Spotlight on Helsinki
The capital of Finland, Helsinki is a harbour city unlike any other. From its unique architecture and urban nature spaces to its shops and saunas, this is a metropolis just waiting to be discovered in its entirety. Helsinki is also a popular stop for both ocean and river cruises and offers passengers the perfect place to get a taste for Finnish culture and way of life.
Designed by architect Carl Ludwig Engel and completed in 1852, this beautiful church is one of the city’s iconic landmarks. Featuring a neoclassic style of design, the striking cathedral has a large green dome, which is joined by three smaller green domes. Helsinki Cathedral is part of the famous Senate Square, and visitors come here to attend religious events, gaze at the beauty and wonder of the church’s interior or sit on the steps leading up to the church and take photos.
Fortress of Suomenlinna
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fortress of Suomenlinna can be reached by taking a 15-minute ferry ride from Helsinki Market Square. While here, visitors can explore six different museums, enjoy a nature ramble, eat and drink at a variety of restaurants and cafés, and learn more about the history of the fortress on a guided tour.
National Museum of Finland
Opened in 1916 and depicting local Finnish life over more than 1,000 years, this well-crafted museum is a must for those who wish to get a richer understanding of Finland’s origins and modern history. Two permanent exhibitions are dedicated to showcasing the country’s history between the 13th and 19th centuries, and its unique folk culture. The third permanent exhibition, the Workshop Vintti, offers guests the chance to learn about Finland’s history and culture through interactive exhibits.
Old Market Hall and Market Square
One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, Market Square is the site of various food, craft and souvenir stalls. Nearby is the Old Market Hall, which customers have been flocking to since 1889. Here, vendors sell everything from fruit, spices, coffee and tea to fish, vegetables and cakes. Seafood lovers will particularly enjoy the huge range of items on offer, including salmon chowder, herrings and smoked eel.
Weather and Currency
Given its location in Northern Europe, Helsinki enjoys cool temperatures year-round, with the hottest month being July, when temperatures hover between 17-21 degrees Celsius. Rainfall levels are fairly consistent throughout the year, although the summer months tend to see more thunderstorms.
The euro (€) is used in Finland, and travellers will be able to access foreign exchange services at most banks or at the airport. ATMs are also available in the city.
Helsinki features on many European and Scandinavian itineraries from cruise brands such as Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. Other common port stops on these itineraries are in Germany, Estonia, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Lithuania.
Have you journeyed to this Scandinavian delight? To find out more or to make a cruise booking, contact us on 1300 954 661 now. We can assist you with your cruise, flights, transfers and travel insurance.
Images courtesy of Getty.