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What to see in Helsinki: Museums, transport, accommodation

Helsinki has the fascination of a Scandinavian capital with a Russian twist: in its architecture, in its composure and at the same time in the love for design, you can easily read the signs of the influence of the dominations that this beautiful city had in the course of history. 

Helsinki is a city easy to live with children: you will always find a playground, a green corner in which to give vent to freedom, you will easily find kids friendly restaurants, even starred, museums with explanations aimed at the youngest. And there are also truly family friendly hotels, such as our Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel Helsinki, which even offers family rooms with two king-size beds (unique in Scandinavia!).

In general, Northern Europe is attentive to little ones: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland have taught us, but in Finland we have found a true love for kids, a true attention that more than due for education is felt with the heart.

What to see in Helsinki with children

Museums: yes or no? Certainly YES! The Finnish capital offers many museums: choose only the one more akin to your child’s tastes.

Design Museum (Korkeavuorenkatu 23) is small enough to be visited without bothering even very small children, also for the reference to common design objects, that children can bring back to their daily life. At  HAM Helsinki Art Museum (Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8) you will find sculptures, modern art in general, photography and even graffiti: very interesting even for older children!

Design Museum Ph credits Otso Kaijaluoto
Design Museum Ph Paavo Lehtonen

In addition to museums, you can’t miss some of the most beautiful places in Helsinki: here is a short route you csn do with children in the center. From our hotel we started with tram 7 and we reached the center easily and then we walked to many of the emblematic places of Helsinki to return to the hotel by tram 6. In addition to the monuments, you can take a ride on the SkyWheel Helsinki Ferris wheel (there’s also a sauna cabin!) and even jump into a heated pool at 27°c in the sea at Allas Sea pool.

How to get around Helsinki

The centre of Helsinki can be easily visited walking: small and tidy, it is really good to walk! But if you get tired of walking or if your children are not great walkers, seriously consider public transport! Trams work well, are punctual, never too crowded, clean. The ticket costs €2.20 and lasts 80 minutes, but children under 7 years are not charged and from 7 to 16 years it costs €1.10. Also consider the daily ticket option (1 to 7 days): the price is convenient. With HSL App you can buy tickets, see when they expire, search for routes and schedules: just perfect. All perfect and, believe me, said by us is a real compliment given that in cities like London or Paris we only use taxis.

Another consideration on public transport in Helsinki: there is a sense of security as in a few other European cities. That’s why we also relied on public transport both day and night (but, in summer, will never be a very dark night!).

What to see in Helsinki by public transport: a low-cost tour by tram

With a combination of trams (2 and 3), you’ll be able to take a scenic tour of Helsinki that will take you, as in a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour, to touch all the main monuments of the Finnish capital. The entire route of trams 2 and 3 is a ring in the shape of number 8. It is not very easy to find, so I’ll tell you the main monuments in relation to the stops marked on the map:

1-Kauppatori Market Square (Here you can also take ferries to the islands!)
2-Senaatintori Senate Square
3-Aleksanterinkatu: a shopping street
4-Mikonkatu: On the north side of the square, the National Theatre and Ateneum Art Museum
5-Rautatieasema: Central Station, access point to the underground and shopping area
6-Simonkatu: Here you can access the shopping center of Kamppi
7-Kamppi: Tennis Place and Helsinki Synagogue
8-Kauppakorkeakoulut: University and Natural History Museum
9-Simonkatu: Underground Church of Temppeliaukio
11-Töölöntori: Market Square of Töölö
12-Ooppera: Finnish national Opera, Olympic Stadium
13-Töölön Halli: Tram Museum, Korjaamo Culture Factory, monument to Sibelius
14-Kansaneläkelaitos: building site of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland designed by Alvar Aalto
15-Auroran Sairaala: Hospital and War Memorial
16-Change from tram 2 to tram 3
18-Alppila: Amusement park Linnanmäki and Sea Life, Church of Alppila
20-Urheilutalo: Ice skating rink
22-Karhupuisto (Bear Park): Kallio’s Church
23-kallion Virastotalo: city administration buildings
24-Hakaniemi: Hakaniemi Market Square and covered market
25-Varsapuistikko: Botanical Garden
27-Ylioppilastalo (Student House): Swedish Theatre and Esplanadi
29-Fredrikinkatu: area with various designer boutiques
30-Iso Roobertinkatu: pedestrian zone with shops and restaurants
31-Viiskulma (Five Corners): Record shops and small boutiques
32-Eiran Sairaala: Church and Art Nouveau District

Click to enlarge the images!

Outside the usual tourist itineraries: the West Port of Helsinki

Thanks to the strategic location of Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel, you can experience Helsinki starting from the West Harbour view, on the Gulf of Finland. Located in the Ruoholahti business district and close to the vibrant and modern Jätkäsaari district, the hotel offers easy access to a variety of transport options to explore the Finnish capital. Two tram lines (6 and 7) stop right next to the hotel and the Ruoholahti Metro station is within walking distance. You can also go by bus to the main train station, just 2 kilometers away.

This area of the harbor and canal is very nice and ideal for strolling, relaxing, stopping at one of the great restaurants. Ferries to the islands do not depart from this port (you have to go to Kauppatori), because from here depart ships connecting Helsinki to St. Petersburg and Tallin.

Where to stay in Helsinki: Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel Helsinki

The motto of Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel is Helsinki State of Mind and as such this hotel aims to make the traveller live a Finnish experience at 360 degrees.

Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel is a design hotel that overlooks the sea and gives the visitor a true Finnish experience. From here you can find out what to see in Helsinki in a simple and relaxing way.

The hotel, recently and cleverly renovated, is decorated with masterpieces of street art such as graffiti by  Ansver (Anselmi Oksman), whose creations are also found in the posters of the rooms, next to those of the local artist Rasmus Tikkanen. Ansver also decorated the front part of the Ro-ro Bar and Rasmus Tikkanen the interior of the elevator.

The Nordic design begins in lobby, a real temple of design from which you can draw inspiration for your home.

You continue with the rooms (in total 349), whose priority is comfort during sleep, with a real menu of duvets and pillows. The experience of regenerating sleep is called Blue Dreams and starts from the beautiful Magic Bed ®, an intelligent foam mattress that reacts according to body weight and temperature to adapt specifically to you. If you need products for further relaxation, such as a back or foot massager or earplugs, you can request them with One Touch service and they will be delivered free of charge in the room. Parents more than any other know how much a sleep, perhaps short, but reinvigorating, is essential to start the day well, even on holiday!

And then again the breakfast, served in Bistro Gimis, really excellent both as variety of choice as well as raw materials used. A good breakfast is the keystone for a good day: Super breakfast Buffet allows you to choose between a variety of sweet and savory dishes made with fresh local ingredients.

To eat in Helsinki you can also take into consideration the comfortable (on the ground floor of the hotel) as well as delicious Bistro Gimis, which offers a typical Helsinki dining experience with fresh fish and local dishes.

If you want an active holiday, you will find gym and sauna open for all sports enthusiasts 24 hours on 24, 7 days out of 7. A good option to keep in training is also a jogging path on the waterfront, which you can start right just outside the hotel.

Dulcis in fundo, the special treatment for children: a cute squirrel, together with books and colors and the welcome drink already would be enough but… Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel also hides a secret place! On the second floor follow the footprints and you will find yourself in a placid inner courtyard where kids (and adults!) can give vent to their creativity with chalks provided at check-in.

Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel 

Ruoholahdenranta, 3 FI-00180 Helsinki Finland
+ 358 20 1234 707
Rooms from 108 €/night

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