Jazz up an intriguing trip to energetic Helsinki

Kiasma, Helsinki
I am visiting Helsinki with my sisters for the first time this summer. We are travelling around Scandinavia and are only in Helsinki for a few days. Could you suggest some of the essential things to see and do and some places to stay?

I am visiting Helsinki with my sisters for the first time this summer. We are travelling around Scandinavia and are only in Helsinki for a few days. Could you suggest some of the essential things to see and do and some places to stay?

All the Scandinavian countries are beautiful and unique in their own way and Finland’s capital city Helsinki is a brilliant place to spend a few days. The city offers so much to see and experience that you will definitely not be stuck for things to do!

Esplanade Park is the ideal place to begin your sightseeing and get your bearings. Situated in the centre of Helsinki, the Esplanade is a popular place for both locals and tourists to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city. Espa is a summer stage located in the park and throughout the summer months is host to many events. A spectacular jazz concert series is staged here throughout July, when the park is a great place to sit and have lunch and take in the sights and sounds of the city.

The city is home to numerous museums and commemorative monuments which document the country’s long history. Located on Mannerheiminte; the National Museum of Finland houses artefacts dating from as far back as the Stone Age all the way to the modern day. For something a bit different, the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is a beautiful place to visit. Spend an afternoon wandering through the exhibits which include Finnish works and those of foreign artists.

The Sibelius Monument in Sibelius Park resembles a set of giant organ pipes and is dedicated to world-famous composer Jean Sibelius. The monument is one of Helsinki’s most famous and popular statues. Standing at 8.5 metres high, the statue is built of over 600 pipes and weighs 24 tonnes.

Finnish cuisine is typically simplistic and makes use of ingredients of the season. Influences from Eastern and Western culture can also be found in up-and-coming restaurants throughout the city. Opened in 1925, Baker’s Bar & Restaurant is one of Helsinki’s oldest restaurants, offering a diverse range of cuisines. For a traditional Finnish meal, Hiisi offers local and organic food with a Scandinavian edge. Fish Market in the city’s South Harbour is the place to go for fresh, delicious seafood.

For after-dinner drinks, Helsinki bars are energetic, vibrant places and are dotted throughout the city in abundance. A21 is renowned for its Finnish cocktails and drinks. Cocktails parties for groups are catered for, however it is a good idea to book a table ahead as the bar gets very busy especially on the weekend.

For a more laid-back night, Bar Loose in the city centre is a chilled-out rock bar – think Arlene’s Grocery in New York. If your group are beer lovers, Bruuveri is the place to go. Here you can taste a great selection of Finnish brews as well as foreign beers. Bruuveri’s kitchen also stays open late if you are still feeling peckish.

Where to Stay:

Klaus K Hotel

Prices start from €115 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The Klaus K Hotel is close to the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art as well as Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square. Facilities of the beautifully modern hotel include a health club and sauna. High speed wireless internet access is available throughout the hotel. Room décor takes inspiration from the Finnish epic poem, Kalevala. All rooms also include flat-screen TVs and complimentary daily newspapers. The hotel offers a number of dining options including traditionally Finnish Ilmatar Restaurant.

Hotelli Seurahuone Helsinki

Prices start from €105 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This state-of-the-art hotel is over 180 years old and is ideally located within walking distance of the city’s shopping and museums. Esplanade Park and the Market Place are also situated a short distance away. Classically decorated rooms are fully fitted with LDC cable TV and both wired and wireless internet access is available in all rooms. A buffet breakfast is also included in all room rates and dinner is available in the hotel restaurant.

Radisson Bly Royal Hotel

Prices start from €99 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The Radisson Blu Royal is situated in the heart of the city close to the Kamppi Center and the National Museum. The hotel is equipped with a fitness facility, sauna and complimentary bicycles. Rooms have city views and include mini bars and safes, and are furnished with 28-inch LCD TVs. Guests can also enjoy in-room wireless access. Complimentary breakfast is served each morning.

GLO Hotel Art

Prices start from €83 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

GLO Hotel Art is set in a 1900s Art Nouveau castle in the city centre. The seamless mix of modern and classic Finnish design can be seen throughout the hotel. Spa services and exercise equipment are among the facilities which can be ordered to your room. All guest rooms have flat-screen television and complimentary Wi-Fi for guest’s enjoyment.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!