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Good to know

City map Helsinki

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    Helsinki – a brief overview

    Tucked away at the end of the Gulf of Finland, Helsinki is a seaside city with a long history and an even longer list of things to do. Like Copenhagen and Stockholm, art and architecture feature heavily, as does design, while its foodie scene – long regarded as a Baltic version of British cuisine – is improving rapidly.

    Freezing in winter and balmy in summer, Helsinki’s many museums make it a year-round destination, although if you want to take advantage of its many alfresco beauties, June and July are best.

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    Top 10 sights in Helsinki

    Helsinki, Finnland, Skandinavien, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide,Suomenlinna fortress


    Suomenlinna C 74
    00190 Helsinki
    Tel: (029) 533 8410
    Show on map

    Once the greatest sea fortress on the Baltic, Suomenlinna occupies an entire island and was built by the Swedes in the mid-1700s and, along with the historic castle, now houses theatres, bars and restaurants.

    Helsinki Cathedral

    Unioninkatu 29
    00170 Helsinki
    Tel: (09) 2340 6120
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-0000 (Jun-Aug)
    0900-1800 (Sep-May)

    Designed by Carl Ludwig Engel, the magnificent 19th-century Helsinki Cathedral looks more like a Greek temple than a church but is utterly spectacular within.

    Linnanmäki Amusement Park

    Tivolikuja 1
    00510 Helsinki
    Tel: (010) 572 2200
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Late April to late October (times vary; check website for details)

    More than half a century old, the Linnanmäki Amusement Park is a charming old funfair complete with traditional rides and a wooden roller coaster that’s as old as the park.

    National Museum of Finland

    Mannerheimintie 34
    00100 Helsinki
    Tel: (040) 128 6469
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1100-1800

    More than 170 years old, the National Museum of Finland charts Finnish history from prehistory to present day via a series of often eye-opening exhibits.


    Lutherinkatu 3
    00100 Helsinki
    Tel: (09) 2340 6320
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 1000-1745
    Sun 1145-1745 (Jun-Aug)
    Mon-Sat 1000-1700
    Sun 1145-1700 (Sep-May)

    Hewn out of solid bedrock, the Temppeliaukio (rock church) opened in 1969 and has been wowing tourists and locals alike ever since. Designed by architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, it doubles as a concert venue.

    Sibelius Monument

    Sibeliuksen puisto
    00250 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Unveiled in 1967, the vast Silbelius Monument commemorates composer Jean Sibelius and was designed to resemble a set of organ pipes by architect Eila Hiltunen.

    Helsinki Zoo

    Mustikkamaanpolku 12
    00570 Helsinki
    Tel: (09) 3103 7901
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1600 (Oct-Mar)
    1000-1800 (Apr and Sep)
    1000-2000 (May-Aug)

    One of the oldest zoos on the planet, Helsinki Zoo opened in 1889 and is home to more than 1,000 different species of plant and 200 different types of animal.

    Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art

    Mannerheiminaukio 2
    00100 Helsinki
    Tel: (0294) 500 501
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue and Sun 1000-1700
    Wed-Fri 1000-2030
    Sat 1000-1800

    With a focus on art created from the mid-1960s onwards, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art has pieces by all the modern masters as well as an on-site theatre specialising in experimental dance.

    Olympic Stadium

    Paavo Nurmen tie 1
    00250 Helsinki
    Tel: (09) 436 6010
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0800-2000
    Sat-Sun 0900-1800

    Completed in 1938 and used as the centrepiece for the 1952 Olympic Games, Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium remains one of the Finnish capital’s main sport and music venues. It also boasts a museum and a 72m (236ft) tower, complete with a viewing platform at the top.


    Mannerheimintie 30
    00102 Helsinki
    Tel: (09) 432 2027
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0900-1615 (guided tours)

    Helsinki’s Parliament building might not be the prettiest but it is impressively large and contains a number of interesting exhibits as well as its very own café.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    Finland is the big surprise of the Nordic countries, a natural wonderland with more trees than people and more islands than any other nation in the world. With endless miles of wilderness and 188,000 lakes on their doorstep, the Finns are uniquely in tune with their surroundings.

    Even committed urbanites retreat to wooden cottages in the country during the brief warm summers to swim and fish in the lakes and gather wild berries and mushrooms in the woods, before unwinding with a sauna and a glass of kossu (Finnish vodka).


    The history and politics of Finland has been shaped by its location, wedged between Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east. The national character of the Finns has been further coloured by the water-logged landscape – the country is hemmed in by the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland and 10% of its landmass lies underwater. Finland has more islands than any other country on earth – 30,000 off the Finnish coast and a further 98,000 islands in its 188,000 inland lakes – and the Saimaa Lake system in the southeast of the country is the largest inland water system in Europe.

    By European standards, Finland is very sparsely populated.

    Around 69% of the country is covered by the pine forests that define the northern coniferous zone. In the south and southwest, the forest is mainly pine, fir and birch; in Lapland, in the far north, scattered dwarf birch forests give way to Arctic tundra. Most of the national forests are managed for timber, which is used for the manufacture of furniture, paper and fibreboards and for domestic heating and warming Finland’s 1.6 million saunas. Finland’s forests are said to be the most sustainably managed in Europe. Only 8% of the land is used for agriculture – more than 50% of Finns work in manufacturing or the service sector.

