Helsinki is the sparkling capital of Finland, an elegant city of spectacular architecture, beautiful gardens and harbour side parks. The Finns have long been admired for graceful design and imaginative architecture. Many styles from centuries past and present are represented here, from medieval to neoclassical, as well as the superb ultra-modern creations by Aalto, Saarinen and other Finnish masters. Helsinki can be visited on one of our many Europe cruisesFind Cruises Sailing to This Port
The heart of Helsinki is the bustling kauppatori or market square. Also known as the fish market, it is surrounded by graceful 19th-century buildings – of which many were destroyed during the devastation of WWII all around Helsinki. Visit Havis Amanda, the lovely mermaid statue and fountain just west of the fish market. The statue was designed in 1906 by one of Finland's most beloved artists, Ville Vallgren. Also known as Manta, it is commonly regarded as the symbol of Helsinki – if not all of Finland.
As in other Scandinavian countries, the smörgâsbord is popular. It's a buffet with a wide range of hot and cold dishes featuring plenty of seafood, including Baltic herring and smoked salmon. There is a variety of ways to serve reindeer, including cold and smoked, much like salmon. Bear and elk may appear on the menu, and there is always plenty of game. You'll also find many pastries and desserts, as well as cloudberries, a slightly tarter variation on raspberries.
The euro (EUR) is the official currency of Finland. Many shops and restaurants also accept major credit cards, which usually offer you a good exchange rate. When shopping, remember that Value Added Tax is added to most purchases.
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Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.