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Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori)
Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori)

Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori)

Aleksanterinkatu, Hallituskatu, Helsinki, Finland, 00170

The Basics

Such a high concentration of attractions means that Senate Square is an important part of most city tour, which typically include round-trip transfers to save you the stress of taking public transport. Private tours and hop-on hop-off bus rides allow you to personalize your itinerary, while inclusive packages such as the Helsinki Card—which proves ideal for families and budget-conscious travelers—come with discounted access to attractions and unlimited use of public transport.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Senate Square is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and first-time visitors to Helsinki.

  • Watch out for the snack-stealing seagulls who sometimes visit from the nearby Market Square.

  • Be aware that the main steps leading to the Cathedral are very steep; wheelchair access is available at the rear entrance.

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How to Get There

The centrally-located square is accessible by foot, tram, or bus. It’s also a convenient 10-minute drive from the cruise terminal, making it a popular stop on shore excursions designed to maximize limited time in Helsinki. If taking the metro, the nearest station is the University of Helsinki, located on Line 1.

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When to Get There

Don’t miss the Sound of the Senate Square, which has been ringing out since 2005. The sound installation is a modern composition, based on the classic European glockenspiel, and reverberates throughout the square for five minutes from from 5:49pm each day.

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A Brief History of Senate Square

Senate Square’s oldest building was completed in 1757, over 50 years before Alexander I of Russia made Helsinki the new Finnish capital. However, it’s Alexander I’s nephew, Alexander II, who is commemorated in the middle of the square. The statue was erected in 1894, when Finland was still a Russian territory, in recognition of the assassinated Tsar’s relatively progressive reforms, which had allowed Finland to strengthen its national autonomy.

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