Sightseeing - Helsinki guide for Hellocon visitors

Accomodation

Hotel Rivoli Jardin offers cheaper rates for Looking for Alice visitors! The hotel is very conveniently located just few minutes walk from the event venue Gloria. The room rates include breakfast, wifi and tax. http://www.rivoli.fi/hotellimme/jardin/

Single room 90€/night
Two person room 100€/night

To get the discount, e-mail your reservation to rivoli.jardin@rivoli.fi and mention the code: Looking for Alice.

Address: Kasarmikatu 40, 00130 Helsinki

Moving around in Helsinki

If you are arriving via Helsinki-Vantaa airport the easiest way to travel to Helsinki central is by train. The new circular track was opened 2015 and the station is between Terminal 1 and 2. Take I or P train, tickets are 5,5 €. The trip takes about 30 minutes. The trains departs every 10 - 30 minutes depending on the time of day. The trains are not running in the middle of the night (about 1-4 pm). If you arrive or leave at night, check the schedule beforehand here. You can also take a bus.
If you arrive by bus, a one-way trip costs 5,5 €, the bus number 615 will take you to the Helsinki main railway station (the busses leave infront of the terminals). You can take the same bus when leaving Helsinki (Platform 12). The trip will take about 40 minutes and the busses leave every 10 - 50 minutes, depending on time of day.

Helsinki center is quite compact, so you can catch the main sights on foot. If you are traveling further or you are tired of walking a subway or a tram is a great and easy way to travel. You can buy tickets directly from the driver in busses or trams, but remember to get your ticket before entering the subway platform. Helsinki has a lot of ticket inspectors and the fine for traveling without a ticket is 80 euros.

The prices of the tickets vary, but the cheapest way is to buy them from a ticket machine. Single ticket is valid for 1 hour, so you can use the same ticket in a different vehicle too. If you are doing a lot of sightseeing, 1-4 day pass might be a cheaper option. The pass can be also used in Suomenlinna ferry and night busses.

Ticket prices for adults inside Helsinki:

From a ticket machine: 2,70 €
From a bus, train or tram: 3,20 €
With mobile phone 2,60 € (directions can be found on most stops)
Night ticket between 2:00 - 4:30 am: 5,00 €
Tram ticket from a ticket machine: 2,50 €
Two-hour ticket 4,30 €
12 h Suomenlinna ferry ticket: 5,00 €
1 day: 8,00 €
2 days: 12,00 €
3 days: 16,00 €


If you want to know more about the routes and timetables, Journey Planner is a great way to find out the fastest routes!

Money

The currency of Finland is euro (€). If you need to change money, you can do it at the airport (which is not recommended because it's quite expensive) or at the main railway station. Probably the cheapest way is to change the money in your bank before coming to Finland or drawing it out from a cash machine. If you are in need of cash, look for the nearest Otto machine. You can recognize them from the distict orange color.

Admiring Architecture in Helsinki: A walking tour

When you follow this walking tour, you will experience the most beautiful and historically important buildings and city-spaces in Helsinki.

Please start your tour inside the Central Railway Station which has been designed in Finnish national romantic style. The building was designed by Eliel Saarinen around 1860 and the main building material is granite. The building contains famous “stone men” and a clock tower designed by Emil Wikström.

Continue the tour outside to the Railway square. On it's south side you can see Ateneum art museum and on the north side Finnish National Theatre. The National Theatre is the oldest Finnish-spoken professional theatre. The building was finished in 1901 and it was designed by Onni Törnqvist-Tarjanne.

Next continue your tour towards Ateneum. The building has been designed by Theodor Höijer and was finished in 1887. At first the building was used as a school, but now Ateneum holds the most famous and important artworks of Finnish artist's. You can find artwork by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Albert Edelfelt, Eero Järnefelt and Hugo Simberg to name a few. It also has a popular changing displays that exhibits the artwork of well-know artists, such as Helene Schjerfbeck, Carl Larsson, Tove Jansson and even Pablo Picasso.

