Tourist Attractions in Helsinki

  • The bastion
    The bastion
    by alexprofi
  • Helsinki from a Boat Tour
    Helsinki from a Boat Tour
    by mydreamquest
  • Free view from Olympic Stadium Tower
    Free view from Olympic Stadium Tower
    by sabsi

Most Viewed Tourist Traps in Helsinki

  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    Fur hats

    by ATLC Written Jan 20, 2004

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    When you come off the ferry you'll find a tiny market just before entering the city center. Don't be fooled by those little stalls. A fur hat easily costs over 150 euro which is not a slight acquisition. I remember on my visit to Romania that those can be had much cheaper if you like this sort of thing. I'll just keep to rabbit and sheep skin or fur.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • Local Trap

    by sabsi Written Nov 5, 2003

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    This isn't really a tourist trap but a trap for locals as well. Every club in Helsinki closes at 4 am. If you have to get a taxi afterwards you will have to queue for a long long time to get one.

    Unique Suggestions: We found out that best chances to get a taxi in less than an hour is at the main station. The queues are the longest here but there number of taxis stopping is higher than e.g. at Mannerheimintie! Good luck!

    Fun Alternatives: Get a hotel in the city centre and walk!

    The taxi queue at the station at 5 am

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    Heureka- Finnish Science Centre

    by Scandic Written Apr 12, 2003

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    If you are bored with shopping and dining in Helsinki, how about a day trip to Heureka? Heureka is a big science centre located in Vantaa, but you can reach it very very easily by train. It can be a tourist trap, specially in the Spring time (full of school kids) but it's a very interesting place anyway. I like it very much.

    There are lots of exhibitons and things to do, see and feel. There is a planetarium theater called Verne, where you can watch high quality multimedia films.

    You'll find also a restaurant from Heureka and that's great, because there's so much to see that it will take hole day.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips

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    even if you understood finnish

    by sinoda Updated Jun 8, 2003

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    before everything I have to apologise in advance, for my trap is an national institution and some sort of a holy cow in finland, so please finns do forgive me!

    for me the national theatre (kansallisteatteri) is not only a tourist trap but a trap for finns as well.

    theatres like this one are well funded by government and the cities and are therefore almost obliged to show productions of classical literature, which always focus very much (too much) on the staging setting. the acting become insignificant and bad, because the pompeous and exhuberant stage setting suffocates everything else.

    acting quality will be poor...

    Unique Suggestions: hmmm,

    at least the building is very impressing, go and have a look at it, don't forget the backside!

    Fun Alternatives: in helsinki there are some small theatre ensembles (ryhmäteatteri, just to mention one) which really do good acting.

    you even may find english and of course swedish spoken pieces

    national theatre
    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Seniors

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    Banks - Cash - Exchange

    by sinoda Updated Feb 26, 2003

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    How to get to your money?

    Banks - what an annoying and shamefull chapter in finnish public service system, indeed.

    Don't even think about of stepping inside a regular bank. No, you'll regret it right away, believe me. Cashiers are unfriendly, if you ever get the chance to be served at a counter. For the queueing sucks really. Actually, if you really think about it, it seems good at first (take a queueing number), but the system wouldn't work, why? I don't know.

    Fun Alternatives: Instead try the 2000 Otto-machines, alone in Helsinki 204. They accept most of the major credit cards.

    Or try the Forex exchange bureaus, they take the lowest commission fee. Offices in Helsinki (4) and Espoo (1).

    bancomat - otto

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  • Helsinki Card

    by sabsi Updated Jun 30, 2004

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    Because of my work I got a Helsinki Card for 24 hours for free. So I had the chance to try out what you can do with it. Here's my opinion about it:

    The card gives you the chance to visit most of Helsinki's museums for free. You also get little presents and discounts at several shops and restaurants. Plus of course you can use public transportation for free.

    The problem is that the card for 24 hours costs 25 Euro which isn't exactly cheap. Before buying it you should think about what you want to do that day. I mean how many museums can you visit in a day without getting bored as hell? I used it for free transport (saved 6 Euros), for the National Museum (saved 4,50 I think) and the tower of the Olympic stadium (saved 2 Euros) and to collect my present (an elk keyring) from Stockmann. Some of the other museums that I wanted to visit with it were closed (because it was Juhannus weekend) so for me the card wouldn't have been worth it.

    Unique Suggestions: If you plan to visit the Zoo and Suomenlinna or go on an organised tour by "Helsinki Expert" and you still have some time to visit some museums and maybe have a meal one of the restaurants that offers special rates it might be worth it for you. Especially for people who travel to Helsinki for the first time and only have a short time there it might be a good idea to get the card (you can buy it at the Helsinki Expert booth at Esplanadi or at the tourist information).

    Fun Alternatives: Enjoy the city without rushing from one place to the other.....

    Free view from Olympic Stadium Tower

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    Helsinki Tourist Card

    by ZeekLTK Updated May 2, 2012

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    There are a lot of "recommendations" (not just on this website, but in general) to get the Helsinki Tourist Card. However, I would NOT recommend this.

    I did look into it and decided not to. Then, after spending several days in the city, I was glad that I did not.

