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Archive for the ‘Helsinki sites’ Category

On Helsinki Day 40 seals, almost 7 feet tall, were placed in Senate Square to highlight the need to protect the Baltic Sea.

At the end of summer the seals will leave to square and take up residence around the city. In the meantime, they look wonderful in Senate Square…be sure to drop in to take a look if you are in Helsinki.

I think it is an excellent reminder to look after all our seas and oceans.

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A great way to get a birds’ eye view of Helsinki is to take a ride on the Skywheel beside the harbour.

Each gondola has 4 seats, air conditioning and a glass floor. The glass is slightly tinted to add privacy.

The tinted glass gives an interesting  colour to the surroundings, but the view is fabulous. The wheel turns 3 times in each ride.

The cost is €12 for an adult, €9 for children between 3 – 11. Children under 2 are free.

Mon – Thu….11.00 – 19.00

Fri…11.09 – 22.00

Sat…10.00 – 21.00

Sun…10.00 – 18.00

http://www.skywheel.fi

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I spotted the white duck last year when I was in Helsinki in winter. I am pleased to say that the duck is still in the water at Toolonlahti and doing well and fitting in with the others.

white duck Helsinki

white duck Helsinki

White duck Helsinki

White duck Helsinki

People leave food for the ducks to get them through the winter.

Helsinki ducks

I saw a duck friend on my walk around Toolonlahti. The ducks ran to meet her and were happy with her offerings.

Helsinki ducks

Helsinki ducks

It seems a few ducks have learned that it OK to stay behind for the winter.

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I travel to Helsinki at least 4 times a year. I love the city and each time I return I like to walk around revisiting my favourite places as well as discovering new ones.

My first stop is usually Fazer in Kluuvikatu for a coffee and one of their delicious rye sandwiches. (Click the word in bold type to see a post about the subject)

Fazer

Fazer

From there I walk through the park along Esplanadi to Market Square beside the harbour. The park is lovely in any season.

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi

Havis Amanda is always there to greet me at the harbour.

Havis Amanda

I was at the harbour one very cold winter morning to see the sunrise.

Helsinki sunrise

There is often a market offering lots of local delights. I have managed to be in Helsinki 3 times for the Baltic Herring Fair held in October. Boats back into the harbour and sell their products directly. It is great fun to talk to the fishermen about their catch.

Kauppahalli, the covered market, always beckons me inside. On a cold winter day it is the perfect place to warm up with salmon soup for lunch. If I am staying at an apartment with a kitchen I buy fresh salmon to cook at home…wonderful.

Kauppahalli

A short walk from the harbour is the imposing Russian church, Uspenski Cathedral. It was built between 1862 and 1868.

Uspenski cathedral

Uspenski cathedral

Behind the church is the beautiful district of Katajanokka. I absolutely love the architecture in this area. I can wander for hours, trying to remember to look up at the incredible roof decoration. The beautiful doors are also a source of delight. All of Helsinki is full of fabulous buildings, but in this area they are all amazing.

Walking back towards the city I visit Senate Square dominated by Tuomiokirkko, Helsinki Cathedral. This exquisite white building looks brilliant with a blue sky background….or covered with snow.

Tuomiokirkko

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Opposite the front of the church is the National Library of Finland. Even though I can’t borrow a book I like to wander through and look at the gorgeous reading rooms.

National Library of Finland

Back in the city I walk past the naked blacksmiths. Look for the bullet holes left from the war.

Naked blacksmiths

The railway station building was designed by Eleil Saarinen in 1904. It is one of the most beautiful in Europe. The stone men in front have been restored recently and carry their lights beautifully.

No visit to Helsinki would be complete without a walk around Tooloonlahti. I love the way Finns are out in any weather enjoying this beautiful place.

Toolonlahti

The shopping is excellent in Helsinki. They say if you can’t get at Stockmann it is not worth having.

Stockmann

Just in case I have missed something in Stockmann I drop in to Marimekko to see their beautiful clothes and homewares.

iittala has the most exquisite glassware and kitchen items. Something usually finds its way into my suitcase.

Dining in Helsinki is great. I have been to many Helsinki restaurants. For the setting, it is difficult to beat Kappeli, which has been around since 1867 in Esplanadi park.

Nokka serves delicious modern Finnish food.

Juuri is another favourite.

So far I have only dined at restaurants serving Finnish food. Helsinki restaurants also cater well for those looking for other cuisines. Look in the “Restaurant” category for posts on places I have visited.

I have been writing Beautiful Helsinki for 5 years. If you look back through the archives you will find quite a lot of information about this fabulous city.

I will be back in Helsinki next month…can’t wait.

 

 

 

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There is a brilliant addition to the harbour in Helsinki. A new spa complex inspired by the historic spa heritage of the Baltic Sea opened at the beginning of September next to Market Square.

Allas Sea Pool’s floating deck includes 3 pools, a fresh water pool, children’s pool and a salt water pool for ice swimming in winter. The freshwater pools are 27 degrees. Today the salt water pool is 2 degrees.

I saw the pools in September.

Alla Sea pool

Allas Sea Pool

Allas Sea pool

Allas Sea pool

Alla Sea Pool

Alla Sea Pool

Allas Sea pool

When I returned in November the first snow of the season had fallen. I expected to find the pools empty, but a few hardy souls braved the brisk air.

Allas Sea pool

 

Alla Sea pool

 

Allas Sea pool

Allas Sea pool

Allas ea pool

The pools are currently closed while a new building is constructed. The complex will reopen in spring…I look forward to my next visit.

 

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Seeing spots

A bit of colour was added to Esplanadi park this summer.

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi park

Esplanadi park

Do you like seeing spots?

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One of the first places I go to when I arrive in Helsinki is Market Square, down by the harbour. There is almost always some activity there, whether it is a food market or an exhibit of some kind.

On my last visit I came upon a collection of lovely old cars out for the evening.

I will be back in Helsinki in just over a week. I hope to find something special in Market Square…perhaps covered with snow.

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