We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Highlights of Helsinki

This full day excursion explores Helsinki's architectural jewels, bustling markets, parks, and shop-filled promenades
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.7 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  For a Nordic country with a reputation for clouds and cold weather, Helsinki does a great job of melting your heart with its friendly ... more »

Tips:  Generally Helsinki is a very safe and easily navigable city with extensive and well-run public transportation.

Be cautious, however,... more »

Take this guide with you!

Save to mobile
Get this guide & thousands of others on your mobile phone
EveryTrail guides are created by travelers like you.
  1. 1. Download the EveryTrail app from the App Store
  2. 2. Search for the Highlights of Helsinki guide
  3. 3. Enjoy your self-guided tour
Get the app

Points of Interest

This is the historic (and some would say architectural) heart of the city. The majority of the buildings were designed by famed German architect Carl Ludvig Engel and this square is an homage to his genius for neoclassical design.

Two of Engel's most striking buildings are, to the east, the Palace of the Council of State, which was completed in... More

Dominating Senate Square, at its northern perimeter stands one of Helsinki's--and Finland's-- most photographed landmarks: the Lutheran Cathedral(Tuomiokirkko).

Engel worked on this Cathedral (which is considered his neoclassical masterpiece) from 1818 until his death in 1840. The cathedral was not completed until 12 years after his death.

The... More

Located in the southeast corner of Senate Square, a visit to this small museum is a great way to get insight into Helsinki's cultural history.

Built in 1757, this house graced the square decades before Engel came to design his masterpieces. The residence belonged to Helsinki's richest merchant, Johan Sederholm, and is the oldest stone home in... More

From Sederholm, head east for about 50 meters on Aleksanterinkatu street. Turn right onto Helenankatu and walk south for about 130 meters. The market will be slightly to your right when you reach Esplanaden/Pohjoisesplanadi street (across from the Swedish embassy).

This vibrant, bustling market is just as popular with locals as tourists. And... More

After the market, follow Pohjoisesplanadi street (known locally as Esplanadi) west to Esplanadi Park (also known as Esplanadin puisto). This park actually consists of two boulevards; Pohjoisesplanadi and Eteläesplanadi and is known as the "heart" of Helsinki.

After enjoying a stroll through the park, wander along Esplanadi boulevard to enjoy some... More

Head up one block north to Aleksanterinkatu (Aleksi), which runs parallel to Esplanadi, to discover another of the city's major (but more affordable) shopping areas.

Visit Stockmann (at the corner of Aleksi and Mannerheimintie streets), the most popular department store in the country. At the end of your shopping spree head back out to Esplanadi... More