As the Coronavirus Pandemic begins to slow down and lockdown restrictions are removed, many Finns can now travel more confidently across their country. Along with Finnish people, many people from neighbouring countries within the Schengen Area and throughout the world choose Finland as a tourist destination.
Helsinki, the capital and most populous city in Finland, has various things that all different types of people would like to do. From walking tours to casinos, Helsinki has a lot to offer. Read ahead to learn more about the things to do in Helsinki.
What to Do in Helsinki?
Whenever you travel to a new place, you have to determine who you’re travelling with and their shared interests. Helsinki is a vibrant city with a lot of activities to choose from. Furthermore, due to Finland’s rich and extensive history, there are many things to see in Helsinki.
Visit a Casino
Many foreigners may not realise this, but Finland casinos offer incredible experiences for foreign visitors because the casinos accommodate their facilities to multiple different languages. According to Finnish casino expert Auli Wälkky, the gambling industry is one of the most lucrative sectors of the Finnish economy. While actual venues are limited, many people choose casino games, like backgammon pelaa, to play online.
The greater Helsinki area has two major casinos, which are good day trips during an extended vacation. In addition, travellers enjoy visiting Kulosaaren Casino and Casino Helsinki on any quiet or rainy day.
Finland has a rich history with a mix of many traditional and modern buildings. Helsinki, being an international hub within the region, embraces more of a modern appeal to visitors. However, Helsinki also has a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site: the Fortress of Suomenlinna.
The Fortress of Suomenlinna dates back to the later half of the 18th century and is located within the Helsinki harbour. Swedes developed it to deter Russian expansion in the region.
The Helsinki Cathedral is also a top travel destination. The cathedral is very minimalistic, unlike other orthodox churches built at the time. It’s a notable building within the Helsinki skyline and gives you a great view of the city.
Hobbies in Finland
To get a truly authentic experience of a country, you should try to see what its people enjoy doing.
Unbeknownst to many, Finland has one of the highest-ranking environmental protection index scores across the globe. Finns take pride in their forests and wildlife. In fact, many of their hobbies are nature or outdoor-related.
It is common to see Finns hiking through the woods, travelling through a beautiful park, or even foraging for fresh foods.
According to the expert Auli Wälkky, Helsinki has many internationally recognised parks, such as Esplandi, also known as Espa by locals. Other notable parks are Sibelius Park and the Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden.
The Finns are also famous for their knitting. At the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018, viewers were fascinated by the snowboard coach Antti Koskinen knitting while waiting for his athletes to compete.
Not only can knitting productively relieve stress but it can provide an insight into local culture and history. You won’t have to look far to find a hobby or wool shop in Helsinki. If you don’t want to knit, you can find amazing knit garments for sale.
Eat Some Finnish Foods
While neither Helsinki nor Finland is known as a food capital, there’s no doubt amongst travellers that you have to try traditional Finnish food whenever you visit Finland.
Helsinki, being the capital of Finland, carries all of the regional delicacies created throughout the country. Karjalnpiiraka and kalakukko are hand pies filled with vegetables and potatoes, or fish, and are eaten as daily lunches. Finns are also obsessed with their coffee, which they often pair with a korvapuusti, a Finnish cinnamon bun.
Other traditional Finnish foods include Silli Ja Uudet Perunat, a potato and herring dish, and Poronkäristys, a sauteed reindeer dish with mashed potatoes.
Go to an Art Museum
Finns are well-known for appreciating art; after all, they have an expensive artistic and literary history. As a result, Helsinki has many great art museums, although the most popular two museums are the HAM Helsinki Art Museum and the Ateneum Art Museum.
While having historical knowledge in art helps you enjoy the works of an art museum more, art museums are great places for tourists because the subject matter is visually interpreted. So whether you are going to the Amos Rex Museum exhibits or the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, you’ll have a great time.
Travel in Helsinki is stimulating and can be oriented towards families or young adults. It’s always helpful to know a couple of phrases in Finnish and to make preparations before travelling. Visit an art museum or enjoy eating an authentic Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry pie); we are sure you’ll have fun travelling within Helsinki.