“ National park located in Helsinki, Finland „
Although there isn't really anything to do at this park, it is still a very popular tourist attraction. Esplande Park is located in South Helsinki, right near the sightseeing ferry port and Market Square. From the end furthest away from the port, it will take you around 10 minutes to walk there. The park is also a 15 minute walk from the main train station in the city centre.
I noticed this beautiful park while heading to the ferry port to go to the zoo and decided that it had to be a place we went back to. At the end of the park nearest the ferry port is the Espa stage which stays all year round come sun or snow. On the couple of occasions we were near the park, different musicians were playing on the stage and fashion shows are also hosted there throughout the year. The free music concerts gave the park a lovely atmosphere and seeing people just sitting around taking it all in was delightful. It really was great to sit around on the grass and take in what was going on around us. Near the stage is also a café/ restaurant which we didn't use.
As we visited Helsinki in the middle of summer, it was pretty hot. The Esplande Park gave me a place to sit either in the sun and work on my tan or under a large tree and hide in the shade. I really liked that different parts of the park had differences in the weather so there really was a place for everyone to sit no matter their preference. Each time we were either in the park or walking past it, there were plenty of people lounging around, taking in the view and taking advantage of the glorious weather. The park is also child friendly as there are large grassy areas where families can sit with their children and there is still plenty of room for them to run around.
Along the paths of the park, there are plenty of small ice cream sellers as well as some kiosks. As it was summer, this was a great thing so that people could cool off with a refreshing ice cream/ lolly or an ice cold drink. This did make me wonder what happens in the winter though and if people stand outside selling hot drinks for the people taking in the views of the park during that season. If they do, I feel really sorry for them as it gets freezing in Helsinki during the winter. The St. Thomas Christmas Market does inhabit the park though during winter and it made up of over 120 stalls where you can buy items like fur, souvenirs, crafts, food and baked goods.
The views from each side of the park were wonderful. Each side has different restaurants and shops and while sitting on the grass, you can decide at leisure where you would like to eat. From here, you get a good sense of what else you can do in Helsinki and what the city has to offer in ways of shopping and dining. The diversity of restaurants and cafés was good and it seemed like there was something for everyone and for every price range although quite a few of the restaurants do look more upmarket compared to some.
Esplande Park was a fabulous way to waste a couple of hours and the best part of it is that it is free. Not much in Helsinki is cheap or even free to do so the park makes a nice change and it is a lovely place to relax and take in the city.