Helsinki: Family Holiday
Helsinki is a fantastic place for a family holiday. With easy to use public transport, lots of outdoor activities, lively museums (including a Children’s Museum, part of the Helsinki City Museum), beaches and parks to explore it has everything you could wish for in one safe, clean and compact package. Exploring the sea fortress of Suomenlinna gives you the opportunity to give the kids some culture (museums, artists’ workshops, open air concerts and theatres anyone?) then run off any excess energy exploring the tunnels and ramparts.
The same goes for the outdoor museum at Seurasaari Island, with the added bonus of a beach. Helsinki Central Park also has all the facilities you could wish for, whether you want to introduce them to a new experience such as a sauna (this is a family activity in Finland), canoeing or just a walk in the forest. Families on holiday in Helsinki can also visit the ever-popular Sea Life Centre, where creatures of the deep can be observed, including their new shark exhibition. And if you’re visiting the Sea Life centre, then you’re right next to Linnanmäki, Helsinki’s amusement park. Linnanmäki offers all the rides and shows you could want from a family amusement park, but possibly the best bit is the original 1950s wooden rollercoaster that is still controlled by a ‘brakeman’ on the back of each set of cars. The ride varies depending on who your brakeman is and how fast he likes to take the drops (brakemen get quite famous during the season that the ride is open – each has his own picture profile on the wall of the ride).
All in all, Helsinki offers families a great holiday destination, and the wide availability of serviced apartments as well as the camping facilities at Rastila means that accommodation needn’t be expensive or restrictive.