Cruise ships make a scenic approach through Helsinki's island archipelago so have your cameras ready.
International cruise ships dock (Map) in South Harbour or West Harbour.
South Harbour, with four quays, is within easy walking distance of the Market Square in the center of town. 15 min waik
West Terminal consists of two quays which are not within easy reach of each other and of the town. 30 min walk. Tram 7 or 9.
(Hernesaari = West harbour)
The Tourist office also provides shuttles costing €6 one way or €10 for all day.
A day ticket is 8 Euro for all public transit, including the ferry to Suomenlinna and the scenic 2 and 3 trams. All trams run about every 10 minutes. Day tickets can be bought from the driver, cash only.
Webcams of the different ports.
Watch a destination video.
Helsinki is a marvelous city to see and very easy to get around in. Most of the sights are around Market Square, so that has to be your starting point. From there you can walk to Senate square, take a ferry to the fortress, wander about the many, many booths, shopping, having something to eat etc.
Helsinki is the gate between East and West. While it embodies much
of the Finnish spirit and its progressive hi-tech push, it is unlike
any other Finnish city, due in part to the fascinating combination
of Swedish and Russian influences
The city's urban lifestyle is flavored by the sea and surrounding nature. The summer heat and the midnight sun inspire the inhabitants to occupy the many parks and terraces. The city center is built around the main harbor where the famous Kauppatori (market square) - also known as the fish market – is located. The main streets include the twin shopping avenues of Pohjoisesplanadi and Eteläesplenadi.
Helsinki offers a diverse cultural life, outstanding architectural gems and a full range of quality shopping opportunities. Examples of the world famous Finnish design is to be found anywhere in the city. The Finns are friendly people who speak good English, and Helsinki's relaxed atmosphere makes it easy for visitors to feel welcome.
Helsinki - Attractions
A day ticket is 8 euro on all public transit, including the ferry to Suomenlinna. The trams 2 and 3 almost function as hop on/off buses, passing by most tourist attractions making a figure eight loop through Helsinki.
The Suomenlinna ferry runs from the Market Place (Kauppatori). They leave every 20 minutes and it also takes 20 minutes to reach the island. The ticket costs 5 euros per person (So buy the day ticket instead!) and it is valid for 12 hours so you'll only need to buy it once. Once you get to the island, you are free to go anywhere. There are museums which charge a small fee.
Hop on/off tours. They all stop at the cruise terminals. The approximately 90-minute route includes stops at Helsinki's most famous city attractions, such as Senate Square/Helsinki City Museum, Market Square, Helsinki Art Museum (Amos Rex) and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church), Sibelius Monument, Helsinki Zoo, Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Swedish Theater.
Card is a handy, economical way of making the most of your visit
in Helsinki. The Helsinki Card includes unlimited free travel on
public transport in Helsinki, free entrance to the most important
sights and ca 50 museums, free entrance and boat transport to Suomenlinna
Sea Fortress and Helsinki Zoo, great value discounts e.g. on sightseeing
tours, and free Helsinki guide book with maps. Free Audio City tour
daily (worth 25 EUR) for adult card holders. For a short cruise stop, this card is not really worth it..
Taxis can be obtained by telephone or from taxi ranks. Payment can be made using major international credit cards as well as cash. The usual basic fare is 4.50 euros. The fare rises gradually on a kilometer basis, as indicated by the meter, and depending on the number of passengers.
Finnish Railways operates the fairly extensive railroad network.
Car rental is possible in Finland but generally expensive, with rates generally upwards of € 80/day.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
The 250-year-old fortress, which has been preserved intact because of its military use, is today part of the world heritage. In 1991 it was included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. Suomenlinna is one of Finland's most popular tourist attractions. At the same time it is a suburb of Helsinki, with 900 people living in the renovated ramparts and barracks.
In Helsinki the stores are also open on Sunday: 12 noon - 6:00 p.m. (in summer)
Stockmann department store Stockmann is the biggest department store in the Nordic region and is surrounded by the main shopping streets, Aleksanterinkatu, Mannerheimintie and Northern and Southern Esplanade.
The Finnish currency unit is the euro (EUR), divided into 100 cents. Finland does not use the 1 and 2 cent coins; instead all sums are rounded to the nearest 5 cents.
Finland has two official languages, Finnish ( 93%) and Swedish (7%), but also English is widely spoken in Finland.
Every sign is in Finnish and Swedish, which makes at times complicated.
112 is the national phone number for all emergency services, including police.
City of Helsinki offers a free wireless connection in city center. It even works on some buses. Also shopping centers like Kamppi offer a free wi-fi.
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday: noon to 6:00 pm
Click here for holidays.
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