Helsinki and Espoo Outside the Conference
Where to head with colleagues – both old and new – to discuss your brilliant ideas for cool new research?
Restaurants & pubs at the campus:
- Fat Lizard – local brewery and restaurant
- Olarin Panimo – local brewery, closed on Sunday
- Taproom d20 – local beers and board games, closed on Sun-Mon
- Bistro Ranta – at the Radisson Blu Hotel
- Plus numerous restaurants at the metro station.
… and a bit further away:
The long, sunny July evenings encourage to stay out and explore the Helsinki area. With almost 200 km of coastline and hundreds of islands, the sea is central in Helsinki and Espoo. Please see below a list of popular attractions in Helsinki and Espoo. You can also watch the YouTube episode of the Travel Man – Richard Ayoade & Paul Rudd’s 48hrs in Helsinki;
For more information and to book tours visit the following pages;
My Helsinki Tourist Information
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Suomenlinna sea fortress is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Finland. Suomenlinna is also a suburb of Helsinki with around 800 residents. The fortress was shaped by three historic eras when it helped to defend first Sweden, then Russia and ultimately Finland. There are six kilometers of walls, 100 cannons, exciting tunnels and beautiful parks in the fortress. There are also museums, guided tours, events and restaurants in Suomenlinna. Private guided tours of the fortress, in several languages, can be booked in advance (email@example.com). Possible public guided tours are announced in the events calendar on the Suomenlinna webpages. The fortress is easily accessed all year by public transport (HSL) ferry from the Market Square. The delegates’ public transportation pass is valid for the frequent ferry traffic to Suomenlinna. The travelling time is approx. 15minutes. In summer, from May to September, also JT-Line waterbuses operate to Suomenlinna from the Market Square.
Excavated directly into solid rock, the Temppeliaukio church is situated in the heart of Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. Because of its special architecture, the church, completed in 1969, is one of the main attractions in Helsinki. The church hall is covered with a dome, lined with copper and supported on the rock walls by reinforced concrete beams. The interior walls are of rugged rock and rubble wall. Before noon, the light spreads from the row of windows surrounding the roof periphery to the altar wall, where an ice-age crevice serves as the altarpiece. Due to its excellent acoustics the church is a popular venue for concerts.
Oodi, Helsinki Central Library
Oodi is Helsinki’s new Central Library and a living meeting place in the city centre on the Kansalaistori Square. Oodi is a venue for events, a house of reading and a diverse urban experience. It will provide its users with knowledge, new skills and stories, and will be an easy place to access for learning, story immersion, work and relaxation. Oodi is a library of a new era, a living and functional meeting place open for all.
Löyly (sauna + restaurant)
Löyly is a public sauna and restaurant complex in Hernesaari district on the southern tip of Helsinki. The complex includes a traditional Finnish smoke sauna and two other wood-heated saunas, a year-round terrace and a restaurant. The saunas offer direct access to the outdoor seating area and the sea, where it is possible to enjoy a refreshing swim, all year round. There are separate changing rooms and shower facilities for men and women but as the saunas and other public areas are mixed, it means that customers are respectfully asked to wear swimming costumes at all times. The restaurant, favoring ecological and locally produced ingredients, offers lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturdays.
Allas Sea Pool
Allas Sea Pool is a marine spa and an oasis of urban culture right at the heart of the city. It offers new ways of enjoying the Baltic Sea, just a stone’s throw away from the Market Square and other main attractions. Allas is open all year round, providing unique experiences and recreational activities for townies and travellers. The marine spa has three saunas, two warm water pools and one sea water pool, to which the water is pumped from nearby streams and filtered clean. In addition to these, an outdoor gym, restaurant & café -services, guided wellness- & sports lessons and culture events are on offer.
Other locations of interest
Helsinki Cathedral, the Senate square and the National library: The cathedral is a highlight of the Helsinki skyline and greets the ships arriving to the city. Multitude of historical buildings are located at the square and the surrounding blocks, of which the National library (Kansalliskirjasto) is definitely worth visiting.
