King Gustav I of Sweden established Helsinki in 1550, calling it Helsingfors. His goal was to turn it into a shopping mall. Tea plague he nearly destroyed this city in 1710. It suffered from political turmoil and conflict, finally coming under Russian rule in 1809. It was under Nazi rule during World War II and regained its independence after the war.
A beautiful city, located on the Baltic Sea, it can be easily reached by air, boat, train or car. No visa is required for US citizens, and the documentation requirements are simple, no matter how you arrive. If you only have one day in Helsinki, there are some great things to do, but at least two or three days is much better. These are some of the exciting things that one can do in this wonderful city. Walking is THE way to see the city; however, the tram service is excellent and easy.
- Suomenlinna Island
- sibelius park
- Temppeliaukio Church
- Helsinki City Museum
- Seurasaari Open Air Museum
- winter gardens of the city
- Suomenlinna Island it is easily accessible by boat. A lovely area with restaurants and shops, it’s a pleasure to relax here. If one is there in the summer, stop at one of the local delis and make yourself some sandwiches and do as the Finns do, have a delicious picnic with a bottle of wine.
- sibelius park, easily recognizable by its steel sculpture, built in honor of the famous Finnish composer. A great place to relax and see amazing sculptures.
- Temppeliaukio ChurchLiterally built into a huge rock, often called the “Church of the Rock”, it is a relaxing and memorable place to visit. No matter what one’s beliefs, it is nice to sit on a bench and listen to classical music.
- Helsinki City Museum It is an ideal place to learn about the history of this fabulous city. Contains photos, books and various documents on the history of Helsinki.
- Seurasaari Open Air Museum it is a fantastic place to see the locals dressed in period costume. You can see houses dating from the 17th century. A fantastic place to relax.
- winter gardens of the city it is a beautiful botanical garden. The characteristic of this labyrinth of greenhouses are the roses: they are spectacular!
Many cities around Helsinki are worth visiting. One can fly to the North Pole and see Santa Claus and his reindeer. Whether you only have a day or a week, you’ll be treated to the highlights of this beautiful city.