PRIVATE HELSINKI SHORE EXECURSIONS
HELSINKI HIGHLIGHTS TOUR
This tour includes:
• A short walk and a drive around the city
• Lots of amazing photo opportunities!
• Senate Square
• Helsinki Cathedral
• Open Market
• Market Hall (if possible)
• Uspenski Cathedral
• Presidential Palace
• Kaivopuisto Park
• Old Church and Swedish Theatre
• Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum
• Parliament Building
• National Museum and Finlandia Hall
• Finnish National Opera
• Olympic Stadium
• Rock Church
• Sibelius Park
The best way to see Helsinki is to drive, as well as walk, the city’s highlights. Its wealth of architecture, including Carl Ludvig Engel’s neo-classical Senate Square, is our first stop and you will see it is surrounded by public buildings built in the mid-19th century. The design of the square is Russian and was built as the municipal centre of the city. It became a national center as more and more institutions made their home in this area. The Helsinki Cathedral, which sits on this square, was completed in 1852 and is a point of pride. The oldest building in Helsinki, the Sederholm Residence, is also on the square.
We’ll take an easy walk to the open Market Place from here, which sits on the waterfront. Much like other European cities, this market place has easy access to the cargo ships and local fishing boats that arrive and therefore their produce, flowers, and handicrafts color the area. If there is time, we will stop in the Old Market Hall where delicacies are for sale. You can quickly grab a snack but, as everything is tempting, be ready to choose your selection.
It is time to board our vehicle and travel towards the largest Orthodox Church in Scandinavia, the Uspenski Cathedral, as well as the Presidential Palace, once the official residence of the President. We continue along the South Harbor to the Embassy district Kaivopuisto, one of Helsinki’s best parks and a perfect place to walk. The homes and the embassies in this area are beautiful and seem to be inhabited by the well-heeled.
As this is the mouth of the Baltic Sea, shipbuilding is a major industry and the Masa Yard, also on your route, has given birth to many of the cruise ships on the waters today. We swing around to return to the city center and pass the Old Church near the Swedish Theater, both located on the main street called Mannerheimintie. The new contemporary art museum, Kiasma, the Parliament Building, the National Museum, and Finlania Hall, designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto, are along this boulevard.
Another of Aalto’s famous buildings, the Finnish National Opera, sits in Hesperia Park with Toololahti Bay at its edge. The Olympic Stadium, site of the 1952 games, and the Temppeliaukio Kirkko, known as the Rock Church, are musts on any tour of Helsinki. We complete this tour in Sibelius Park, where the wonderful monument to the composer Jean Sibelius is located in the midst of controversy, as all works of art find themselves.
A drop off in the city center (if time permits) or a return to your ship completes the tour.