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Sinppu

Helsinki Questions? Glad to help!

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Hi everyone!

 

If you have any questions about Helsinki (and/or Finland), I'll be more than happy to help!

Lived here for 11 years so I consider myself an expert :D

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If your ship is berthed at West Harbour Melki Quay, can you suggest 1).how we get into town, and to the Rock Church 2).ideas of what to do that day (Only in port from 08-1700) 3).family beach and how to get to it. 4). Estimated taxi charges into town from port. 5). something unique to buy to remember my time in Helsinki :)

Edited by SweetGG

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we will be in Helsinki on Mon June 11 on the Emerald Princess. We are in port from 7am - 4pm. We are on on organized tour from 9:30 - 12:30pm seeing most of the city highlights. We are considering taking the ferry to the Sea Fortress. Where would we get the ferry? Our tour ends at Central Station (the heart of Helsinki?) where would we need to go to catch the ferry? How often does it run and what is the cost? How much time would we need to visit the Sea Fortress and is there an admission charge for it. We would also like to have lunch somewhere - we could have it before going to the Sea Fortress or there. Any suggestions and approx cost?

Thanks for your helpl

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If your ship is berthed at West Harbour Melki Quay, can you suggest 1).how we get into town, and to the Rock Church 2).ideas of what to do that day (Only in port from 08-1700) 3).family beach and how to get to it. 4). Estimated taxi charges into town from port. 5). something unique to buy to remember my time in Helsinki :)

 

Hello!

1) If you do not want to take a taxi, there is a bus 15/15A that will take you into the city centre and the Main Railway station. From there take tram 3T to Töölö direction. The Rock Church is the fourth stop, called Sammonkatu. If walking is an option, it'll take 10-15 minutes.

 

2) The city centre is small and quite walkable. We have many museums, sightseeing tours, a zoo on an island, an amusement park with an aquarium...

 

3) If going to a beach is an option, there is a ferry near the West Harbour that will take you to a small island called Pihlajasaari. They have nice beaches (well, as nice as they come in this part of the world).

 

4) Taxis are expensive in Finland. From the port to the centre might easily cost you 15 euros ($20) and it's not far away.

 

 

5) If you have nice weather (not at all guaranteed ;)) the Market Place is great! The same tram 3T will take you there, but to the opposite Eira direction. There you'll find loads of unique things to buy (ok, many tourists come here, but so do the locals) Anything from local fresh foods to hand-made souvenirs. Jewelry, woodwork, silver, knitwork, clothing...

 

Plenty of things are made to remind you of Moomins, Santa Claus, Marimekko, Aurora Borealis. If you'd like to buy food, there are plenty of jams (to us ordinary, to you maybe exotic) like cloudberry, gooseberry, buckthorn, bramble... reindeer meat is also popular and tastes unique.

We also have a black candy called salmiak. It's hugely popular in Scandinavia and it's sometimes called salty licorice, but IMO that's not really accurate.

If the weather is bad, you can find all these things from Stockmann department store which is close to the Market Place.

 

Hope you got at least some of the info you were looking for, ask away if there's more!

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We are considering taking the ferry to the Sea Fortress. Where would we get the ferry? Our tour ends at Central Station (the heart of Helsinki?) where would we need to go to catch the ferry? How often does it run and what is the cost? How much time would we need to visit the Sea Fortress and is there an admission charge for it. We would also like to have lunch somewhere - we could have it before going to the Sea Fortress or there. Any suggestions and approx cost?

Thanks for your helpl

 

Hello!

 

The Suomenlinna ferry runs from the Market Place (Kauppatori). They leave every 15-20 minutes and it also takes 20 minutes to reach the island. The ticket costs 5 euros per person and it is valid for 12 hours so you'll only need to buy it once. Once you get to the island, you are free to go anywhere. There are museums which charge a small fee.

They offer walking tours (currently 8 € pp) also in English and they start from the Visitor's Centre.

I'd say you need at least 2,5 hours to visit, the ferry trips included. The island is not big and you can easily walk around it. There are a few residential homes on the island so watch out for the backyards ;)

There's also the Naval Academy but it is well signed (like everything on the island).

