Finland is such unique country, and the city of Helsinki was nice to visit for the short time we were here. While visiting it was fall, and the leaves all over the ground was surreal! Honestly seeing trees change color is always a treat for us because obviously Arizona does NOT have seasons at all.
Here in Helsinki the city is extremely quiet even with it’s population of 631,000. I thought maybe it just seemed quiet because we had just come from India, after visiting the rest of the Nordic and Scandinavian countries. I can confirm YES Helsinki is just strangely quiet. It can seem especially quiet when even at 6pm when most of the shops and museums have closed down. If you are visiting Helsinki for a short period, or have a quick stopover then you are in luck! With its many different attractions and history, a 24 hour period won’t let you see everything but it will keep you busy. I have compiled some of the top things to do in Helsinki in 24 hours and what we enjoyed the most while here.
The best way to get around the city is by the public transportation system. Helsinki is well connected by trains and buses, all of the routes we took were right on time and really easy to get from point A to point B. Consider getting the day pass as this will save you more money.
If you’re coming by plane, it takes about 35 minutes to get from the Helsinki Vantaa Airport to the city center.
When buying a transit ticket you purchase it according to what zone you’re in and what zone you will be going to. Before going, it is worth checking what zones you will be traveling in, as it was quite overwhelming finding the zones we would be in while buying a ticket as a line quickly formed behind us. You can find ticket prices and more here.
This Lutheran church was the first site that we went to and was surprisingly more interesting than we anticipated. The design of Temppeliaukio Church actually came from two brothers who won an architecture competition for the church that took place in 1961. The interior of the church is excavated directly into rock and as such the interior beautifully incorporates the rock and other materials throughout, creating a visually beautiful and acoustically beautiful structure. We were invited while here to attend a concert later that night, which we went to and it was unbelievable how unique the acoustics were inside to carry the sound throughout. This church is open to visit from 10am-5pm for an entrance fee of 3 euros.
Another awesome place to go in Helsinki is the design district! Helsinki has been designated as a UNESCO City of Design and is the only city in the world with an appointed design officer. You must check out the design district! Here you can visit the Tori Quarters, the three oldest blocks in the center of Helsinki. It is full of restaurants, classic cafes, an outdoor movie theatre, the Helsinki City Museum, and boutiques that focus on Finnish design.
Suomenlinna is an inhabited sea fortress that spans over six linked islands, it became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. When construction started in 1748, Finland was still apart of Sweden! It is one of the most popular sights in Finland. You can get here easily by taking a ferry from Helsinki. The ferry runs from Market Square to Suomenlinna at 6:20 am all the way to 2:20am everyday. Entry is free to the fort, you only need to buy a ferry ticket to get there and back.
Located at the south harbor, Market Square is the most popular and famous market in Helsinki. Here you can find traditional foods, arts, crafts, and toys. My recommendation is to try alllll the food as it is really delicious! Adjacent to the square is city hall and the presidential palace. Market square is open from 8am-5pm everyday
There are over 3 million saunas in Finland which is more than the number of cars in the country! If you want to experience an authentic Finnish sauna you can find a list of ones here.
This is Helsinki’s central library it was inaugurated in December of 2018. We had a lot of fun visiting here not only is Oodi Library architecturally beautiful but the interior was really awesome. It is a very modern library and described as a living meeting place. With many activities for the residents to do there including sewing workshops, 3d printing workshops, pc’s for gaming, and of course many different books to choose from. It was interesting just walking around seeing all the activities available with the latest equipment for those who reside in Finland. You can visit any time from 8am-10pm. Learn more about this library and the programs they offer at their official website.
We hope you enjoy your travels in Helsinki and as always if you have any questions leave a comment below!