Olympic stadium and swimming stadium: The main venue of the 1952 Olympic games. The swimming stadium is right behind the Olympic stadium and includes multiple outdoor pools, waterslides and saunas.
Seurasaari: An outdoor museum of rural architecture, traditions and lifestyle of the old times. The Seurasaari island is a beautiful nature spot of its own and wonderful for strolling around during sunny summer days. Reachable by bus number 24.
Vanha Kauppahalli, Hietalahden kauppalhalli and Hakaniemen halli: The old market halls in and around the Helsinki city center house a multitude of specialty shops for delicacies and small restaurants.
Art & Design
Helsinki city center has several great museums located conveniently very close to one another.
Ateneum: The fine art museum houses both Finnish and international masterpieces. Located conveniently next to the railway station. Currently closed for renovation.
Kiasma: The modern art museum houses currently the ARS22 exhibition, a take on the freshest contemporary art worldwide. Also located in close vicinity of the railway station.
Design museum: Fusing art with functionality, the Design museum showcases Finnish design and architecture of past and present. Located a short walk south of the city center.
National museum: Here you can explore the journey of the nation, and it’s identity, from the ice age to the present. Also located in close vicinity of the railway station.
Amos Rex: The museum is unique in its structure – a number of built, cavernous spaces underground, which house exciting contemporary exhibitions and installations. This, too, is located right at the Helsinki city center. ()
WeeGee / EMMA / KAMU: WeeGee is an exhibition center at Tapiola, Espoo. It houses the Espoo modern art museum EMMA and the Espoo city museum KAMU. Reachable from the Tapiola metro station, or a 30 minute walk from the Aalto campus.
Heureka: Not really a museum, but a playground of science and engineering for kids and adults alike! Reachable with a short walk from the Tikkurila train station.
Cycling on a city bike on the Espoo Waterfront Walkway
The forty-kilometer-long Espoo Waterfront Walkway “Espoon Rantaraitti” invites you to take a ride along hundred different point of interests which vary from historic hotspots to beautiful nature views. In addition to the swimming beaches and boat harbours, there are other interesting places along the path, such as scheduled archipelago boats – for a trip to the islands – and bird-watching towers. During the cycling season, you can use city bikes in Espoo. City bikes are an excellent way to more around in Espoo conveniently. You can find over a hundred city bike stations in Espoo, with many nearby the Espoo Waterfront Walkway. There are also several charming cafés and restaurants along the seafront, for example Nokkalan Majakka.
The Watersport center Laguuni is a floating oasis for various watersports located in Keilaniemi. It offers top-notch conditions for stand-up paddling, SUP polo, wakeboarding, canoeing and flyboarding. The sports can be combined in various ways also for all kinds of groups and levels. Laguuni’s restaurant Blägä offers fantastic burgers, fresh salads, and tasty drinks. Courses provide expert guidance for all levels, making learning fast and fun, and equipment can be rented on-site.
How to get there:
You can use the city bike and cycle alongside the Espoo Waterfront Walkway directly to the Water sport center or take the metro to Keilaniemi metro station and you will be only a short walk away.
Places to Visit Before or After the Conference
Nuuksio National Park
Within easy reach of the Finnish capital you can escape into wild natural settings and enjoy typically Finnish scenery, with lovely lakes, green forests and rugged crags at the Nuuksio National Park. Pack your backpack for a memorable family picnic or campout. The unique national park can be explored both independently and by taking part in guided tours and excursions and is suitable for all ages. The nearby Finnish Nature Centre Haltia spotlights the best of Finland’s natural treasures from across the country. The exhibitions at Haltia showcase Finnish nature and strengthen the visitors’ relationship with nature. The Centre also offers additional facilities such as hiking equipment rental and a gift shop. Experience a touch of northern magic in Nuuksio Reindeer Park, which is the southern-most place in Finland where you can see and feed reindeer. Spend a memorable moment with the reindeers and enjoy lunch or a three-course dinner by the campfire at the tepee restaurant ‘White Reindeer’.
