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10 places in Helsinki that will not be shown to “package” tourists (part 2)

5. Töölö
A cozy, quiet area is located on the west coast of mainland Helsinki. It is here that a huge number of attractions are concentrated, but tourist groups are usually shown only a monument to composer Jan Sibelius. To start a walk in Toolo is best from the Congress Palace, which is located on the shores of Töölönlahti Bay. Then you must see the amazing building of the National Museum of Finland, and those who are interested in history can buy a ticket. The exposition of the museum is small, but very interesting: a lot of interactivity, ancient exhibits can be touched.

The amazing building of the National Museum of Finland in Toolo
Next to the museum is the Temppeliaukio Church, carved into the rock in the 1960s. It is necessary not only to go inside, but also to climb to its roof and admire the colorful houses. Admiring the strict, uniform architecture, you can walk along the Runeberginkatu street, and then go to the promenade and walk to the popular cafe “Regatta”. Most tables are located in the open air, and visitors drink coffee while enjoying the idyllic Finnish landscape. It is always crowded: the first cup of coffee costs 2 €, and the next ones are poured for free. In addition, delicious desserts and sausages are served here. The cafe is located next to Sibelius Park, so after a snack you can go to the main attractions of the area.

Temppeliaukio Church carved into the rock in the 1960s
To avoid crowds of excursion groups and take beautiful photographs on the background of the monument, you need to come here in the early morning or in the afternoon. Another interesting attraction of Toolo is the free railway museum. The entire exhibition of the museum is represented by six old trams; visitors can touch them, as well as sit at the helm and honk. The museum is especially popular with children. In the end, it is worth visiting the Winter Garden, which for more than a hundred years remains one of the most beloved places among local residents. The indoor greenhouse contains more than 200 species of exotic plants that delight visitors even in winter. Entrance to the Winter Garden is free, but on Mondays the greenhouse is closed.

Monument in Toolo
How to get there

The Congress Palace can be reached on foot or by bicycle from Kaysaniemi Park. There is a bus and tram stop “Kansallismuseo” located next to the Palace. Other parts of Toolo also have stops.
6. Katayanokka
On the island of Katajanokka (Katajanokka) is one of the most popular tourist attractions – the Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption, built in 1868. His visit is usually included in the program of any excursion, after which tourists are put on a bus and taken away. Meanwhile, Katayanokka is one of the most authentic places in Helsinki. A beautiful view of the harbor and marina opens from the promenade, screams of seagulls are heard everywhere and the smell of the sea is felt. The architecture is quite modern, but at the same time distinctive: residential buildings were built in the style of medieval castles.

The promenade offers a beautiful view of the harbor and marina
Those who grew up on the books of Tove Jansson about the Moomins should visit the theme park next to the Assumption Cathedral. And the best view of the main attractions of Katajanokki opens from the North beach (Pohjoisranta) from a small ledge near the restaurant “Oy Majakkalaiva Ab”.

The restaurant itself is located inside an old bright red ship and is open only in fine, calm weather: the tables are located on the open deck overlooking the cathedral and marina. An equally interesting view of Katayanokka opens from the uninhabited island of Tervasaari.

The restaurant is located inside an old bright red ship
On the opposite side of the island there is a Ferris wheel and a terrace overlooking the port, Market Square and endless open spaces.

How to get there

There are several tram stops on Katayanokka Island, where routes 4 and 5 stop. From Senate Square you can walk to the island on foot past ancient merchant houses.
7. View terrace on Katayanokka
Allas Cafe & Terrace, located on the west coast of Katayanokka Island, is popular with locals. You can climb onto the terrace for free, without ordering anything at the cafe. There are tables with chairs, as well as soft bean bags and large pillows. People come here to chat with friends, work on a laptop, read a book or just admire the seascape in solitude. From here you can see the Market Square, the port, the islands and the Ferris wheel. Near the cafe there is a paid outdoor pool with warm water. The cafe itself is also worth a visit: it serves delicious dishes of national cuisine. Desserts and pastries deserve special attention. The average bill in a cafe is about 50 € for two.

View terrace on Katayanokka
But the Ferris wheel usually disappoints Helsinki guests: for looking at the cityscapes from a small height through tinted blue glass, you will have to pay 13 €.

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