Two summers ago, our family went on a 9-day cruise on the Baltic Sea, stopping in 6 different cities. As cruises tend to go, we were only able to spend a day in most of the cities, so this series of posts is all about how we tried to make the most of the short time we had in each one!
Our next stop on our Baltic Cruise was in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the city! To start our day in Helsinki we jumped on a hop on hop off tour bus.
Our first stop was the Temppeliauko Church, also known to tourists and Finnish citizens alike as the Rock Church . Aptly named, the Rock Church was excavated directly into solid rock! We’ve seen a lot of grand cathedrals throughout Europe but this church was unlike any other. Instead of extravagant murals or mosaics, every wall was lined with beautiful, natural granite.
Up next the bus dropped us off at the 1952 Olympic stadium. You could go directly into the stadium at no cost and hang out on the track. Plus they have events there, a zumbathon was just starting when we showed up! Unfortunately we didn’t have time to join in. Attached to the stadium is a 235 ft tall tower that you could ride up in for 5 euros each. From the top we could see all of Helsinki!
A little rainy but still great view from the 1952 Olympic Stadium
We hopped back on the the bus and got dropped off at Stockmann’s, the largest department store in Finland. It was huge – and easy to get lost in! It was fun to explore the shops on its 8 floors and grab a snack at the food court on the top floor.
Next we wandered around on foot to explore downtown and visit Helsinki Cathedral and Upsenki Cathedral.
Overall the day was full of exploring and though the weather wasn’t the finest for our short visit, Helsinki was full of history and had plenty to see! There are too many things that we didn’t have time to see in just one day but if we had more time, some other things we wanted to see were the Kamppi Chapel of Silence, the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and the Sibelius monument up close and personal in Sibelius Park!