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Helsinki isn’t what many people would consider a romantic city or a choice destination for a couple’s holiday. Yet the sights and atmosphere of the city are highly romantic at any time of year and there are plenty of bonding activities to suit any couple’s tastes. These are some of the best ways to enjoy and explore Helsinki with your significant other.
By far the best and most romantic way to see Helsinki and its surroundings is by taking a boat cruise around its vast archipelago. You might have to dress warmly to prevent yourselves from becoming windswept, but you can take in lovely views of the city coastline and the Baltic Sea. There are numerous cruises leaving from Helsinki, some to transport visitors to the outbound islands such as Isosaari and others that spend the day touring the archipelago, usually with a meal included. Alternatively, you can hire your own boat to cruise the seas yourself, and perhaps even stay on a private island.
Helsinki is at its most romantic during the Christmas season when the decorations are up, the Christmas markets are being held and the entire city is in full festive mode. While the city is cold and dark during this time, you can still have a romantic time together seeing the Christmas lights, doing some shopping in the markets and warming up with a cup of glögi (Finnish mulled wine).
To take the weight off your feet, book a day at one of Helsinki’s luxury spas, such as Löyly Sauna Complex, which is situated right on the Baltic Sea. You can spend the day away from the rush of the city, have some couple’s treatments, enjoy a quality dinner at the restaurants, and perhaps even take a swim in the ocean. No visit to a spa is complete without a trip to the Finnish sauna, which is even more comforting when done with your partner. If you book your sauna ahead of time, you can ensure that you have it all to yourselves.
Close to 24 hours of daylight in Helsinki during the summer can be disruptive to your sleep schedule, but you can beat it by using it as a chance for a romantic date. The extended hours of daylight mean you can extend your dates for the entire night; stay at the bars until they close, sit outside during the early hours of the morning and end with an early breakfast in a café.
During the months when you can actually make out the sunset in Helsinki, one of the best spots to watch it from is Ateljee rooftop bar in central Helsinki. From there, you can watch the sun setting over the city while enjoying some cocktails and admiring the artwork on the walls. It is the perfect way to begin an evening date.
For a romantic and relaxing walk in the park, you can’t get much better than Sibelius Park in Töölö, which has miles of paths to walk, lawns for picnics or ball games, beautiful ocean views and old ruins to discover. The Sibelius Monument in the middle of the park is a great place to sit and listen to the live musicians.
If you want to act out the old romantic image of a ride on a ferris wheel, you can do so at the Skywheel on Helsinki’s south harbour. Not only will you get some stunning views of the south side of the city, you can cuddle up together when it gets a little chilly at the top. Book your tickets in plenty of time to ride the Skywheel while the sun is setting over the city for an even more romantic view.