Hotels -- Part of the Kamp Hotel group, Hotel GLO, Kluuvikatu (tel. 10/3444-400), is in a restored 1920s bank near the port, with a day spa that is perhaps the best in Helsinki. Rooms are large and beautifully furnished, and the on-site La Cocina restaurant is worth the trip here even if you're not a hotel guest.

The Sokos chain continues to expand in Helsinki with the opening of Sokos Hotel Albert, Albertinkatu 30 (tel. 20/1234-638), in Punavuori, the art and design center of the city. Streamlined, well-designed bedrooms await you.

The Best Western chain continues to increase its presence with the opening of Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, Vyokatu 1 (tel. 800/780-7234 or 09/686-450), in a converted former prison. Two or three claustrophobia-inducing cells were joined to make each medium-size bedroom, so your stay here won't feel like serving time in the slammer.

Restaurants -- Arguably the best seafood restaurant in Helsinki is FishMarket, Pohjoisesplanadi 17 (tel. 09/1345-6220), near the South Harbor in an antique building. Its chefs purchase the latest catch of the day and turn it into delightful dishes, including the best seafood platter in town.


In the town center of the historic former capital of Finland, Omena Hotel Turku, Humalistonkatu 7 (tel. 0600/18018), is now open to overnighters. A sort of do-it-yourself hotel, it is one of the town's best bargains. It's definitely basic, but is comfortable nonetheless. Good for groups and families, each bedroom has both a double bed and a convertible sofa, so that up to four people can occupy one unit.


The Omena chain has also expanded to Finland's second city with the opening of the no-frills Omena Hotel Tampere, Hämeenkatu 28 (tel. 0600/18018). Taking self-service technology to a new level in Finland, the hotel keeps its prices the most competitive in town by virtually eliminating a staff. Yet, rooms are orderly and serviceable, sleeping four if needed on a double bed plus a convertible sofa for two.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.