This is the first time that information about all of Helsinki’s maritime attractions has been compiled on one website. The City of Helsinki’s maritime strategy aims to promote the accessibility of its islands.
Seaside Helsinki offers visitors and locals the best tips, whether they are interested in island destinations within walking distance or a short ferry ride away. Altogether, the section features four seaside neighbourhoods, each with several different island destinations.
“Through our neighbourhoods we want to encourage visitors to explore Helsinki as widely as possible. Local residents can also discover new perspectives by visiting the website. Helsinki has many terrific places that are outside the city centre but still easy to get to. The seaside is an essential part of Helsinki’s identity, so by adding our island destinations to the website, hopefully we can inspire locals and visitors alike to discover their appeal more actively,” says Laura Aalto, CEO of Helsinki Marketing.
Helsinki is strengthening the archipelago’s appeal, accessibility and services
Seaside Helsinki is part of the content strategy for the MyHelsinki.fi website. The City of Helsinki initiated this strategy work last spring with the aim of revitalising the Finnish capital’s seaside attractions and bringing them more to the awareness of locals and visitors.
“We set out to develop Helsinki’s maritime attractions last spring by inviting ideas from locals. Island destinations should be as open as possible, genuine local nature attractions, that people can find easily. In addition, we want to inform how to visit the archipelago while respecting the nature. This summer we are focussing on communications and gathering development ideas, as well as on business partnerships. We have also developed the Palvelukartta.fi website, which now includes descriptions of almost 30 island destinations. This work is just beginning, but we aim to open new maritime attractions already next summer,” adds Minttu Perttula, Project Manager for the City of Helsinki’s Maritime Strategy.
The next steps in the implementation of the maritime strategy involve services on the islands. Developing the digital services of ferry operations and maritime gateways at the Market Square and Hakaniemi, improving sanitation and ensuring the availability of drinking water are among the main projects for the coming years. Caring for the marine environment and eradicating plastics from the sea are also key goals that must be reconciled with the increasing use of the islands.
Several island destinations already attract many visitors, due in part to their restaurant services and interesting events. For example, concerts and yoga events on the recreational island of Lonna have proven to be popular, and visitors to the nearby island of Vallisaari have had the chance to try archery this summer. Visitors to Suomenlinna this summer will be entertained by Viapori Jazz and the touring exhibition ”SamaS” by Lebanese artist Zad Moultaka.
The Helsinki Biennale, a maritime festival of public art, will be held for the first time in 2020. The festival, which will take place along the shorelines and on the islands of the Finnish capital, is expected to attract over 300,000 visitors. The Helsinki Biennale is being coordinated by the Helsinki Art Museum, HAM.
The City of Helsinki is developing a maritime strategy with the aim of enhancing the appeal, services and accessibility of island and shoreline destinations, as well as to promote maritime events and continue opening up nearby islands for recreational use. The biggest event that is being planned as part of the strategy is the Helsinki Biennale, an international contemporary art festival that will take place in the archipelago and be held for the first time in 2020. The Helsinki Biennale is expected to attract approximately 300,000 visitors, most of whom will represent new users of Helsinki’s maritime services.
Helsinki has approximately 300 islands. Descriptions of the nearest and most accessible can be found on the palvelukartta.hel.fi website. New island destinations are being added to the service and existing information updated all the time. Visitors to the website can also contribute feedback for further developing the service.