Top Things To Do And See In Helsinki's Kauppatori

Front view of Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral | © Mstyslav Chernov/WikiCommons
Front view of Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral | © Mstyslav Chernov/WikiCommons
Photo of Rich Francis
9 February 2017

Complete with the amazing architecture of the Senate Square, delicious coffee in cute cafeterias, and, as always in Finland’s capital, real Nordic edginess, Helsinki’s Kauppatori is one of the town’s buzzing hearts. Here, we take a look at some of the must do and must see things close by and within its borders.

Front view of Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral | © Mstyslav Chernov/WikiCommons

Helsinki Cathedral

Visited yearly by more than 500,000 people, Helsinki Cathedral is a historically significant landmark of the Finnish capital. Located on the Senate Square and designed in the early 19th century by a German representative of Neoclassicism, Carl Ludwig Engel, who was also the designer of other buildings on the square, the Cathedral is a symbol of Helsinki itself and a highlight of the Empire Era Center of Helsinki. The great architecture impresses from the inside and outside, with one of the largest collections of zinc sculptures in the world placed on the roof and oodles of fascinating extras between its arches and alcoves. Many important events take place here too, such as the opening and closing services of the Parliament or the degree ceremonies of the University of Helsinki.

Helsinki Cathedral, Unionsgatan 29, Helsinki, Finland, +358 0 9 2340 6111

Esplanade Park

The Esplanade Park is a popular place to relax for locals and travelers, and also serves as a host of many popular events, like city jazz concerts, fashion shows, raising of the midsummer pole accompanied by folk dancing and more. Day-to-day, the park is full of street artists and people chilling in the cafes or restaurants, in the summer enjoying a picnic on the green areas surrounded by flowers, statues, and fountains; during the winter taking a stroll in a Christmas wonderland atmosphere with beautiful light decorations to boot.

Esplanade, Helsinki | © Mstyslav Chernov/WikiCommons


In the Esplanade Park, there is a great restaurant that offers a wide choice of Finnish meals as well as other European cuisines. The name of the restaurant, Kappeli, is the Finnish word for Chapel, which perfectly describes the style of the building and its sublime atmosphere. Kappeli’s history reaches back to the mid-19th century, when it used to be a meeting place of the best Finnish artists. During the summer festivals and parties it is a perfect spot to observe the Espa Stage, directly in front of which the restaurant is located.

Kappeli, Eteläesplanadi 1, Helsinki, Finland, +358 10 322 9383

Old Market Hall

The recently renovated Old Market Hall was first opened in 1889 and is today a protected cultural heritage site of Helsinki. Visitors can find local and exported products like cheese, bread, fish, vegetables, spices and sweets on sale here, and also enjoy delicious cakes and strong Finnish coffee in one of the lovely cafes that pepper the area. On warm days, locals and tourists like to sit outside, in front of the Old Market Hall, and observe the cruise ships arriving into the shore.

Get the view from SkyWheel

Take a look at the most famous landmarks of Helsinki and the beautiful open sea with its peppering of islands more than 40 meters above the city’s buildings. One of the newest attractions of Helsinki, the SkyWheel gives visitors an opportunity to get a panoramic view over the Finnish capital in modern, comfortable and air-conditioned cabins. For approximately 15 minutes sightseers can gaze at the sights from one of 30 blue-and-white gondolas, enjoying, relaxing and surveying the Nordic scene.

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