The capital of Finland is very easy accessible from the air and from the water. Located between Tallinn, Stockholm and St. Petersburg it is a great city for a weekend getaway.
Finair has its Headquarters in Helsinki and the possibility that you have a stopover in the city is big as most flights to America and Asia have a stopover in the finish capital.
Here is a little guide of what to do in Helsinki during a weekend or/and stopover.
If you are still looking for a great Hostel in Helsinki I recommend you checking out the awesome Eurohostel which is in walking distance from the city. A bed in a dorm starts from about 27 € per Person! I’ve stayed there myself several times and had a good time and it also comes with a Sauna! Book it now!
Update: Another great hostel that I tried on a recent trip to Helsinki is Cheap Sleeps a little outside the city center of Helsinki with affordable rates!
1. Visit the Fortress of Suomenlinna
Suonenlinna is a group of island couple of minutes away from the harbor of Helsinki. It was used as a fortress to defend the city in the 1700s. The Fortress is still in good shape and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its military architecture. During strong winters you can go there by foot. In the past the sea was frozen and citizens of Helsinki were able to walk to the islands. Today this rarely happens anymore. You can take a ferry from the harbor with your daily pass. A single ticket is 3.50 Euro.
Update: There is a hostel on the island, a pretty cool experience to sleep on this island and walk around it when the tourists have left!
2. Rock church
Not far from the city center you will find a Lutheran church which is designed into the hill. On the weekends you will find concerts and in the afternoon free auditions. The is not entrance fee and totally worth a visit!
3. Cathedral of Helsinki
This majestic white building is located on a little hill about 500 meters from the city center and the harbor. During a sunny day the cathedral looks beautiful overlooking the city. Entrance is free and worth. For 0.50 Euro you can light a candle. Just sit down and relax and watch other people. During christmas you will find a christmas market on the foot of the stairs.
4. Take the Tram
If the weather is bad, just take the Tram. Tram Nr. 3 goes around the whole center of Helsinki and you will pass most of the important sights. It’s a great way to see the city and not getting wet or cold. Additionally, the trams of Helsinki have Wifi! Get yourself a day-pass and spend a couple of hours in the tram!
Get the Helsinki Card and you’ll be able to use as many trams and buses, ferries as you want and you’ll get access to many attractions throughout the city! Make sure to pre order it and get it sent home!
5. Take a Ferry to Tallinn
If you have seen all of the points mentioned above, why don’t you take the ferry and head over to Tallinn for a day or two. The quick ferry takes one and a half hours and you can spend the whole day there. Tallinn is much cheaper than Helsinki and many Fins go there to buy alcohol as it is very expensive in Finland due to the high taxes.