Distance from Helsinki
42 kilometres, 1 hour.
How to get there
Different parts of Nuuksio national park are easy to reach from Helsinki. First, take a train S, U, L or E to get to Espoo. If you want to visit the eastern or northern parts of Nuuksio national park, take the bus 245(A) from Espoo Centre.
Founded nearly 800 years ago, Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland, best known for its unique Old Town district, high quality restaurants and charming cafés. Make an unforgettable romantic day trip to Porvoo or stay longer to truly experience everything this charming city has to offer. Porvoo promotes sustainable tourism so please try and see the city out of season too.
Distance from Helsinki
55 kilometres, under 1 hour.
How to get there
Several buses depart Helsinki every hour for Porvoo. The journey takes less than an hour. In summertime you can take a relaxing 3.5-hour cruise to Porvoo aboard the m/s J. L. Runeberg.
Find out more about Porvoo on the VisitPorvoo website.
Fiskars is a quaint and historical ironworks village that has become a lively community of artists, designers and craftsmen. In recent years the village has also become home to several microbreweries and fine restaurants. Founded in the 17th century, the Fiskars ironworks is a popular destination for daytrips where visitors can enjoy exhibitions, boutiques and cafés. Fiskars stands out from more touristy attractions by its high-quality and ambitious products and design.
Distance from Helsinki
87 kilometres, under 1.5 hours.
How to get there
You can take train or bus from Helsinki to Karjaa, which takes around an hour, and then take taxi or a local bus to travel the 15 kilometres to Fiskars. Driving from Helsinki to Fiskars takes around 1 hour 15 minutes. There is also a direct bus connection on Saturdays in summer and before Christmas.
Read more about Fiskars on the Fiskars Village website.
The old town of Tammisaari (also known as Ekenäs) in Raseborg, is full of charming wooden houses, small harbours and green parks. The streets have stayed much the same since the 16th century. Tammisaari was traditionally the home of many skilled craftsmen. Today it attracts many visitors in summertime with its guest harbour, terraces, pedestrian street, boutiques, cafés and restaurants.
Distance from Helsinki
92 kilometres, just over 1 hour.
How to get there
You can get to Tammisaari from Helsinki by bus. You can also take any train to Turku and change at Karjaa. The local train from Karjaa takes just 12 minutes.
Read more about Tammisaari and Raseborg on the Visit Raseborg website.
The Pentala Archipelago Museum is a perfect destination for a day trip. Located on the island of Pentala, a visit to the Archipelago Museum is a holistic experience that combines sea voyage, history, cultural landscape, and the unique nature of the island. The Pentala Archipelago Museum is located on an old fisherman’s farm in the Gulf of Espoo and made up of fifteen different buildings. The oldest of them, Kalastajatorppa, was built in the early 1790s and was inhabited all year round until 1986. The Archipelago Museum introduces you to many aspects of living and working in the archipelago and the nature trail that leads to Pentalanjärvi, and the natural sandy beach of Diksand, showcase the distinctive nature of Espoo’s archipelago.
How to get there:
You can arrive on the island of Pentala with scheduled archipelago boats from Soukka, Suomenoja, or Suinonsalmi.
Laajalahti Nature Reserve is one of the best bird wetlands within the Helsinki-Espoo-Vantaa metropolis. The trails and bird watching towers offer the perfect opportunity for a day trip. Visitors can also see Espoo’s nature centre at Villa Elfvik on the north edge of the reserve. For the most part Laajalahti Nature Reserve consists of open water. There are also a broad reedbed and shoreline groves and meadows. It is an important area for the plentiful nesting population in the region and for the thousands of birds which stop there. The aim of the nature reserve is to conserve the shallow sea water bay and its surrounding area. The longest nature trail is 2.9 kilometres long and it runs from Villa Elfvik to the Otaniemi bird-watching tower.