You can have lunch there as there are many restaurants or you can eat at the Market Place (lots of traditional Finnish food stalls). Finland is expensive so a meal with a drink can set you back 10-15 euros.

 

You can walk from the Central Station to the Market Place, it will take 10-15 minutes max. If you'd rather take the tram, it is number 3T to Eira direction and will take you less than 5 minutes.

 

Hope these were of some help, ask away if you think of something else!

Edited by Sinppu

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Hi everyone! If you have any questions about Helsinki (and/or Finland), I'll be more than happy to help! Lived here for 11 years so I consider myself an expert.

 

Excellent tips, ideas and suggestion on Helsinki by Sinppu. Very glad you are posting and answering questions on this board. It will be helpful with your sharing. There's more to see here than just its close and compact market area, Senate Square, etc.

 

Below is more background on Helsinki, plus some of my pictures from the Finland capital. Hopefully these visuals get people excited about the potentials in this city. As you can see, we had a beautiful weather day here.

 

Here's the web location for the official tourism office in Helsinki.

http://www.visithelsinki.fi/In_English/Visitor/Helsinki/Tourist_Information.iw3

 

Helsinki does not have the centuries of Royal heritage and architecture that you will see in Copenhagen, St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We also did a tour outside of town to the country home for the famed Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen at Hvittrask with its buildings made of natural stones and logs from the surrounding area. He was the father of the famed American architect who designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch, Dulles and JFK TWA terminals, CBS Black Rock building, etc. In Helsinki, our tour also passed the Saarinen designed train station, Olympic Stadium, used for the 1952 Olympic Games and the statue of the "Flying Finn", runner Paavo Nurmi, and visited the park with the stainless steel monument for composer Jean Sibelius, a patriot whose most famous orchestral piece was appropriately named Finlandia. The market area is a must-see for great "walking-around" sights and options.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 71,463 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 64,462 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Helsinki’s Church of Rock, or Temppeliaukion Kirkko, is carved out of solid stone with a unique contemporary design.:

 

1A-Helsinki-RockChurch.jpg

 

 

Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki’s traditional Orthodox Church is placed on a solid stone base overlooking the main market:

 

1A-Helsinki-ChurchRock.jpg

 

 

Helsinki’s City Hall in the main downtown overlooking the market area:

 

1A-Helsinki-CityHall.jpg

 

 

Helsinki’s main market is right on the water with lots of goods and foods for sale:

 

1A-Helsinki-Mark-Dwt.jpg

 

 

This Helsinki park has a stainless steel sculpture dedicated to composer Sibelius who is best-known for his symphonic work:

 

1A-HelsinkiParkSculpture.jpg

 

 

Overlooking Helsinki's Senate Square, this is the Lutheran Church with its dome that is a key local landmark:

 

1A-Helsinki-Sen.jpg

Edited by TLCOhio

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Hello!

 

The Suomenlinna ferry runs from the Market Place (Kauppatori). They leave every 15-20 minutes and it also takes 20 minutes to reach the island. The ticket costs 5 euros per person and it is valid for 12 hours so you'll only need to buy it once. Once you get to the island, you are free to go anywhere. There are museums which charge a small fee.

They offer walking tours (currently 8 € pp) also in English and they start from the Visitor's Centre.

I'd say you need at least 2,5 hours to visit, the ferry trips included. The island is not big and you can easily walk around it. There are a few residential homes on the island so watch out for the backyards ;)

There's also the Naval Academy but it is well signed (like everything on the island).

You can have lunch there as there are many restaurants or you can eat at the Market Place (lots of traditional Finnish food stalls). Finland is expensive so a meal with a drink can set you back 10-15 euros.

 

You can walk from the Central Station to the Market Place, it will take 10-15 minutes max. If you'd rather take the tram, it is number 3T to Eira direction and will take you less than 5 minutes.

 

Hope these were of some help, ask away if you think of something else!

Thanks Sinppu. Your information is very helpful. I'm sure I will have other questions as I do more research on our trip!

