Helsinki … Whereas the city of Helsinki is over 400 years old, most of the present city was built after the turn of this century. This accounts for its modern architecture. There is a lot to be seen in Helsinki, which is called the White City of the North. You should take a walk through the beautiful parks and squares where some of Finland’s most magnificent sculpture can be seen. In front of Stockmann’s store on the Main Square is the famous statue of the Three Smiths. On the Market Square is the statue of The Maid of Helsinki Rising from the Sea, and on Observatory Hill one of their most famous symbolic statues, Shipwrecked. All of these have been done by outstanding Finnish sculptors.
Visit the Olympic Stadium where the 1952 Olympics were held. Other places to see in Helsinki are the Parliament Building, the President’s Palace, on the Market Square; the beautiful City Gardens at Elaintarha Park. Take a ferry from the foot of Aleksanterinkatu to Korkeasaari Island for a visit to Finland’s only zoo. Also worth visiting are the Suomenlinna Islands just off Market Square and Seurasaari open-air museum.
Be sure to visit the Helsinki Cathedral, a magnificent white stone structure. At the Social Museum you will see an exhibition of Work Protection and Social Welfare work. From the Stadium tower you get a wonderful view of the entire city.
Turku … Finland’s former capital, Turku (45 minutes by air from Helsinki) was founded in the 13th century. It is Finland’s oldest and third biggest city, with a population of 124,000. The Cathedral and the Castle from the 13th century, the Handicraft Museum and the Resurrection Chapel, a masterpiece of modern Finnish architecture, are some of the musts in this old city with an atmosphere of its own. Modern Turku ranks very prominently in the cultural life of the country and it is also one of the biggest ports. From Turku it is easy to make trips into the beautiful surrounding country.
Side Trips … From Helsinki one of the most beautiful trips to take is to the city of Tampere. Go by train, or by motor bus and water bus. Tampere, with a population of 126,000 is clean, modern and Finland’s second largest city. There are two excellent hotels, the Tammer and the Emmaus.
The Tammerkoski rapids flow through the town and many important industries are located here. Take a trip to the top of Pyynikki ridge where you will get a wonderful view of the city and its surrounding lakes. Other places to go to are the Cathedral with its famous fresco paintings and Nasilinna, the provincial museum, which is on the top of a hill where you get an excellent view of Lake Nasijarvi.