Helsinki City Guide

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As of November 23, 2021, Finland’s borders are closed to foreign visitors who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 due to the ongoing pandemic. A negative COVID-19 test plus your vaccination record are required prior to arrival. Take note of any border restrictions in your home country for your return prior to any travel. 

I already knew I was going to fall in love with Helsinki before we even arrived. I’m not usually a city girl, but the vibes I was getting just from pictures alone made me feel like I could feel at home there. Once we finally arrived in Helsinki, all of my initial preconceptions were confirmed – it really is a wonderful city! We were lucky to experience a full multi-day itinerary thanks to Visit Finland and My Helsinki, so here is my Helsinki City Guide highlighting our absolute favorites!

Outfit Details

Yellow faux fur coat (similar here and here) // Iorane Paris sweater c/o (similar here, here, and here) // Madewell jeans // Frye boots // Gucci bag (similar here

(Updated November 2021)

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog shares her Helsinki City Guide and visits Helsinki Cathedral

THINGS TO DO & SIGHTS

Löyly – Just under 2 years old, this is THE spot to go to in Helsinki for a Finnish sauna experience. Even the locals love it! When we visited, there were more locals there than tourists so you know it’s good. After hopping between the steam sauna and smoke sauna, put on your best brave face and dip into the frozen Baltic Sea for the ultimate boost! Best time of day to go is in the evening because then you can dine on mouthwatering food and sip on delicious wine in their restaurant post-sauna.

Helsingin tuomiokirkko / Helsinki Cathedral – The iconic landmark of Helsinki is this Evangelical Lutheran Church at the heart of the city. Snow, rain, or shine, it’s absolutely beautiful and should not be missed! It’s also a prime spot for taking Instagram pics… just sayin’!

Luonnontieteellinen museo / Museum of Natural History – Fascinating museum featuring animals around the world, including animals native to Finland. Also features a breathtaking staircase that’s a top spot for Instagram pics.

Finnair Skywheel – Helsinki’s version of the London Eye located right next to Market Square. Gives you a panoramic view of the city, plus if you ride in the Veuve Clicquot VIP Experience, you get to enjoy a chilled glass of champagne as you take in views of the city.

Market Square – Open spring to autumn, the square hosts a plethora of vendors selling Finnish food/snacks and souvenirs. In October, the market hosts its annual herring festival called “Silakkamarkkinat”.

Kansalliskirjasto / National Library of Finland – A book lovers’ dream! Picture the Beauty and the Beast library in Beast’s castle, then place it in the heart of Helsinki across from the cathedral.

Outfit Details

Calvin Klein coat (similar here) // Marks & Spencer sweater (same one worn by Meghan Markle; similar here and here) // Madewell jeans // Marc Fisher boots c/o (similar here and here) // Urban Outfitters snood (similar here and here) // Free People earmuffs (similar here)

(Updated November 2021)

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog shares her Helsinki City Guide and visits the Iittala and Arabia Design Centre

THINGS TO DO & SIGHTS (con’t)

Helkatti Cat Cafe – While you can dine here for lunch, this spot is more of a “stop here for hot cocoa and play with cats”. Helkatti has 8 felines that call the spot home, and all become your best friend the minute the staff hand you some treats to give out.

Iittala and Arabia Design Centre – A bit outside of the city center, this design center hosts exhibitions highlighting Finnish artists and the masterminds behind the famous glassworks and designs of the brands Iittala and Arabia. There’s also a shop on the main floor to purchase these beautiful pieces for your home. When Tor and I renovate our kitchen, we want to fill it with cookware from these brands! There are also art classes that happen here as well.

Esplanadi – The famous main street of Helsinki lined with shopping malls and designer shops, plus features a really beautiful tree-lined park down the middle.

Designmuseo / Design Museum – One of the oldest museums in the world, get your fashion and furniture inspiration from this museum in the city center.

Day trip to Porvoo – Located just under an hour by bus from Helsinki, it’s the perfect place to escape the city for a day!