Dinky Helsinki holds the record for the smallest city ever to host the Olympic Games. The locals call it ‘a big village.’ But despite its home-town vibe, it’s still quite the cosmopolitan capital. And its mix of Slavic and Scandinavian architecture tells the story of its push-me-pull-me relationship with Russia. On this city tour you’ll see sights like the Neoclassical Presidential Palace that sits on the waterfront. You’ll drive down Mannerheim Street where Helsinki’s commitment to design shines through. Here the powerful looking Parliament building, the glittering white marble of Finlandia Hall and the minimalist lines of the new Opera house vie for your attention as you whiz by en route to Senate Square. This is the Neoclassical heart of the city. Designed by German architect, Engel, the square is home to the onion-domed Tuomiokirkko, otherwise known as St Nicholas’ Cathedral. Next on the sightseeing hit-list is Sibelius Park where you’ll stop to see the Sibelius Monument erected in honour of the famous Finnish composer. A modern sculpture of hollow metal tubing, it creates beautiful music when a breeze blows through. Last but not least, you’ll visit the Church in the Rock. A holy house that’s literally carved out of the rock face, this place does exactly what it says on the tin.
If a service is taking place in Rock Church, the guide will describe the church from the outisde. It's a 400-yard walk uphill from the coach parking to the Rock Church. The tour may operate in reverse order.
- SUITABILITY Moderate physical activity.