My recent trip to Helsinki completed my set of passing visits to the Scandinavian foursome. I hadn’t heard a lot of good things about Helsinki before I left, yet, there I was. I’m never put off by people telling me a place isn’t worth visiting, because I always manage to find something interesting which justifies the trip.

It’s true that Helsinki is “Light” on tourist attractions, but does that have to matter? If traditional tourist attractions is all you’re looking for, they do have the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress which on a good day, is an amazing place to visit. I can’t think of too many other cities in Europe which have such a large concentrated “entire-day killing” attraction. Between the Suomenlinna and Seurasaari Islands you already have a solid enjoyable two days without having to go anywhere near a Museum. What more does one need?

My main complaint is that the city appears to be closed on Sundays. As the vast majority of my trips are for 2-3 days, always including a weekend, this is a bit of a bummer. On Sunday, instead of visiting the stuff I had planned, I found myself wandering around a post apocalyptic urban landscape. Perhaps I should actually read the brochures next time.

A typical Helsinki street on Sunday

Is this place worth visiting? Definitely. Just make sure you plan properly for Sundays.