- Top highlights of Helsinki architectureTop highlights of Helsinki architectureHelsinki’s Art Nouveau highlightsRead more
- Top highlights of Helsinki architectureTop highlights of Helsinki architectureOodi - world-class library and architectural attractionRead more
- Top highlights of Helsinki architectureTop highlights of Helsinki architectureQuick guide: Architectural layers of Helsinki Read more
Modernism, functionalism and the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Northern Europe make Helsinki a major city of architecture.
Helsinki architectural sights on a map
- 1. LöylyLöyly is a public sauna and restaurant complex in Hernesaari district on the southern tip of Helsinki. The complex includes a traditional Finnish smoke sauna and two other wood-heated saunas, a year-round terrace and a restaurant. The saunas offer direct access to the outdoor seating area and the sea, where it is possible to enjoy a refreshing swim, all year round. There are separate changing rooms and shower facilities for men and women but as the saunas and other public areas are mixed, it means that customers are respectfully asked to wear swimming costumes at all times. The restaurant, favoring ecological and locally produced ingredients, offers lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturdays.2. Temppeliaukio ChurchExcavated directly into solid rock, the Temppeliaukio church is situated in the heart of Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. Because of its special architecture, the church, completed in 1969, is one of the main attractions in Helsinki. The church hall is covered with a dome, lined with copper and supported on the rock walls by reinforced concrete beams. The interior walls are of rugged rock and rubble wall. Before noon, the light spreads from the row of windows surrounding the roof periphery to the altar wall, where an ice-age crevice serves as the altarpiece. Due to its excellent acoustics the church is a popular venue for concerts.Sustainable service3. Oodi, Helsinki Central LibraryOodi is Helsinki's new Central Library and a living meeting place in the city centre on the Kansalaistori Square. Oodi is a venue for events, a house of reading and a diverse urban experience. It will provide its users with knowledge, new skills and stories, and will be an easy place to access for learning, story immersion, work and relaxation. Oodi is a library of a new era, a living and functional meeting place open for all.Sustainable service
- 4. Kamppi ChapelKamppi Chapel is located in a corner of the Narinkkatori square in Helsinki, at the entrance of the Kamppi shopping center. The Chapel offers an opportunity to calm down in the middle of perhaps the busiest area in Finland. The curved shape of the small-scale Chapel building allows the space and views to flow in the urban surroundings. At the same time, the soft shape of the inside of the Chapel embraces the visitor in its safety. Exhibitions are being displayed at the entrance area. Short prayers are offered in the chapel but there is no church service on Sundays. Concerts are occasionally arranged in the chapel. The chapel, from 2012, was designed by architects Mikko Summanen, Niko Sirola and Kimmo Lintula from the Helsinki-based practice K2S Architects.5. Kaisa House, Helsinki University Main LibraryThe Kaisa House functions as the Main Library of Helsinki University. The house has gathered several architectural awards and is a stunning example of modern library architecture. It has an curvilinear brick facade. Architects AOA (2012). There's also a café in the building, WELL Cafe Kaisa-talo.6. Helsinki CathedralThe Cathedral, by Carl Ludvig Engel, rising on the northern side of the Senate Square is the stage of national and academic festive services and one of the most popular tourist sights. The church is part of Helsinki's Empire era centre and a landmark for those arriving by sea. It has become the symbol of the whole of Helsinki. Earlier called St. Nicholas Church and Great Cathedral, the current main church of the Helsinki Diocese was completed in 1852. Sculptures of the twelve apostles guard the city from the roof of the church. Exhibitions at the Crypt (Kirkkokatu 18), in summer also a souvenir shop Cathedral Shop.
