I stayed in the huge Scandic Grand Marina hotel, a converted warehouse with rooms reminisant of a cruise liner, appropriate considering the hotel’s harbourside location. The hotel was just a short walk to the Senete Square and other local attractions.
Helsinki is quite small for a capital city and can be walked quite easily. Senate Square and the impressive Lutheran Cathedral that overlooks the square are two of the major landmarks. A side street off Senate Square is the site of the Street Museum, this short street showcases examples of street paving, lighting, postboxes and phone booths from the early 1800s to 1930s.
The Russian Uspensky Cathedral is a very impressive building but was unfortunately closed to the public whilst I was there. Another impressive cathedral is the Temppeliaukio (Church in the Rock) This unique building was quarried out of the stone and has an impresive copper lined roof.
Suomenlinna Fortress is an old millatary fort located on a series of islands a short boat trip from the city’s harbour. The islands house a collection of museums charting Helsinki’s naval history, including a Submarine that’s open to the public during the summer. The city’s skyline is also very impressive from a harbour boat trip, however in early May it was a little cold on the outside deck of the boat!
Further afield is Provoo which I visited during a brief trip in 2003. Provoo is a little town with lots of beautiful old wooden houses (and a great confectionary shop with a wonderful selection of chocolate).