The art museums and galleries of central Helsinki
In a short space of time, Helsinki has become a noteworthy European art destination. Its museums alone are enough to keep art-loving travellers busy for several days.
Helsinki is a treat for art lovers
Hotel St. George, in the heart of Helsinki, is perfectly located for a day of gallery-hopping. The best art galleries of Helsinki are just around the corner, or across the Old Church Park. To see for yourself, check out this art-tastic tour of the city centre.
Art moment #1: Galerie Forsblom
Your itinerary begins right next door to the hotel. Cross the street of Lönnrotinkatu and you’ll find Galerie Forsblom. The exhibitions mainly showcase leading Finnish contemporary artists, but the sophisticated space and ambiance wouldn’t be out of place in the finest art districts of London or New York.
Address: Yrjönkatu 22
Art moment #2: Galerie Anhava
Leaving Forsblom, walk a couple of blocks west on Lönnrotinkatu to Galerie Anhava on the corner of Fredrikinkatu. Anhava is a classic when it comes to Helsinki art galleries. Its fabulous exhibitions have charmed Helsinki’s art aficionados for several decades. Just like Forsblom, it’s home to Finland’s foremost contemporary art.
Address: Fredrikinkatu 43
Art moment #3: Helsinki Contemporary
An alternate starting point to the gallery tour is Helsinki Contemporary. Look slightly left at the door of Hotel St. George, and you’ll see the grand Neo-Renaissance building that houses this excellent gallery. The exhibitions of Helsinki Contemporary, which present the works of prominent Finnish contemporary artists, are always worth a visit.
Address: Bulevardi 10
Art moment #4: "The museum mile" of Ateneum, Kiasma, HAM and Amos Rex
Excellent museums are the crown jewel of the Helsinki art scene. In recent years, a constellation of international-standard art museums has emerged in the centre of Helsinki. Art is experiencing a renaissance, with rising visitor numbers and unforeseen interest in exhibitions.
A source of discussion and entertainment, art is part of the Helsinki way of life.
Helsinki residents have good reason to be proud of their “museum mile.” The 1.5-kilometre-long stretch that is home to Ateneum, Kiasma and HAM now boasts a new arrival, too: Amos Rex, a fascinating museum and an ambitious architectural feat.
To complete the experience, most of these museums have a shop and a restaurant that offer temptations beyond the exhibitions. The beautiful venues are ideal for relaxation, whether before or after you’ve feasted on the art.
Art moment #5: Ai Weiwei’s Tianwu and culinary art at Hotel St. George
Our art journey ends back at Hotel St. George. Tianwu, an impressive sculpture by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, greets guests at the lobby.
Welcome to Hotel St. George, where you can experience a carefully curated art collection in each guest room and public space.
The art collection of Hotel St. George comprises a total of over 400 works of art. For example, let Pekka Jylhä’s giant Learning to Fly sculpture take your imagination to new heights at Wintergarden as you sip an artisan cocktail, or treat yourself to coffee and cake at St. George Bakery, where you’ll find inspiration in Finnish graphic arts.
Image credit: Robbie Lawrence for Design Hotels, Mikko Ryhänen and Jussi Tiainen
Published: Jan 7, 2019