19 In Finland/ Instagram/ Travel


In my opinion, Helsinki is truly a hidden gem when it comes to photography. Although it happens to be the most populous city in the country (and also the capital), its proximity to nature makes it an excellent destination for both travelers who prefer the outdoors as well as those who prefer a metropolitan lifestyle. With trendy restaurants, unique yet impressive architecture, and the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet, I highly recommend putting Helsinki at the top of your bucket list. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting my favorite Nordic city soon, make sure to keep reading to discover the most photo-worthy spots in Helsinki, Finland!

Huvilakatu Street

Huvilakatu street Helsinki FinlandYou can’t exactly leave “the most colorful street in Helsinki” off a photo list, can you? Huvilakatu translates to “villa street”, and as can be imagined, these candy-colored castles don’t come cheap. However, with a little bit of investigating, I did find out that some of these homes are on Air B&B! So, if you’re interested, you could stay in one of these famous villas during your trip. As far as planning a time to visit, I recommend stopping by the Design Museum first and then taking the short walk from there to Huvilakatu. I loved learning a little about the history of design and then seeing Art Nouveau come to life in the form of these vibrant homes!

Address: Huvilakatu, 00150 Helsinki

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

Suomenlinna sea fortress Helsinki FinlandOnce a Swedish fortification against Russian expansionism, Suomenlinna now serves as a popular (and inhabited) UNESCO World Heritage site. No matter the time of year that you visit Helsinki, this island is 100% worth a visit. Phoebe and I found our day trip to Suomenlinna to be a sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. To arrive at the island from downtown Helsinki, all you have to do is take a short ferry ride from Market Square. Once there, hit the ground on this easily-walkable island to discover its museums, colorful cabins, and beautiful landscapes. We gave ourselves plenty of time to explore Suomenlinna, and I would urge you to plan on spending at least three hours there to see everything.

For up-to-date information on arriving at Suomenlinna by ferry, click here.

Address for Market Square: Eteläranta, 00170 Helsinki

Café Regatta

Café Regatta Helsinki FinlandFor the best hot chocolate and cinnamon buns in Helsinki, look no further than Café Regatta. This adorable cabin-turned-café is a hotspot for photos due to its quaint charm. Although it only has space for a few tables, the inside of this hut reminded me of Cracker Barrel as it’s filled with all sorts of antique items. Café Regatta is located right next to the sea and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. We witnessed a special surprise during our visit– the body of water next to the café was completely frozen, and many locals were crossing it on foot! This activity is normal when the water freezes for a certain period and is considered safe to cross. So, in summary, you might even be able to grab a hot chocolate and then proceed to “walk on water”. Isn’t that a genuinely Finnish winter experience?

Address: Merikannontie 8, 00260 Helsinki

Solo Sokos Hotel Torni

Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Helsinki Finland
After a long day of exploring Helsinki, you may want to sit back, relax, and enjoy a typical Finnish cocktail. If this sounds like you, you can’t miss the view from Solo Sokos Hotel Torni. To reach the hotel’s rooftop bar, you’ll have to take the hotel elevator to the top floor and then walk up a short spiral staircase. In the winter, Ateljée Bar is the perfect escape from the cold! Yes, the drinks may be a bit pricey (alcohol is expensive in Finland in general), but the free panoramic view of the city skyline in unbeatable.

Ateljée Bar’s hours are the following (I recommend dropping by for sunset!): 

Mon – Thu      14.00–01.00
Fri                   14.00–02.00
Sat                  12.00–02.00                                                                                               
Sun                 14.00–24.00  

Address: Yrjönkatu 26, 00100 Helsinki 


Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral Helsinki FinlandI found Uspenski Cathedral to be the most beautiful church in Helsinki, with its commanding presence on a hillside near Market Square. This cathedral is an exciting example of Russian Architecture, being home to the Eastern Orthodox Church in the capital. If you have a moment to step inside after snapping your photo, I recommend doing so (it’s free, after all!).

Address: Kanavakatu 1, 00160 Helsinki

Kuuma Café

Kuuma café Helsinki FinlandKuuma Café is undoubtedly a hotspot for all Helsinki hipsters as well as those looking to take the perfect foodie photo. Apart from their delicious coffee, Kuuma serves an all-day breakfast, with one of their most popular options being avocado toast. We stopped by this café to escape the cold weather for a bit, and it was the perfect resting spot! With plenty of seating room, I recommend grabbing a cup of coffee here after a long day of exploring the city. However, keep in mind that this locale is closed on Mondays

Address: Albertinkatu 6, 00150 Helsinki 

Allas Sea Pool

Allas Sea Pool Helsinki FinlandMy most unforgettable moment in Helsinki was experiencing a Finnish sauna for the first time. In Finnish culture, mental and physical relaxation is highly valued, thus leading to the significant presence of saunas in the country. I chose to visit the Allas Sea Pool when I had the chance because I found it to have the most alluring location: next to the ocean and Market Square. Between the contrast of the water and the cityscape, this sea pool is an excellent spot for a photo!

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to experience a Finnish sauna before, here’s how the process works at Allas. First, you’ll pay to enter and be given a towel. Then, you’ll go to the changing room (separate for men and women), place your belongings in a locker, and put on your bathing suit. From there, you’ll alternate between the hot sauna room and the cold pool outside. If you’re feeling courageous, you can even go into the ice pool. This back-and-forth change between the temperatures provides various health benefits, such as boosting your circulation. After leaving, I felt warm, awake (like I had just had a cup of coffee!), and rejuvenated. Remember that it’s essential to drink plenty of water before and after the sauna!

