Again this summer, many fascinating new places of interest have opened up in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, especially by the seaside and in the archipelago but also on the outskirts of the city centre. The following new places are my absolute favourites this summer!
1 + 2. Former Military Islands of Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari
Formerly used for military purposes by the Finnish Defence Forces, these two mysterious secret islands, Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari in Helsinki archipelago, were opened to the public in May 2016. With plenty of unspoilt wild nature the islands offer a chance to enjoy diverse flora and fauna topped with well-preserved military fortifications, caves, tunnels, historical buildings and spectacular sea views. Read more about Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari islands here.
3. Former Military Island of Lonna
The small island of Lonna, also a former military island with historical military barracks just a 7-minute boat ride from Helsinki Market Square was opened to the public a couple of years back. Lonna has become a popular island getaway among locals who come here to have lunch, dinner and drinks, bask in the sun, and enjoy a picnic and fresh sea air with amazing sea views over Helsinki city centre. Read more about Lonna Island here.
Location: Lonna Island, Helsinki
4. Löyly design sauna complex
This new design sauna complex, Löyly, is an impressive example of contemporary wooden architecture by the sea. It was opened in Hernesaari district on the southern tip of Helsinki peninsula in May 2016. With a stunning modern design the complex hosts a range of public saunas (one traditional Finnish smoke sauna and two wood-heated saunas) and a restaurant serving local Finnish food. Löyly’s large terrace stretches out over the sea providing probably the most stunning sea views in town and a great place to chill out and enjoy a sunny day.
5. New Helsinki City Museum
Helsinki City Museum opened the newest museum in Tori Quarters, the historical heart of Helsinki by Senate Square, in May 2016. Helsinki City Museum encompasses five buildings built between 1750s and 1920s and takes visitors on a journey through time to bygone Helsinki with 3D technology, a typical Helsinki home from the 1950s and a local bar from the 1970s as well as with over a million of photos. In Children’s Town kids can play, draw, try on costumes, go to school in an old-fashioned classroom and visit a granny’s house from the 1970s. Currently the temporary exhibition features the Museum of Broken Relationships with personal items and stories by people with broken hearts.
6 + 7. Allas Sea Pool and Sky Wheel Helsinki
Allas Sea Pool cafe with seaside terraces located in Katajanokka by the harbour and Helsinki Market Square right by Helsinki Sky Wheel has just recently been opened. In the near future the complex will also host public saunas, outdoor swimming pools, restaurants, festivals and other events. Sky Wheel Helsinki, a 40-meter high observation wheel provides a 360° view of Helsinki city centre with the most important landmarks and great views over Helsinki archipelago.
8. Old railway engine workshop Konepajan Bruno
This cosy living room for locals and visitors alike in the former railway engine workshop of the Finnish State Railways (VR) in the area of Vallila is a newbie in town with plenty of activities and events on the weekends. Konepajan Bruno hosts a popular flea market, clubs, live shows, art exhibitions, workshops as well as food and drinks provided by street food trucks. The large outdoor terrace baths in the sun all day long.
9. Helsinki City Bikes
After many many years, city bikes are back in Helsinki! These yellow Helsinki city bikes are provided by the City of Helsinki and can be used for a fee by anyone in central Helsinki. This summer there are 500 bikes available in 50 locations around the city centre. This is a very convenient way to explore Helsinki, a city with over 130 kilometres of shoreline.
Location: 50 stations in central Helsinki
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