Spend a cultural day with dashes of great food, views and healthy exercise! The culture walk around the Töölö Bay area shows off Helsinki’s finest cultural institutions. Helsinki Festival’s (15.-31.8.) events are scattered around this area. The route is 5,2 kilometers from start to finish and can be comfortably done by walking or cycling.
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
This is a good spot to start your walk, as the museum is in the heart of Helsinki. Kiasma is a beloved symbol of Helsinki and hosts extraordinary international and Finnish contemporary art exhibitions. Opened in 1998, the building’s plans by Steven Holl first faced controversial opinions. This summer the exhibition Together on Marimekko has drawn in crowds interested in this Finnish clothing brand and Alfredo Jaar’s exhibition Tonight No Poetry Will Serve opens the viewer’s eyes to human and social morals of our time. Open: Mon closed, Tue 10–17, Wed–Fri 10–20.30, Sat 10–18, Sun 10–17
KoeHelsinki Festival City
KoeHelsinki Festival City is Helsinki Festival’s (15.-31.8.) main meeting point and urban oasis with changing program every day of the festival with circus, cinema, cooking, festival clubs and picnics. Also found at the square is a café as well as the Helsinki Festival box office and visitor information desk.
The newest building on the block is the Music Centre, opened in 2011. The building fits naturally in its surroundings, between the Parliament House, Kiasma, the park and close-by train tracks. The greenish copper, glass walls and outdoor steps make the Music Centre a welcoming and inseparable focal point of culture and meeting. Don’t miss the Sibelius Finland Experience, a high-quality show in which the music of Jean Sibelius meets with fascinating imagery of Finnish nature (until 8th of August everyday at 12.00).
Töölö Bay Park & Amphitheatre
The perfect picnic spot on the grass or outdoor amphitheater steps. Keep your eyes open as you might find yourself on the dance floor – the amphitheater hosts several open events, like couples dancing.
Due to state subventions in culture, going to the opera is not only for the rich in Finland. Use this chance to see a visual masterpiece, for example the productions Trouble in Tahiti (a jazzy mini-opera) or Onegin (one of the finest narrative ballets of the 20th century) this month. Trouble in Tahiti: 7.8., 8.8., 9.8. & Onegin: 22.8., 23.8., 28.8., 30.8. See full program at: www.opera.fi/en
Enjoy the beautiful greenery in the quiet Winter Garden! The rose garden, over 200 exotic plants and splashing barbels in the pools delight visitors. Open: Tue 9-15, Wed-Fri 12-15, Sat-Sun 12-16.
Café Sininen Huvila
Café Sininen Huvila (trans. “Blue Villa”) has the best views for a café in Helsinki, overlooking the whole Töölö Bay. The blue villa was built in 1896. Have a well-deserved Kodak moment on the sunny terrace and enjoy a coffee and the café’s great homemade pastries. Linnunlauluntie 11.
Huvila Festival Tent
The main venue of the Helsinki Festival at Tokoinranta hosts various great, international and Finnish music artists during the Helsinki Festival from the 15th to the 31st of August. Ethno-jazz, New Orleans vibes, chanson, Persian song meets electronica, latin beats, folk…. See full program at www.helsinginjuhlaviikot.fi/en/
The down-to-earth Juttutupa is one of the oldest restaurants in Helsinki, dating back to 1884. It’s a classic artists’ haunt in Helsinki, traditionally where journalists and writers meet. With a warm and relaxed pub-style atmosphere, Juttutupa combines bohemian flair and age-old tradition. Serves great food until midnight (weekdays 23:30, Sun 22:00). Säästöpankinranta 6.
Flying Dutch Boat
Congratulations, you’re at the finishing stretch! Have a deserved pint of ale at this atmospheric restaurant boat. Jazz music, good food and views will take you to ease after a long day. Pitkänsillanranta 2.
End your culture tour here, the home to the most loved classic art works of Finnish art and national gallery of Finland. The beloved author and mother of the Moomin trolls, Tove Jansson’s, exhibition is also here and attracts crowds to be amazed by her imagination and playful fantasy worlds. Open: Mon closed, Tue & Fri 10–18, Wed & Thu 9–20, Sat & Sun 10-17.