Helsinki stopover: how to spend the time?

By mspcooper | Mar 05, 2019, 03:16 PM
I will be in helsinki from 6am until 5pm. Any good recommendations on sightseeing? Any idea about the lounge features that you guys like and don't like? Flying Finn Air.
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By ratrace | Mar 05, 2019, 03:46 PM
Forget the lounge, hit the city and take in the sights! It’s a great city!
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By ChrisCh | Mar 05, 2019, 04:11 PM
Skip the zoo, it's a complete waste of time in the winter, very hard to get around and very hard to actually get there as well, even by car.

Don't know when you're flying, but Finnair is also currently renovating its Helsinki lounges, so some facilities are unavailable, and having flown through the other month, the lounge is not worth arriving early for in its current state.
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By MuzzH | Mar 05, 2019, 04:40 PM
I visited Helsinki in November last year flying on a Qantas/Finnair RTW fare and had to stay overnight as a part of the ticket conditions. I had never been to a Nordic country before. Helsinki is very clean and a very easy city to see in a day. The harbour front, the underground cathedral, lots of museums and galleries, more than enough to kill the time. The Finnair premium lounge was being renovated at the time and the other lounge was chockers so I just wandered the airport to while away the time before the flight. You will enjoy Helsinki. My philosophy is that I may never get the chance to go back, so explore while you can!
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By mspcooper | Mar 05, 2019, 05:32 PM
I’m flying April 1st. Seems like city visit is the best option.
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By dingogav | Mar 05, 2019, 09:02 PM
Is beautiful - https://www.suomenlinna.fi/en/ or go have a naked swim/sauna if you are there on ladies’ day -
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By tommygun | Mar 06, 2019, 08:29 AM
1. Morning coffee and cardamom doughnuts at the waterfront Old Market Hall.
2. Tram ride to see the city. Check out the Stalinist train station! Try to include the wooden house districts.
3. Helsinki Cathedral - the white one.
4. Esplanadi park.
5. Temppeliaukio "underground" church.
6. The 'design district' if you have an interest in Scandi clothing and homewares.
Most people speak English, which is great because Finnish is a tough language to come to grips with. Locals may seem reserved, but they are happy to help if asked. It's an interesting city and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have.
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By bigken | Mar 06, 2019, 03:03 PM
The Garlic Restaurant (don't breathe on your fellow passengers afterwards) and opposite is a wonderful fur shop run by an old lady and her daughter who specialise in mink and Arctic fox. I bought a terrific mink hat for my daughter that she uses whenever she is in a cold country. They are accessible by the number 3 tram, while you are at it travel the full figure 8 loop of the tram, it takes about an hour.
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By attimo69 | Mar 08, 2019, 08:01 PM
1. Morning coffee and cardamom doughnuts at the waterfront Old Market Hall.
2. Tram ride to see the city. Check out the Stalinist train station! Try to include the wooden house districts.
3. Helsinki Cathedral - the white one.
4. Esplanadi park.
5. Temppeliaukio "underground" church.
6. The 'design district' if you have an interest in Scandi clothing and homewares.
Most people speak English, which is great because Finnish is a tough language to come to grips with. Locals may seem reserved, but they are happy to help if asked. It's an interesting city and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have.

Great advice above!
re #2 take routes #2 or 3. They go in a loop . need to have a ticket before you board. cannot buy online. Can buy via a phone app. https://www.hsl.fi/en/app https://www.hsl.fi/sites/default/files/uploads/ratikka_420x297_skemaattinen_04032019_www_2.pdf
There is also a HopOnHopOff bus, but it's more expensive.
7. Finnish National Museum of Finland. If you like museums https://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/kansallismuseo

8. Not far, if you're into architecture , is the newly opened Oodi Library. Finland's gift to itself for turning 150 years old. Beautiful civic space. https://www.archdaily.com/907675/oodi-helsinki-central-library-ala-architects

9. consider going back to the airport a bit earlier. If you have lounge access, you can go to one of very few airport lounges which has a sauna. mixed. clothing ON sauna. Quite an OK sauna, and will get you very relaxed prior to your flight. But drink a lot of water to avoid pre-flight dehydration.

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By ChrisCh | Mar 11, 2019, 10:11 AM
Just on the sauna, it's been closed for a while - it's reopening on March 26 when Finnair's new Platinum Wing lounge opens up, but to enter you need a Oneworld Emerald (Qantas Platinum etc) frequent flyer card. There's no longer any mention of it in the business lounge description.
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By jmccorma@mater.org.au | Mar 11, 2019, 03:23 PM
Get the airport bus into the city, it stops centrally at the railway station. Walk to Esplanadi Park, visit Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki Cathedral, national Museum and finish off with Henry's Bar or the Aussie Bar (advertised as staffed by descendents of criminals!). Back to the railway station and bus to airport.
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