Finland's capital, Helsinki, is a place like no other. What other place on Earth has a seasonal color palette of summer greens, Nordic winter whites, and Baltic blues? Where else will you find Scandinavian, art-nouveau, and modernist style architecture side-by-side? Which other capital is utilitarian, industrial, and yet so cool?
It is just Helsinki. A place to get immersed in unique experiences for any traveler. This guide will provide an introduction to places you can visit in Helsinki, things to do, tips to keep in mind, and information you should know about before purchasing
travel medical insurance or
Helsinki's Most Popular Places for Travel
The Market Square
If you are ready to put down your cup of famous Finnish coffee, start your exploration with the harbor and the Market Square. Locals come here to sell the best produce and products. Shop for fish, handmade jewelry, wooden mugs, and reindeer horns and hides here. And head to the nearby Market Hall for souvenir shopping and savoring fine Finnish food.
Kamppi Chapel of Silence
Built in a circular form, showcasing the height of Scandinavian architectural innovation, the Kamppi Chapel of Silence is a sanctuary of quietude. A stark contrast to the lively city center, the chapel is a small place with a warm and calm vibe.
Helsinki University Botanical Garden
The Helsinki University Botanical Gardens is a quick and enjoyable escape from the Finnish winters and the city's vibrance. Perfect for an afternoon stroll, the botanical garden is the oldest scientific garden in Finland, and you'll find 800 species of plants here making for a perpetually colorful oasis.
The Helsinki Cathedral is a beautiful place to see and take memorable pictures. But don't head out after you are done with the obligatory photoshoot. Spend some time on the steps of the Cathedral and watch the city go by. You'll definitely learn or see something unique about the Nordic land.
One of the three last remaining public saunas in Helsinki, Kotiharjun Sauna is where locals and tourists sweat it out alike. For the Finns, a sauna is more than just a refreshment. It is meditative. And saunas do offer health benefits, so you should definitely plan a visit to Kotiharjun.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Helsinki
Helsinki is among the safest cities in the world. The Nordic capital has low crime rates and is safe even in the middle of the night. But don't forget to pack prudence for your Finnish trip. The following guidelines will help you stay informed. And armed with information, you can avert any possible dangers and annoyances.
Slipping and falling on snow is a major concern in Helsinki. Melting snow worsens the situation by making walkways and tram stops even more slippery. A chunk of snow falling over your head from a house's sloping roof is also possible. Be aware of your surroundings.
Finnish drivers and cyclists like going fast. When walking on the road or crossing the street, be extremely careful. Look at both sides before crossing the road, even if the pedestrian sign is green. It's best to avoid walking slowly as the fast and furious Finns won't wait, and you'd stand a chance of getting hurt.
Pickpockets and panhandlers
Pickpockets and beggars in the areas frequented by tourists are nothing unique to Helsinki. Always be aware of your surroundings, and keep your valuables close and out of sight. If approached by a normally dressed person with a plea for help as they are €2 short for a tram ticket or mobile card, politely decline, as it's likely a scam.
Mosquitoes and ticks are abundant in Finland. On your Helsinki trip, have provisions for a generous amount of strong mosquito and insect repellent. But that's not all. There are seagulls in Helsinki waiting for you to leave your food unattended so that they can snatch it away from you. Plus, moose and reindeer roam freely, especially in forested areas. They don't wait for their crossing light to turn green and won't stop for you to pass. Drive slowly and be careful around animals.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Helsinki - FAQs
20% to 50% of international travelers suffer from stomach issues. This easy-to-catch, tough-to-avoid ailment affects over 10 million travelers each year. You could be a part of this statistic when you take your trip to Helsinki. And that's just one of the many miseries that can ruin your trip experience and cost you a lot. Precautions and prevention can only do so much. To make sure you aren't on the hook for major medical bills with no recourse, get travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Helsinki?
The legal requirement for travel medical insurance to visit Helsinki depends on where you're from. Finland is part of the Schengen Area, and if you're required to get a Schengen visa to visit the country, you'll need to show proof of compliant health insurance when you apply for your visa. This insurance must provide at least €30,000 in medical benefits, as well as coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
If you're from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and many other countries, you're allowed to travel to Schengen nations for up to 90 days without a visa, thus exempting you from the insurance requirement. However, when you consider the high cost of healthcare and the relatively low cost of insurance, it only makes sense to have it.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Helsinki?
There are excellent hospitals and medical facilities available throughout Finland, but their services are not inexpensive. Don't assume that your domestic health insurance will be accepted in Helsinki. It may not be, and is not designed to provide coverage outside your home country. If you require medical treatment in Helsinki and don't have proper insurance, you could be responsible for paying the entire bill out of your own pocket. This could impact your finances for years. Instead, get travel medical insurance so you can receive the treatment you need with fewer worries about the resulting bill.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Helsinki - FAQs
Statistically speaking, only around 2% of international trips get canceled. But today, we live in a world where situations change in the blink of an eye. You could be packing for your Helsinki vacation one moment, and the next moment you might be counting all the prepaid expenses that went down the drain because some unforeseen situation prevented you from traveling. Avoid that stress. Get trip cancellation insurance instead.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Helsinki travel?
Trip cancellation insurance is not a luxury of the kind you can do without. It is a basic need for your peace of mind on your international trip. Your trip to Helsinki is a big investment, and much of that investment is prepaid, in the form of airline tickets and accommodation costs. These expenses are often nonrefundable. If you have to cancel your trip, you may have no option to get your money back.
There is a way around this, though. Trip cancellation insurance can offer you the opportunity to be fully or partially reimbursed for your nonrefundable, prepaid expenses if your trip has to be canceled for a reason that's covered by the policy. This way, you don't have to pay for an international trip you aren't able to take.
What should I look for in my Helsinki trip cancellation insurance?
Your travel insurance plan should provide a level of coverage you're comfortable with for any travel-related situation you may encounter before or during your trip. Research the plans available to you carefully, and consider these coverage options:
The situations covered by your travel insurance, as well as the level of coverage provided, can vary depending on the policy you choose. Take time to read over the policy documents of any plan you're considering before making a purchase.
Before You Travel to Helsinki - Do This
Plan for experiences, not sights. Helsinki might have fewer monuments to see, but more experiences are awaiting you here than in many other destinations. Plan your trip to include as many experiences as possible.
Consult your doctor. Plan a visit with your physician before your trip to make sure you have all the proper vaccines and medications. Don't forget to pack your regular does either.
travel medical insurance or
that meets all your personal and legal requirements. It can allow you to have a more enjoyable trip with less concern about your finances.