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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  • 1. Designmuseo

    Keskusta | Museum/Gallery

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

  • 2. Suomenlinna


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

  • 3. Suomenlinna Museo

    Suomenlinna | Museum/Gallery

    The Suomenlinna Museo is housed in the same building as the visitor center. exhibits cover the building of the fortress and the fleet and early...Read More

  • 4. Ateneumin Taidemuseo


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

  • 5. Cygnaeuksen Galleria

    Kaivopuisto | Museum/Gallery

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

  • 6. Ehrensvärd Museo

    Suomenlinna | Museum/Gallery

    This museum is named for Augustin Ehrensvärd, the military architect who directed the fortification of the islands of Suomenlinna from 1748...Read More

  • 7. Helsingin Taidehalli

    Keskusta | Museum/Gallery

    Here you'll see the best of contemporary Finnish art, including painting, sculpture, architecture, and industrial art and design. ...Read More

  • 8. Mannerheim Museo

    Kaivopuisto | Museum/Gallery

    Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (1867–1951) was a complex character who got a lot done: he served as a high-level official in the Russian Czar...Read More

  • 9. Nykytaiteenmuseo (Kiasma)

    Keskusta/Pääposti | Museum/Gallery

    Praised for the boldness of its curved steel shell but condemned for its encroachment on the territory of the Mannerheim statue, this striking...Read More

  • 10. Seurasaaren Ulkomeseo

    Seurasaari | Museum/Gallery

    The Seurasaari Outdoor Museum was founded in 1909 to preserve rural Finnish architecture. The old farmhouses and barns that were brought to...Read More

  • 11. Sinebrychoffin Taidemuseo

    Hietalahti | Museum/Gallery

    The wealthy Russian Sinebrychoffs owned a brewing company and lived in this splendid yellow-and-white 1840 neo-Renaissance mansion filled with...Read More

  • 12. Suomen Kansallismuseo


    Architect Eliel Saarinen and his partners combined the language of Finnish medieval church architecture with elements of art nouveau to create...Read More

  • 13. Suomen Rakennustaiteen Museo

    Keskusta | 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...Read More

  • 14. Urho Kekkonen Museum Tamminiemi

    Seurasaari | House/Mansion/Villa

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

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