If you love flowers and gardens, the Rhododendron Park in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a must! In the middle of the residential area of Haaga in the northern part of Helsinki, this park is a true hidden green oasis that bursts into full bloom in early June. There are thousands of rhododendrons and azaleas in all possible colours – white, pink, fuchsia, red, purple, yellow and orange. And the scent of the flowers is absolutely beautiful.
Even though I am originally from Helsinki I did not know about the existence of the Rhododendron Park until a couple of years back. Finally this week I had the chance to discover the park and I was totally blown away by its beauty.
The Rhododendron Park (also known as Alppiruusupuisto, Rodopuisto and Rhodopuisto in Finnish) is a magical pine forest that spreads over an area of eight hectares. The park was originally founded and still functions as a plant breeding experimental site of the University of Helsinki. Simultaneously the area is a park open to the public. So it is relatively unique in the world.
The first rhododendrons were planted here in 1975 and by now many of them have grown very high, up to 5 meters. The park is divided into two sections: the southern part offers evergreen rhododendrons, while deciduous azaleas have been planted in the northern end of the park.
Here floral splendour can be viewed from wooden pathways and platforms that are also accessible on wheelchair. In addition to colourful flowers I was happy to encounter some wildlife like squirrels and lots of different types of birds.
The best time to visit the Rhododendron Park is the first weeks in June before Midsummer. If the winter has been long and cold, then the bloom might be at the fullest a week or two later. I heard that rhododendrons and azaleas do not bloom with the same abundance every year. Rather abundant flowering is usually followed by a less prolific year.
Even if you miss the bloom, I would still recommend to have a walk around in the green park and enjoy the cool and fresh air.
- No entrance fee
- Location: Laajasuontie 40, Etelä-Haaga, 00320 Helsinki
- How to get there: Train to Huopalahti station, Buses 40, 41, 43, 43B and 550
- Also accessible by wheelchair
- Dogs are allowed
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