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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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Helsinki 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 during summer. 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 September 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
Kanuvakatu 1
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 valuable icons. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm; Saturdays 9.30am to 2pm; Sundays 12pm to 3pm Phone:(0)9 634 267



Helsinki holidays - Top Events


1. Helsinki Festival

From 2006-08-18

To 2006-09-03

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 City Theatre



2. May Day (Vappu)

From 2007-04-30

To 2007-05-01

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 3757. 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

From 2007-10-01

To 2007-10-07

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




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About This Page

Information on Helsinki Holidays, Helsinki Hotels, Holiday Packages in Helsinki (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Helsinki Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.