Length: 4.2 km (2.6 miles), terrain flat
Helsinki running routes:
Helsinki Essential downtown route
Helsinki North route
For more running routes, see Route List.
Photos courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Here's a route that heads north from Helsinki's downtown, passes some of the city's most monumental buildings, then heads back along some lakeside paths and parks. Finland is famous for its architects, and this run covers a variety of their works and styles.
|Lampholders at Helsinki Station, photo by Wibble22|
Facing the station, turn left and run past the art-deco Sokos Hotel to the big street, Mannerheimintie. Cross the street and turn right to run northwards.
On your left side is the Lasipalatsi (glass palace) restaurant, in its own 1930s art-deco style.
|The glass palace, photo by Susanne Nybergh|
|Finnish Parliament, photo by wstryder|
|The National Museum, photo by Jaime Silva|
|Finlandia Hall, photo by pica|
Continue northwards by taking the lakeside path around to the left, with the water on your right side. When you get to the north end of the lake, you'll pass the modern opera house, built in 1993.
|At the opera house, photo by harrypwt|
NOTE: You could cross the road and continue running northwards, past the stadium and on into a strip of woods to the left of the Aurora hospital, heading north through natural Finnish countryside for several more kilometers, if you wish. It's my favorite place to run in Helsinki, but goes off the map of normal jogs.
Follow the path closest to the lake as it heads southwards again, turning right just before the big railroad overpass.
|Along the lake, from the north shore, photo by Arg768|
The path runs into Eläintarhantie street, where you turn right. After just 100 meters, you turn right again onto the footpath going down through a park to the water ahead. This is a bay which cuts into northern Helsinki from the east.
Run straight south now, with the railroad tracks directly to your right and the water on your left.
Just keep running straight with the tracks to your right after you pass the bay. On your left side, you'll see the botanical garden and then you'll run through Kaisaniemen Park, with its pond and fountains. This is Helsinki's oldest park, and it is worth doing an extra loop through here, especially when the neighboring botanical garden is open (daily till 4 p.m., no entrance fee).
|Kaisaniemi, photo by Henri Luoma|
Just run along the right side of the square to the front of the station and you'll find yourself back at your starting place again.