• Sibelius Monument, Helsinki, Finland
    Sibelius Monument


Despite its somewhat severe cityscape and chilly northern latitude, Helsinki bursts with vibrant street life and a joyful creative spirit. It's the only European capital with no medieval past, and it shows — its center has no "Old Town," as the city was conscientiously laid out by 19th-century urban planners. Today Helsinki is an architectural delight for its Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings and churches — with the stirring "Chapel in the Rock," fine National Museum of Finland, and island fortress and open-air folk museum. While parts of the city may seem dark and drab, splashes of creativity and color hide around every corner — but you'll only discover them if you take the time to look.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Temppeliaukio Church Awe-inspiring, copper-topped 1969 "Church in the Rock."

▲▲ Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral Orthodoxy's most prodigious display outside of Eastern Europe.

▲▲ Lutheran Cathedral Green-domed, 19th-century Neoclassical masterpiece.

▲▲ National Museum of Finland The scoop on Finland, featuring folk costumes, an armory, czars, and thrones; the prehistory exhibit is best.

▲▲ Seurasaari Open-Air Folk Museum Island museum with 100 historic buildings from Finland's farthest corners.

▲▲ Suomenlinna Fortress Helsinki's harbor island, sprinkled with picnic spots, museums, and military history.

Senate Square Consummate Neoclassical square, with Lutheran Cathedral.

Helsinki City Museum Tells the city's history well and in English.

Ateneum, The National Gallery of Finland Largest collection of art in Finland, including local favorites plus works by Cézanne, Chagall, Gauguin, and Van Gogh.

Sibelius Monument Stainless-steel sculptural tribute to Finland's greatest composer.



  • Soumenlinna Fortress Cannons , Helsinki, Finland
  • Sibelius Monument, Helsinki, Finland