beautiful cities. The ancient architecture, however, was designed by Johan Albrecht and Carl Ludwig, who with their visionary designs, transformed a well-fortified trading post into an empirical town.
So What Really Can You Do in Helsinki in 2 days?
Well, let’s see! To begin with, the Finnish-capital-city is flourishing with flora, fauna, old-world architecture, and luxurious island life. So to make the best of your trip, I’d suggest, start by visiting the most prominent landmarks and finish with a sea tour. In Helsinki, you will also discover Lutheran Cathedrals and Russian inspired culture. Here’s a rundown of 8 fascinating spots that will give you an up and close feel of the Finnish territory.
1. Sibelius Monument and Park
The Sibelius Monument inside a beautiful forest park, is a tribute to Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius who died in 1957. Located at the Sibelius Park, this monument was designed and developed by Eila Hiltunen who titled it Passio Musicae. This state of art design sparked many debates before its unveiling in 1967, however, eventually was accepted as a part of the community. The monument is designed to look like stylised organ pipes symbolising the fact that the composer was known to have created little music for organs. I couldn’t stop gawking at the monument when I first noticed the series of 600 hollow steel pipes which are welded together in a wave pattern.
2. Olympic Stadium
Next on your watch should be Helsinki Olympic Stadium, an arena that stood the test of time during World War II. Designed in a functionalistic style, the architectural planning of this ground, is Toivo Jäntti and Yrjö Lindgren’s work. Helsinki Olympic Stadium was inaugurated in 1938 to host the 1940 Summer Olympics. However, most importantly, it has been rated as one of the world’s most beautiful stadiums by the BBC. A good reason for you to add this to your bucket list. Note that the stadium is closed temporarily since March 2016 for renovation and will open only in 2019.
3. Finlandia Hall
Designed by architect Alvar Aalto, in 1971, Finlandia Hall was ‘originally’ built to serve as a forum for the world’s top economic and political leaders. This versatile meeting venue is also a congress and an exhibition centre that hosts concert facilities in the centre of Helsinki. What makes this venue remarkable is that its flexibility allows for both large international congresses and small-scale meetings to dwell under one roof. Whether, it be, entertainment or public events. The building owned by the City of Helsinki makes a popular attraction as it’s visited by thousands of tourists each year.
Read Here: Finlandia Hall Optical Illusion
4. Helsinki City Hall
No matter which city you are travelling to, in Europe, a trip to it’s City Hall must definitely top your sightseeing list. Each City Hall is unique, like the one in Helsinki, which epitomises the city’s administrative culture.
Read Here: Explore the Royal Shades of The City Hall
5. Church in the Rock
I had never even heard of a Rock Church until I met with the opportunity to visit Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki. This Lutheran church is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Helsinki with over half a million people visiting it annually. Inaugurated in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church is a facility that’s built directly into solid rock, giving it its present name. I was amazed by the interiors which are not only, excavated into rock but also, bathes in natural light at the same time. Sealed with a copper dome ceiling, Temppeliaukio Church also makes a great concert venue due to its excellent acoustics. This rare acoustic quality, they say, is generated by the rough, unworked rock surfaces.
Read More: This Church is excavated inside a Rock
6. The Helsinki Parliament
Located in the Finnish capital Helsinki, the Parliament House represents the administrative seat of Finland. Designed by Borg–Sirén–Åberg in the early nineteenth century, Parliament House showcases the best of both Neoclassicism and twentieth-century modernism. From the red Kalvola granite exteriors, facade lined with 14-columns of Corinthian capitals, to the stately plenary chamber, all too interesting to explore.
7. Helsinki Market Square
The market square was one of my favourite places to explore in Helsinki. This central square in Helsinki is bordered by Baltic Sea on one side while Katajanokka on another. Although what makes it fascinating is its unique collection of Finnish woollens, souvenirs and seafood. Market Square bustles with activities throughout the year so don’t forget to pay a visit to this harbourside arena while you are visiting the Finnish capital.
8. Helsinki Central Railway Station
Last but not least, visit Helsinki Central, which has been announced as one of the world’s most beautiful railway stations by BBC. Built in the early, nineteenth century, HCS is used by, half a million commuters every single day. But, whether you are taking the train or not, you must drop by Helsinki Central to get introduced to a remarkable architectural design.
Covering all these landmarks takes no more than two days. Other than that, you can also venture out to try offbeat adventures like trekking nature trails, shopping 2nd-hand dresses from a boutique, or going pub-hopping to discover Finnish nightlife. From the Finnish islands, stadiums, gardens to historic-heritage, there are endless options for you to unearth. Cuisine enthusiasts must try sea oysters, herring, crayfish, Liver Patte, and Viili, which are some of the most prominent Finnish specialities.