Top 10 things to do in Helsinki during your summer course at Aalto University

Are you considering taking a summer course at Aalto and are wondering what else you could be doing during your time here? Aalto University Summer School got it covered for you! Here are 10 things to do in Helsinki during your summer course at Aalto University.
Helsinki from above
Photo by Kari Ylitalo via My Helsinki

For us, summer school is not only about taking courses. It is also about discovering new places, learning about the history and culture of the country. Our visiting students often ask “What are the main attractions in Helsinki?”, “What activities should I try during my time here?”. In order to answer these questions we made this list for you!

Helsinki Cathedral Summer
Photo by Kari Ylitalo via My Helsinki

1) Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral, also known as St Nicholas Church, is one of the most popular attractions in Helsinki. This Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, by Carl Ludvig Engel, is located right at the heart of the city. Enjoy the delicacies of neoclassical architecture and take a picture in front of its famous stairs.

Market square
Photo by Yiping Feng and Lin Ouyang via My Helsinki

2) Market Square

The Market Square is one of the most touristic sights of the city. It is located at one end of the famous Esplanade Park in the middle of the South Harbour. You can shop for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy the market food facing the sea view. Watch out for seagulls as they'll try to steal your food.

Photo by Riku Pihlanto via My Helsinki

3) Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral, by Aleksey Gornostayev, is a must-see place when visiting Helsinki. The Orthodox Eastern Cathedral Uspenski is the main cathedral of the Orthodox Church of Finland. The church is 5 minutes away from the market square located on the highest hill of the Katajanokka district. There, you can enjoy a bird's-eye view of the city!

Old market hall
Photo by Robert Lindstörm via My Helsinki

4) Old Market Hall

Old Market Hall is the oldest indoor market where you can find upscale traditional foods and delicacies. The market hall is located right next to the Market Square. At this place, you will find many products ranging from seafood to vegetables and from cheese to pastries. You can also make special orders from the sellers.

Allas Sea Pool
Photo by Jussi Hellsten via My Helsinki

5) Allas Sea Pool

Allas Sea Pool is an urban spa and a garden-like oasis that opened in 2016. It's also located right next to the Market Square, at the heart of the city. The facility includes saunas, normal pools, fresh/sea water pools and a restaurant. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunny weather.

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
Photo by Jussi Hellsten via My Helsinki

6) Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress is a Unesco World Heritage Site located on the beautiful Suomenlinna Island. The Fortress has immense historical value as it went through three historical eras. It can be easily accessed by ferry from the Market Square in 15 minutes. The other parts of the heavenly island are also worth visiting. The Suomenlinna Tour is one of the hallmarks of Aalto University Summer School’s social programmes.

Sibelius Monument
Photo by Jenna Pietikäinen via My Helsinki

7) Sibelius Monument

The Sibelius Monument, located at Sibelius Park in the Töölö district, is one of the most famous statues in Helsinki. The Sibelius Monument was built by Eila Hiltunen to commemorate the world-famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The monument, resembling organ pipes, is built in a wave-like pattern with over 600 welded steel pieces. Go ahead and check out this masterpiece!

Kaisanaiemi Botanic Garden
Photo by Laura Dove via My Helsinki

8) Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden

The Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, located in the Helsinki city centre, is a unique experience for nature lovers that seek a tropical experience. The botanical garden is home to more than 800 species of plants. During the summer you can enjoy the view of ponds and flowers in the central garden.

Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Photo by Jussi Hellsten via My Helsinki

9) Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Linnanmäki, owned by the non-profit Children’s day foundation, is a first-class amusement park in Helsinki that raises funds for Finnish child welfare work. The park contains a wide selection of fun rides, the wooden roller coaster being the most popular one. Rides there can range from ultra-scary to easy-going. So do not worry if you are not a huge adrenaline fan and pay the place a visit!

Photo by Pekka Keränen via My Helsinki

10) Löyly

This list wouldn’t be complete without a sauna experience, as sauna is one of the hallmarks of Finnish culture. Löyly is a modern seaside public sauna that offers you the experience of Finnish sauna along with the opportunity to swim in the baltic sea. It is located in Hernesaari district on the southern tip of Helsinki. The facilities include the traditional Finnish smoke sauna, wood-heated saunas and a classy restaurant. You can enjoy your food & drinks while chilling at the terrace!

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