- 7. Helsinki Central railway stationThe Helsinki Central railway station, a pearl among Helsinki's art nouveau buildings, was designed by Eliel Saarinen and opened in 1919. The construction of the Central Station was however started already in 1905. The station is used by approximately 200,000 passengers daily, making it Finland's most-visited building. It is also estimated that over 400 000 persons check the time when passing from the 48,5m high clock tower daily. The station is covered with Finnish granite, and its distinguishing features are its clock tower and the two pairs of statues, the "Lantern carriers" by sculptor Emil Wikström, holding the spherical lamps on both sides of the main entrance.8. Uspenski CathedralCompleted in 1868 in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki, the Uspenski Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Western Europe. With its golden cupolas and redbrick facade, the church is one of the clearest symbols of the Russian impact on Finnish history.9. Suomenlinna Sea FortressSuomenlinna sea fortress is a Unesco World Heritage Site located on the coast of Helsinki, and also a suburb of Helsinki with around 800 residents. The fortress was shaped by three historic eras when it helped to defend first Sweden, then Russia and ultimately Finland. There are six kilometres of walls, 100 cannons, exciting tunnels, and beautiful parks. There are also museums, guided tours, events and restaurants in Suomenlinna. Private guided tours of the fortress, in several languages, can be booked in advance ([email protected]). Public guided tours in English are announced in the events calendar on the Suomenlinna webpages. The fortress is easily accessed all year by public transport (HSL) ferry from the Market Square (daily) or the HSL maintenance ferry from Katajanokka (on weekdays). The travelling time is approx. 15minutes. From May to September, also JT-Line waterbuses operate to Suomenlinna from the Market Square.Sustainable service
- 10. Museum of Contemporary Art KiasmaKiasma is a museum of contemporary art in the centre of Helsinki. It is a place where people meet art and where everyone is welcome.Sustainable service11. LasipalatsiLasipalatsi ("Glass Palace") is a functionalistic building from 1938 designed by at the time architecture students Viljo Revell, Niilo Kokko and Heimo Riihimäki. Originally it was built only to be a temporary building but became an attraction of its time by representing functionalistic architecture as its best with its restaurant and café, cinema with lobby, wintergarden, shops, big glass surfaces etc. As years passed in 1998 it was decided to renovate the building to its 1930's lustre. In autumn 2013 Föreningen Konstsamfundet association suggested that a new art museum should be built in Lasipalatsi and beneath the Lasipalatsi square. The building of the museum and a renovation of the Lasipalatsi building began in the beginnig of year 2016. Opened in autumn 2018 Amos Rex is now a meeting place for art and urban culture, consisting of new underground exhibition spaces, the old Lasipalatsi from 1936 and its cinema Bio Rex, as well as a vibrant event forum on Lasipalatsi Square, which serves as the roof of the exhibition hall. In the building you'll also find eg. restaurant Lasipalatsi and Café Lasipalatsi.12. Helsinki Olympic StadiumThe Helsinki Olympic Stadion, built in 1938, was designed in functionalistic style by the architects Yrjö Lindegren and Toivo Jäntti. The Olympic Games were held in 1952 in Helsinki. Today the Olympic Stadium hosts both national and international sporting events and outdoor concerts. The Stadium Tower is 72 meters (235 feet) high and at the top you can admire the urban landscape and central Helsinki. The Finnish Sportsmuseum is also located at the Olympic Stadium as well as the Bistro Stadion restaurant. The Stadium visitor centre is located at the foot of the tower. Take a break in the Isku Lounge and let the unique Stadium atmosphere sink in. The Visitor Centre is also the entry to the Stadium meeting and exercise premises, the Stadium tower and to the Bistro Stadion restaurant. This is also where the guided tours of the Stadium start.Sustainable service
- 13. National Museum of FinlandThe National Museum of Finland illustrates Finnish history from prehistoric times to the 19th century. The museum's unique exhibits tell of life from a period of over 10 000 years. Temporary exhibitions on current themes. The National Museum building was designed by the Finnish architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. With its granite façade and steatite decoration, the building is one of Finland's most significant national-romantic works of architecture. The museum was opened to the public in 1916. A café and museum shop are also located in the museum. Free entrance to the museum on Fridays at 16.15-18.Sustainable service14. Finlandia HallFinlandia Hall is a unique centre for domestic and international conferences, concerts and other events. It is a popular architectural sight in Helsinki and one of the most beautiful places to visit in the city. Finlandia Hall is one of the most iconic buildings designed by world-renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, and was planned from the ground up for visitors and a wide range of events. If not attending an event, the building can be visited by attending a guided tour open to public, please see webpages for dates. A café, FINLANDIA CAFÉ, is open to public as well as a gallery, both situated on the Töölönlahti bay side.Sustainable service15. The Aalto HouseAino and Alvar Aalto designed for themselves a cosy, intimate building (compelted in 1936) for living and working in, using simple uncluttered materials. The house was divided into a workspace for Alvar Aalto's architectural firm and the couple's private residence. The office was located in this building until 1955. The history and architecture of Aalto's unique home, located in Munkkiniemi area in Helsinki, opens up through the stories the guide has to share. The tour lasts an hour and includes both the guided tour itself and free time to enjoy the special atmosphere in the house and explore the museum shop. Studio Aalto can only be visited by joining a guided tour. Pre-booking is recommended while tour capacity is max. 5 persons/tour.
