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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Ateneumin Taidemuseo

  • Museum/Gallery

The best traditional Finnish art is housed in this splendid neoclassical complex, one of three museums organized under the Finnish National...

Café Aalto

The Café Aalto, on the Academic Bookstore's mezzanine, is pleasant for lunch or a snack. Choose one of the sandwiches, which usually...

Café Engel

Named for the architect Carl Ludvig Engel, this café on Senaatintori serves traditional lunch fare, and it's also open for breakfast.

Café Ursula

Located by the sea, with views across to Suomenlinna, this café is a favorite with locals. They come for the coffee, ice cream, pastries,...

Cygnaeuksen Galleria

  • Museum/Gallery

This diminutive gallery, in a cottage with a tower overlooking the harbor, is the perfect setting for works by various Finnish painters,...


  • Museum/Gallery

The best of Finnish design can be seen here in displays of furnishings, jewelry, ceramics, and more. ...


  • Government Building

The imposing, colonnaded, Eduskuntatalo stands near Mannerheim's statue on Mannerheimintie. The legislature has one of the world's highest...

Ehrensvärd Museo

  • Museum/Gallery

This museum is named for Augustin Ehrensvärd, the military architect who directed the fortification of the islands of Suomenlinna from...


  • Arts/Performance Venue

This white, winged concert hall was one of Alvar Aalto's last creations. It's especially impressive on foggy days or at night. If you...

Gulf of Finland Archipelago

  • Neighborhood/Street

In winter Finns walk across the frozen sea with dogs and even baby buggies to the nearby islands. On the land side, the facades of the...


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