Experience the small-town idyll in Ekenäs. Walks in the Old Town and in the lush parks of the city, getting to know the renowned artist Helene Schjerfbeck, enjoying the local goodies in our cafés and restaurants and unforgettable cultural experiences are the highlights of a trip to Ekenäs. This article lists the must-see sights and best activities for groups visiting Ekenäs.
Ekenäs Old Town
The old town is the oldest section of Ekenäs. Most of the buildings date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and the oldest buildings can be found in Linvävaregatan. In this area you can admire fine examples of the building techniques of past centuries.
The blocks have peculiar names, such as Löjan (Bleak), Hvalfisken (Whale), Wildsvinet (Wild Boar) and Sillen (Herring). As they refer to the traditional fishing trade of the city, they together with the so-called gossip mirrors and traditional lanterns shape the nostalgic atmosphere of the Old Town alleys. Ekenäs Old Town is almost fully inhabited by locals, which makes it different from the other old towns in Finland.
The Ekenäs grey stone church lies in the center of the Old Town and has been built around the year 1680. The church was severely damaged in a fire and got renovated to its present form in the 19th century. The church is open during summer daily at 11-17 or according to reservations.
Address: Stora Kyrkogatan 18.
The best way to dive into the atmosphere and hear tales about the people and history of Old Town is to take a guided tour. You can also book a themed tour, that centers around for example the artist Helene Schjerfbeck, the town’s architecture or for example the nature or archipelago outside Ekenäs. You can book your guide directly from the Touist guides of Raseborg.
The sightseeing tours are driven by the group’s own bus and a short walk around the Old Town can be added to the package. It’s also possible to visit the Church with your guide if it’s agreed beforehand. The tours can be arranged also only by foot with a smaller group, or by bus entirely. The tours will show you around the beautiful Ekenäs and let you know it’s fascinating history and present.
The artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) lived in Ekenäs during the years 1925-1941. Ekenäs and its surroundings were important for her in many ways. Several of her landscape paintings were made here and both her parents’ families were from this area. Her paintings can be admired in Raseborg’s Museum in the exhibition Helene Schjerfbeck’s Life and Art, that has also on display other belongings often shown in her art.
In Ekenäs you can participate in dramatized guided tours, with “Helene herself” as the guide. The tour includes Helene telling stories about her life and showing you around the parks and buildings that inspired her. She will also tell you about her friends that were portrayed as models in her paintings.
In addition to the dramatized walk, groups can book a guided tour to Raseborg’s Museum’s Schjerfbeck exhibition, participate in a joint painting session with Helene or read the artist’s old letters with a guide.
For more information, prices and bookings, see here.
In Raseborg’s Museum (Ekta) you can learn about the history of Ekenäs and the surrounding areas, as well as see the art of the renowned Helene Schjerfbeck. In addition to the permanent exhibitions of Raseborg Through the Ages and Helene Schjerfbeck’s Life and Art there are several yearly changing themed exhibitions. The historical houses of Porvaristalo (Commoner’s House), Valokuvaamo (Photographer’s Studio) and Ulkorivistö (Outside Stall) are open during summer and December. The museum also has a museum shop and a small café (16 seats).
Opening hours: Wed-Sun at 11-17, from June to August Tue-Sun 11-17.
Address: Gustav Wasas Gata 11, 10600 Ekenäs.
Reservations, ticket prices, tour prices and information: 019 289 2512, email@example.com.
Gallery Elverket is located right next to Raseborg’s Museum. The gallery is run by the Pro Artibus foundation, that aims to promote visual arts by Finnish Swedes. The gallery presents changing exhibitions all around the year and has a free entrance.
Address: Gustav Wasas Gata 11, Ekenäs. Tel. 044 956 7407.
Villa Skeppet is a unique house that was designed by Alvar Aalto for his friends Göran and Christine Schildt. The house is open for guided tours from the beginning of the year 2020.
Göran Schildt (1917-2009) is a Swedish Finn author and art historian. He is best known from his sea voyage novels, where he describes beautifully his trips with his sailboat Daphne, his voyages in the Mediterranean and his friendship with Aalto. The house is run by the Foundation for Christine and Göran Schildt, that was founded to strengthen cultural contacts between Finland and the Mediterranean and to cherish the heritage of Alvar Aalto.
Address: Snäcksundsvägen 8, Ekenäs. Tel. 019 241 1752, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Water Tower of Ekenäs
If you want to take a good look at Ekenäs and the archipelago surrounding it, a great option is to climb up the 164 steps to the city’s old water tower. The water tower is in central Ekenäs, Kvarnbacken, between Torngatan and Larssonsvägen. The tower itself is 35,2m high, but reaches over 60m above the sea level, so the view is splendid. The tower was built in 1930 with red bricks, and it was designed by the architect Ragnar Wessman. The tower operated as Ekenäs’ water tower until 1977 and after that as a lookout tower.
The nearest address: Torngatan 14, Ekenäs. Note: the attraction is not suitable for people with physical disabilities.
You can lend or book a key from Raseborg’s Museum, tel. 019 289 2512. Open Wed-Sun 11-17, during summer Tue-Sun 11-17. The Museum’s address is Gustav Wasas Gata 11, Ekenäs.
Restaurants and Cafés for Groups
Lunch for bigger groups
Restaurant GH Fyren. 180 seats. Address Norra Strandgatan 12, tel. 019 241 3200, email@example.com.
Villa Smakhus. 110 seats. Address: Seminaaripolku 6, Ekenäs. Tel. 0400 790 339, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wi-Box Bakery & Kitchen. Max. 50 visitors. Address: Mekaanikontie 4, Ekenäs, around 5km from the center of Ekenäs towards Karis. Tel. 019 232 330, email@example.com.
Cafés for bigger groups
Café Schjerbeck, a concept café inspired by the artist Helene Schjerfbeck. Around 50 seats. Address: Raatihuoneentori, Ekenäs. Tel. 045 612 2513, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The idyllic garden café Café Gamla Stan is in Ekenäs Old Town. The garden has around 50 seats, and inside there’s 25 more. The café is open from May to August every day at 11-19. Address: Saunakatu 5, Ekenäs. Tel. 050 556 1665, cafegamlastan.fi.
Motel Marine in central Ekenäs, near the Old Town, Stallörensparken park and the beach. 45 rooms and restaurant services.
Tammisaaren kaupunginhotelli in central Ekenäs, near the beach and Old Town. 20 rooms, many restaurants nearby.
Hotel Sea Front. Approx. 2km from the city center, in a calm and beautiful location on the shore of Pohjanpitäjänlahti bay. 20 rooms.
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