- 16. Studio AaltoAlvar Aalto designed the building at Tiilimäki 20 in Munkkiniemi as his own office in 1955. A visit to Studio Aalto is a fascinating immersion into the world of Aalto's architecture, design and personal history, but at the same time it is an architectural experience of space and the building itself. Bathed in natural light and decorated with Aalto furniture, this unique studio was the setting where Aalto and his architects designed a number of famous buildings. Studio Aalto can only be visited by joining a guided tour. Pre-booking is recommended while tour capacity is max. 5 persons/tour.17. National Pensions Institute, main buildingThe main building of the National Pensions Institute (1956) was designed by architect Alvar Aalto, and is considered one out of five of his best works. Today it is a work environment for approx.500 persons but at the same time a highly valued architectural attraction. The building can be visited on a guided tour on Mondays at 14.00 (pre-booking necessary, [email protected]).18. Kulttuuritalo - Helsinki Hall of CultureThe classically stylish and architecturally distinctive Helsinki Hall of Culture, designed by renowned architect Alvar Aalto, opened in 1958. The year-round programme of events includes galas, pop and rock concerts by world-class acts, classical concerts, concerts by top Finnish bands and singers, and stand-up comedy shows. It is possible to visit the building on a guided tour. Guided tours are organized upon request in collaboration with the Alvar Aalto Foundation, for more information please contact [email protected] It is also possbile to visit the House of Culture during events. There's also a lunch restaurant, Sture4.Sustainable service
- 19. Restaurant SavoyRestaurant Savoy has been at the very top of Helsinki's restaurant scene since the 1930's. Field marshal Mannerheim (or "Marski") was among the most well-known regulars, and his favorite dishes can still be found on the menu, eg. the vorschmack and filled-to-the-rim favorite shot. The Savoy interior was designed by architects Aino and Alvar Aalto who brought their human-centered and functional touch to every detail in the restaurant. Opening in June 1937, the interior was rich in various species of wood and lush planting, and the use of fabrics was vivid. The atmospheric dining hall was framed by terraces on three sides. The interior showed the Aaltos' preference for welcoming and comfortable furniture and their sensitivity towards high-quality natural materials. In 2019-2020, the restaurant was re-designed by Ilse Crawford and Studioilse and renovated in co-operation with Artek, Helsinki City Museum and the Alvar Aalto Foundation.20. Rautatalo office buildingThe Rautatalo office building, planned by Alvar Aalto, was completed in Helsinki city centre in 1955. The building was named Rautatalo ("Iron House") after the federation of Finnish hardware dealers that commissioned it. The main space is a light court, or marble courtyard, that extends from the first floor upwards. The courtyard serves today as a lunch restaurant open to public.21. Museum of Finnish ArchitectureThe Museum of Finnish Architecture offers rich new perspectives, discussion openers and meaningful experiences of architecture. The mission is to activate a personal connection with the built environment and provide tools for understanding architecture. The museum offers Finnish and international tourig exhibitions and a permanent exhibition on 19th Century Finnish Architecture. A bookshop, specialized public library and collections are also at your service. The museum organizes a great variety of events including visiting lectures, guided tours and workshops. Free entrance on the first Friday of every month.
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