18 Best Things to do in Helsinki: Top Places to visit

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Looking for the top places to visit in Helsinki? Check out the best things to do in Helsinki. A map of Helsinki, which you can easily download, will also help you plan.

Best Things to do in Helsinki

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

Suomenlinna Helsinki Finland

Let’s start with the biggest draw of Helsinki, which almost everyone will recommend before visiting. It is the historic sea fortress Suomenlinna (translated as Finnish Castle), which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the history of Finland and northern Europe.

You can visit the guided tour of Suomenlinna, the Suomenlinna Museum, the Ehrensvärd Museum, the Military Museum, the Vesikko Submarine or the Suomenlinna Toy Museum.

The fortress is large and has its own online guide. There are restaurants, cafés and a grocery store. Download the map in pdf.

The fortress is situated on a group of 6 islands, which the inhabitants of Helsinki consider a paradise. Beautiful nature surrounded by water, where you can just walk along one of the hiking trails, explore the fort and the surrounding area and have a picnic in the grass like a local.

Helsinki sights

How to get to the Suomenlinna archipelago? A boat departs here 1-4 times an hour from the port at Kauppatori Market Square (frequency varies according to the season). The journey takes only 15-20 minutes. A one-way ticket will cost you €2.80.

The fortress falls in Zone A and regular tickets are valid for other transport in Helsinki. You can buy a ticket from a machine at the port. Everything is well marked, including the place from where the boats sail to the archipelago.

An even easier option is to download the HSL app, where you can buy tickets and plan where you need to go in Helsinki.

Admission to Suomenlinna Fortress

  • Guided tour of Suomenlinna – adult 8 €, students and seniors 5 €, child 4 €
  • Suomenlinna Museum – adult 8 €, child 4 €
  • Ehrensvärd Museum – adult 5 €, child 2 €
  • Military Museum – adult 7 €, students and seniors 4 €, under 18 free
  • Submarine Vesikko – a tour of the submarine is included in the ticket to the Military Museum
  • Suomenlinna Toy Museum – adult 9 €, students and seniors 5 €, child 3 €, family admission 20 € for 2 adults and 2 to 4 children

Kauppatori (Market Square)

Kauppatori Helsinki

Kauppatori is a year-round market right by the harbour where you can buy everything from local produce to handicrafts. Just a few steps away is Helsinki Cathedral and even closer is the Presidential Palace.

Evangelical Cathedral (Helsingin tuomiokirkko)

Helsinki Evangelical Cathedral / Helsinki Sights

The Evangelical Cathedral is a landmark of Helsinki. If you type Helsinki into Google, you will see this cathedral in most of the photos. It is right next to the Senate Square (Senaatintori) and can be visited for free.

Senate Square Helsinki
Senate Square

Right by the square, you can dine at the famous Savotta restaurant, where you can try Finnish food from reindeer to local fish prepared in the traditional way.

Presidential Palace (Presidentinlinna)

The Presidential Palace is one of three presidential residences where you can make a short stop. You’ll find it near Market Square. It may not let you in and it’s not as grand as other royal and presidential palaces, but it’s an important building in Helsinki.

Church of the Assumption (Uspenskin Cathedral)

The temple, which in many ways seems to have fallen out of the eye of Old Russian stone temples, is the largest Orthodox temple in Western and Northern Europe. Admission to the front hall is free.

Church of St. Jana (Johanneksenkirkko)

St. John’s Church is a beautiful neo-Gothic church from the 19th century. century, which is also the largest stone church in Finland. The Lutheran Church is headquartered here.

Russian round in Helsinki (SkyWheel Helsinki)

Ferris wheel Helsinki sights

It wouldn’t be Helsinki if it didn’t have its Ferris wheel like most capitals(London, Budapest, Paris). But the Helsinki one is different from other Russian bikes: in one of the gondolas you will find a sauna. Full admission (12+) to SkyWheel Helsinki is €13 and €9.50 for children over 3 years. It is open daily.

Linnanmaki theme park

Linnanmaki Amusement Park is the oldest and most popular amusement park in Finland. There are over 40 attractions, the most popular of which is the wooden roller coaster.

The opening hours of Linnanmaki Park vary according to the season. So before visiting, check the official website for opening times. They’ll let you into the park for free.

