Travel like a local.

Podcast, Travel Massive

Island Fortress, Nuuksio National Park & Fiskars Scissors in Helsinki, Finland

Best things to do in Helsinki Finland - Shelly Nyqvist - waterfront photo courtesy of Rudy and Peter Skitterians on Pixabay 3086791_1920

Helsinki waterfront. Pphoto courtesy of Rudy and Peter Skitterians on Pixabay.

I’m really excited to interview Shelly Nyqvist of your MEscape about Helsinki, Finland. Shelly’s tips for the best things to do in Helsinki are awesome because she’s lived in the city for almost 30 years. She was married to a Finn, but got divorced and stayed there so her daughter could be close to her dad. Shelly loves the long days of sunlight from May to August.

Please take a moment to subscribe to our podcast. It is available on all of the major podcast channels, such as Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.

Best things to do in Helsinki Finland - Shelly Nyqvist - Helsinki Cathedral photo courtesy of David Mark on Pixabay 168773_1920

Helsinki Cathedral. Photo courtesy of David Mark on Pixabay.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is the capital of Finland and is located on a peninsula on the Gulf of Finland. The National Museum of Finland can trace Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present. Visitors will also find the nation’s Parliament House and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish, but most people speak English. The primary currency is the Euro, but the majority of businesses take credit cards and mobile payments, so don’t worry about converting a lot of cash into Euros.

Although Finland is a Nordic country and Helsinki is located at the same latitude as St Petersburg, Russia, winter is not that snowy. It is mostly rainy and gray and snow sometimes does not arrive until February. Spring comes late with temperatures rising into May. Summer can be rainy but temperatures are typically in the 70s and 80s.

Shelly suggests visiting the islands dotting the coast, taking a tour of the fortress island of Suomenlinna, and booking a day trip to the Nuuksio National Park.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out the City of Helsinki, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

a city with a ferry in the water

Helsinki Port. Photo courtesy of Kosti Keistinen on Pixabay.

Getting around Helsinki

The local airport is Helsinki Airport (HEL), which is a 25-minute drive to the city. The Finnair bus takes you from the airport to downtown for 30 to 55 Euros. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Shelly says that, if you’re staying downtown, there’s no need to rent a car. Helsinki is known as a walking city, but public transportation is convenient and plentiful. She suggests that you rent a bike from over 200 locations if you need to get someplace faster.

Uber and Lyft are also excellent ways to get around. If you must recent a car, click here for the best offers from visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Best things to do in Helsinki Finland - Shelly Nyqvist - Allas Sea Pool with SkyWheel Helsinki

Allas Sea Pool with SkyWheel Helsinki

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Shelly Nyqvist about Helsinki, Finland. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Helsinki, Finland
  • Green dots = best things to do in Helsinki, Finland
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Helsinki, Finland

Who is Shelly Nyqvist?

Shelly Nyqvist is a certified lifestyle and travel coach, writer, and workshop facilitator fueled by yoga, meditation, coffee, and the occasional rosé. She’s on a mission to empower ex-pats and empty nesters to dream more, achieve more, and become more through travel. Her signature MEscape™ coaching concept is a practical and tailored approach toward bringing balance into the every-day and accomplishing something epic.

Best things to do in Helsinki Finland - Shelly Nyqvist with headphones

Here are a few articles that she’s written:

You can connect with Shelly on her website and on Facebook and Instagram.


Click here to download our one page guide of Shelly’s tips for Helsinki.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – CLEAR

Don’t you just hate waiting in line for security at the airport? Me too! Even the PreCheck lines are slammed most of the time.

That’s why I use CLEAR to skip the lines and get to my flight quicker.

For my listeners, I’ve worked out a special deal where you can try CLEAR free for 2 months. This is a limited time offer, so go to to sign up today.

Best things do to in Helsinki Finland - Shelly Nyqvist - Korvapuisti (cinnamon rolls)

Traditional Finnish pastry: Korvapuisti (similar to cinnamon rolls)

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Lagos Nigeria - Sam Adeleke - enjoying a drink

Sam enjoying a drink by the water

Listen to the next episode when Sam Adeleke of Travel With Sam shares the best things to do in Lagos, Nigeria. Sam and I talk about the Badagry Black Heritage Museum, the Freedom Park on Lagos Island, and the Lekki Conservation Centre. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Helsinki? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

Please take a moment to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts or Stitcher so you don’t miss the next episode! While you’re at it, give us a rating and Tweet the podcast to your friends.

To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes

We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing multiple members of the Travel Massive community, such as: