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Enjoy a lovely day in Helsinki that will show you not just the hustle and bustle of the Finnish capital but also a relaxing exploration of the medieval village of Porvoo, which will charm you with its narrow cobblestoned streets, central square arts & crafts market, and a stunning chocolate shop.
Helsinki Cathedral is a Lutheran church, also called the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. It's the main church of the town. The church was opened in 1852 and dedicated to the name saint of Nicholas 1st, the Russian emperor, as Finland was the province of Russia at that time. The impressive white structure stands on the natural hill, connected to the Senat square by the granite steps, that make you feel the church is even higher.
Mannerheimintie is the main street in Helsinki, as well as the longest street in the city. It follows the path of the old road to Tampere, Finland's former capital. Mannerheimintie begins at the Esplanada street and goes all the way north to the city limits. The House of Parliament, the main post office, the Kiasma modern art museum, the Finlandia Hall, the National Museum, the Helsinki Opera House, Kampi bus station, and many other famous buildings can be found on Mannerhermintie.
The Central Train Station of Helsinki is a large impressive building, decorated with the massive statues on both sides of the entrance. It was chosen as one of the world's most beautiful railway stations by BBC in 2013.
Esplanadi is a beautiful wide boulevard with the big park on in, located in the center of Helsinki. It begins at the Market square and goes all the way to Mannerheimintie street. Esplanadi is an excellent place for a leisurely walk under the old linden trees. There are numerous coffee shops at Esplanadi, located in the buildings on both sides and in the park itself. The West end of Esplanadi is called the Erottaja square, which was selected as the official geographic "zero point" of Helsinki. Distances to all other cities in Finland are measured starting from here.
Market square in the center of Helsinki is the most exciting place in the city. It’s located on the seashore next to the city ferry station. You can find everything there. All sorts of season fruit and berries, mushrooms, smoked fish, flowers, souvenirs, traditional clothing, furs, leather, name it. One can spend hours digging through the carved bone statuettes or enjoying the beer with fresh grilled salmon.
Temppeliaukio Church is often called the church in the rock. Finland uses the natural landscape of the region to create a beautiful urban environment, and this is the best example of it. The church is built into the huge granite rock. It’s simple but exquisite with granite walls and a glass ceiling.
Services are daily.
The stadium was the main arena for the 1952 Olympic Games. The construction of the stadium was completed in 1938. Since then, it has been frequently used for local, European, and world athletic competitions as well as music concerts. The height of the tower 72.71 meters (238.5 ft) celebrates the world record of Finnish athlete Matti Järvinen in javelin throw of 1932 Summer Olympics.
The impressive building of the National Museum stands on Helsinki's main street, Mannerheimintie. It features Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day. The appearance of the building reflects Finland's medieval churches and castles. The entrance hall ceiling has ceiling frescoes in the national epic Kalevala theme, which can be seen without an entrance fee.
Opera and ballet are quite young in Finland, as both companies were formed at the beginning of the 20th century only. The Opera house opened in 1993 and since then became home to both. The theater promotes national art. National Opera stages four to six premieres a year, including a world premiere of at least one Finnish opera.
The Senat square is a large central square of the city. The impressive white Helsinki cathedral crowns it. The center of the square if a memorial to the Russian emperor Alexander 2nd. The Helsinki's oldest building, Sederholm's house, is still located in the south part of Senat square.
Jean Sibelius is a prominent Finnish composer and musician, respected all around Europe. The memorial in a unique park commemorates the life of this great person. The organ pipes dance in the air to the music, and the face of the composer looks at his music from the stone.
Located on a hill above the Helsinki harbor, red brick Uspensky cathedral can be seen from far away. It's the largest Orthodox Church of Northern Europe, built in 1868 by one of the most prominent Russian specialists. The style of the cathedral is a tribute to the Russian Revival period when the best of the old times architectural ideas were used to create the magnificent constructions. The church is worth going inside to see the impressive iconostases.
Porvoo is one of few medieval towns of Finland, dating its history back to 14th
century. It preserved a lot of the old buildings, like the Porvoo cathedral, old town hall, or the brick storage complex. It brings you into the unique atmosphere of the old Scandinavia.
Meet your professional English-speaking guide and driver OUTSIDE the main port gate and depart for a scenic drive through downtown Helsinki.
Important: The meeting for the tour is OUTSIDE the main port gate. You need to walk outside the port to meet your guide. Please read the Helsinki meeting instructions carefully. We will also send you a copy at the time of booking. Please note that the waiting time for late passengers is maximum 15 minutes.
Just a couple of minutes from the pier, Market Square will surely become one of the day's highlights and inspiration. As you travel along Esplanadi Street, down famous Mannerheim street, which is the main boulevard, and past the Central Train Station make sure you keep your eyes wide open in order to capture this beauty! You will later drive past such must-see sights as Uspensky Cathedral, Presidential Palace, National Museum and Finlandia Hall, Opera House, Finlandia Concert Hall, and Parlament Building.
You will drive past the Olympic Stadium (1952 Olympic games were held here), will have a chance to make great typically Helsinki photos in the Sibelius Park, a famous Helsinki sight, next to the Sibelius Monument constructed from hundreds of steel pipes honoring the great Finnish composer Jan Sibelius.
Your tour will be just complete by visiting the Rock Church (possible visit inside for donation). This unique construction is a highlight for most visitors to Helsinki and is considered to be one of Europe’s most interesting churches. It was carved out of solid rock from the side of a mountain and is topped by a copper dome. The interior was excavated and built into the rock but is bathed in natural light entering through the glazed dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustic. The acoustic quality is ensured by the rough rock surfaces.
At the end of the city tour, you will depart to the Village of Porvoo for an exciting exploration of this Medieval Village located along the riverside, with numerous cozy little shops, old warehouses, an old church, and lots of history to keep you entertained.
Great photo opportunities for photo enthusiasts and a lovely chocolate shop for all sweet tooth friends!
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