Helsinki Stopover

Our Tips For A Helsinki Stopover

4 Oct 2017

We recently flew to Europe with Finnair with a stopover in Helsinki. Here’s our tips on spending a couple of days exploring the Finnish Capital.

Cruise the Canals

Built around a series of islands and canals, a great way to explore the Helsinki coastline is by boat. There are plenty of canal cruises that depart from Helsinki’s main square. Jump on board an open top boat and view the islands and summer homes of Helsinki.

Cruise from Helsinki harbour to the leafy islands.

Cruise from Helsinki harbour to the leafy islands.

Take a canal cruise from Helsinki Harbour.

Take a canal cruise from Helsinki Harbour.

Visit the Rock Church

Right in the heart of the city, Helsinki’s Rock Church is famously carved into the ground, rather than being built upon.

Helsinki's famous Rock Church is carved into the ground.

Helsinki’s famous Rock Church is carved into the ground.

Explore Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna is an 18th Century Sea Fortress, and the site of many battles for the ownership of Finland with the country falling under the control of Russia and Sweden at various times before eventually finding independence. Used as a fortress, and then a prison, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage listed tourist attraction.

The 18th Century Sea Fortress Suomenlinna.

The 18th Century Sea Fortress Suomenlinna.

 

Buildings that make up Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.

Buildings that make up Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.

Dine at Kappeli

Located near Helsinki harbour, the pavilion style Kappeli has been serving classic Finnish dishes for over 140 years. Try the famous Lohikeitto (Finnish Salmon Soup).

Dine on traditional Finnish dishes at Kappeli.

Dine on traditional Finnish dishes at Kappeli.

Lohikeitto - Finnish Salmon Soup.

Lohikeitto – Finnish Salmon Soup.

Take A Dip In A Sea Pool

Popular with locals and tourists, the Allas sea pools are nearby Helsinki’s Market Square and include recreational activities, an outdoor gym, a restaurant and cafe, and outdoor events such as movies during the warmer months.

Take a dip in the sea pools

Take a dip in the sea pools.

Stock up on Moomin Souvenirs

The fictional Moomins are a national treasure in Finland, you’ll find entire stores dedicated to the loveable family.

Finland's famous Moomin characters

Finland’s famous Moomin characters

Take a Sauna

Saunas are a big deal in Finland, with over 3 million of them – an average of one per household. There are plenty of public sauna’s in Helsinki including the Loyly complex with a cafe and outdoor bar, take a sauna and then a dip in the sea to cool down.

Loyly Sauna, Helsinki

Loyly Sauna, Helsinki

Alternatively, for a truly unique sauna experience, jump in the sauna carriage on the Finnair SkyWheel.

4th carriage from the bottom, the sauna carriage on the Finnair SkyWheel.

4th carriage from the bottom, the sauna carriage on the Finnair SkyWheel.

Take a day trip to a Medieval Town

Just 50km out of, and an easy day trip from Helsinki, Porvoo is a quaint medieval town dating back to the 14th century. Walk through streets of colourful buildings, purchase locally made products and visit the 800 year old Porvoo Cathedral.

Medieval town, Porvoo, Finland

Medieval town, Porvoo

Walk the colourful streets of Porvoo.

Walk the colourful streets of Porvoo.

The 800 year old Porvoo Cathedral is still in use today.

The 800 year old Porvoo Cathedral is still in use today.

 

Next up:
Our review of Finnair’s A350 business class
Our review of Finnair’s business class inflight food
Our review of Finnair’s Helsinki Business Class Lounge
Our tips on visiting Tallinn, Estonia
Our Helsinki Airport Guide

Transiting through Hong Kong:
Our review of the Cathay Pacific’s business class
Our review of The Pier, Cathay Pacific’s newest Hong Kong Lounge
Our review of the Qantas Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport