Best Things to Do and See in Helsinki

Finland’s capital, Helsinki, is a fascinating place to visit with a distinctive fusion of contemporary urbanism and old-world charm. The lovely Baltic Sea surrounds the city, which is situated on Finland’s southern coast. Helsinki is a must-visit place for anybody visiting Finland because of its distinctive architecture, lovely parks, top-notch museums, and thriving cultural life.

Walking through Helsinki’s city centre is one of the greatest ways to get to know the city. Historic structures, hip cafes and quaint stores line the streets. Numerous green parks and open areas can be found around the city centre, including the well-known Esplanade Park, which is a favourite gathering spot for both inhabitants and visitors.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Suomenlinna Sea Fortress is another must-see destination in Helsinki. The 18th-century stronghold is a fantastic location to learn about Finnish history and culture. Walk along the fortifications, visit the galleries and museums, and take in the breathtaking sea views.

Helsinki boasts a vibrant cultural environment with several museums and galleries devoted to Finnish art and design, which would appeal to anyone interested in the arts and design. There are numerous possibilities, including the Design Museum, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, and Ateneum Art Museum.

In conclusion, Helsinki is a lovely and fascinating city with something to offer each and every visitor. Helsinki is a place you should visit at least once, regardless of your interests in history, culture, or just wanting to experience the city’s distinctive atmosphere. In this article, we will give you our list of what you should do and see when visiting Helsinki.

  1. Visit Suomenlinna

Helsinki, Finland’s Suomenlinna is a mediaeval stronghold and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Swedish Empire constructed the castle in the middle of the 18th century to defend Helsinki from Russian assaults.

In the modern era, Suomenlinna is a well-liked tourist destination and a fantastic location to learn about Finland’s past. Visitors can go through the tunnels and through the walls, visit the museum, and take in the beautiful views of the city and the sea.

Suomenlinna is a well-liked location for picnics, hiking, and outdoor recreation in addition to its historical value. In addition to parks and kid-friendly playgrounds, the island is home to a number of eateries and cafes.

Overall, Suomenlinna is a distinctive and fascinating place that has something to offer everyone. A trip to Suomenlinna is guaranteed to be a great one, whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just lounging by the sea.

  1. Visit the Helsinki Cathedral

Finland’s Helsinki is home to the magnificent neoclassical Helsinki Cathedral. One of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, it was finished in 1852.

The major cathedrals of Europe served as inspiration for the cathedral’s architect, Carl Ludvig Engel. It has an eye-catching green dome and a regal front with 12 columns and apostle statues.

Inside, guests can awe at the intricate architectural details and the exquisite ceiling frescoes. The cathedral also has a sizable pipe organ and regularly hosts services and concerts.

Helsinki Cathedral, which is surrounded by a sizable square and has a view of the harbour, is a must-see location for tourists. It is a well-liked location for pictures, picnics, and events all year long, including the yearly Christmas market.

Helsinki Cathedral is a must-see landmark in Helsinki, regardless of your level of interest in architecture, history, or simply the beauty of a great structure.

  1. Hop on Hop Off Bus Tours in Helsinki

Hop on; Hop off Bus tours are a well-liked way to see Helsinki’s major sights at your own leisure. These tours provide customers the freedom to customise their itineraries, spend as much time as they like at each attraction by allowing them to board, and exit the bus at different locations throughout the city.

The buses have audio commentary in several languages that explains Helsinki’s history, culture, and famous sites. The Helsinki Cathedral, the Sibelius Monument, the Rock Church, and Market Square are a few of the tour’s well-liked destinations.

Some bus tours also include a boat tour to see the city from the water in addition to the audio narration. This is a fantastic way to see the islands and shoreline of Helsinki as well as gain new insight into some of the city’s most popular sights.

Overall, a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour in Helsinki is a practical and educational method to quickly tour the city and take in its key attractions.

If you would like to book a ticket on a hop on hop off bus tour in Helsinki, click here or on either the Big Bus Tours or CitySightseeing banners below to select from one of our preferred suppliers.

  1. Nightlife in Helsinki

Everyone can enjoy Helsinki’s rich and energetic nightlife. The bar and club culture in the city is growing, and many establishments are open until the wee hours of the morning.

The Kallio neighbourhood in Helsinki, which has a large number of bars, nightclubs, and live music venues, is one of the most well-liked areas for nightlife. Everything from hipster hangouts to conventional Finnish bars can be found here.

The city centre, notably the area around Market Square and Esplanadi Park, is another hotspot for nightlife. A variety of drinks, wines, and craft beers are available at the many pubs and clubs in this area, which appeal to a more affluent clientele.

Helsinki also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous theatres, movie theatres, and music halls presenting shows and events all year long. The city comes alive in the summer with a variety of festivals, such as the Flow Festival and the Helsinki Festival.

Overall, Helsinki’s nightlife is vibrant and varied, with a wide range of options to suit various preferences and tastes.

  1. Helsinki Market Square

The lively open-air market known as Helsinki Market Square, or Kauppatori in Finnish, is situated in the centre of the city. It is one of Helsinki’s most well-liked tourist destinations, drawing both locals and visitors.

The square has a variety of booths selling anything from fresh produce and seafood to souvenirs and handicrafts, and historical buildings border it. Traditional Finnish dishes including smoked salmon, reindeer meat, and Finnish berries are available for visitors to sample.

Helsinki Market Square serves as a popular ferry terminal for trips to adjacent islands including Suomenlinna and the Helsinki Zoo in addition to serving as a gathering place for food vendors. The market square additionally hosts other events all year long, including the traditional May Day celebrations and the Helsinki Christmas Market during the winter holidays.

In general, Helsinki Market Square is a bustling tourist attraction that perfectly encapsulates Finnish culture and is absolutely worth a visit.

  1. Visit the Ateneum Art Museum

One of Finland’s most significant art museums, the Ateneum Art Museum is situated in Helsinki. It houses a sizable collection of Finnish artwork that spans the 19th century through modern pieces.

Over 20,000 works of art are in the museum’s collection, with an emphasis on Finnish artists like Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Albert Edelfelt, and Helene Schjerfbeck. Visitors can discover different art movements and styles in Finnish art thanks to the displays’ thematic organisation.

The museum also presents transient exhibits with artists and themes from around the world. The Ateneum Art Museum also has a café, a museum store, and exhibition rooms.

For those who enjoy the arts and are in Helsinki, the Ateneum Art Museum should not be missed. The museum’s well-curated exhibitions and substantial collection offer a fascinating look into Finnish art and culture. Visiting the museum is both enjoyable and educational.

  1. The National Museum of Finland

A museum in Helsinki that highlights the history and culture of Finland is called the National Museum of Finland. It contains a wide variety of exhibits and artefacts that provide a thorough picture of Finnish history and is located in a gorgeous late 19th-century neo-medieval castle.

The museum’s collection spans time periods, including prehistoric, mediaeval, and more current goods including clothing, utensils, and domestic items that depict daily life in Finland throughout history. Visitors can trace the evolution of the nation from prehistoric times to the present day according to the displays’ chronological arrangement.

Throughout the year, the National Museum of Finland also holds temporary exhibitions and events. To discover more about Finland’s interesting history and culture, visitors can either independently peruse the museum’s collection or join a guided tour.

The National Museum of Finland is a must-see place in Helsinki whether you are a history aficionado or are just interested in Finland’s rich past.

  1. Go Enjoy the Linnanmaki Amusement Park

Since 1950, guests of all ages have enjoyed themselves at Helsinki, Finland’s Linnanmaki Amusement Park. More than 40 rides and attractions are available at the park, including both traditional roller coasters and more contemporary, high-tech rides.

A popular ride at Linnanmaki since 1951, the wooden roller coaster is one of the park’s most recognisable attractions. Other well-liked attractions include bumper cars, spinning cups, and a water ride that transports guests to a voyage through Finnish folklore.

Along with a number of rides, Linnanmaki also features a number of games and carnival-style attractions, as well as a number of eateries and concession stands that serve traditional Finnish fare and beverages.

In addition to being a location for entertainment, Linnanmaki is also a charitable organization that promotes the wellbeing of Finnish children. The Children’s Day Foundation, which aids Finnish children in need, receives a percentage of the park’s revenue.

Linnanmaki Amusement Park in Helsinki is a terrific place to go if you are searching for some excitement or just want to have a good time with your family and friends.

  1. Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

On a little island just outside Helsinki, Finland, is where you’ll find the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum. The museum provides a singular opportunity to investigate the historical culture and way of life of Finland. The island offers guests a tranquil, natural setting where they may immerse themselves in Finland’s fascinating history and culture.

Several traditional Finnish structures, including homes, farms, and workshops, all of which have been brought to the museum from different regions of the nation. Visitors can visit the inside of these structures and discover more about the daily lives of the previous occupants.

The Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is located in a stunning natural setting with forests, walking trails, and a beach in addition to its ancient buildings. Picnics, swimming, and other outdoor activities are very common on the island.

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is an interesting and instructive tourist destination that provides an insight into Finnish history and culture. Anyone who is interested in learning about the past and present of the nation must go there.

  1. Visit Temppeliaukio Church

A distinctive and well-known location in Helsinki is the Temppeliaukio Church, sometimes referred to as the Rock Church. This church is unique since it was totally carved out of a huge rock formation, with the interior’s natural stone clearly visible. Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, brothers, created this masterpiece of contemporary architecture, which was unveiled to the public in 1969.

The church is a well-liked travel destination for tourists from all over the world thanks to its eye-catching copper dome roof and stark, minimalist interior. The church’s interior acoustics are known for their purity and resonance, making it a popular location for concerts and musical events.

Because it is a Lutheran church with frequent services and events, Temppeliaukio Church is also a well-liked site for individuals interested in spiritual or religious tourism. For anybody visiting Helsinki, it is a must-see because of its distinctive style and beautiful surroundings.

  1. Cruises in Helsinki and around Finland

Finland and Helsinki cruises provide an enthralling overview of the nation’s stunning maritime scenery and distinctive cultural experiences. The energetic Finnish city, Helsinki, is the starting point for a variety of cruise trips around its stunning archipelago. These cruises offer a variety of possibilities for every traveller, from easy day trips to lengthy journeys.

Beyond Helsinki, Finland’s expansive coastline and several lakes, offer a chance to see the nation’s coastal treasures and inland delights. The Gulf of Bothnia offers breath-taking scenery and the possibility to see a variety of species, including seals and seabirds. Cruises across lovely lakes that are bordered by lush forests and quaint villages are available on the inland.

Some cruises provide traditional music, dancing, and gastronomic pleasures that embrace the very best of Finnish culture, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the area’s rich history. The cruise options available from Helsinki and Finland guarantee a wonderful vacation through this alluring Nordic country, whether passengers are looking for peace and quiet in nature, cultural interactions, or simply the fun of travelling.

  1. Festivals in Helsinki

Finland’s vivacious capital, Helsinki, has a thriving festival scene that highlights the city’s inventiveness and cultural diversity all year long. Helsinki’s festivals honour numerous facets of Finnish culture and provide local and foreign performers a stage, from music and the arts to food and traditions.

The Helsinki Festival, which takes place in August, is one of the most eagerly awaited occasions. Visitors come from all over the world to this multidisciplinary arts festival to see performances in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. Various workshops and panel discussions are also held during the festival, fostering a buzzing environment for artistic expression and cross-cultural dialogue.

Vappu, commonly known as May Day, is another noteworthy celebration that takes place between April 30 and May 1. Vappu is a festival that welcomes spring with picnics, parades, live music, and regional cuisine. It is a time when locals and tourists join together to celebrate the holiday spirit and the start of spring.

The Helsinki Baltic Herring Market, the Lux Helsinki Light Festival, and the Night of the Arts, which turns the city into a bustling cultural playground with art installations, performances, and exhibitions, are additional festivals that take place in Helsinki.

The festival scene in Helsinki offers a wide variety of activities that highlight the artistic and cultural essence of the city. These occasions offer a magnificent chance for both locals and visitors to become immersed in Finnish customs, take in performances of the highest calibre, and make priceless memories.

If you would like to buy a ticket to an event or festival in Helsinki, click here or on the Ticketmaster image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers.