8 days tour of the best-known Finnish architects Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen

Cities: Alajärvi, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Lahti, Seinäjoki

Sites: Alvar Aalto in Helsinki, Rautatalo Office Building, The Aalto House, Studio Aalto, Finlandia Hall, Church of the Cross, Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä, Alvar Aalto Museum, Säynätsalo Town Hall, Muuratsalo Experimental house, Alvar Aalto in Seinäjoki, Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi

Experiences: Archipelago, Food and herbs, History, Lakeland, Local products, Museums

8 days
Groups
Transports included
Come along to the 8-day tour of the best-known Finnish architects through Finland surveying the works of Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen! You can also combine some other aspects of design and architecture as well as UNESCO’s world heritage sites in the programme!

Tour highlights:

  • Guided walking tour around Helsinki with the most famous sites of Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen
  • Dinner in the Savoy Restaurant, interior designed by Aalto
  • Church of the Cross by Alvar Aalto
  • Lahti City Hall designed by Eliel Saarinen
  • Aalto’s Muuratsalo Experimental House and Muurame Church
  • Sibelius Concert Hall
  • Alvar Aalto Museum
  • UNESCO -listed Petäjävesi Church
  • The Administrative and Cultural Centre by Alvar Aalto in Seinäjoki
  • House designed for the brother Villa Väinölä and Alajärvi cemetery with the Aalto’s family grave

Seinäjoki Town Hall. Photo: Visit Seinäjoki, Katja Lösönen.

To visit the Alvar Aalto Museum is not only to immerse yourself in the world of Aalto’s architecture, design and personal history but it is an architectonic experience of space and building at the same time. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation

The tremendous programme of the best architectural sites is complemented with savoury dinners and beautiful high-standard accommodation. This tour will certainly feed both the body and the soul!
National Pensions service cabinets for the public 1953-1957 kuva Maija Holma Alvar Aalto Foundation
Some of the National Pensions customer service cubicles that for used in 1953-1957 can also be seen when visiting the building. Picture: Maija Holma Alvar Aalto Foundation
Helsinki Ateljee Alvar Aalto photo Heikki Havas Alvar Aalto Foundation
Helsinki Studio Alvar Aalto photo Heikki Havas Alvar Aalto Foundation
Helsinki Finlandia Hall photo Rune Snellman
Helsinki Finlandia Hall. Photo: Rune Snellman, Alvar Aalto Museum
Savoy_Restaurant_Helsinki_Alvar_Aalto_Foundation
Restaurant Savoy in Helsinki is famous not only for the menu but for the interior. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation.
Muuratsalo Experimental House photo Maija Vatanen Alvar Aalto Foundation
Muuratsalo Experimental House photo Maija Vatanen Alvar Aalto Foundation
UNESCO-PETAJAVESI OLD CHURCH lake view- PHOTO TERO TAKALO-ESKOLA
Petäjävesi Old Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.
UNESCO-PETAJAVESI OLD CHURCH interior - PHOTO TERO TAKALO-ESKOLA
Petäjävesi Old Church has a marvelous wooden interior and sculptures. Photo: Visit Jyväskylä, Tero Takalo-Eskola.
Alajärvi Town Hall by Alvar Aalto
Alajärvi Town Hall by Alvar Aalto
Alajärvi Villa Väinölä has a beautiful garden
Alajärvi Villa Väinölä has a beautiful garden
Lahti City hall by Eliel Saarinen
Lahti City hall was designed by Eliel Saarinen. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation
Ristinkirkko The Church of Cross in Lahti
The facade material of the church is dark red brick except for the massive bell tower of raw concrete. Photo: Alvar Aalto Foundation
Sibelius House Lahti the Wood Hall
Sibelius House Lahti the Wood Hall

Programme by day

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival in Helsinki by plane. Accommodation in Hotel Helka which has a relaxed atmosphere and stylish interior with carefully chosen Finnish design classics by Alvar Aalto and Artek.

Guided walking tour around Helsinki including all the most famous buildings designed by Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen: Saarinen’s Railway Station (1919), Marmoripalatsi (Marble Palace 1918) and National Museum (1905-1910), Aalto’s Rautatalo office building (Iron House; 1951, 1952-1953), Academic Bookstore (1961, 1966-1969) and Finlandia Hall (1962-1975). Independent lunch and later in the afternoon bus transfer via Munkkiniemen Pensionaatti (Munkkiniemi Boarding House 1918) to the Aalto House and Studio Aalto.

Dinner in the Savoy Restaurant. The interior and the furnishing of the restaurant were designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto.

After breakfast, transfer to Lahti. Accommodation in Sokos Hotel Lahden Seurahuone. Independent lunch. Afternoon: Explore the designs of Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen in Lahti with a guide! During this guided walking tour, you will admire the work of Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen. The tour starts from the Church of the Cross (Ristinkirkko) designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1978. From the church the tour continues to the Lahti City Hall designed by Eliel Saarinen (please note: short indoor tour is possible only during working hours). The Lahti City Hall was completed in 1912 and represents the art nouveau style.

Free evening and independent dinner.

After breakfast, optional wooden architecture tour in the harbour area of Lahti. The wood architecture park has been constructed in the vicinity of the Sibelius Hall in Lahti and it consists of buildings and structures designed by the winners of the international Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award. The tour also includes a short tour at the Sibelius Concert Hall, coffee at the wooden Piano Pavilion restaurant and a visit at the Pro Puu “Pro Wood” Gallery, which promotes the collaboration of wood professionals. The premises include a gallery, shop, office and design facilities as well as an independently operating wood workshop.

Later on, drive along Finland’s most scenic route to Jyväskylä and on the way to Jyväskylä, visits at the Muurame Church designed by Aalto in 1929 and Aalto’s summer house, the Muuratsalo Experimental House. Also, before continuing to Jyväskylä, you will see Säynätsalo Town Hall designed by Aalto in 1952.
Accommodation in Hotel Yöpuu, right in the middle of everything, but one of a kind. Each room is entirely unique and different, and the independently owned hotel will serve you personally.

Independent lunch and free time. Dinner in Restaurant Pöllövaari.

Alvar Aalto lived and studied in Jyväskylä, and in total, there are nearly 30 buildings designed by Alvar Aalto in the Jyväskylä region – ranging from his earliest work to designs made during his final stages. The guided tour includes both private properties and public buildings such as: Casa Laurén 1925-28, Jyväskylä administrative and cultural centre 1964-1982, Defence Corps building 1926-1929, Nikolainkulma (Alvar Aalto’s first office), Workers’ Club 1924-1925, renovated Nuora House 1923-1924, Viitatorni apartment house 1957-1962, Aira apartment house 1924-1926, Jyväskylä University Campus 1951-1971 and Villa Karpio 1923. The tour ends with a visit at the Alvar Aalto Museum.

Independent lunch and dinner.

After breakfast, drive to Seinäjoki. On the way, visit at the UNESCO-listed wooden church by Leppänen in Petäjävesi. Accommodation in privately owned Hotel Alma. Special “Aalto Menu” dinner is served later on at Manor House of Uppala.

After breakfast you will discover the Aalto Centre, the administrative and cultural centre, in Seinäjoki including the Cross of the Plains Church 1957-1960, Parish Centre 1965-1966, Town Hall 1961-1962, municipal library 1964-1965, government office building 1966-1968 and Seinäjoki theatre 1986-1987 with a professional guide.

Please note: Town Hall and government office building are under renovation until the end of 2018.

Independent lunch and later in the afternoon drive to Alajärvi. Guided tour in Alajärvi including Town Hall 1966, Villa Flora 1926, Väinölä 1926, city library 1966, 1991 and visit at Alajärvi cemetery (Aalto’s family grave).
Drive back to Seinäjoki and independent dinner.

Breakfast and drive to Helsinki. Optional visit at the childhood home of Jean Sibelius in Hämeenlinna.

