Helsinki

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#1
137 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
We will be in Helsinki on Tuesday, August 3, on the Star Princess. According to what I have been reading on the boards here, we need to see Market Square, the Lutheran Church in Senate Square and the Rock Church. Anything else?

Does anyone know if the 3T/3B tram goes to all these places or how we should do this? We are a group of 18 people so I am trying only do planned wandering versus trying to figure out which direction to go in with such a group.

Thanks!
#3
Lake Erie's South Shore
3,872 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
www.visithelsinki.fi!

We received print brochures outlining the tram tour, a visitors' guide, and a guide for cruise visitors within a week after making an online request.

You can see the sites you mentioned via the Tram 3B/3T.

God Bless You for taking responsibility for making those 18 people happy.
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#4
West Hempstead, NY
5,238 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by bayjoens
We will be in Helsinki on Tuesday, August 3, on the Star Princess. According to what I have been reading on the boards here, we need to see Market Square, the Lutheran Church in Senate Square and the Rock Church. Anything else?

Does anyone know if the 3T/3B tram goes to all these places or how we should do this? We are a group of 18 people so I am trying only do planned wandering versus trying to figure out which direction to go in with such a group.

Thanks!


Helsinki is a marvelous city, but really different from most of the other stops on this type of crusie. Out of all the ports, I would rate this towards the bottom, but that doesn't mean it was bad. Just others were better.

You can spend hours in Market Square. That is the sort of 'hub' of the city. from there you can go in several directions to many other places. That is where you will catch the tram, and the tram will take you around Helsinki to most of it's attractions.

You have already mentioned some of the main sites, but there are many others. You should also get to see the Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral, and try to do a ferry ride to the Suomenlinna Fortress. If you enjoy that sort of thing, it is definitely worth the time. Others like to view the Olympic Stadium.

Here are a few pix of Helsinki's sights and stops to get you acquainted.

The Lutheran Church in Senate square
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1062.jpg

Church in the Rock
Here is a short video of the inside
http://s834.photobucket.com/albums/z...master1163.flv

Helsinki 'skyline' from thre ferry going to the fortress
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1121.jpg

Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1135.jpg

But the best was Market Square, where you can buy anything from souvenirs, the food to just about anything
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1148.jpg

http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1146.jpg

Cheers

Len

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#5
Columbus, Ohio
18,575 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by bayjoens
We will be in Helsinki on Tuesday, August 3, on the Star Princess. According to what I have been reading on the boards here, we need to see Market Square, the Lutheran Church in Senate Square and the Rock Church. Anything else? Does anyone know if the 3T/3B tram goes to all these places or how we should do this? We are a group of 18 people so I am trying only do planned wandering versus trying to figure out which direction to go in with such a group. Thanks!
WOW! That is a large group of people to be responsible for "herding" along. You're right on the three main priorities with the Rock Church, Senate Square and Market Square. Below are some visuals on some other options to consider. Are you trying to do this trip ultra cheap on public transportation . . . or . . . do you have flexibility to do have a mini-bus and maybe a tour guide? Hopefully your weather will super nice as ours was that day in Helsinki.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio



Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki’s traditional Orthodox Church is placed on a solid stone base overlooking the main market:




Looking close at the dome of the Cathedral on Senate Square:




This Helsinki park has a stainless steel sculpture dedicated to composer Sibelius who is best-known for his symphonic work:




Helsinki’s rail station was designed by famed architect Saarinen who has American connection through his later work and his famed son:




Helsinki’s Church of Rock, carved out of solid stone with a unique contemporary design:

#6
Finland
887 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by bayjoens
We will be in Helsinki on Tuesday, August 3, on the Star Princess. According to what I have been reading on the boards here, we need to see Market Square, the Lutheran Church in Senate Square and the Rock Church. Anything else?

Does anyone know if the 3T/3B tram goes to all these places or how we should do this? We are a group of 18 people so I am trying only do planned wandering versus trying to figure out which direction to go in with such a group.
Market Square, the Lutheran Church in Senate Square are all next to each other with the Rock Church a mile away cross downtown. Yes, tram 3T would take you almost all the way if you prefer not to walk.

What are your plans for the trip between the ship and downtown , i.e. shuttle or local bus, as that will determine your start and end points?

Could you also give some idea of the age distribution among those 18 persons? Are there some who will have trouble moving around for example ? Or pronlems climbing steps? The way to the Uspenski Cathedral is quite hilly and if you want to see the interior you must climb some steps.

