Fun things to do in Helsinki

  • Suomenlinna Island & Fortress
    by smirnofforiginal
  • Interior (1) (The Presidents and partners)
    Interior (1) (The Presidents and...
    by gordonilla
  • Interior (5)
    Interior (5)
    by gordonilla

Most Viewed Things to Do in Helsinki

  • iaint's Profile Photo


    by iaint Written Nov 3, 2015

    South Harbour in English.

    This is an area where the archipelago comes right into the city centre. You’ll see huge ferries moored right up against busy streets.

    Small ferries leave this harbour for Suomenlinna.

    The Market Square (Kauppatori) and Old Market Hall (Vanhakauppahalli) are located there. The latter offers lots of food choices, with outside tables if the weather permits. The former has market stalls with food and other items.

    You’ll see City Hall and the Presidential Palace close to the harbour.

    Uspenski Cathedral (Russian Orthodox) is another landmark in the area.

    A good place to walk around, and to get some food at the same time.

    Vanhakauppahalli Uspenski Cathedral Presidential Palace Harbour Kauppatori
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    The Vesikko

    by iaint Written Sep 20, 2015

    Suomenlinna is one of the city’s top attraction. The Vesikko submarine is the only museum part of the site that I went into. Entry was free the day I was there - don’t know why.

    The submarine entered service in 1930 and saw action in the Winter War (against the USSR) and in World War II. It’s fascinating to see inside and appreciate how cramped it is.

    Viking Line ferries sail through the passage behind the submarine, only metres from shore. Impressive if one passes when you're there.

    Getting onto the island is free apart from the €5 return ticket on the municipal ferry. A private operator also runs a service, but the municipal one is cheaper and looks like more fun. The ferry journey is only 15 minutes, so even the queasy should be able to do it. It leaves from Kauppotori and you buy a ticket from machines on the quayside. Cash or credit cards accepted.

    Some paths on the islands are rough, so wear the rights shoes. I saw quite a few visitors ruining their nice “townie” shoes. Go prepared for the weather, and remember it may be cooler out in the harbour.

    exterior crew quarters engine room periscope engine room
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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
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    by iaint Written Sep 19, 2015

    A day trip to Tallinn is a popular day out for locals. Shopping there is a lot cheaper than in Helsinki, especially when it comes to alcohol.

    You have plenty choice of ferry services. Tallink. Royal Viking. Eckerö Line. I just the latter. I don’t remember if that was on price or sailing times.

    €25 return, booked about 3 weeks in advance. I chose to have breakfast (€14) and dinner (€24) on the ship as well. Both are all-you-can-eat buffets. Both were excellent quality.

    Certainly you could save plenty €s by eating before you board.

    The ship (the Finlandia) was modern-ish (2001). Sailing time was about 2.5 hours each way.

    The Helsinki terminal is at Länsisatama (the West Harbour) and easily accessed from the city centre.

    In Tallinn, again the terminal give easy access. You’re a 15 minute walk from Vanalinn (the Old Town).

    Helsinki terminal:- Tyynenmerenkatu 8, 00220 Helsinki

    Tallinn terminal:- Passenger Harbour, Sadama 25-2, Tallinn 10111

    end of a long day... Finlandia top deck bar Tallinn arrival dusk...
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    Helsinki Times - News from Finland

    by gordonilla Updated Aug 22, 2015

    This is a good way to keep up to date on what is happening in Finland. There is also a hard copy version to be found in various locations around the city.

    As you will see it is in English, so if your skills with the Finnish language are limited don't worry. It has many interesting stories and items - it covers the whole of Finland not just the capital, Helsinki.

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    Contemporary art at Kiasma

    by Zirpsis Written May 11, 2015

    This is the Contemporary Art Museum you must see if in Helsinki. Opened in 1998, even the building itself is a work of art.

    Opening hours 2015

    Tue 10–17
    Wed–Fri 10–20.30
    Sat 10–18
    Sun 10–17
    Mon closed

    Admission: Adults 12 €, under 18s free

    Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
    Related to:
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    Viva Sibelius!

    by Assenczo Updated Apr 26, 2015

    A monument dedicated to the most famous Finnish composer of all times, Johan Sibelius. Reminiscent of organ pipes, arranged on an open meadow, this modernist structure makes the onlooker anticipate some spontaneous chords to reverberate to the whimsical gusts of the healthy Helsinki wind. Alas, this is not the case. Still, the composition is interesting enough, set in a pleasant environment, stimulating some thoughts pro or con its means of expression and underlining the fact that intellectuals and artists should be national heroes too just like solders and politicians, even better since the former are less divisive.

    Wind Section
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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Taidehalli aka Kunsthalle

    by gordonilla Written Jan 27, 2015

    The Taidehalli is the venue for a number of exhibitions each year - they tend to be interesting and in some instances unusual. They charge for entry, but you can get a reduction if you have a Helsinki Card and it is free if you are under 18 years.

    They have a reasonable shop, and a separately operated commercial café and restaurant.

    There are also events and musical recitals from time to time.

    Exterior Signage Interior (1) Interior (2) Part of the Exhibition

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Didrichsen Art Museum

    by gordonilla Written Jan 27, 2015

    In the years I have visited Helsinki, I had never been to the Didrichsen Art Museum. However, I made an effort in January 2015 as they were exhibiting the works of Edvard Munch "The Dance of Life".

    It was a popular exhibition, and I waited in the queue for 55 minutes before getting into the building. Luckily it was not so cold, although the museum does sit on the edge of the waterside. It was frozen and there was a light wind.

    They have a permanent collection and show visiting exhibitions.

    Signage Interior (1) Interior (2) Interior (3) Interior (4)

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Sinebrychoffin Taidemuseo

    by gordonilla Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    Part of the Finnish National Gallery - the Sinebrychoff Art Musuem has a permanent collection and space for regular Finnish and international exhibitions.

    I have visited the museum a number of times and have found it relaxing. They have a fine collection of miniature portraits, there are a great many larger portraits too.

    They sometimes have concerts in the Empire salon - during my most recent visit there was a short concert of guitar music which was performed by three students from Metroplia.

    Exterior Interior (1) Interior (2) Interior (3) Ecce Homo

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    Korjaamo Culture Factory

    by gordonilla Written Jan 25, 2015

    This was a pleasant find; and although I have been to the Tram Museum previously this was the first time I had been to the wider complex. I made a visit to the Gallery and explored the current exhibitions.

    The facility has a mini-library and a restaurant. There is also meeting space and in fact during my visit they were preparing a large room for a political meeting.

    Exterior (1) Exterior (2) Interior (1) Interior (2) Reception and Library

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Gallen-Kallela Museum

    by gordonilla Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    This is an excellent place to visit, if you are in anyway interested in the work of Akseli Gallen-Kallela. He was the national artist, was an ADC to Marshall Mannerheim and designed a great many of Finland's medals and other offical symbols at the request of the Marshal. He lived between 1865 - 1931.

    The museum was a home and studio for a number of years. It now exhibits his own work and is a venue for other connected and unrelated art exhibitions. The artist designed the building himself in an art noveau style The museum is closed on a Monday during the winter months.

    Winter Visit to the Museum Bronze Plaque of the man himself Design for entrance hall floor Studio Interior Gallery

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    The Kirpila Art Collection

    by gordonilla Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    The collection was recommended to me by one of my Finnish friends. It was created by a physician, Juhani Kirpila (1931 - 1989). It is located within his former home and it is made up of works of Finnish art and a small collection of Russian porcelain.

    After my first visit I wrote "My recollection of it was that there were many volunteer staff within the apartment and there is a guided tour which goes with your entry to the facility." - however on my recent visit there were very few staff and there was no tour. This was much more enjoyable as you could take time to look at the works on display. Each room had information sheets available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

    I found it an interesting diversion from the other musuems within the city. It has limited opening hours and these are Wednesday open between 14:00 and 18:00 then on Sunday from 12:00 to 16:00. It should be noted that admission is free.

    Exterior (6th floor windows are Kirpila) Front Door Signage The access bell Museum Door

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    Design Museum

    by gordonilla Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    The Design Museum has always been an enjoyable place to visit - interesting exhibitions highlighting both Finnish and International Design - old and new.

    There is a good shop selling many excellent design titles and exhibition guides and the like. There is also a reasonable café which always has a welcoming feel.

    There are summer and winter opening hours - the main difference being that over the winter months, the museum is closed on a Monday.

    Exterior Interior (1) Interior (2) Feedback Interior (3)

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Virka Gallery

    by gordonilla Written Jan 25, 2015

    The gallery is in the Helsinki City Hall - there is the gallery which always seems to have interesting exhibits on show. In addition they have a virtual gallery which can be accessed via their website.

    During a recent visit they were showing the work of The Doll Artists of Finland Society and these were quiet interesting. There was an exhibit of the annual State Ball and the last few presidents were obvious and clear to me a non Finn.

    Interior (1) (The Presidents and partners) Interior (2) Interior (3) Interior (4) Interior (5)

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    The Presidential Palace

    by lina112 Written Aug 17, 2014

    The building, designed by Pehr Grandstedt, was completed in 1820 and, later, CL Engel adapted it to become residence of the Tsars. After independence, it has served as the official residence of the presidents. The current president, Sauli Niinistö, lies in Mäntyniemi, in the neighborhood of Meilahti. The palace is undergoing refurbishment and will not be visiting.

    El edificio, diseñado por Pehr Grandstedt, se completó en 1820 y, mas tarde, C.L. Engel lo reformó para convertirlo en residencia de los zares. Tras la independencia, ha sido despacho y residencia oficial de los presidentes. El actual presidente, Sauli Niinistö, reside en Mäntyniemi, en el barrio de Meilahti. El palacio está en fase de remodelación y no se podrá visitar.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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Helsinki Things to Do

Turska's Profile Photo

There is lot to do in Helsinki. I love history, so my favourite places are Kansallismuseo (National museum), Seurasaari (outdoor museum with old houses) and Suomenlinna Island.

I would also...

Map of Helsinki