Sites included in this trip

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Alvar Aalto in Helsinki

Helsinki

The maritime Helsinki is the biggest city in Finland and home for several buildings designed by Alvar Aalto. It also contains a wide range of other Finnish architecture from different centuries and decades. Born in the small rural municipality of Kuortane, Alvar Aalto graduated as an architect in 1921 from…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Rautatalo Office Building

Helsinki / 1951-55

The Rautatalo Office Building was completed in Helsinki’s city centre in 1955. The building got its name (‘Iron House’) from the federation of Finnish hardware dealers that commissioned it. The main space is the light court, or marble courtyard, that extends from the first floor upwards. Aalto’s office won the…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

The Aalto House

Helsinki / 1935-36

In 1934, Aino and Alvar Aalto acquired a site in almost completely untouched surroundings at Riihitie in Helsinki’s Munkkiniemi. Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the building, whose simple, natural materials soften the form language of modern architecture. Designing their own home gave them an opportunity to make various structural and…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Studio Aalto

Helsinki / 1954-55, 1962-63

Alvar Aalto designed the building at Tiilimäki 20 in Munkkiniemi as his own office in 1955. Because of a number of large commissions, the office needed more space to work in. The building is only a short walk from Aalto’s own house, where the office had previously been located. Studio…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Finlandia Hall

Helsinki / 1962/1967-75

Finlandia Hall was completed in Helsinki’s city centre in 1971 and the extra wing in 1975. The building was intended for congresses and concerts. The location of Finlandia Hall is part of the plan for Helsinki’s city centre that Aalto made in the 1960s. The building was intended to be…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Church of the Cross

Lahti

On the old church site of Kolkanmäki rises the architecturally impressive tower of the Church of the Cross, built 1978. This vital element of the Lahti cityscape is a masterwork of Alvar Aalto, elegantly mirroring the city hall – located on the southern end of an axis crossing the market…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Alvar Aalto in Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä

In Jyväskylä, the city of lakes and hills in the heart of the Finnish Lakeland, you’ll find the largest number of masterful buildings in the whole world designed by the world-famous architect and academician Alvar Aalto. The impressive portfolio of 28 locations includes, for instance, the Alvar Aalto Museum, Muurame…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Alvar Aalto Museum

Jyväskylä / 1971-73

Alvar Aalto was commissioned to prepare drawings for Jyväskylä art museum, which were finished in autumn 1971. The building was completed in 1973. The Alvar Aalto Museum is sited on a slope leading down towards Lake Jyväsjärvi. Above a high, white-painted concrete plinth, the elevations of the Alvar Aalto Museum…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Säynätsalo Town Hall

Jyväskylä / 1949-52

The invitational competition for Säynätsalo Town Hall was held in 1949. Aalto won the competition with an entry marked ‘Curia’, and was immediately commissioned to prepare working drawings. Completed in 1952, the building is one of Aalto’s most admired designs.

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Alvar Aalto in Seinäjoki

Seinäjoki

As an architectural whole, the Administrative and Cultural Centre in Seinäjoki is unique on a global scale. Seinäjoki is also the location of the Defence Corps Building built in 1924-26, one of the rare works from Aalto’s youth. The Administrative and Cultural Centre consists of six buildings and the Civic…

Helsinki Rautatalo Akademic Bookstore photo Martti Kapanen Alvar Aalto Foundation

Alvar Aalto in Alajärvi

Alajärvi

The city of Alajärvi in the Southern Ostrobothnia is located close to Alvar Aalto’s childhood hometown Kuortane. Aalto spent his childhood summers in Alajärvi and later had his own summer house there up to 1940s. For him Alajärvi represented leisure time with family and relatives in contrast to the hectic…

Information on this trip

Good to know

  • Group size: Min. 15 persons, max. 25 persons
  • Duration: 7 nights / 8 days
  • Availability: May- September 2018-2019
  • Service languages: Finnish, English, German and part of the guided tours also in Japan, French, Russian, Chinese.

Included

  • Accommodation in superior double rooms with breakfast for seven nights
  • guided walking tours in Helsinki, Lahti, Jyväskylä, Seinäjoki and Alajärvi with professional guide
  • entrance fees and guided tours at Aalto House & Studio in Helsinki
  • Aalto’s Muuratsalo Experimental house, Säynätsalo Town Hall, Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä and Petäjävesi Church
  • 3 x special dinners with non-alcoholic drinks
  • all transfers

Optional services

  • Single supplement: 450 € per person / 7 nights
  • Guided wooden architecture tour in Lahti
  • visit at the birthplace of Jean Sibelius in Hämeenlinna
  • visit at the World Heritage Site Verla Groundwood and Board Mill
  • lunches and dinners for all days

Example price 1440 € / person

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Inquiries and bookings

Example price 1440 € / person

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