Your Companion Guidance:

Partners/Friend/Spouse things to do in time of conference

For the days of conference, daytime, when you will be busy with talks and networking, we offer a guidance here for people who come with you but do not attend the conference.

So some who not on conference can gather every day near the venue and make a groups to get around city, meet the Finnish culture, and just enjoy the time. Finland is a safe and comfortable country, with many things to see and do.

In addition to the general information on the What to See and Do in Helsinki page, we recommend the following daytime activities:

Monday, August 14th

Morning: Visit Hakaniemi market hall

Good choice for for breakfast, lunch, or a cup of coffee with fresh pastry. The hall has several cafes and restaurants in addition to excellent meat, fish, bread, cheese, etc. And there's a good chance to find souvenirs in the little shops, too.

Hakaniemen kauppahalli, Hämeentie 1, by the Hakaniemi metro station. Open 8–18. Google Map

Afternoon: Explore City Centre

The conference venue is on the northern edge of the city center. It is part of the central campus of the University of Helsinki. To the west of Metsätalo is the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, and Kaisaniemi Park. To the east there is Kruununhaka residential district.

To the south is the Senate Square, flanked by the Cathedral, the University main building, the Government building, and the city hall. Next to it is Market Square, and from there leads the Esplanadi park toward Mannerheimintie, the main thoroughfare street. Parallel to Esplanadi is Aleksanterinkatu, a traditional shopping street. In the eastern end of it you'll find the department store in Helsinki, Stockman, (Aleksanterinkatu 52), and the bookstore in Helsinki, Akateeminen kirjakauppa (Keskuskatu 1).

Along Mannerheimintie to the north, you will come the House of Parliament, and facing it, Oodi, or Helsinki City Library. It is definitely worth visit inside!

Tuesday, August 15th

Morning: Visit Ateneum

Ateneum Art Museum concentrates on 19th century and early 20th century art. At the moment, the exhibition A Question of Time offers fresh perspectives into Finland’s oldest and most extensive art collection and how it was built. Another exhibition showcases Finnish painter Alfred Adelfelt (1854–1905), who depicted country life but was also a sought-after portrait painter. Google Map

Afternoon: Design Walk

Off the busiest street but still downtown, you will find smaller galleries, and more individual shops. Also the Design museum is located to the southern part of the city. Google Map

Wednesday, August 16th

Morning: Visit Suomenlinna

Helsinki does not have an old town, but it has Suomenlinna. It is good for a one-hour stroll, or for a whole day of exploration. Inhabited by a few hundred residents, sprawling on several islands, it's more of a nature spot than a castle. There are several museums as well as cafes.

The islands are reached by a ferry leaving from Market Square, the fee being the same as for a tram ride. They also have a digital guide

Afternoon: Visit Temppeliaukio Church

Temppeliaukio Church, completed in 1969, is the must-see church in Helsinki.
Address: Lutherinkatu 3. There will be a small fee for visitors.
Walking time 15 minutes from the central railway station. Google Map

Thursday, August 17th

Morning: Lunch at the Abattoir

Teurastamo Delicious restaurants & bars and awesome small producers in an old slaughterhouse area from 1930’s reborn as food & city culture hub open for everyone. Also, a trip outside the city centre, but not too far, it's 15 minutes by metro. Google Map

Afternoon & Evening: Night of the Arts

A beloved Helsinki tradition, the Night of the Arts will be celebrated on Thursday, 17 August 2023. There will once again be hundreds of events of all kinds held in a variety of venues, from clubs to the streets and from parks to boutiques. During the Night of the Arts, many museums offer free admission, and galleries and museums extend their opening hours. You can look at the programme here.

Friday, August 18th

Morning: Helsinki Art Nouveau

Walk, or take tram number4 for to Katajanokka, to the east from Market Square. The area around Luotsikatu street is rich in quirky residential buildings. You may also check the Katajanokka prison that has been converted into a hotel. On the north shore of Katajanokka, you can see the fleet of icebreakers waiting for winter. On your way out, the Greek Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral on its hilltop is worth visiting.

Afternoon: Visit Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Entrance is free, so you can decide later whether to take some of the rides. But it would be pity to leave out Vuoristorata, the the wooden roller coaster that was built in 1951. Also: unhealthy food. Google Map

There is also "SEA LIFE Helsinki" on the territory of the park. Family-friendly exhibits with a variety of sea creatures (most offer play areas & group packages).

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