Perhaps their country's harsh climate encouraged the Finns' love and respect for design and the arts. Whatever the cause, there's no denying that Helsinki is one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in Scandinavia. Hailed as the "Daughter of the Baltic," Finland's capital is a city of graceful neoclassical buildings, striking modern architecture and spacious boulevards dotted with squares and parks. In the past century, Finland has nurtured some of the major creative talents of Western culture, from the composer Sibelius to architects Eliel & Eero Saarinen and Alvar Aalto.
The center of Finnish commerce and culture, Helsinki is home to some 616.000 people. Much of the city's neoclassical architecture dates from the period of Tsarist rule, which began in 1809 after political control of Finland passed from Sweden to Russia, Finland gained its independence in 1917.
Points of Interest
Temppeliaukio (Rock Church)
Senate Square / Cathedral
Sibelius Park and Monument
Finnish Farm and Home Visits
Kiasma Modern Art Museum and National Museum of Finland
More about Helsinki, Finland Points of Interest
Temppeliaukio (Rock Church) -
This one-of-a-kind Lutheran church is built into a solid rock. Natural light pours in from the church's glazed dome and the rough stoned interiors amplify sound, making it a unique concert venue.
Senate Square / Cathedral -
This is center for arts, culture, religion, politics and education. Carl Ludvig Engel designed its four main buildings, including the famous landmark Helsinki Cathedral, in the early 19th Century.
Market Square -
Experience the energy and excitement of this seaside city. The square offers a festive atmosphere with rows of tents and stalls selling fur clothing, jewelry, food and souvenirs and more.
It was first documented in the 14th century, making it the second oldest town in Finland. Many aspects of the area have been left untouched by time, making it a great place for exploring.
Sibelius Park and Monument -
Dedicated to famed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, the park and unique abstract monument was meant to reflect the rugged natural beauty of Finland, as inspired by Sibelius's work Finlandia.
Finnish Farm and Home Visits -
Discover the heart of Finland's countryside with a visit to a working farm in Sipoo and experience home life as you're invited in to a typical Finnish home in Sipoo.
Suomenlinna Fortress -
This sea fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a great place for picnics and sightseeing. Enjoy walking tours, museums, handicraft shops, cafes, restaurants, a library, even a beer garden.
Kiasma Modern Art Museum and National Museum of Finland -
The stunning Kiasma, is part of the Finnish National Gallery features contemporary art. The grand National Museum, within a neo-medieval castle, offers exhibits from prehistoric times through today.