You can buy a €45 wristband to gain entry to the attractions (reduced entry fee of €35 if you arrive up to 3 hours before closing time) or pay €10 for one ride in one attraction.

The popular SEA IFE Helsinki underwater world is also right next to the park. It is divided into several zones, such as rainforest, tropics, ocean, Baltic Sea and others. Admission is €19.50 for adults 15+ and €16 for children 3-14. Underwater World is open 10:00-20:00 (may vary depending on the season).

Church of Temppeliaukio

Temppeliaukion kirkko / Helsinki sights

Temppeliaukio Church (Temppeliaukion kirkko) is a Lutheran church built in an unusual modern style. The main temple room is carved out of granite rock and the entire space is enclosed by a copper roof with 180 windows. That is why the church is called Rock of the Rock and Roch Church. In addition to services, concerts are also held here thanks to the excellent acoustics.

Admission to the church is only €5. You can buy your ticket in the lobby. It is closed on weekends, but may be closed on some days of the week. Before visiting, check the official website (at the bottom of the page) for the current opening hours for the coming days.

Kamppi Chapel

Chapel of Silence Helsinki Monuments

Kamppi Chapel (Kampin kappeli) means the Chapel of Silence. It’s a place where you can just contemplate and be. But what is special about the chapel is its unusual minimalist wooden exterior. No photography is allowed in the chapel. The chapel is open daily except Tuesdays from 10:00-18:00. Admission is free.

Kallio Church (Kallion kirkko)

An impressive Lutheran church from which you can see all the way to the Estonian coast. The interior is austere, but there are Baroque and French Romantic-period ravens (as in the only church in Finland).

Sibelius Memorial

The Sibelius Monument (Sibeliuksen puisto) symbolises music. It consists of more than 600 steel tubes in the shape of waves. It is freely accessible in the city’s Sibelius Park.

Helsinki things to see

Seurasaari Open Air Museum

For us, Seurasaari Open Air Museum is one of the best places to visit in Helsinki. It will take you back in time to see how life used to be in the Finnish countryside. The open-air museum consists of more than 80 thematic buildings – cottages, farmsteads, farmhouses.

There is also a museum with local products that are made according to former methods.

The open-air museum is located on the separate island of Seurasaari, where a long white bridge leads to. The island also has several smaller beaches and cliffs with nice views of the surroundings. The entrance fee is charged from mid-May to mid-September, when the open-air museum is open. But you can also come here the rest of the year and just walk through the open-air museum along the forest paths.

There are also 2 cafés (open daily in high season, weekends in low season). Admission to the Seurasaari open-air museum is €10 and €8 for students and seniors (under 18 free).

Port of Helsinki

Helsinki’s port is one of the busiest in Europe. It carries a huge number of passengers and goods in foreign trade every year.

Finnish National Museum

The National Museum of Finland is a great introduction to better understand the history, art and culture of Finland. The permanent exhibition is complemented by smaller, temporary exhibitions. The museum is open daily 11:00-18:00 (closed Mondays from September to April). Admission is 15 € for adults and 10 € for students and seniors (under 18 free).

Amos Rex Museum of Art

The Amos Rex Museum of Art only opened in 2018, but within a few weeks it had already attracted thousands of visitors and enjoyed great popularity. The museum combines traditional and modern art in an unusual way. What is even more unusual is its underground location and outdoor exterior.

Admission to the museum is €20, €15 for seniors and free for children under 18. Open daily except Tuesdays 11:00-20:00.

Kiasma Museum

The Kiasma Museum (Nykytaiteen museo Kiasma) is the representative of contemporary art in Helsinki. The permanent exhibition is complemented by temporary exhibitions and regular events.

Admission for adults is 18 € and for students and seniors a reduced 16 € (under 18 is free). The Kiasma Museum is open daily except Mondays – Tue-Fri 10:00-20:30, Sat 10:00-18:00 and Sun 10:00-17:00.

What to do in Helsinki?

Go on a cruise

Thanks to the boat cruise, you can get to places you wouldn’t normally see. You will see the beautiful coastline of the city and many of the most famous places from a different angle. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, Degerö Channel, Korkeasaari Island and the local zoo, or fleets of icebreakers.

