Travel guide to flights & holidays in Helsinki.
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Helsinki Holidays Overview
Located on Oahu Island, Honolulu is the capital city of the state of Hawaii. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, dynamic streets, laid back culture and, of course, Waikiki Beach.
Downtown Honolulu is the historic centre of the city and home to attractions like the commercial centre, the harbour, museums and the state capitol building. Waikiki is a major tourist centre known for its sandy white beaches, sunbathers, surfers and it has a large concentration of hotels.
For a quieter experience, head to Manoa-Makiki. The attractions here include the beautiful views of the Koolau Mountains, the University of Hawaii and the National Memorial Cemetery. Eastern Honolulu is a residential area, but it does have Hanauma Bay, which is a very well known snorkelling spot. It also has several beautiful beaches.
The largest and, most important museum in the city is the Bishop Museum. It has an extensive collection of Pacific and Hawaiian cultural artefacts and natural history specimens. The Honolulu Zoo, the Pearl Harbour Memorial and Waikiki Aquarium are two other popular attractions in the area.
Honolulu also has a vibrant visual arts scene with galleries and museums such as the Hawaiian State Art Museum, Contemporary Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art. They display local and traditional art collections.
The Hawaiian International Film Festival takes place in the Honolulu every year and it highlights the best films from the Pacific Rim. Shopping options in Honolulu include the International Market Place, the DFS Galleria and Waikiki Shopping Plaza.
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holidays - Top Places To Go
|1. Suomenlinna Fortress
The Visitor's Centre is at Suomenlinna C 74, situated in
the middle of the fortress at Tykistölahti bay
|What is it? The historically significant Suomenlinna
fortress is not only a major military monument worthy of the UNESCO
World Heritage List, but also home to about 900 Finns who live in
the renovated barracks. The entire site is a fun, multi-faceted
attraction for Helsinki residents and visitors. The fortress, built
during Swedish rule in the 18th century, is situated on an island
at the entrance to Helsinki's harbour. The fortification became a
strategic military shipyard with one of the biggest dry docks in
the world, comparable to the fortress at Gibraltar. Apart from
admiring the architecture there is plenty to experience at
Suomenlinna, which contains seven museums, galleries, restaurants
and cafes, several parks, beaches and nature areas. Guided walking
tours are offered and there are always events taking place like
exhibitions, jazz shows and theatrical performances, particularly
Hours of Operation: The various museums usually open between 10am and 5pm
daily with shorter hours in winter. For information regarding the
various events and exhibitions contact the Visitor's Centre which
opens between 10am and 4pm, and until 6pm between May and
Phone:Tourist Information desk: (0)9 684 1880 or Visitor's
Centre: (0)9 4050 9691
|2. Senate Square
||What is it? Architecture buffs enjoy sitting in a café
admiring the buildings surrounding Helsinki's lively Senate Square,
renowned as Europe's finest examples of the neoclassical style. The
square is dominated by the city's main landmark, the Lutheran
Cathedral, designed by Carl Ludwig Engel and consecrated in 1852.
The interior is as perfect as the exterior design, and is open to
the public daily for no charge. Other buildings on the Square
designed by Engel are the Palace of the Council of State, built in
1822, and the University buildings (1832), including the library,
regarded as Engel's finest masterpiece.
Hours of Operation: The Cathedral is open daily 9am to midnight (until
6pm in winter)
Phone:The Cathedral: (0)9 709 2455
|3. Uspenski Cathedral
|What is it? Many travellers have compared Helsinki to the
beautiful Russian city of St Petersburg which is a close neighbour
across a short strait of water, and the exotic red-brick Orthodox
cathedral Uspenski, designed by Aleksei Gornostayev of St
Petersburg in the late 1800s, cements the Russian connection. The
cathedral sits atop a rocky outcrop on the Katajanokka peninsula
opposite the fish market, fronted by a statue of Tsar Alexander II,
as a memento of Russia's occupation of Finland until 1919. The
magnificent Byzantine edifice is topped with a characteristic
golden onion dome, and the interior is opulently decorated with
Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm; Saturdays 9.30am to
2pm; Sundays 12pm to 3pm
Phone:(0)9 634 267
holidays - Top Events
|1. Helsinki Festival
|What is it? The massive Helsinki Festival is designed to
showcase Finnish and international performing and creative arts,
drawing about 300,000 people every year to enjoy a full programme
of classical and contemporary music, dance, theatre, popular and
world music, cinema, and art exhibitions. The festival, founded in
1968, takes place in a unique tented venue in the city centre. One
of the most popular aspects of the festival is the Night of Arts
when the city streets, parks, churches and galleries are given over
to dance groups, orchestral groups and buskers. The festival also
features a Children's Festival.
Where is it? The Huvila Festival Tent at Hakaniemi, opposite the Helsinki
|2. May Day (Vappu)
|What is it? Finns know how to have fun, and when they
party they do so seriously. The best party of the year in Helsinki,
particularly for students, is the May Day celebration. Although
neighbourhoods throughout the city celebrate to herald the arrival
of spring in their own way, the main event takes place in Market
Square and along the Esplanade, where crowds gather in the early
evening of 30 April to watch the statue of Havis Amanda adorned
with a white hat. Champagne is sprayed over the mermaid statue,
launching the festivities, which take the form of an exuberant
street party continuing well into the night. For more information
contact the Helsinki City Tourist and Convention Bureau (0)9 169
Where is it? Market Square
|3. Helsinki City Marathon
|What is it? Finland's popular annual Marathon event
attracts thousands of runners from around the world, most probably
because the race follows a particularly scenic course along the
coastline in and around Helsinki.
Where is it? The marathon starts and ends at the Olympic Stadium
|4. Helsinki Baltic Herring Fair
|What is it? Helsinki's oldest traditional event is
dedicated to the humble herring, Scandinavian staple, which has
been sold and eaten at the end of the fishing season each year at a
fishy fair in the city's Market Square for about 200 years.
Visitors are astounded at the number of different ways this
delicacy is served up. Try it salted, pickled or marinated, on the
spot or to take away.
Where is it? Market Square