The Rhododendron Park, or Alppiruusupuisto in Finnish, is a hidden gem in Helsinki’s northern district Haaga. It was founded by the University of Helsinki as an experimental area for Rhododendron breeding. The goal of the research was to create diversity and varieties that are suitable for the Finnish climate. On around eight hectare, you can find 3000 Rhododendron hybrids, around 1500 Azalea and a pine forest. The oldest Rhododendron was planted in 1975 and the bushes are up to 5 m high.
You can experience the park in its full bloom in June. Though I have to say, in Mid-May it is just as magical and it looks like an urban jungle. Strolling around on sandy roads and duckboards is a real retreat. There are also two higher sightseeing platforms, so you can nicely oversee the idyll and spot some squirrels.