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23 hours in Helsinki?

We have a 23 hour layover in Helsinki in mid-July and are wondering what to do in this very limited amount of time. I will be traveling with my boyfriend and his 7-year-old son. The layover is on the way home after 3 weeks in France, so we'll probably be dragging a bit, but we've never been to Finland and would like to make the most of the opportunity. We've got a room booked at the Scandic Continental, which looks relatively centrally located. Any suggestions or must-do recommendations? Thanks!

Posted by
1525 posts

The big lutheran church (the white one) and the Russian Orthodox church (the brown one) and the harbor market are all in the same general area and can be seen well in 2-3 hours. Another couple of hours and a tram ride will get you to the so-called "church-in-the-rock", or Temppeliaukio Kirkko which I highly recommend as one of the most spiritual places I have ever been. That's all most day-trippers do. If you plan things right, you might also have enough time to get to Suomenlinna island by short ferry ride. It's a former military outpost that is now mostly just a quaint, restful, yet interesting little look into Helsinki's history. It could be done in as little as four hours including the ferry rides. The child would like it more than the churches.

Posted by
11978 posts

We spent a day there that went pretty much Rock Church, Downtown market/train station area and Suomolina (?) Island. I thought that was a decent overview of the area. As always, with more time you can see and do more. With limited time you have to focus on your priorities.