Helsinki Sights

The city center, characterized by its large multistory malls, is densely packed and easily explored on foot, the main tourist sites grouped in several clusters; nearby islands are easily accessible by ferry. Just west of Katajanokka, Senaatintori and its Tuomiokirkko (Luthern Cathedral) mark the beginning of the city center, which extends westward along Aleksanterinkatu. The wide street Mannerheimintie

is comparable to New York's Broadway, moving diagonally past the major attractions of the city center before terminating beside the Esplanade. Southern Helsinki is a tangle of smaller streets, some of them curving and some of which run for just a few blocks before changing their names; carry a good map while exploring this area.

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Kauppatori 16

Katajanokka and Senaatintori 13

Toolo 11

Seaside Helsinki 9


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Helsinki Sights

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Suomen Rakennustaiteen Museo

  • Museum/Gallery

Stop in to buy an architectural map of Helsinki that includes locations of several buildings by Alvar Aalto, the most famous being Finlandiatalo...


  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

A former island fortress, Suomenlinna is a perennially popular collection of museums, parks, and gardens, and has been designated a UNESCO...

Svenska Teatern

  • Arts/Performance Venue

Dating from 1827, the first wooden theater on this site was considered too vulnerable to fire and was replaced by a stone building in...

Temppeliaukio Kirkko

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Topped with a copper dome, the church looks like a half-buried spaceship from the outside. It's really a modern Lutheran church carved...


  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The steep steps and green domes of the church dominate Senaatintori. Completed in 1852, it is the work of famous architect Carl Ludvig...


  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Named for the astronomical observatory within its borders, this park has sculptures, winding walkways, and a great view of the South...

Urho Kekkonen Museum Tamminiemi

  • Building/Architectural Site

The grand house overlooking Seurasaari from the mainland is where the late Finnish president Urho Kekkonen lived from 1956 to 1986. Originally...

Uspenski Katedraali

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Perched atop a small rocky cliff over the North Harbor in Katajanokka is the main cathedral of the Orthodox Church in Finland. Its brilliant...

Vanha Kauppahalli

  • Market/Bazaar

Piles of colorful fish roe, marinated Greek olives, and much more—the old brick market hall on the waterfront is a treasury of delicacies.

Wanha Satama

  • Store/Shop/Mall

Despite its old-brick-warehouse appearance, this is actually a small shopping center with several food stores, restaurants, and cafés.


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