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.
Afternoon: Design Walk
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
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.
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.
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).