Visiting Vantaa: what to do and what to see
Vantaa is a city situated in Southern Finland, close to the capital city of Helsinki and where the Helsinki-Vantaa airport can be found.
Although the city is young, the history of Vantaa has already been there for centuries, offering many events and festivals every year. There are also several interesting places to explore in Vantaa such as nature, shopping malls, theatres, museums, sightseeing points lakes, street art, and architecture.
Vantaa has a very good location, in terms of being close enough to Helsinki and the airport, hence making it an excellent place for organizing seminars and big conferences.
The tourist information offers maps and brochures, and is available at Vantaa information centers in Tikkurila and Myyrmäki. Tourist services are also available at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport and Helsinki railway station.
Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre
Heureka is one of the most popular centers in Finland. It introduces the public to science and technology, and it gives the possibility to have experiences of both fun and discovery. People in all ages can get engaged with various activities, interact with several experiments, and enjoy exploring. There are always wonderful exhibitions, planetarium films and events going on and visitors are welcome to participate.
Fazer's chocolate visitor centre
This is an exhibition with guided tours that allows visitors to have a tasty experience. There are organized visits for students, families, individuals or groups to have a fun and inspiring time and to get to know Fazer.
Finnish Aviation Museum
The Finnish Aviation Museum is situated in Aviapolis and it is a stop away from the airport. The museum showcases the history of Finnish aviation in some aircrafts. Children in particular enjoy spending time in the museum and get excited not only in observing the aircrafts but of course getting on the planes as well.
Sauna experience at Lake Kuusijärvi
The Lake of Kuusijärvi is very popular especially for children and families all around the year. There are excellent swimming facilities in summer time and the possibility of cross-country skiing in winter. This is also a special place for visitors because of its public smoke sauna called Savusauna as it brings them a wonderful experience to try the sauna first and then to enjoy the sandy beach and the lake to cool down for a swim. The Sauna is heated everyday and also there are some ice swimmers in wintertime who enjoy regulars visit to Lake Kuusijärvi. You can also enjoy the cafeteria and eat a bountiful lunch watching the natural scenery of the lake. It is also a wonderful spot to organize private parties.
Vantaa City Museum
The oldest one built in 1862, this museum, situated in the Tikkurila old railway station, is easy to reach. It is free of charge and provides the exhibitions in two floors. The museum arranges guided tours and workshops for schools, day care centers and other organizations.
This is also an ideal place to visit for families, sparking interest in kids to talk about the history of Vantaa, or participate in workshops, or just simply enjoy watching all the photos around the museum. There are also interesting exhibitions of different themes and subjects changed regularly to either history or nature.
Church of St. Lawrence/Pyhän Laurin kirkko
This is a church with the oldest building in Vantaa (built around 1450) and one of the best preserved historical parishes in Finland. The church is now part of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, but in the past worked as the Roman Catholic Church. The church was destroyed largely by a fire incident and therefore went through the reconstruction plans. The current design of the church is a mixture of Medieval and Gothic Revival architecture which creates a charming and beautiful building worth to visit in Vantaa. In addition, there are usually organized meetings happening in the church, weddings or concerts to enjoy, as well as a nice walk outside the church in a magnificent serene ambient.
Nature and green areas
Vantaa's nature is rich in green areas, fields, parks, forests, lakes, and rivers. Most of the parks and green areas open to public are along the rivers and streams and in their natural condition with additional pathways, playgrounds, and dog parks. The city has planned an excellent green-area network that is versatile and uniform, 50% of which is designed for green. Therefore all residents have green areas near their buildings as this is deemed important for their health and social issues.
The city's design for green area is also connected to ecology and climate and aims to maintain the natural values. So there's a lot to enjoy for visitors to have great days outdoors.
Sipoonkorpi National Park is surrounded by vivid fields and peaceful green area to pick wild mushrooms and berries, ski tracks in winter made and prepared with dedicated machine and team. Have an outdoor relaxing day next to the Vantaa historical riverside of Vantaankoski, lakes Kuusijärvi and other adventure sport, and 100 kms long the River Vantaajoki.
To eat and drink
Vantaa offers a large variety of international and Finnish food for every taste and preferences. There are options and choices from places to offer lunch economically up to the manor houses where to serve food in the charming atmosphere. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants in various shopping and entertainment centers such as Flamingo Center, Jumbo or Dixi shopping center, but among the most popular ones is Kahvi Charlotta. This is a Cafe which supports coffee community, farmers and their families, and helps young people to get work in the coffee industry. Their products are of high quality and always fresh, bought from local producers, and there is detailed attention also to recycling the rubbish.
Dixi Shopping/ Travel Center is located in the Tikkurila railway station which makes it a convenient shopping place because Tikkurila is one of the main stations with excellent connections. It's also easy to reach the station by bus or by car or bike, and even on foot. Long-distance trains stop here as well so travellers and locals can easily use different services available such as tourist information, supermarkets, toilets, restaurants, cafes and other shops.
The Jumbo Shopping Center is situated in Vantaa and close to Helsinki airport. It has an interesting history of foundation, design, and development process with the goal of creating the largest shopping center in Europe. Jumbo successfully attracted millions of customers and the number has increased over the years. It currently employs more than a thousand people.
Services in Jumbo include: large cycle parking facilities, recycling area for various types of waste, banking and post services, free WIFI and easy internet access. They also offer the possibility to borrow wheelchairs, get lockers and storage for luggage, or charge mobile phones, services for electric car owners including car park and charging stations. There are also excellent family-friendly facilities for comfortable and safe shopping including playgrounds for children with different games and attractions, baby-changing facilities providing microwave ovens.
The big shopping mall provides an overall kid-friendly environment where one can do shopping easier because of the trolleys that can accommodate both children and small babies. You can also ask for a name tag from information desk for the children where you can write your phone number and contact details in case of the child gets lost.
Flamingo is a large entertainment center open throughout the year located next to Jumbo and Helsinki Airport. It has a hotel, a bowling center, a movie theater, some shops and restaurants, and of course the waterpark and Flamingo Spa. The waterpark has big water slides is a very popular place for families with children. The spa area is for adults and inside there are pools, a cafe, different kinds of saunas and it also offers a massage service.