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we will be in Helsinki on Mon June 11 on the Emerald Princess. We are in port from 7am - 4pm. We are on on organized tour from 9:30 - 12:30pm seeing most of the city highlights. We are considering taking the ferry to the Sea Fortress. Where would we get the ferry? Our tour ends at Central Station (the heart of Helsinki?) where would we need to go to catch the ferry? How often does it run and what is the cost? How much time would we need to visit the Sea Fortress and is there an admission charge for it. We would also like to have lunch somewhere - we could have it before going to the Sea Fortress or there. Any suggestions and approx cost?

Thanks for your helpl

Sinppu's excellent answer covers all this. I really enjoyed my time at the fortress

 

You are on your tour in the morning. If you have to get an 8 euro all-day travel ticket for that (unlikely, I know as travel is probably included in your tour) that will be good for the ferry too so you won't need another ticket for that.

 

I am really pleased we have another local expert for Helsinki (Ultima is great too) as Helsinki is a great port of call, criminally under-rated just because it isn't St P or Berlin. I had a superb day there

 

All the best, Tony

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Sinppu's excellent answer covers all this. I really enjoyed my time at the fortress

 

You are on your tour in the morning. If you have to get an 8 euro all-day travel ticket for that (unlikely, I know as travel is probably included in your tour) that will be good for the ferry too so you won't need another ticket for that.

 

I am really pleased we have another local expert for Helsinki (Ultima is great too) as Helsinki is a great port of call, criminally under-rated just because it isn't St P or Berlin. I had a superb day there

 

All the best, Tony

Tony,

I watched your video which got me interested in seeing the Fortress. Thanks for your help. Our tour does cover transport unless we stay after the tour and will have to make our way back to the ship so the all day ticket may work. What would be the best way back to the ship?

Thanks again Sinppu and Tony - we cruisers really appreciate the first hand knowledge that you provide.

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wow that was quick, thanks for info, now off to research, fingers crossed for a wonderful August day.

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I was wondering how long it would take pushing a wheelchair to walk between Senate square and Market square. Which is the most interesting route? Thank you.

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I was wondering how long it would take pushing a wheelchair to walk between Senate square and Market square. Which is the most interesting route? Thank you.

 

Only a few minutes, they are literally next to each other. When the Dome church is behind your back, all the streets in front of you lead to the Market. :) Although some of them have cobblestones so you might want to take the biggest street you see.

Edited by Sinppu

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wow that was quick, thanks for info, now off to research, fingers crossed for a wonderful August day.

 

You are in luck, August is the warmest month :cool:

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What would be the best way back to the ship?

 

Oh I wish I knew which port Princess in using :(

If it is Katajanokka, there is a tram 4T that drops you by the door and tram 4 is a three-minute walk.

If it is the West Harbour, busses 15 and 15A take you to the terminal. All aforementioned leave either from or very close to the Main Railway Station.

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Tony,

Our tour does cover transport unless we stay after the tour and will have to make our way back to the ship so the all day ticket may work. What would be the best way back to the ship?

I don't know if there are multiple docking sites, so can only really say what I did. I got a shuttle bus from the dock (not the ship's, just an operator doing a roaring trade) - from memory it was 8 euros return in2010. And it took us to and from the top of the Espanade, which is about 600m from Market Square. The last bus back to the ship was 4 pm and I got one at 3.45

 

After I had been the Fortress and trammed around, making the Cathedral my last thing to see I walked back up the Espanade to the pickup point. I was on the cautious side and made sure I was back at Market Square by 3.15, taking the 3pm ferry from the Fortress. I don't know if this is the best way - maybe walking is as you will be in total command of timings, without having to build in a bit of 'spare' as I had to for the bus. I'd heard Market Square - dock was a 30 minute walk, but can't confirm.

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Thanks Sinppu and Tony,

We are docked at the West Harbour - Hernesaari according to the Port of Helsinki so we will either take the 15 or 15A or walk back depending on our timing. Thanks again! We are looking forward to visiting Helsinki.

Diane

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Hi Sinppu and Tony,

 

My husband was in Helsinki for a week plus on business within the last year and I tagged along. During that time, we did a lot of the tourist type things, the boat, the rock church, both hop on and hop off buses, so now that we are going back for a day, we are trying to think of something that would be unique. Porvoo is one that has come up but is that workable as a day trip when docked on a cruise ship? Or are there other suggestions in Helsinki that you would suggest that might be fun options that aren't the usual tourist sites? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

 

Cathy

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Only a few minutes, they are literally next to each other. When the Dome church is behind your back, all the streets in front of you lead to the Market. :) Although some of them have cobblestones so you might want to take the biggest street you see.

 

Thank you I didn't realise they were so close.

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Sinppu... Hello and thank you for starting this thread!

 

Is there a way to know ahead of time where the Carnival Legend Cruise Ship will dock in August 2013??

 

Thank you!

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Hi Sinnpu!

 

Thank you so much for offering to help! I've been to Helsinki once before on a cruise and the ship docked at Hernesaari. I remember taking bus 16 to Esplanade, but I had to walk out into the neighborhood quite a distance to find the bus stop. However, in looking at the map online now, it looks as though there is a bus stop right near the quay. Do you know where the bus stop itself is located?

 

From Hernesaari it's still bus 16, right? Bus 15 or 15A that you reference is for West Harbour, which is a different quay, correct?

 

Kiitos!

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Thanks Sinppu and Tony,

We are docked at the West Harbour - Hernesaari according to the Port of Helsinki so we will either take the 15 or 15A or walk back depending on our timing. Thanks again! We are looking forward to visiting Helsinki.

Diane

 

Oh I'm sorry Diane, I didn't realize they used that side of the port as well!

For you buses 14B and 16 are the closest.

This just shows how big our ports are :rolleyes:

If you do have plenty of time, you can definitely walk back.

It will be a 10 minute bus ride. Walking might take up to half an hour.

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Hi Sinppu and Tony,

 

My husband was in Helsinki for a week plus on business within the last year and I tagged along. During that time, we did a lot of the tourist type things, the boat, the rock church, both hop on and hop off buses, so now that we are going back for a day, we are trying to think of something that would be unique. Porvoo is one that has come up but is that workable as a day trip when docked on a cruise ship? Or are there other suggestions in Helsinki that you would suggest that might be fun options that aren't the usual tourist sites? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

 

Cathy

 

Porvoo is definitely doable, if you are out and about early. Buses leave from the Kamppi Station every 15 minutes or so and it takes an hour to reach Porvoo. It is a small town so you'll only need a few hours to see it.

I have many friends living there, it is a lovely place to see.

 

We have many islands that are easy to reach with a fast ferry ride. One has a zoo, another an old sea fortress (if you did not see it already), one has a restaurant that only serves smoked food (even the desserts!)...

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Sinppu... Hello and thank you for starting this thread!

 

Is there a way to know ahead of time where the Carnival Legend Cruise Ship will dock in August 2013??

 

Thank you!

 

Yes there is, but I believe they publish the schedules quite late. Here are listed all the cruise ships coming into Helsinki this summer, so important info for everyone!

Here is 2012 schedule:

http://www.portofhelsinki.fi/passengers/expected_cruise_ships

 

This is also information for everyone:

We have two harbours in Helsinki, South and West. They are both huge and have many quays. Depending on the quay your ship docks, there are different public transport options. All quays are close to the city centre.

Edited by Sinppu

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Hi Sinnpu!

 

Do you know where the bus stop itself is located?

 

From Hernesaari it's still bus 16, right? Bus 15 or 15A that you reference is for West Harbour, which is a different quay, correct?

 

Kiitos!

 

Hello! You are indeed correct, they are different quays. Your bus should be 14B or 16.

There is a bus stop behind the terminal building. Or in front, depends where you are standing ;) But just alongside the big road that takes you out of the port area anyway.

 

Ole hyvä!

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Sinppu, Thank you so much for your suggestions. It looks like I have a bit more researching to do. I appreciate your help and know that others do as well.

 

Cathy

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