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Trip to Helsinki July 2020 - what things should we reserve in advance?


Trip to Helsinki July 2020 - what things should we reserve in advance?

Old Nov 28th, 2019, 08:52 PM
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Trip to Helsinki July 2020 - what things should we reserve in advance?

Due to school schedules for the kids we'll be traveling to Europe in July for the first time...instead of the typical shoulder seasons we'd prefer.

We're traveling to several cities on this trip...so I'll do a separate thread for each city. This will be our first time in each location and we've got 2.5 days per city, quick I know. This is making our planning rather important, to see as much as possible in that amount of time.

In Helsinki, what are the things that are the big tourist draws that we should plan on buying tickets for in advance and/or making reservations for if possible.


Last edited by Wekiva; Nov 28th, 2019 at 08:56 PM.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 08:20 AM
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There aren't any big tourist draws in Helsinki.
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Old Dec 1st, 2019, 12:50 AM
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I agree there are no big tourist draws in Helsinki that you'd have to reserve in advance. Though I'd recommend reserving for popular restaurants as during summer the city can busy with conferences and festivals.

The city can get just a little crowded with cruise ship visitors during the day.

This is not to say Helsinki has no interesting family attractions. You'll probably want to see Market Square (Kauppatori) and Old Market Hall, Uspensky Cathedral, Senate Square with Helsinki Cathedral, and Esplanadi Park (there are some nice shops across from the park). These are all within walking distance of one another. If you'd like to see Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church), you'll have to hop on a tram. The Central Railway Station is worth seeing; it's a good example of the city's Jugenstil Art Nouveau architecture:

Your family might enjoy the Sky Wheel, which is on the waterfront near Market Square and Allas Sea Pool.
Home - SkyWheel Helsinki

If you're interested in museums, the National Museum of Finland has exhibits spanning from the Stone Age to present day. It's not a huge museum. There are attractive Art Nouveau-style frescoes on the ceiling of its entrance hall depicting scenes from the Finnish epic poem, the Kalevala. These were painted by Finnish painter Akseli GallÚn-Kallela.

The city center is walkable, and its trams handy for attractions farther out. You can buy a one-zone all-day or multi-day public transportation pass covering trams, metro, buses, commuter trains within Helsinki and the Suomenlinna ferry (which departs from Market Square).
You can buy the passes at R-kiosks, large department stores, ticket machines and HSL service points, and they can be shared.

You'll probably enjoy the historic UNESCO World Heritage fortress island of Suomenlinna, about a 15-minute ferry ride from Market Square:

Or if you'd enjoy walking in a more natural environment, catch the JT Lines ferry from Market Square to Vallisaari Island (it's near Suomentinna):

I spent five days in Helsinki (and on one of these made a day trip to Tallinn), so there were several attractions I never got around to seeing. Some of these might appeal to your family, such as Seurasaari Island, an open-air museum; the old wooden town of Porvoo; and Nuuksio National Park, about 20 km from Helsinki.

Helsinki has a great tourist info website.:

Last edited by Diamantina; Dec 1st, 2019 at 12:55 AM.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2019, 08:56 AM
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Thanks so much for the great advice. I'll check your list against what I've currently got scheduled. It's good to hear the city won't be super crowded when we're there. We've always tried to avoid mis summer travel but couldn't help it on this trip.
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