Where to relax in Finland, if not in Helsinki – the capital, political and cultural center of the country, a truly amazing city.
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Summer is short and not hot, but you can still relax on the beaches. There are 29 of them in the capital, mostly on the islands or on the Vantaa River. Near the center there is the Hietaniemi beach – good for families with children due to the gentle entrance to the water and the infrastructure with cafes, bars and sports grounds. It’s also good to visit Mustikkamaa with children, next to the zoo, with barbecue areas and showers.
To the east of the city is Aurinkolahti beach with a soft beach and a Mediterranean atmosphere. There is also a nudist beach Pihlajasaari – the bottom here is rocky, so it is more convenient not to swim, but to sunbathe.
All beaches are very clean and tidy, meet European standards.
Around Helsinki there are a lot of ski resorts and resorts of a fairly high level, although the weather in the capital is quite unpredictable. Many can be reached in just a couple of hours.
Here are the most popular:
- Kauniainen is a complex of three slopes with lighting, two lifts and a snowpark. Works since 1943. There is no equipment rental, so bring your own. The country’s largest ski school for children operates;
- Claukalla is a year-round center with seven pistes and a slight elevation difference; Solvalla Swinghill is a center on the lake, with three slopes of medium difficulty. The trails are lit. There are equipment rentals and cafes;
- Peuramaa, with seven slopes, a snowpark for snowboarders and a cross-country skiing track. There is also a very good golf club and the opportunity to ride horses; Vihti is a large complex with fifteen pistes and ten lifts. There is a snow park, a slope for children, a half-pipe and a cross-country ski run. An ideal place to relax with children;
- Talma Ski – eight slopes with seven lifts, three slopes are suitable for children’s skiing. There is a snowboarding area and a mogul track, equipment rental; Sveitsi – five pistes, halfpipe, cross-country skiing. Near the green zone of the national park of the same name;
- Alhovuori is a fairly remote ski center with 11 pistes, an extreme park and a play area for young visitors.
There are many interesting places in the capital. First of all, we advise you to visit the Senate Square with the snow-white Cathedral, the Senate building, the city university and the monument to Alexander II. Russian tourists should definitely visit the Assumption Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in Northern Europe.
Tourists are very fond of the ancient Suomenlinna fortress on eight islands – there are many museums on its territory, and from the point of view of architecture, the fortress is remarkable. Also noteworthy is the church Temppelaukio, carved into the rock, with chic acoustics.
If you love nature, be sure to visit the Korkeasaari Zoo on the island – there are many rare species of animals here, and many of them live only in the far North. Great place to stay with kids.
If you want to have fun actively, you can swim in the sea on a boat or get acquainted with marine life in the Sea Life Aquarium. If you love fishing, be sure to visit the Wanhankaupunki area. Just remember that legal fishing requires a license – it is sold at Meri-Info kiosks.
You should also definitely visit the Finnish sauna – they are here almost everywhere. The most colorful is Rauhaniemi, where after the procedures you plunge not into the pool, but into Lake Näsijärvi.
If you love festivals and concerts, visit Helsinki in late summer/early autumn. The best event is the Long Night of Art in mid-September.
Many people choose Finland for shopping, and Helsinki is perfect for this. The goods here are not cheap, but very high quality. Everything is sold, from clothes and accessories to interior items. There are a lot of shopping centers and department stores in the city, mostly in the city center. Most of them are on the streets of Aleksanterinkatu, Mannerheim and Kaisanyemenkatu.
From the shopping center, we recommend visiting the Campi Gallery with 150 shops and numerous cafes and restaurants. In the Kiselev House you can buy handicrafts, especially felt ones. And the famous department store Stockmann has almost the best value for money in all of Finland. You can also stroll through the markets – the Market Square with food and souvenirs and the Hietalahti or Valtteri flea market.