The cruise lasts an hour and a half and costs €25 over 16 years and €12.50 over 5 years. You can take a boat trip book here .

Have a coffee

Did you know that Finland drinks the most coffee in the world? Finns drink 8-9 filtered Finnish coffees a day and have a cookie or cake to go with it. For coffee (or mountain chocolate) you can go to Cafe Regatta . A cute little traditional cafe by the sea and near the Sibelius monument. In the winter months, you can rent a sledge for free and sledge on the frozen sea.

Visit the sauna

The word sauna comes from Finland. There are even more saunas than cars in Finland. There are 2 million saunas for every 5.5 million inhabitants in the country.

But if you want to experience some peace, you won’t find it in the sauna. A sauna is a social event for the Finns and all sorts of things are discussed. The most famous are saunas Allas Sea Pool a Löyly .

Best Things to do near Helsinki

There are plenty of beautiful places to see around Helsinki.


Porvoo is a town east of Helsinki, famous for its wooden houses lining the coast of the Gulf of Finland. In the past it was the seat of the royal family. Today it is a popular day trip from Helsinki. You can get here by bus directly from Helsinki.

Nuuksio National Park

Nuuksio / Helsinki things to see

If you’d like to soak up the beautiful Finnish nature, Nuuksio National Park is ideal. It’s just an hour northwest of Helsinki, where you can take a bus. Due to its easy accessibility, Nuuksio NP is popular and can be busier in good weather and high season.

There are several trails in the park, some of which are suitable for strollers. Here you can rent a boat, roast a sausage on the campfire, go camping or visit the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia with its exhibition on Finland’s national parks.

TIP: Planning to rent a car locally and drive around the most beautiful places in Finland? Discovercars.com has been awarded as the best car rental company in the world. They have a huge selection of vehicles, but also places where you can pick up your car (right at the airport). Cancellation is free on most cars and cars are insured.

Map of sights and attractions in Helsinki

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of Helsinki. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in my guide on things to do in Helsinki. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

How to save on transport and entrance fees?

The Helsinki Card is a great tip to save money on transport and entrance fees in Helsinki. It is a tourist card for which you pay one aggregate amount and get free entry to more than 25 sights, attractions and museums and the possibility to use public transport, including the ferry. Read about the other benefits of the card in the article about Helsinki Card .

Helsinki accommodation

Hotel Haaga Central Park is located halfway between Helsinki city centre and the airport, surrounded by nature. There is a cycle path leading to Helsinki (free bike rental is available at the hotel). The bus to the airport is just a few minutes away. The rooms are double with private bathrooms and free wifi and the option to use the pool and fitness room. You can be in the centre of Helsinki in half an hour by bus.

Hotel Haaga Central Park in the heart of nature, 30 minutes from the centre

Eurohostel is a budget accommodation option in Helsinki. It offers 1-2 bed rooms with shared bathroom or single beds in larger rooms. There is also a kitchen, living rooms and a sauna. The accommodation is just 5 minutes from the city centre and close to the tram stop.

Hotel Helka is a great choice for everyone. It has cosy and bright rooms with quality beds and private bathrooms. The advantage is also the strategic position in the city centre, where you have everything at your fingertips. The train station and beach are just a 10-minute walk away.

Hotel Helka is located right in the centre of Helsinki

Hotel Arthur Located just 5 minutes from the train station and within walking distance of Helsinki’s most beautiful sites. The double rooms are clean and cosy and have private bathrooms and wifi. A sauna is also available by prior reservation.

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These were our tips on the best things to do in Helsinki. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

Frequently asked questions:

What are the top places to visit in Helsinki?

Helsinki doesn’t have the world-famous sights of London or Rome, for example. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t beautiful places to get excited about. For example, the magnificent Helsinki Cathedral, which you will see shining from the sea. Or the sea fortress Suomenlinna, which is also popular among locals.

What is the entrance fee to the sights in Helsinki?

You can calculate the entrance fee in advance in the detailed overview so you know how much pocket money to bring. In addition, some of the sights can be enjoyed for free.

Can I save money on transport and entrance fees in Helsinki?

Yes, you can, with the Helsinki Card, which includes admission to more than 25 of the most famous sights + other benefits such as free transport around the city.

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