Central Helsinki consists of the central parts of Helsinki east of Mannerheimintie, south of Pitkäsilta and north of Esplanadi; in short the commercial downtown plus Kruunuhaka and Katajanokka.
This is undoubtedly the liveliest part of Helsinki and much of what a visitor would like to see and experience is located in central Helsinki or in its immediate vicinity.
The cathedral, the city's symbol is located here, surrounded by the 19th century city centre.
Further west is Aleksanterinkatu, which together with its side streets make up Helsinki's main shopping area with small shops and department stores.
The area also offers plenty of alternatives for eating and drinking.
Getting in is easy as almost all local bus and rail lines end in or at least pass through the city centre.
Moreover the central railway station, bus station and most major passenger ports are located in or very close to the area.
If arriving by plane, you can get to the central railway station by the I or P trains going on the new Ring Rail Line, alternatively you can take bus 615 or a taxi.
The buildings south and north of the Lutheran cathedral were mostly designed by Carl Ludwig Engel and built in the early 19th century as a new unified city centre when Helsinki was made capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland.
If you have come to look at the cathedral, why not walk around in the area and take a few photos?
Buildings include the Helsinki's main shopping drag is Aleksanterinkatu (Aleksi), which runs from Senate Square to Mannerheimintie.
On Aleksi you can find plenty of shops and the largest department store in Scandinavia, Stockmann, which is definitely worth a visit.