A few points about the shuttle busses here.
Most ships seems indeed to provide shuttle service between the ship and downtown. The traditional stop used to be outside the Swedish Theatre but due to to repair work the busses have been forced to stop this year at alternative places but those two I have noticed (Erottaja & Lönnrotinkatu) are just about 120 yards away from the Theatre so it should not be a problem. Just wanted to mention it so it will not come as a surprise to those who might have made detailed walking plans.
#7
230 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by TMLAalum
www.visithelsinki.fi!

We received print brochures outlining the tram tour, a visitors' guide, and a guide for cruise visitors within a week after making an online request.

You can see the sites you mentioned via the Tram 3B/3T.

God Bless You for taking responsibility for making those 18 people happy.
Great site. Am wondering how you got the print brochures in the mail. Did you request them through the 'contact us' link?
#8
Lake Erie's South Shore
3,872 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by Harry Cane
Great site. Am wondering how you got the print brochures in the mail. Did you request them through the 'contact us' link?
This page should help:http://www.visithelsinki.fi/In_Engli.../Brochures.iw3. I also received a City Tourist Map. Tallinn also provided print brochures via mail. All I received from Copenhagen was a map, but it's very useful. We aren't headed to Berlin, so I requested & received print brochures for the Mecklenberg/Pomerania region of Germany as well.

Happy Planning!
#9
137 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Ultima Thule, what a great resource you are. Thank you! You have great questions. And thank you to those with other links/resources as well. I have done various searches but even then, it can sometimes be difficult to sort through all the pages to find what you are looking for.

I did find our dock though. Hernesaari. UT, I was planning on buses or trams, since I didn't know if there might be a shuttle bus. Is it free? Is it provided by the cruise line or is it public transportation? We will take whatever is easiest. Our group of 18 people ranges in age from 16 to 82, but funny enough, it is the folks in their 60's with the mobility problems. Still everyone is able-bodied and ready to walk or climb as necessary. We could probably easily walk the mile but it might be nice to have a bus option one way. It would be great to get to the Upensky Cathedral and Suomenlinna, but we also would like to have plenty of time to walk around/shop/dine at the Market Square. UT, what do you think our best plan of action would be?

TLC, we would like to be cost-conscious but would consider private transportation if necessary. We are already doing private tours in Stockholm, St. Pete's, Tallinn and Gdansk, because these places are harder to navigate or it makes sense to have someone lead us, rather than figuring out which way to go or having one of our group read from a guidebook. Helsinki however looks like a great place to use public trans and walk. Also we would like some time NOT on a tour, and I am sure most of the board users understand entirely.

With the help and kindness of people like Ultima Thule and all the rest on thread, I think we can hopefully figure out how to make the most of our time in each port while saving my own sanity as much as possible. Thanks again, all.
#11
Finland
887 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by bayjoens
Ultima
I did find our dock though. Hernesaari. UT, I was planning on buses or trams, since I didn't know if there might be a shuttle bus. Is it free? Is it provided by the cruise line or is it public transportation? We will take whatever is easiest. Our group of 18 people ranges in age from 16 to 82, but funny enough, it is the folks in their 60's with the mobility problems. Still everyone is able-bodied and ready to walk or climb as necessary. We could probably easily walk the mile but it might be nice to have a bus option one way. It would be great to get to the Upensky Cathedral and Suomenlinna, but we also would like to have plenty of time to walk around/shop/dine at the Market Square. UT, what do you think our best plan of action would be?

Shuttles are provided by the crusie lines, not by public tranportation and the are not free.

One very simple route could for example be (just to give you some ideas to develope):
Shuttle to corner Mannerheim road/ Southern Esplanade. A walk along the Northern Esplanade street or through the Esplanade park itself to the Market Square, (550 yards)
Alternative, take local bus 16 from ship to same corner (Stop: "Erottaja") or all the way to Market Square (Stop: "Kauppatori")
From the other end of the market over the bridge to the Uspenski Cathedral. Back over the bridge to Senate Square and the Lutheran Cathedral. (about 1000 Yards in total)
Take tram 3T (stop is half a block west of the Senate Square, north side of the street) through downtown, passing railway station on the way. Get off at the fifth stop (Kauppakorkeakoulut) near the corner of Arkadia Street/Runeberg Street. Go back one block and then turn left and uphill Fredrik street one block to the Rock Church (300 Yards).
Where you stepped off the tram there is a bus stop across the street (i.e south side of Arkadia Street) where bus 14B (going eastwards at this point) will take you back to the ship.

Just an idea. Would you considering splitting the group? Some could return to ship here while others perhaps would like to end the with some (window) shopping? For the latters a route could be:
from Rock Church 3 1/2 blocks southwards along Fredrik street to Kamppi shopping mall on left side. Trough the mall, down one floor, keeping to the right over an open field to corner Simon street/Mannerheim Road with Forum shopping mall and across the corner Sokos departmant store. Down one block along Mannerheim road to Stockmann department store (Finlands largest) and finally
one more block back to shuttle stop.

------------

Some information for all interested about accessibility of the Cathedrals.

Lutheran Cathedral:
Front side 46+6 steps, alternative on left side uphill+14+7+6 steps, alternative further upwards to rear side 7+6 steps.

Uspenski Cathedral:
On Kanavakatu just after the bridge where park starts there is a zig-zag path with steps in intervals going up to an open place under the cathedral - 32 steps in total. (This is the route most tourists seem to use)
Further forward in middle of the block where the street is at its highest point there is another path leading into the park in a left turn and on to the open place. The road is decently steep with no steps.
(I would recommend that one).
From the open place there are then a further 7+18+8 steps up to the cathedral.
#12
Vancouver, BC
7,972 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
We just got off the Star Princess and no the shuttle buses are not free....

However that is the easiest way to get into town except for Tallin & Oslo where you dock right in town...

Gadyia there is NO shuttle bus and Gadance is a 45 minute drive away so a ships tour is a good idea here....

Your Port Lecturer is John Lawrence who is great and he gives wonderful useful advise for those who want to do each port independantly...I would sujest that you buy his DVD on the Baltics and then you would have his info to help you plan for each port.
#13
Columbus, Ohio
18,575 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by bayjoens
TLC, we would like to be cost-conscious but would consider private transportation if necessary. We are already doing private tours in Stockholm, St. Pete's, Tallinn and Gdansk, because these places are harder to navigate or it makes sense to have someone lead us, rather than figuring out which way to go or having one of our group read from a guidebook. Helsinki however looks like a great place to use public trans and walk. Also we would like some time NOT on a tour, and I am sure most of the board users understand entirely. With the help and kindness of people like Ultima Thule and all the rest on thread, I think we can hopefully figure out how to make the most of our time in each port while saving my own sanity as much as possible. Thanks again, all.
THANKS for the added background! It sounds like you are approaching things well. There is a little distance from the main market/Senate Square area to the Rock Church, but it can all work out.

On the shuttle buses, these are things that some, but not all, cruise ships will provide. Some for free, some are at an extra charge. Not all cruise lines do all things the same way. Certain of the higher-end lines will provide that without an extra cost. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio
#14
San Francisco, CA
300 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Somewhere on another thread (can't find it now), there was mention of 2 public buses that come into the dock areas at Hernesaari...#14B that stops near the Rock Chuerch and and #16 that goes near Market Sq. Am I totally incorrect?
#15
Finland
887 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by travellover3
Somewhere on another thread (can't find it now), there was mention of 2 public buses that come into the dock areas at Hernesaari...#14B that stops near the Rock Chuerch and and #16 that goes near Market Sq.
Correct.
#16
137 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by Ultima Thule
One very simple route could for example be (just to give you some ideas to develope):
Shuttle to corner Mannerheim road/ Southern Esplanade. A walk along the Northern Esplanade street or through the Esplanade park itself to the Market Square, (550 yards)
Alternative, take local bus 16 from ship to same corner (Stop: "Erottaja") or all the way to Market Square (Stop: "Kauppatori")
From the other end of the market over the bridge to the Uspenski Cathedral. Back over the bridge to Senate Square and the Lutheran Cathedral. (about 1000 Yards in total)
Take tram 3T (stop is half a block west of the Senate Square, north side of the street) through downtown, passing railway station on the way. Get off at the fifth stop (Kauppakorkeakoulut) near the corner of Arkadia Street/Runeberg Street. Go back one block and then turn left and uphill Fredrik street one block to the Rock Church (300 Yards).
Where you stepped off the tram there is a bus stop across the street (i.e south side of Arkadia Street) where bus 14B (going eastwards at this point) will take you back to the ship.

Just an idea. Would you considering splitting the group? Some could return to ship here while others perhaps would like to end the with some (window) shopping? For the latters a route could be:
from Rock Church 3 1/2 blocks southwards along Fredrik street to Kamppi shopping mall on left side. Trough the mall, down one floor, keeping to the right over an open field to corner Simon street/Mannerheim Road with Forum shopping mall and across the corner Sokos departmant store. Down one block along Mannerheim road to Stockmann department store (Finlands largest) and finally
one more block back to shuttle stop.
Wow! Such detail! You are a wonder, UT. (I hope you didn't count out those steps yourself.) Thank you so much!

Questions:
1. When you say "finally one more block back to shuttle stop", do you mean the ship's shuttle or one of the buses? The 14B back to the ship?
2. I would definitely consider splitting the group but I don't think they will consider it. They love to shop. Do you think we are better off ending with shopping near the Rock Church or at the Market Square? If at the Market Square, could we do this itinerary backwards? Would we take the 14B from the ship to Rock Church and then the 3T to Market Square and then the 16 to the ship or does it work that way?
3. This way we could end up at Market Square for lunch as well. Any suggestions as to what or where we should have lunch, something we need to try?
4. Just to confirm, it is about a mile between Rock Church and Market Square, so we could walk? (Just want to double check because I would hate to have the group of 18 pax start walking and then figure out it is too far.) Some may elect to walk and some could take the bus.

Thanks, everyone, for all the info. I appreciate your help with my "group."
*The link to the transportation thread was useful and I gleaned all sorts of info about fares and how to pay.
*I ordered maps and brochures from the Helsinki tourism site.
*I received my John Lawrence DVD a couple of days ago and have been watching one port at a time. (I have to admit that I speed it up a bit on my computer because his speech pattern is a bit slow for me and I find my attention wandering. ) It has clarified what I want to see and I like the historical background he gives. Also this way, I feel like I can skip his lectures on the ship and relax in the lounge with a cocktail and friends, then watch his presentations on the close-circuit tvs later.
#17
Finland
887 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by bayjoens
I hope you didn't count out those steps yourself..
Yes , I actually did.

1. When you say "finally one more block back to shuttle stop", do you mean the ship's shuttle or one of the buses? The 14B back to the ship?
Meant ship's shuttle but bus 16 also stops nearby on Mannerheim Road.

2. Do you think we are better off ending with shopping near the Rock Church or at the Market Square?
Area closest to Rock Church is residential. The shopping area is rather in the middle, between the shuttle stop and railway station, particulary Stockmanns department store at mannerheim Road 1 and also Northern Esplanade and Alexander street (thats why I recommended a walk along Northern Esplanade rather than Southern Esplanade as the former is shopping while latter is more business/administrative). You better check it all out on a map.

If at the Market Square, could we do this itinerary backwards? Would we take the 14B from the ship to Rock Church and then the 3T to Market Square and then the 16 to the ship or does it work that way?
Thats of course also possible. The 14B stop near Rock Church would be "Kauppakorkeakoulut", i.e same place as the tram stop mentioned earlier.
From there you just take the 3T tram in the other direction.

3. This way we could end up at Market Square for lunch as well. Any suggestions as to what or where we should have lunch, something we need to try??
Guess I'm too biased to answer that but there are several options on the market itself from paella type food to salmon soup and specials like reindeer meat (dont care much for that one myself). Also check out nearby market hall. Just a warning, if you plan to eat outdoors, watch out for the seagulls as they can get really nasty.

4. Just to confirm, it is about a mile between Rock Church and Market Square, so we could walk?
A check using Google Earth ruler tool gave distance from 3T stop near Senate Square to Rock Church as 1757 Yards, i.e a mile less three yards!
#18
West Haddon, UK
4,565 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Can you walk out of the dock at LMA West Harbour? Our plan is to walk out of the cruise terminal/dockyard and head for Itamerenkatu, get the No8 tram and head towards Taka Toolo and swap on to the 3T/3B tram. Is this workable? Just wondering if you will be allowed to walk across the dockyard...health and safety and that. Do the tram drivers sell day tickets (€6.80) or have you got to get them beforehand?

Simon
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#19
Lake Mary, Florida
69 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We are going on the Star Princess in August. Does the ship offer a shuttle to town, and if so, the cost per person?
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#20
Finland
887 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by linaka625
We are going on the Star Princess in August. Does the ship offer a shuttle to town, and if so, the cost per person?
When Star Princess was here a few days ago they provided shuttles. Cost unknown to me.