New dynamism for the Helsinki city centre

A number of projects are under way to develop the Helsinki city centre.

The pedestrian section is expanded, the central blocks of the historic section are re-energized, parks are renovated, and more housing is built into the area. The city centre is developed deliberately into a public living room that offers a variety of experiences for both citizens and visitors.

History of Helsinki in a nutshell

Heart of Helsinki

Tori Quarters

The central quarters of Helsinki between Market Square and Senate Square, the Tori (“square”) Quarters, are undergoing a process of re-vitalization. This historic centre of Helsinki is turned into an area where the Helsinki of the future is created and experienced. A renovation project in the quarters has opened both temporary and permanent spaces for new actors and events.

The central location of the Tori Quarters enables encounters. Encounters are also made possible by new concepts emerging in the Tori Quarters: street festivals, outdoor dining, workshops and pop-ups. Participation through activities and experiences is easy and fun.

Tori Quarters

Töölö Bay

New residential and office buildings constructed next to railway tracks in the Töölö Bay area are nearly finished. New Töölönlahti Park park was opened in 2016 and the Central Libary will be ready in 2018. 

The Töölö Bay is a popular outdoor and recreational area. A fountain enhances the bay in summer. A special pedestrian and cycling route named Baana built into a former railway corridor serves up to thousands of people daily. Baana leads from the West Harbour to the Railway Station.

The Töölö Bay Park borders on the street of Töölönlahdenkatu to the south, the Töölö Bay to the north, the Karamzin street area to the west, and the street of Alvar Aallon katu as well as the new residential and office buildings to the east. The land area is about 9.5 hectares.

The Töölö Bay area is also home to Finlandia Hall, the Finnish National Opera, the Helsinki Music Centre and the Central Library.

Olympic Stadium and Olympic Park

The Helsinki Olympic Stadium is undergoing a thorough renovation and modernisation. The stadium will obtain extensive new facilities, many of them underground, retaining the original architecture but with everything under the skin rebuilt. The stands will be fully covered. Parking will be removed vacating a large field in front of the building for new uses. There will be extensive new restaurant facilities.

Modernisation and renewal of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium has started. Stadium and the Tower is closed until 2019 because of the renovation.

Olympic Stadium

New space for art in Helsinki

The city centre is developed in close cooperation with various actors. Helsinki develops unique urban culture, and culture is within reach of everybody.

The Amos Anderson Art Museum maintained by the foundation Föreningen Konstsamfundet will have a new, state-of-the-art exhibition space on Lasipalatsi Square and in the Lasipalatsi building. The space will house a new type of museum dedicated to art. The museum will be inviting and a pleasant environment for visitors, open to experimentation and welcoming to new types of collaboration. New museum will be finished in 2018.

The move of the Amos Anderson Art Museum to the new space at Lasipalatsi will significantly strengthen the cultural offerings of the Helsinki city centre and Helsinki’s position as an international centre of visual arts.

Amos Anderson museum

Main attractions in Helsinki

The Capital of Finland offers lots to see, do and experience for visitors of all ages. Here are just a few examples of the most popular attractions.

Buildings and monuments

Helsinki Cathedral
The beautiful and historically significant Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelic Lutheran church, and for many it is the symbol of Helsinki. The cathedral was completed in 1852.

Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral
Completed in 1868 in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki, the Uspenski Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Western Europe.

Kamppi Chapel of Silence
The Chapel is intended to be a place where people can have a moment of silence and meet each other.

Parliament
Finland's 200-seat parliament gathers in this impressive building representing 1920s Classicism.

Olympic Stadium and Stadium Tower
The Olympic Stadion, built in 1938 was designed in functionalistic style by the architects Yrjö Lindegren and Toivo Jäntti.

Sibelius Monument
In the Sibelius park is the world famous composer Jean Sibelius’ (1865-1957) monument by Eila Hiltunen. It was unveiled 7.9.1967. The Sibelius Monument, resembling organ pipes, is made of welded steel with the bust of the composer on one side.

Finlandia House
Finlandia Hall is a masterpiece by the renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. Its combination of an all-embracing aesthetic vision, distinctive atmosphere, and functionality is unique. The location of the Finlandia House in a park by the sea and in the centre of Helsinki provides the final touch to a building that has no equal, either in Finland or anywhere else.

Attractions

Esplanade Park
Situated in the heart of Helsinki, the Esplanade serves as a promenade for tourists and a place to relax for city residents.

Market Square
The Market Square is Helsinki's most international and famous market. The booths here sell traditional market foods and treats, as well as handicrafts and souvenirs.

Old Market Hall
The Old Market Hall alongside the Market Square has been a meeting place for Helsinki's food aficionados and a popular tourist attraction since it first opened in 1889.

Senate Square
The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel between 1822 and 1852: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.

Tori Quarters
Visit Tori Quarters in the historical centre of Helsinki to discover the heart of the old town meeting the new buzz of the city.

Museums

Ateneum Art Museum
Ateneum Art Museum houses the largest collections of art in Finland with more than 20,000 works of art from the 1750s to the 1950s.

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
The collections include Finnish and foreign art, particularly from the Nordic and Baltic countries and Russia from 1960s onwards.

National Museum of Finland
The National Museum of Finland illustrates Finnish history from prehistoric times to the present day.

Helsinki Art Museum
The Tennis Palace Art Museum is a part of the Helsinki City Art Museum. It arranges changing Finnish and international exhibitions from various periods and related happenings.

Museum of Natural History
The Finnish Museum of Natural History’s exhibitions show the diversity of nature. Different theme events and visiting exhibitions are a part of the museum’s activity and addition to its basic exhibitions: History of Life, World Nature and Story of the Bones.