Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki Cathedral and Old Town
Save
Photo Credit: iStock.com / scanrail | Helsinki Cathedral and Old Town
Helsinki, Finland, Uspenski Cathedral
Save
Photo Credit: iStock.com / Ryhor Bruyeu | Uspenski Cathedral
Helsinki, Finland, Bicycles on Kluuvikatu Street
Save
Photo Credit: iStock.com / Ryhor Bruyeu | Bicycles on Kluuvikatu
Helsinki, Finland, Sibelius Monument
Save
Photo Credit: iStock.com / benkrut | Sibelius Monument
Helsinki, Finland, Pannu kakku
Save
Photo Credit: iStock.com / stocksnapper | Pannu kakku
Helsinki, Finland, Temppeliaukio Church
Save
Photo Credit: iStock.com / Sean Pavone | Temppeliaukio Church

Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland, Karjalanpiirakka Photo credit: iStock.com / Atide | Karjalanpiirakka

What the capital of Finland lacks in size (its population is around 600,000), it more than makes up for with its striking architecture, fun food scene, and abundant green spaces. Its charming Esplanade Park leads to South Harbor’s Market Square, featuring an array of craft and food stalls, while some of its museums are free on certain weekdays.

What We Love

The Rock Church: Excavated out of bedrock and completed in 1969, the modernist Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) is a must-see. Designed with a copper-lined dome and slanting windows, it has a nature-meets-space-age ambiance and great acoustics.

The Finnair SkyWheel: A 10-minute ride is playfully called a “flight” as passengers soar 131 feet above the city. Opened in 2014, the giant white wheel with 30 gondolas adds a touch of whimsy to historic Katajanokka harbor.

Best Known For

Central Railway Station: This art nouveau terminal dates to 1919 and was designed by Eliel Saarinen — father of Eero Saarinen, famous for his circa-1962 TWA terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport — and its massive granite façade features two pairs of muscular men holding spheres of light.

Senate Square: The city’s oldest section features four early 19th-century neoclassical buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, including the white Helsinki Cathedral and the Government Palace.

Sibelius Monument: Copenhagen may have the "Little Mermaid," but Helsinki’s Sibelius Park has this striking 24-ton sculpture created in 1967 from 600 welded-steel organ pipes by Eila Hiltunen to honor Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.

Shop for Cruises

Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates

Who It's Best For

Anyone Who Enjoys Walking: This compact city center is easy to explore on foot — and you’re certain to discover great photo ops along the way.

Curious Foodies: Finnish cuisine is full of savory dishes you’ve probably never tried before, from kalakukko (Finnish fish pie) to poronkäristys (Finland’s version of meat and potatoes — reindeer meat, that is).

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Street Names Boggle the Mind: Finnish can be a tongue-twister, and some of the city’s more peculiar street names — case in point: Papukaija Zagulan polku — are a mouthful. Keep your map handy.

Donna Heiderstadt

Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.

Shop for Cruises
Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates

Itineraries Including Helsinki
Shop for Cruises
Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates