Few travelers will have a hard time finding things to do during a Helsinki vacation. You can rent a car in Helsinki or book a "hop on, hop off" bus tour to get a feel for the city. Don't worry about trying to see everything at once; tour tickets are good for 24 hours. Museum fans should definitely stop at Ateneum, the top art museum in Finland. Head to the bohemian Kallio District for eclectic shopping at Hakaniemi, a market that has existed for 100 years, and don't forget to admire the art deco architecture of Kallio Church. The area around Helsinki is surrounded by islands, and summer is the perfect time to take a ferry to Suomenlinna (aka the Gibraltar of the North), a one-time sea fortress. Families with children should enjoy visiting the Seurasaari Open Air Museum or checking out the Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island.
The aptly named Helsinki Festival is possibly the city's biggest recurring event: a late-summer arts gathering featuring classical music, pop music, world music, visual art, and more than a quarter-million visitors. There are more modest gatherings, too. The Helsinki Comics Festival takes place in late August or early September, and the Helsinki International Film Festival has been held in late September for almost 30 years.
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