An esplanade is a long, open area where people might take a walk for pleasure. The Esplanadi in Helsinki is no different, being a long green park stretching from the Swedish Theater to the Havis Amanda statue at the Kauppatori Market. A pedestrian walkway runs down the middle of the park, with a statue of Finland’s national poet, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, in the center.
Called “Espa” among locals, the park is very popular with both tourists and the people of Helsinki. Here you can come to relax, have a picnic or take a stroll and explore the markets that often fill the promenade. Often compared to New York's Central Park, the Esplanadi is right in the heart of the city center and runs parallel to two of Helsinki's busiest streets - the Pohjoisesplanadi and the Eteläesplanadi.
When the park first opened in the early 19th century, it was a popular spot with upper-class courting couples who would step out together and walk around the park admiring the scenery. Today’s visitors will find attractions including a fountain, marketplace, various events, an open air theater and several ice cream kiosks.
Events in the parkThe Esplanadi is also the location of the Tuomaan Markkinat - Helsinki’s oldest and largest Christmas Market, one of the top 15 European Christmas markets of 2015 according to the Huffington Post. Additionally, the park is often used as a venue for over 200 open-air concerts and festivals during the summer months. Some of the events that take place at Espan Lava are the annual Marimekko Fashion Show, gathering thousands of spectators, and Jazz-Espa, the longest-running jazz festival in Finland.
The Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel in Helsinki is a convenient 20-minute walk or a 5-minute drive from the Esplanadi Park. The location is perfect if you are looking for a newly refurbished hotel with urban design while attending a summer concert in the park or exploring the magical Christmas Market.