A Local’s Guide to Helsinki

A few weeks ago, I got on a plane and flew to Helsinki, Finland for the weekend to see one of the friends I made in my first few months as an au pair. Knowing someone in a different country is an amazing way to see all the good sights, not just the most famous ones.

These are the sights in Helsinki that, according to Hanna, are definitely worth a visit.

Helsinki Cathedral

Not necessarily a recommendation by Hanna, but more something that I wanted to see before coming to Finland. While not religious, I do really enjoy looking at old churches and cathedrals.

What I found quite interesting, is that a lot more younger people go to church in Finland compared to other western-European countries.

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

This island is part prison, part tourist attraction. Which is a very peculiar combination. A lovely place to walk with small houses with verandas (influenced by the Russians) and an amazing view over the sea and Helsinki’s harbour. Suomenlinna is on the world heritage site as a unique monument to military architecture.

Oodi Library

While it doesn’t look very special on the outside, this library looks amazing on the inside. It only opened a few months ago (there were some structural problems with the old library). I loved the spiral staircase on the inside because it was designed specifically to make everyone feel welcome in the new library.

They asked people to describe themselves with one word and filled the staircase with all of those words in the form of “for workers, for youth, for transgenders, for asylum seekers, for introverts.”

Töölönlahti Bay

An amazing park with walking paths that can be found in the middle of Helsinki. It’s a very quiet place where you can escape from the crowds and just relax.

Of course, there is a lot more to do in Helsinki. Unfortunately, I only had one full day and since I wanted to make the most out of it, I only went to see things my friend recommended!

Have you ever been to Helsinki?


  1. ufuomajesegineyahoocouk
    1 June 2019 / 12:12 pm

    Coincidentally, i just read about the Oodi museum this morning from a link showing that Helsinki has been named the world’s number happiness place and thought to myself I would visit. Great post

  2. 31 May 2019 / 12:26 pm

    It would be nice to spend a day in Helinski especially if I wanted to unwind by the waters. The statues would offer a nice photo spot too.

  3. 30 May 2019 / 7:45 pm

    This is such a great guide of things to do in Helsinki. I would love to go to the cathedral. But the librarian in me really wants to see the library there. It looks pretty amazing.

  4. 30 May 2019 / 1:24 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful city. I would love visiting it. The sea part looks amazing and calming. And omg, I love the library. It looks so stylish.

  5. Ivana
    30 May 2019 / 4:57 am

    Helsinki is on my list! Not this summer unfortunately, but I’ll get there.

  6. Joanna
    29 May 2019 / 9:19 pm

    I like that you managed to see some of the local sights and not all touristy. That’s how I live to travel.

  7. 29 May 2019 / 7:59 pm

    Wow, I have not heard/seen Helsinki but they do have beautiful scenery.

  8. Tamás Bradford
    29 May 2019 / 7:47 pm

    Really like the pictures and descriptions you gave of these incredible locations. I really want to visit Helsinki now!

  9. 29 May 2019 / 6:31 pm

    You surely had a glorious time in this charming city. I wish I am lucky enough to visit there soon.

  10. 29 May 2019 / 5:51 pm

    This sounds like a fun place to visit.

  11. Maria
    29 May 2019 / 2:55 pm

    Great information and pictures. I would love to visit Finland one day.

  12. 29 May 2019 / 1:39 pm

    I’ve never been to Helsinki but it looks like a very beautiful community. I especially loved the pictures of the island and the park. And, agree what a odd combination!

  13. Hanna
    29 May 2019 / 10:52 am

    Hey, great post and thanks again for visiting😘 it was great to see you. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience despite me being somewhat clueless quide 😀

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