The neorenaissance facade of Ateneum is very interesting and contains many sculptures and small details full of symbolic meanings. The second floor contains a line of medallions of famous international and Finnish artists sculpted by Ville Vallgren. In the middle of the second floor there is three portraits of the following people: Rafael, Feidias and Bramante who represent the three arts which were teached when Ateneum was still an art school. The portraits where painted by Carl Sjöstrand.

The third floor has four female statues that each symbole different arts. The pediment on the top contains the Goddess of Arts that crowns visual and industrial arts. There has been speculations that among the artist's tools behind the Goddess is a sculpted portrait of Väinämöinen, who is the main character of the Finnish national epic Kalevala.

Please continue the tour towards Kaisaniemi and Helsinki University (from street Mikonkatu to street Yliopistonkatu). You will reach Senaatintori (”Senate square”) that is one of the most beautiful places in Helsinki.

The magnificent white Tuomiokirkko church dominates the square. The church is part of the empire-styled centre of Helsinki. Carl Ludvig Engel made the original design of the church and Ernst Lohrmann continued it. The church represents neoclassical style and has Corinthian pillars in it. The building also has statues of the twelve apostles. The stairs that lead to the church is a popular gathering place during the summer.

Senaatintori also holds the main building of Helsinki University (Fabianinkatu 33). The old side of the building was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (who also designed many important buildings in the area). The building was finished in 1832. After Russia took over the control of Finland the main University from Turku (that had experienced a bad fire) was re-located to Helsinki. The new main building had to be built to the city central and so the current location was chosen.

The main university building has a unique collection of sculptures that present famous sculptures of most typical artworks from many different eras. They were used for tuition purposes. Professor C.G. Estlander started the collection in 1869 and today the collection contains 75 Ancient Greek/Roman, 52 Renaissance, 3 Early-Christian, and 2 Asian pieces of art.

From this area you can find other interesting and beautiful buildings as well, such as the main Library of the University (Engel), Senaatintalo/Valtioneuvoston linna (Engel), and streets such as Unioninkatu and Snellmaninkatu, which are very beautiful for sightseeing.

Next continue your tour towards Aleksanterinkatu. This is a famous shopping street and has many designer boutiques as well as different chain stores. You can now choose if you would prefer to continue your tour back to the city centre and eventually to Stockmann, which is the most famous Finnish department store full of luxury products or go to the harbor (from street Unioninkatu leaving the Senaatintori behind you) where you can find Esplanadi, a boulevard that has many fine coffeehouses. From the harbor you can find a lovely market square and ferries that will take you to Suomenlinna.

The area around Esplanadi is full of interesting attractions such as the statue of Havis Amanda, Uspenski Cathedral (in Katajanokka), and it’s also a beautiful area on itself.

I hope that you have enjoyed your tour with Helsinki's eldest city centre attractions!

General sightseeing

Hakaniemi Market Hall is a lovely old fashioned market hall full of small stalls that sell everything from tasty food and sweets to handicraft and design products. Highly recommended to visit for the experience! It also offers traditional Finnish delicacies. You can find a map here.

Linnanmäki is an amusement park in Helsinki. It's old merry-go-round (made 1896!) and traditional wooden rollercoaster are definitely suitable for lolita visits! Entrance is free and you can buy individual tickets for the rides.

Suomenlinna is an old fort in front of Helsinki's harbor. It's historical and cultural value are significant. Suomenlinna is part of Unesco world heritage list. The scenery is amazing but you will need a pair of comfortable shoes! Take a ferry from Kauppatori.

Rock Church (Temppeliaukion kirkko) is one of the most famous attractions in Helsinki. The church has been excavated directly into solid rock and has a very special architecture.

St. John's Church (Johanneksenkirkko) represents neogothic style and is the largest stone church in Finland.

Kamppi Chapel is located in one of the busiest places in the city centre. It was built to be a place for silence and has been specially designed to block all noises outside.

 

Museum experiences - Where to find the most interesting museums in Helsinki

Ateneum Art Museum has the largest collection of art in Finland.

Museum of Contemporary art Kiasma holds interesting contemporary art exhibitions.

Sinebrychoff Art Museum has beautiful interior and significant collection of paintings by old foreign masters.

