Korkeasaari, Helsinki Zoo is home for 150 animal species and almost 1000 plant species that show the diversity of nature. It is one of the few zoos located on an island and a perfect place to visit due to its natural environment, animals and history. The zoo was established already in 1889 and this makes it one of the oldest zoos in the world. Helsinki Zoo also participates in the work to protect the habitats in the original homes of the various species. Helsinki Zoo´s mission is to work towards preserving biodiversity.
Linnanmäki is an amusement park in Helsinki, Finland, Linnanmäki, which was opened on May 27, 1950 is the most popular amusement park in Finland. It has more than 40 different rides of different sizes and also has other attractions, such as arcades, games, kiosks, restaurants and an outdoor stage on which different performers appear in the summer. Annually the park is visited by over 1 million guests. It is located in the north of the city center of Helsinki on a hill with a beautiful view to the city. Besides the amusements rides there is also a historical theatre built in 1957 and known for its musical performances, and a museum which housed numerous exhibitions every year.
#8 Häme Castle
Häme Castle is one of Finland’s medieval royal castles. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 13th century, following the crusade by Swedish Earl Birger to Häme region. During the Middle Ages the original fortified camp was built into a residential castle for its commandant. In the 18th century a third storey was built and curtain wall buildings partly replaced the original outer walls. The castle and its surroundings were in prison use from 1837 to 1972. The main castle is now presented as a historical monument. The Häme Castle and its redbrick barracks are on the shore of Lake Vanajavesi. The promontary has been a meeting place for centuries, and the walls almost echo the voices from the Middle Ages.
The Ateneum is Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The images held by the Ateneum are ingrained in the collective memory of the Finnish people: the beloved works in Ateneum’s collections date from the period from the 19th century to the modern age. The hugely popular exhibitions of Finnish and international art open up new perspectives into the past and the future. The guest stars of the temporary exhibitions have included names such as Tove Jansson, Carl Larsson, Pablo Picasso and Helene Schjerfbeck. Ateneum is home to events of all kinds: every month, the museum organizes workshops, lectures, guided tours and clubs. The museum also hosts a museum shop and the Ateneum Bistro. Ateneum Art Museum is part of the Finnish National Gallery, together with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Sinebrychoff Art Museum.
Built in the second half of the 18th century by Sweden on a group of islands at the entrance of Helsinki’s harbor, this fortress is an especially interesting example of European military architecture of the time. Suomenlinna is a sea fortress which was built gradually from 1748 onwards of islands belonging to the district of Helsinki. The work was supervised by the Swedish Admiral Augustin Eherensvard who adapted Vauban’s theories to the very special geographical features of the region. The landscape and the architecture of the fortress have been shaped by several historic events. It has served to defend three different sovereign states over the years: the Kingdom of Sweden, the Russian Empire and most recently the Republic of Finland.
#5 Temppeliaukio Church
Excavated directly into solid rock, the Temppeliaukio church is situated in the heart of Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. Because of its special architecture, the church, completed in 1969, is one of the main attractions in Helsinki. The church hall is covered with a dome, lined with copper and supported on the rock walls by reinforced concrete beams. The interior walls are of rugged rock and rubble wall. Before noon, the sunlight spreads from the row of windows surrounding the roof periphery to the altar wall, where an ice-age crevice serves as the altarpiece.
The town of Rauma in western Finland’s Satakunta region was founded in 1442, making it the third oldest town in the country. It is especially known for its colorful regional dialect, its long tradition in bobbin lace-making and the well-preserved wooden buildings of Old Rauma. Old Rauma, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, is the largest unified wooden town in the Nordic countries. Approximately 700 people live in the 70-acre area, which contains 600 buildings. Walking around Old Rauma is like stepping into a fairy tale: the colorful wooden houses, decorative gates, cobble stone streets and beautiful public buildings create an atmosphere of the long-forgotten past.
The historic castle and cathedral point to the city’s rich cultural history when it was the Finnish capital, and contemporary Turku is a hotbed of experimental art and vibrant festivals, thanks in part to its spirited university population (the country’s second largest), who make Turku’s nightlife young and fun. As the first city many visitors encounter arriving by ferry from Sweden and Åland, it’s a splendid introduction to the Finnish mainland.
#2 Finnish Lapland
Finnish Lapland is as close as reality gets to those who dream of a winter wonderland. Contrasts are a key factor in the allure of Lapland where 24-hour sunlight in the summer replaces the dark winter days. The hustle and bustle of towns and ski resorts is just minutes away from the peace and quiet of the wild wilderness.
#1 Helsinki Cathedral
Since 1852, when the construction of the Helsinki Cathedral was over, this building has been imposing its beauty over the Senate Square of Helsinki, right in the middle of the city. Its facade can be seen in many photos and during all kinds of media coverage, because many events and protests take place in front of it. The cathedral originally was built as a tribute to the Tzar Nicholas I of Russia, because for many years Finland was part of Russia and was known as the Great Duchy of Finland. The man to design such an iconic piece was Carl Ludvig Engel, who based its design on the St. Isaac Cathedral of Saint Petersburg.