What’s better than spending a relaxing sunny day in one of Helsinki’s green areas?
ONLY A FEW cities in the world offer as many green areas as Helsinki. A perfect getaway from the urban routine, parks welcome thousands of people every day during the summer season.
Located in the heart of the city, the Esplanade is a popular promenade for tourists and a place to relax among locals. Both the park and the Espa Stage host numerous events such as the Marimekko Fashion Show, the raising of the midsummer pole and Jazz-Espa concert series.
Kaisaniemi Park is among Helsinki’s most visited parks. Situated next to the Central Railway Station, it is an excellent location for recreation activities and it also includes the University Botanical Gardens. Some of the city’s biggest events, like the World Village Festival and the Helsinki Day Radio Aalto concerts, are organised at the park. Folk-rock legend Neil Young performed there on 5 August, as part of the Helsinki Classical Festival.The Canadian singer-songwriter was joined on stage by his longtime band Crazy Horse.
The city’s oldest and best-known park, Kaivopuisto is a little green paradise by the sea. Surrounded by embassies and villas, it is the place where most of the people in Helsinki celebrate vappu (Labour Day). On 1 May, hundreds of cap-wearing Finns meet for a picnic and a drink under the sun. There are also numerous cafés and restaurants along the shores and the Ursa Observatory, the park’s highest point.
Right behind the Linnanmäki amusement park, Alppipuisto is the park where pretty much everyone living in Alppila stops by. With a history that dates back to the 1800s, the area offers a unique atmosphere, a mix of green grass, ponds, fountains, a small sightseeing terrace and rocks.
The Flower of Life art park is one of the best places for children, while Gardenia-Helsinki is the venue for those interested in tropical gardens. Located in Viikki and opened in spring 2001, it provides different experiences and events throughout the year. Its Japanese stone garden is a true natural gem.
Named after Finland’s greatest composer Jean Sibelius, Sibelius park is another popular green destination, especially among tourists. Overlooking the sea, it attracts thousands of people for its green grass, mini-golf and the Sibelius Monument.
The park around the Töölö Bay (Toolonlähti) is one of Helsinki’s most visited areas all year round. During the winter, hundreds of people go skiing on the frozen lake, while in the summer season it is probably one of the best places in town to spend a sunny day. The wooden villas along the shores are a reminder of Helsinki’s history and the walking path around the lake is a very popular track among walkers and joggers, as well as bird watchers.
The city also provides numerous playgrounds for children: sand spots, dragons, toys, playhouses, animals, rides and sports fields… the fun is guaranteed!
LEHTIKUVA / MARTTI KAINULAINEN