Sights to See in Helsinki - Kauppatori
At Market Square, known to the citizens of Helsinki as Kauppatori,
visitors and natives alike can get everything from fresh salmon steak
to reindeer meat. But there's much more here than just great food.
The Market Square is located on the shoreline and offers great views,
great food and outstanding
atmosphere. The bright orange cloth-covered stalls are a pick-me-up in
winter and an even greater delight under Helsinki's gentle summer sun.
On one side of the bay is the South Harbor,
the other faces Katajanokka
headland. Turn around and there's the Swedish Embassy
and, to the left, the Presidential Palace.
You can catch a ferry to the excellent Helsinki
Zoo on Korkeasaari island. Or, you can stroll through the surrounding neighborhood to the indoor Hietalahden Tori marketplace.
While the tourists here may go in for the Russian fur hats or the
reindeer skin, the locals are just as likely be after nothing more than
a stylish wooden bowl. Someone on his or her way to work may be
stopping in just to snatch up a bunch of the superb fresh berries on
LIterally speaking as well as figuratively, whatever your taste,
there's something for everyone at Kauppatori.
There, you can find a Lapp hunting knife that will closely resemble one
a shopper might have seen a hundred years ago. Or, you may just want an
inexpensive but tasty lunch of reindeer salami
or a little coffee and breakfast munkki,
a type of Finnish doughnut.
Once you have your food, you can take in a view of many of Helsinki's
finest historical buildings and do a little people watching. As with
Rick's Cafe in the movie, "Casablanca", sooner or later everyone comes
to Kauppatori! At some times of the day, you are likely to be
overwhelmed with the hustle of the modern city which is Finland's
Since the 18th century, visitors and locals both have enjoyed the sea
air and the fine food of Helsinki, and Kauppatori. They traded goods
and swapped stories. Near the obelisk (Keisarinnan
kivi) commemorating the Russian Empress Alexandra's visit in 1833 you can easily imagine
yourself in a scene from that time.
Only a few meters away you can take a boat trip to Suomenlinna
(Finland Castle), or catch a cruise to St. Petersburg
or Turku. Take a walk around and see the Town Hall (Kaupungintalo)
constructed in the year of the Empress' visit. Or stroll over and see the Guard
House near the Presidential Palace, the first
neo-classical building in the city.
Along the Esplanade you can find more shops, restaurants and historical buildings than you
could visit in one vacation.
Among the highlights is the Kappeli Restaurant, serving the finest food in Helsinki since 1837. But don't miss seeing
the superb Havis Amanda fountain, or the old Market Hall (Wanha Kauppahalli, built in 1888)
on the seaward side of the Eteläranta either. Not far away is Senate Square with many other stellar sights.
More Sights to See in Helsinki
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