Kunsthalle Helsinki holds exhibitions of contemporary art and is very popular right now.

Design Museum exhibits industrial art and design, and artistic handicrafts.

Theatre Museum presents history of the Finnish theatre.

Finnish Museum of Photography exhibits both past and present photography.

Hakasalmi Villa is an elegant villa holding collection of Helsinki Museum artworks.

Suomenlinna Toy Museum presents old toys and is located in Suomenlinna.

 

Shopping guide across Helsinki city centre

Kamppi shopping centre has a large selection of almost anything: clothing stores, shoe shops, coffeehouses, restaurants, markets and department stores. You can find Iittala and Marimekko stores here. Kamppi is located in the city centre.

Forum shopping centre also has a large selection of different stores and restaurants. It has little cheaper stores than Kamppi, such as H&M etc. You can find the Moomin boutique here! Forum is located in the city centre.

Kluuvi shopping centre carries more design stores and showrooms. Also our teasponsor Chaya teastore is located here! Kluuvi is located in the city centre.

Stockmann is an old department store that sells designer products. Quite expensive but has a very nice selection of cosmetic products, sweets and Finnish design items. Starbucks is located right next to Stockmann main building.

Aleksanterinkatu is a shopping street that has designer boutiques as well as chain stores. You can find Monki, Minna Parikka, Marimekko and even Hard Rock Cafe here.

Best places to eat in Helsinki

KITA is a Japanese restaurant that serves very good sushi buffet.

Ju Fu is Asian restaurant that has a really reasonable priced buffet.

Silvoplee is a vegetarian restaurant located in Hakaniemi offers a good selection of vegetarian options.

Friends & Brgrs is really popular burger restaurant. Located right in the city center.

If you wish to eat traditional Finnish food you can find restaurants and information of them from this list.

 

Places to relax - popular cafés and lolita aesthetic teahouses

The Ounce is a teahouse full of nostalgia from the decades gone. Here you can choose your tea from many different high-quality options and buy it with you or enjoy it in the traditional English fashioned teahouse atmosphere.

Karl Fazer Café is possibly the most popular coffeehouse in Helsinki. Also most of the lolita meetups take place in here! You can experience tasty food, drinks and desserts as well as good service and atmosphere.

Salutorget is a really stylish and old-fashioned dining room and offers nice afternoon tea.


Kappeli is a beautiful cafe/restaurant/bar located in Esplanadi. It's a must-visit place for lolitas who like to have a coffee break in extremely aesthetic and historical atmosphere.

Café Ekberg is really famous coffeehouse located in a very high-class area. The coffeehouse has a famous historical privileged position in Helsinki.

Kakkugalleria is a cake shop where you can experience a delicious cake buffet and eat cake 'till you drop! They have several shops in Helsinki.

Kaffecentralen is specialized in different coffees and has the best take-away coffees in Helsinki!

Cafe Kuppi & Muffini is a coffeehouse and a bakery. They also serve breakfast porridge and lunch soups. The bakery products are fresh and hand-made in the shop!
 

Popular bars and nightclubs - From fancy cocktail bars to student-friendly party places

Ateljèe Bar is located in Torni hotel in the heart of the city. The bar is at the top of the hotel and offers a magnificent view over Helsinki.

Le Havre & Bar Socis are located in Hotelli Seurahuone. The restaurant and bar offer an extremely glamourous and elegant atmosphere.

Thirsty Scholar is a bar that mostly university students prefer. It offers nice selection in basic drinks and has calm and relaxing atmosphere.

Navy Jerry's is a student-friendly bar. It has a cozy atmosphere and great selection of music!

Bar Bäkkäri is a student-friendly rock bar. The bar has a lot of live performances and it caters for wilder growd! You can find a very popular night club upstairs.

Los Cojones is a Spanish-style bar with kitsch atmosphere. They have great drinks and amazing dj’s.

DTM is super popular gay nightclub that has trendy music and superb drinks.

Hercules is a popular Scandinavian gay nightclub that offers more alternative music as well.



Guide put together by Hanna Kivelä