Address: Katajanokanlaituri 2a, 00160 Helsinki

Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral FinlandHelsinki Cathedral is a Finnish Lutheran church that can be found in Senate Square. One of the most recognizable buildings in the city, this cathedral was originally built between 1830-1852. Nowadays, it’s still used for both religious services as well as events such as weddings. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this towering white building covered in snow! Take a moment to check out the other structures making up Senate Square, including the Government Palace, the University of Helsinki, and Sederholm House.

Address: Unioninkatu 29, 00170 Helsinki

This article was sponsored by My Helsinki, who graciously invited me to spend a week in their city. Nonetheless, all opinions are my own.

Check out my favorite Helsinki guidebooks below. Click the book cover to see inside!

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If you're lucky enough to be visiting my favorite Nordic city in the near future, make sure to click here to discover the most photo worthy spots in Helsinki, Finland! #helsinki #finland #visithelsinkiIf you're lucky enough to be visiting my favorite Nordic city in the near future, make sure to click here to discover the most photo worthy spots in Helsinki, Finland! #helsinki #finland #visithelsinkiIf you're lucky enough to be visiting my favorite Nordic city in the near future, make sure to click here to discover the most photo worthy spots in Helsinki, Finland! #helsinki #finland #visithelsinki


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  • Reply
    Dann Castillo
    April 2, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    These are so beautiful! Like out of a fairy tale! The cathedral, particularly took my breath away. I was very bummed I couldn’t make it to Finland, I covered Iceland, Denmark and Sweden, but Norway and Finland are still on the bucket list. I also saw some people casually crossing a frozen lake in Reykjavik and I couldn’t believe it! BTW, is it expensive? I know you said alcohol is, but in most of the Nordic countries that’s the case. How about food and accommodation? Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    You’re completely right about Helsinki, it’s so colourful! I’ve yet to visit, but would like to, maybe once a little warmer! Hot chocolate and cinnamon buns sound delicious in that cafe, I’ve already made a mental note to visit!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I’m swooning over the colors at Huvilakatu Street. What a fun Instagram backdrop! And I want to visit that Kuuma Cafe. Love that vintage vibe!

  • Reply
    Stella Jane
    April 3, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    These are all great spots! I agree that Uspenski Cathedral is absolutely gorgeous. I also really enjoyed my time at Allas Sea Pool. It was great to experience the sauna with actual Finns. Helsinki is definitely an underrated city.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I followed your trip to Helsinki on your IG stories So was great to read this round up 🙂 I’m a little disappointed that the Huvilakatu houses aren’t as colourful inside as they are out – the owners are definitely missing a trick there!

  • Reply
    Denny George
    April 4, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Having never visited Helsinki, I do not necessarily have a frame of reference. However, these places are all visually stunning and quite photogenic. I especially enjoyed the one with Uspenski Cathedral with the snow on the foreground – amazing contrasts!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    I could totally enjoy some good coffee and avocado on toast at Kuuma Cafe, plus it does look like a wonderful spot to get some photos. Huvilakatu Street also looks great for photos – I love all the colourful buildings. And that fortress is so lovely with its rose color, and I love learning that it is a UNESCO heritage site.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Your photos are so pretty! I love your cafe pics. Cafe Regatta looks like the cutest, coziest little place to warm up at in the winter. Now you’ve made me want to go back to Helsinki – the nostalgia!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Finland is on my bucket list! I would love to go to the Allas Sea Pool! I hadn’t heard of that before. And of course Huvilakatu Street looks absolutely dreamy!! Looks like a photographers dream!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Your photos are so stunning! Not only are the spots amazing (Huvilakatu really is so cute with its pastel colours), the photos themselves are great! Helsinki is full of so much Jugend style architecture and Suomenlinna is like a fairytale with its old castle and little hobbit houses. 🙂

  • Reply
    FS Page
    April 6, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    wow.. I didnt know Helsinki was sooo beautiful. These are definitely great spots. And i am just too awed by the cathedrals here. Nice compilation

  • Reply
    April 7, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Love all of your beautiful winter lighting! The Uspenski Cathedral looks even better with some snow, lol. It’s funny–I had never really thought about Helsinki in any context other than the gateway to the rest of Finland, but your photos make it look so colorful! Huvilakatu reminds me a bit of the Nordic version of Rainbow Row in Charleston!

  • Reply
    Clarice Lao | Camping for Women
    April 8, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Woah! These photos are stunning especially the Uspenski Cathedral. I would love to visit Helsinki someday. It may not be soon but will definitely include this on my bucket list.

  • Reply
    Jenn and Ed Coleman
    April 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Huvilakatu Street looks brilliant. I love the vibrant colors and architecture. It looks a little cold in Finland so I would definitely like some sauna time and a stiff cup of coffee.

  • Reply
    Chris Bloomfield
    April 8, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Although we love the amenities and culture from a big city, we prefer being in nature. Helsinki sounds nice because it has both. I love the architecture of the Uspenski Cathedral, plus it’s free which is my favorite price. Looks gorgeous there and I am going to add it to my list of places to visit outside of America.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Of course, you couldn’t leave those that colorful street off the list or hot chocolate and cinnamon buns! They sound amazing. Helsinki looks so beautiful, we’ve really got to get there soon. Maybe I can talk the hubby into a few days layover soon.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I LOVED reading this post! I’ve lived in London for over five years now, but I’m officially from Helsinki, so it was lovely seeing my hometown through someone else’s eyes. There were also some new things for me on this list here – I’ve never been to Kuuma, but would now really love to! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 9:18 am

    You’ve highlighted such great spots in Helsinki for visiting and photographing!

    – Laura // afinnontheloose.com

  • Reply
    Travel Guides – Marianne Williams
    October 8, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    […] 33. Shoup, L. (2018). Solo Sokos Hotel Torni. [image] Available at: URL [Accessed 20 Jul. […]

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