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Helsinki is characterized by a particularly atmospheric combination of cosmopolitan flair and typically Finnish modesty. To this is added the beautiful location on the Baltic Sea. The Finnish capital is almost completely submerged in darkness in winter, but as soon as spring arrives, the city starts alive and you can have a lot of fun.

Hotels Helsinki


Helsinki is the capital of the Scandinavian Finland. The city is located in the south of the country on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki has an area of over 185 square kilometers of land and 495 square kilometers of sea. The city has about 590,000 inhabitants.

HelsinkiHelsinkiPhoto: Kati Kosonen CC 3.0 Unported no changes made


Finland has a continental climate, but because Helsinki is located on the sea, the large temperature differences per season, as we know them from a continental climate, are less large. In winter it can be very cold in Helsinki and in summer it can be wonderfully warm with temperatures of up to 25°C. Below you will find an overview of the average temperatures in Helsinki per month.


The history of Helsinki goes back to the year 1550. In that year the then Swedish king Gustavus founded the city. The reason he founded the city was to counterbalance the trade position of Estonian Tallinn. Unfortunately, the king's dream did not come true, Helsinki remained meaningless until 1809.

Map of Helsinki 1837
Map of Helsinki 1837Photo: Public domain

In 1809, after fierce resistance, the city was occupied by the Russians and in 1812 the city was officially named the capital by the Russian Tsar. After this, it flourished until civil war broke out in Helsinki in 1917. Helsinki remained unoccupied during the Second World War. However, there were bombings by the Russians that destroyed parts of the city.

In 1952 Helsinki was internationally known because the Olympic Games took place there in that year. Today Helsinki is the cosmopolitan capital of Finland.

Places of interest

Like any European capital, Helsinki has many attractions.

Uspenski Helsinki CathedralUspenski Cathedral HelsinkiPhoto: Turaan78 CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The most important historical religious landmark of Helsinki is the impressive Uspenski Cathedral. It is the largest Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe. In 1868 the church was built by the Russians and this can still be seen in the building. Especially on the inside of the church you will find golden domes and many red elements. It took the Russians more than 6 years to complete the construction of the cathedral. The church is one of the most visited sights in Helsinki.

Helsinki ZooHelsinki ZooPhoto: Arto Alanenpaa CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

A top attraction for families with children is the Korkeasaari Zoo. Opened in 1889, this zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe. There are several animals that are threatened with extinction. The Helsinki zoo is fighting against the extinction of animal species. In addition, there is also a wide choice of beautiful arctic animals at the Helsinki Zoo.

Helsinki Presidential PalaceHelsinki Presidential PalacePhoto: Paasikivi CC 4.0 Internationaal no changes made

The Presidential Palace (Presidentinlinna) is regularly used by the President of Finland and is an important building in the center of Helsinki. The palace is located on the Grote Markt and was built in 1818 and became state property 20 years later. Many large state receptions take place within the palace walls, tourists take a tour of the grandeur and immense scale of the palace on a guided tour.

Art and Design museum HelsinkiArt and design museum HelsinkiPhoto: Mahlum in the public domain

The Helsinki Art and Design Museum is definitely worth a visit for lovers of modern art forms. The museum has existed since 1873, making it the oldest museum in Scandinavia. Over the years, the museum has moved several times. There is a standard permanent collection and there are regularly interesting changing exhibitions.


There are several Finnish islands around Helsinki. An absolute must is to take a boat trip to one or more of these islands. During such a boat trip you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and relax completely by the swaying on the waves.

Helsinki CitybikesHelsinki CitybikesPhoto: Public Domain

Another Helsinki tip for the sporty ones among us: the City bikes. These are green bicycles that you can use for free. You have to pay a 2 euro deposit to take a bicycle from different points in the city. It is a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around the city and you also see the most of Helsinki.

Useful links Helsinki

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Last updated May 2024
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