City of Helsinki got ten ex-Eurovision stars together to tell what they think you should see and visit while in Helsinki and why. Take some time from all the Eurovision stuff and dedicate at least one day for some sightseeing as Helsinki has a lot to offer. And as it is not too big a city, you really can see a lot in a day. Let Marion lead the way�.
“I won the 1973 Finnish selection in Finlandia Hall and also performed my first solo concert there” says Marion Rung (Finland 1962 and 1973) and therefore she recommends this Alvar Aalto’s famous work, and it remains one of Helsinki’s premier concert and congress centres. The info shop is open weekdays 9-16.
Jarkko and Laura (Finland 1969) suggest you have a walk in Seurasaari Island. “Seurasaari is time travel with the scent of life. You can’t get this kind of experience anywhere else” they say. Take the bus 24 infront of the Swedish Theatre. Open weekdays 9-15 and weekends 11-17.
Riki Sorsa’s (Finland 1981) choice is a tram ride on 3T. “My favourite place in Helsinki is the 3T tram, rifing it gives you the very best overall image og Helsinki” he says rightly as it passes by Finlandia Hall, the Parliament House, the National Opera and the Senate’s square, just to name a few.
“The Suomenlinna fortress island has a fascinating history – and it’s a great place for summer sunbathing” says Ami Aspelund (Finland 1983) and indeed this picturesque fortress is worth a visit. Take the ferry from Market square and weather permitting bring some food and wine and have a picnic!
Sonja Lumme (Finland 1985) recommends the Market Hall next to the Market square. “In the Market Hall you can see how people really live. A visit to the Old Market Hall is a delightful experience” she says. The stalls sell traditional market foods, handicrafts and souvenirs and you can also have a coffee and something to eat there. Open weekdays 6-18, Saturday 6-16.
Kari Kuivalainen (Finland 1986) is still in touch with the child in himself and wants you, too, to test the Linnanmäki amusement park. “When I was a child, we visited Linnanmäki every summer – and perhaps even now.” This year there is a new scary roller coaster and you can admire Helsinki from very high – for free…
“As a kid I sang in the Cathedral with the Finnish Radio Children’s Choir. And once I got married there” says Vicky Rosti (Finland 1987) and recommends Senate’s square and Cathedral. Open 9-18.
The Rock church or Temppeliaukionkirkko is a unique piece of art. Completed in 1969, with natural stone walls it is quarried out of the bedrock. “It’s a great place where you can calm down and listen to beautiful music” says Marika Krook (Finland 1998). Open Mon 10-17, Tue 10-12.45 and 14.15-17, Wed 10-17, Thu-Fri 10-20, Sat 10-18, Sun 11.45-13.45 and 15.30-18.
“Definitely the best place in Helsinki during the Eurovision weeks!” says Hanna Pakarinen (Finland 2007) about Lasipalatsi or Glass Palace. Completed in 1935, this beautiful building hosts the fan centre and Bio Rex movie theatre. Open daily 10-24.
If you want to have a real taste of Finland, take a day or two and go to the Lake district. “A sauna and a dip in the nearby lake makes you feel great” says Laura Voutilainen (Finland 2002). Finland has nearly 200.000 lakes in all shapes and sizes and there are over 10.000 rentable cottages for you to choose from!