    General knowledge


    Population: 5266114

    Population Density (per sq km): 16

    Capital: Helsinki.


    There are two official languages: Finnish, mother tongue for 91.6% of the population, and Swedish, first language of 5.5% of the population. Swedish Finns have a distinct cultural identity and often speak English more fluently than they speak Finnish. The Finnish language is related to only Estonian and Hungarian. Around 2,000 people in Lapland speak one of the dialects of the Sámi language, while Karelian dialects still survive amongst older people in the east of the country. English is taught as the first foreign language.


    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents. Note that 1 and 2 cent coins, while valid in other eurozone countries, are not used in Finland.


    230 volts AC, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0800-1615, though some places stay open till 1700.

    Country information

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2015 period.

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Epiphany: 06. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Sunday: 05. April 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015

    May Day: 01. May 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015
    Whit Sunday: 24. May 2015
    Midsummer: 20. June 2015
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2015
    Independence Day: 06. December 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    St Stephen’s Day (Tapaninpäivä): 26. December 2015

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport:
    Helsinki has a comprehensive integrated transport system, with trams, buses and metro all included on the same ticket, although it is possible to buy tram-only tickets if you prefer. All tickets have to be bought from ticket machines – while you can pick up tickets on some forms of transport, tram drivers will not sell you anything. Choose from single, which for €2.50 will give you unlimited travel within Helsinki for an hour, regional which includes Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, and day. Alternatively, there’s the Travel Card, a reloadable smart card that lets you pay on a pay-as-you-go basis and is available from all the main stations.

    Cabs are easy to pick up and fares are regulated by the government, so are never uncomfortably high. Hailing a cab will cost you €5 (€9 after 9pm) and the meter ticks over at €1.52 per kilometre.


    Nightlife in Helsinki


    Despite their morose reputation, Finns love a party and as a result, Helsinki’s bars are packed come weekends and Wednesdays.

    There’s no shortage of choice either, although the death metal and Viking metal bars are probably best avoided.

    Ateljee Bar

    Yrjönkatu 26
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Incredible views thanks to its location on the 14th floor of the Sokos Hotel.

    Café Cavalier

    Malminrinne 2-4
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    A super-chic gay bar in central Helsinki. Live music and great cocktails.


    Erottajankatu 4
    00120 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Caribbean-themed fun and excellent mojitos.

    Bar Bäkkäri

    Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 21
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    A popular rock ‘n’ roll themed bar that thankfully eschews death metal.


    Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    A Helsinki institution, Tavasiaklubi is ridiculously popular with the style set.


    Restaurants in Helsinki


    Finland isn’t known for its food although, as in the UK, that is starting to change. As befits a sea port, Helsinki’s restaurants

    are excellent for seafood as well as local delicacies such as cold smoked herring and delicate semi salty Åland Islands lamb.

    A21 Dining

    Kalevankatu 17
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Dishes are themed by the part of Finland they come from and everything is fresh and organic.

    Restaurant Nokka

    Kanavaranta 7F
    00160 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Voted Helsinki’s best restaurant four years in a row, Nokka is the place for gourmet Finnish fare.

    G.W. Sundmans

    Eteläranta 16
    00130 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    The grand dame of Helsinki restaurants, G.W Sundmans serves Finnish classics with a twist.

    Bryggeri Helsinki

    Sofiankatu 2
    00170 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Good beer and new Nordic food of the sort more often found in Copenhagen.

    Sea Horse

    Kapteeninkatu 11
    00140 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A taste of Finnish home cooking for those on a budget.


    Calendar of events

    World Village Festival

    30 – 31 May 2015

    Venue: Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Square.

    Cultures from all over the world meet annually during this Festival in Helsinki. There is a lot happening from music, circus, dance, theatre, art to various fun filled activities. The Festival also offers new perspectives on tolerant multiculturalism and global issues.

    Helsinki Pride

    22 – 28 June 2015

    Venue: Kaivopuisto Park.

    Each summer, Helsinki’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community party and get political at Finland’s biggest Pride festival. The annual event promotes equality and openness through discussions, cultural events, parties and a big parade. Thousands march through the streets in an eye-popping and colourful display, and over 10,000 revellers take part in the wider events. Performers and activists rub up alongside spectators and organisers, but the event is not only popular with the LGBT community. It’s also a great excuse for the rest of the city to enjoy themselves whilst showing solidarity for a good cause.

    Sirkus Finlandia

    13 – 17 July 2015

    Venue: Kaisaniemi Park.

    For over 35 years, Sirkus Finlandia has been travelling around Finland between April and November giving traditional circus performances to more than 200,000 spectators every year. This tour heads to Helsinki’s Kaisaniemi Park with new shows alongside the regular acrobats, magicians and clowns.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Helsinki


    From simple B&Bs to palatial five-star hotels, there’s no shortage of places to stay in Helsinki – whatever your budget.

