Friday, April 26, 2013

Sports activities in Helsinki

Helsinki is a city with lots of things to do. Whatever makes your clock tick, you can probably do it in Helsinki. 

Interesting museums and cool architecture, that dates back couple of hundreds of years.  

But what if you are a sports person? Is there then something to do? Well yes, there is.

Helsinki had the summer Olympics in 1952 and from that time there is the Olympic stadium, which is a nice place to visit and there is the possibility for sports as well. For example there is an old boxing hall that you can use, though it’s quite expensive, 30€ per hour.  Also it is possible to use the stadium circuit, but it’s even more expensive, 150€ per hour for groups less than 15 people. So if you are on a tight budget, this is not the place to go. If not, I recommend visiting there, getting the sweat up and feeling the Olympic spirit.

If there is something in Tripadvisor that I comp, that is the top ranked sports activity in Helsinki, Helsinki by Kayak. It’s a few hour paddling trip that will take you to the archipelago of Helsinki. Price is 65€ per person (at least was before, I suggest you check it form and it includes all the equipment, sandwich and an expert guide who can turn you in to an almost pro-paddler.

At least this was the first time for me, but still  Trip starts from central Helsinki, to be accurate from the modern art museum Kiasma, by bus to the Vuosaari Paddling Center and finishes few hours later to the starting point.

The actual paddling routes vary, but they are all as cool as other. Booking the tour is a bit tricky, cause the web page is “oldish” but hopefully they will redo it sometime. Of course this activity is available only during the summer, because the sea gets frozen during the winter and gets cold in the fall.
Another sporting activity, which I haven’t tested, is Nuuksio Forrest Lake trail, just outside Helsinki. 

This is organized by the same folks that organize Helsinki by Kayak and has had high praises in Tripadvisor. If you have taken that trip, please comment if it was worth the while. There is also a winter activity, snowshoeing trip to Nuuksio, but for that trip you have to have some winter hiking gear like proper shoes.

If you love running, there is something for you as well. In the spring there is Helsinki City Run, which is the biggest ½ marathon happening in Finland. It is usually organized in May. Then there is Helsinki City Marathon and Midnight Run in August, at least for 2013. For an inexperienced runner (like me) the Midnight Run is the one to choose. It’s only 10km long and the point is to have fun instead of running with the taste of blood in your mouth.

If you are planning on taking part on any of these happenings, you should choose your hotel to be located in the central Helsinki. Good location would be Kaisaniemi district because of its central location. 

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