Sights to See in Helsinki
The Capital of Finland

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word "capital" can mean "excellent" or "first-rate".

Yep! That undoubtedly is a word to describe Helsinki...which happens to be the capital of Finland.

Nice coincidence, eh?

Though only the capital of Finland since 1809, when the Russians first took dominion of the city from Sweden, it was originally founded in 1550. It's a movin' kinda place and has seen one improvement after the next ever since.

Without a doubt, one of the great cities of the world, Helsinki is a fascinating mixture of the historical and the ultra-modern. As with many other Scandinavian cultures today, the city puts a strong emphasis on high-tech. It gladly embraces the best that modern science has to offer. At the same time, however, it retains a large number of the outstanding historical buildings and sights that provide this unique city with its own special ambiance.

The National Museum provides an excellent overview of that mix which the Finns have perfected. The Helsinki Zoo shows how both the natural and the artificial can be perfectly blended together in true Finlandian style. The Nuuksio National Park, opened in 1994, shows how nature preservation can work hand in hand with a thriving tourism industry to provide one of the finest and best maintained, forested lake areas in the world.

The old and new theme is continued with many of Helsinki's other first rate attractions as well.

The Suomenlinna Island fortresses give the visitor a great view of Helsinki's past as a military outpost for both Sweden and Russia. This series of interconnected islands today provides a peaceful picnic area while giving visitors a delightful look at some of the battered battlements of Finland's glorious military past.

Helsinki's present is superb, as well.

Both Market Square ( Kauppatori) and the Esplanade give shoppers and diners everything they could wish for. Whether it's fresh berries and coffee in the morning, or an outstanding dinner at the world-class Kappeli, you'll never walk away unsatisfied. Market Square has been offering fresh fish for over 200 years and Kappeli has been serving the finest cuisine and diners since 1837. But both are the favorites of the most modern Finn or tourist.

Another view of Helsinki's 19th century roots can be seen in The Lutheran Cathedral known locally as Tuomiokirkko. This neo-classical building is a superlative example of the architecture that makes Helsinki's Senate Square one of the city's biggest attractions.

Another major religious building to be found in Helsinki, the Uspenski Cathedral, provides a decidedly different, but equally praiseworthy, place to go in Finland's capital. With its distinctive red-brick facade, this onion-domed Orthodox church is a must-see when visiting the city.

Outside the city there are other attractions including the Nuuksio National Park. The medieval village of Porvoo, a 30-minute bus ride to the suburbs, will take you back in time to a period before the city was even founded. This four-hour tour of small houses and churches from the Middle Ages is one of the most popular destinations in this northern metropolis.

However, you cannot leave Helsinki without spending at least a little time walking around the Linnanmäki Amusement Park. Though only a mere 57 years old, it provides plenty of nostalgia for those who miss the good old days of bumper cars (a popular European amusement) and wooden roller coasters.

Of course, in the "capital" city of Helsinki, the "good old days" is something that can easily defy definition. They might just still be around if you look a little bit!

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Helsinki.

Hietaniemi Cemetery
Helsinki Zoo
Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Nukksio National Park
Porvoo - A Medieval City
Temppeliaukio Church
The Esplanade
The Island Fortresses of Suomenlinna
Tuomiokirkko (The Lutheran Cathedral)
Suomen Kansallismuseo (The National Museum)
Uspenski Cathedral

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Sights to See in Helsinki - The Capital of Finland

Page Updated 12:41 PM Friday 5/8/2015