    Most are stylish, with quirky Marimekko prints popping up almost everywhere, and in true Finnish style, nearly all have saunas.

    Hotel Kämp

    Pohjoisesplanadi 29
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A glamorous pile in central Helsinki, Hotel Kämp is well worth the price tag.

    Klaus K

    Bulevardi 2-4
    00120 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A seriously stylish boutique hotel conveniently located in central Helsinki.

    GLO Hotel Kluuvi Helsinki

    Kluuvikatu 4
    00100 Helsinki
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Chic neutrals and a private entrance to the Kämp Galleria shopping centre make this a good choice for design fans.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Saturday, 23.05.2015 04:00 UTC





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    Climate and best time to visit Helsinki

    Finland is the land of the fabled midnight sun, and although Helsinki, at the southern end of the country, doesn’t suffer from either extreme dark or continual sunshine, it does get dark during the winter months. With just a few hours of light each day, this is the best time to come if you’re planning to hit the museums, but not great for any sort of outdoor plans. Summers, by contrast, benefit from lovely long evenings and mellow temperatures, making it the best time to visit.

    Climate & best time to visit Finland

    Finland has a reputation as a land of ice and snow, but summers are warm and sunny, with daytime temperatures reaching 25-30ºC (77-86˚F), and even spring and autumn can be surprisingly mild. The sun never truly sets in midsummer and locals take full advantage of the midnight sun for late-night sports, barbecues and parties. Finland only really deserves its frosty reputation in winter, from November to mid March, when temperatures plummet to -20ºC/-4ºF or lower. Winter days are short and in Lapland, the sun may not clear the horizon at all. In the far north, the snow cover can last from as early as October till as late as May. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the rest of the year. During June and July, forested areas are plagued by gnats and mosquitoes, particularly in the north of the country. Bring plenty of insect repellent.


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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan8 °C-34 °C-3 °C-8 °C85 %41 mm91.3 h
    Feb9 °C-31 °C-3 °C-8 °C84 %32 mm72.6 h
    Mar12 °C-24 °C0 °C-5 °C82 %35 mm84.3 h
    Apr19 °C-16 °C6 °C0 °C75 %37 mm76.0 h
    May27 °C-4 °C13 °C6 °C67 %31 mm68.9 h
    Jun30 °C0 °C18 °C11 °C68 %41 mm79.9 h
    Jul31 °C6 °C20 °C13 °C73 %60 mm98.9 h
    Aug31 °C2 °C19 °C12 °C78 %74 mm117.2 h
    Sep26 °C-4 °C14 °C8 °C82 %73 mm114.5 h
    Oct17 °C-10 °C8 °C4 °C83 %71 mm102.9 h
    Nov11 °C-18 °C3 °C0 °C86 %67 mm121.2 h
    Dec9 °C-29 °C0 °C-5 °C86 %59 mm110.9 h
    year31 °C-34 °C8 °C2 °C79 %621 mm1084.9 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +358


    Local and international calls can be made from street-side telephone booths and, in larger cities, telecentres. Most public telephones operate using a pre-paid card purchased from R-kiosks, shops and post offices. Shops also sell cards that can be used to make discounted international calls.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies and GSM 900/1800 coverage is excellent – as you might expect from the home of Nokia. You may find it cheaper to buy a Finnish SIM card, available for about €15, which includes €10 of calling credit.


    Free public access is widely available in tourist offices and libraries, and most large cities have commercial internet cafes. Most business hotels offer wireless Internet access and there are public hotspots in Helsinki and other large cities.


    Shopping in Helsinki

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Most of the shopping action in Helsinki happens in and around Aleksanterinkatu (fondly known as Alexi to the locals), which is where you’ll find most of the international names as well as Finnish favourites such as Marimekko and Stockmann – the largest department store in Scandinavia. Elsewhere, the Kampii area is where most of the malls are to be found, while Uudenmaankatu is the hub for homeware design.


    Most of Helsinki’s markets open only in summer but when they do, there’s plenty of choice. Top pick is the Hakaniemi Market Hall and open-air market which sells local food and handicrafts.

    Shopping Centres

    With 240 shops, Itäkeskus is the largest mall in Scandinavia, while the nearby Kämp Galleria is the place to go for upmarket local design.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Shaking hands is customary as a greeting and guests are expected to refrain from drinking until the host or hostess toasts their health with kippis or skol (cheers). Most Finns prefer practical, casual clothing, except for special occasions. Many younger Finns rebel against this social norm through body piercing, dressing in ‘Gothic’ clothes and listening to heavy rock bands such as Lordi.

    Although renowned for their liberal attitudes, Finns can appear to be rather reserved with strangers, so do not be alarmed if conversations start slowly. Shoes should be removed when entering someone’s home.

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Campers and trekkers should take precautions against tick bites and consider immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis if visiting the Åland Islands. Mosquitoes are a pest during the damp summers, particularly in the north – bring mosquito repellent and topical cream to stop bites becoming infected.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Lindberg, Otto
    Laivurinkatu 29
    0150 Helsinki
    Tel. +35-80-16201

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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