A colleague of mine from Stockholm was planning a short visit to Helsinki and asked for some recommendations. They were planning in renting an apartment via Airbnb and I would recommend choosing it in this area and not much further north. The city center is within the red circle and I would stay in Punavuori district or close to it. It has beautiful buildings, small cafes and it is within walking distance to almost any sight in the city center.
If you’re more into hanging out in cheap bars and prefer to see less polished side of Helsinki, I would suggest that you stay in the district of Kallio, which is located a bit further north, but is well connected to the city center by several trams or metro. This area is favored by young people and local drunks. 🙂 There are plenty of bars and curiosities and the prices aren’t as high as in the city center.
So what is there to do? Of course there are the regulars:
- National Museum of Finland
- Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma
- Temppeliaukio rock church
- Helsinki Cathedral
- Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral
- Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
- Sibelius Monument
- Rautatientori Central Railway Station
- Senate Square
- Market Square
- Kaivopuisto park
- Eira and Ullanlinna districts
Other places that could be of interest:
- Löyly Helsinki – A newly built restaurant, bar and sauna complex. Looks good and has a nice view.
- Suomenlinna – A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an island not too far away from Helsinki city center. Apparently is great for playing Pokemon Go. Wear enough clothes in winter as it is very windy there.
- Lonna – An island half-way to Suomenlinna, which has a nice cafe and a restaurant. Open only during the summer season.
- Finnair Skywheel – Quite expensive, but you get a nice view of Helsinki.
- Ateljee Bar at Sokos Hotel Torni – You get a nice view and you get to enjoy good drinks.
- Escape rooms – Really cool escape rooms to spend some quality time with friends.
- Design District Helsinki – Lots of small shops.
Good breakfast and brunch places:
Good lunch restaurants/cheaper dinner options:
- Hietalahti Market Hall
- Putte’s Bar & Pizza
- Sushibar + Wine
- Casa Italia
- Kuja Bar & Bistro
Good dinner restaurants:
Good places for drinks: