Catch the scenic morning bustle at Kauppatori, or Market Square, one of the city’s most popular attractions. A fresh breeze floats across the open-air marketplace, set on the waterfront at the beginning of Esplanadi, as vendors offer the best of Finland’s produce from their tents and stalls and the market buildings flanking the square. Trinkets and treats are also on offer, as are spaces to grab something to eat and a shot of coffee to start the day. If you visit on the first Sunday of an October, you’ll witness the Baltic Herring Market, when fishermen present their salted herring for sale—an annual event since 1743.
Culturally curious savants should jump into a cab after breakfast for a short ride to Ateneum and nearby Kiasma, two must-see art institutions belonging to the Finnish National Gallery. Ateneum’s permanent collection explores the historical development of Finnish art from 1809 until the 1960s, while Kiasma focuses on contemporary art and features shows by the likes of South Korean pop artist Choi Jeong Hwa and London-based Lebanese video and installation artist Mona Hatoum.