The spirit of Helsinki is driven by its long summer days and is bright enough to endure through dark winters. A European capital known for its thriving art scene and modern architecture, Helsinki enjoys bright daylight during the summer and almost complete darkness in the winter. Regardless of when you arrive for your Helsinki holiday, this metropolis will welcome you with its unique blend of design, history and art.
The Fortress of Suomenlinna is a complex built in the 1700s to defend Finland from invaders. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island is a step into history with museums, old stone walls, cobblestone streets and eateries. It's a short ferry ride from the port of Helsinki, so you can leave behind your Helsinki car hire for the day. Back in the city, check out Temppeliaukio Church west of downtown. This mostly underground building “rocks” in more ways than one: It’s entirely constructed out of its surrounding bedrock. Plus, it’s the frequent site for concerts and performances. Don’t let the drab outside fool you—inside, sunlight streams through the copper ceiling.
Temppeliaukio Church is a modern work of architectural art, but head to the Ateneum Art Museum if you crave more classic creations. Here you'll find the best in Finnish and international art stretching back to the 19th century. Meanwhile, the Design Museum celebrates the extraordinary Finnish contribution to product design and architecture, with thousands of objects, photographs and drawings on display. Aside from artistic outlets, locals meet the darkness of winter with the annual Forces of Light festival. Everyone brings light to the city through fire and colours, creating an incredible energy. Helsinki holiday packages from November or December will allow you to see it for yourself.
Even if you're not on the hunt for a new office chair, a Helsinki shopping excursion should begin in the city's design district. The area located around Dianapuisto Park brings together creatives in fashion, interior design and furniture making to create popular modern styles. If your fashion tastes are more crafty, Hakaniemi Market sells souvenirs and local art, while if you’re interested in international fare, the famous Market Square at Esplanade Park has your number.
Helsinki has an emerging street food scene as well as many sit-down restaurants serving traditional Finnish fare. Finland was promoting farm-to-table before it was cool, so offerings change season-to-season, if not month-to-month autumn, for example, is the time of lingonberries, goose and hare. Explore your culinary options in the historical and south-of-Esplanadi districts. And while the street food trend is just beginning, the nightclub scene is thriving. Feel the bass in the district of Kallio along the avenue Hameentie. Helsinki also boasts plenty of karaoke bars for those who prefer to belt it out, rather than dance it out.
Helsinki packages include all you need to embark on a great Finland holiday. Wotif will hook you up, whether you're into nightlife, historical fortresses or worshiping inside a rock. Get the lowdown on Helsinki holiday deals that will make your getaway memorable, and book today!