    The card is only good for one day (or two, or three, however long you buy it for - but it is more expensive for more days) and claims you can do a bunch of stuff for "free", but unless you literally hit up everything in one day then you don't ever actually make up the costs of what you paid for the card.

    For example, it lets you get a free ferry to Suomenlinna - the ferry is only 5 Euro anyways, not a big deal. Says you can use trams for free - the trams are only 2.70 Euros per ride and, due to how Helsinki is setup, you most likely won't even need to ride the tram more than once or twice (I only rode it once in 4 and a half days in the city). Another thing is that you can go up in the Olympic Tower for free, but that only costs 3 or 5 Euro (3 if you have a student ID or are a senior citizen, otherwise 5).

    It also says you can get into certain museums for free or for a discounted rate. The museums were typically only 8-12 Euros to get in (some less). And, keep in mind that it takes time to go through museums, it's not like you can just rush through them.

    I think they were asking 36 Euros for the card when I was there. Even if I went to Suomenlinna, rode 2 trams, went to the Olympic Tower, and went to 2 museums I would have only spent 33.40 Euros. And that would be an incredibly busy day too!

    Unique Suggestions: If you do get the card, then at least plan ahead and get the most out of it. Have your whole day planned so that you aren't wasting time deciding what to do next. Also I guess I would recommend starting the day early - ferries begin to go to Suomenlinna as early as 6 AM. If you get there early you could see the island(s) and get back by the time museums are opening to maximize your efficiency.

    Also, don't get this card on a Monday! All museums are closed on Mondays!

    Fun Alternatives: Do things yourself - it will be cheaper!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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    by alexprofi Updated Jan 18, 2007

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    Suomenlinna , or Sveaborg.

    One of the main reasons for building Sveaborg was to help Sweden counter the ambitions of Russia, whose principal military base in the Gulf of Finland was Kronstadt, commissioned by Peter the Great to protect the city of St Petersburg and to be the home port of a new Russian navy to challenge Swedish maritime power in the eastern reaches of the Baltic Sea.Swedish power in the region gradually declined and in 1808 Sveaborg was surrendered to Russian forces. In 1855, during the Russian period, Sveaborg was bombarded by a British-led fleet in an offensive linked to the Crimean War.
    In July, 1906 has lifted revolt garrison in Sveaborg. In revolt participated up to 2 thousand soldiers and sailors of a fortress. They were helped by groups of the Finnish Red guards. On July, 18 and 19 there was a fierce artillery firing between a rebellious fortress and true to the government armies. To Sveaborg the squadron which a straight line fire started bombardment of rising soldiers and sailors has approached. Despite of support of sailors of Kronstadt, revolt in Sveaborg on July, 20 it has been suppressed, and his heads are executed.
    Initial Swedish name Sveaborg (Fortress Svea) with finding of independence by Finland in 1918 on a background of growth of national - patriotic spirit has been replaced on Suomenllinna (the Finnish Fortress), however Swedish the name remains in the use and to this day. Other ancient name of a fortress - Viapori is known also.
    During the summer of that year Red prisoners taken during the conflict between Red and White forces that followed independence were interned there. In the conclusion many of them have died of malnutrition and illness.

    Unique Suggestions: Getting to Suomenlinna

    There is a regular ferry-boat connection to Suomenlinna all year round. The ferry-boats leave from the Market Square between 6am and 2.20am. There is an additional service boat from Katajanokka on weekdays between 7.25am and 3.25pm. Ferry-boats are part of Helsinki City Transportation system. tourist tickets of the City Traffic are valid on the ferry-boat.
    Ferry timetables, Tel. +358-0100 111.
    Water buses operated by JT-Line Oy to Suomenlinna run from the beginning of May to the end of September. foto).
    Timetables and prices/JT-line. Tel. (09) 534 806, e-mail:

    Fun Alternatives: Museums Suomenlinna.

    Opening hours, prices and contact addresses 2007

    Suomenlinna Museum, Visitor Centre
    2.1.-30.4. 10-16 (closed 6.4.)
    2.5.-30.9. 10-18
    1.10-31.12 10-16 (closed 6.12, 24.-25.12)
    Entrance fee: 5/4/0 € including museum, widescreen show and alternating exhibition.
    Tel. (09) 4050 9691, Address: Suomenlinna C 74, 00190 Helsinki

    Ehrensvärd Museum
    1.4.-30.4. Sat-Sun 11-16
    Open daily in the Summer
    Entrance fee: 3/1 €, children under 7 years free.
    Tel. (09) 684 1850, Address: Suomenlinna B 40, 00190 Helsinki

    Toy Museum
    1.4.-30.4. 11-16
    1.5.-1.6. 11-16
    2.6..-21.6. 11-17
    25.6.-29.7. 11-18
    30.7.-2.9. 11-17
    3.9.-16.9. 11-16
    Entrance fee: adults 5/4 €, children (under 18) 2,5, children under 2 years free.
    Tel. (09) 668 417, Address: Suomenlinna C 66, 00190 Helsinki

    12.5-31.8. daily 11-18 (closed 22-24.6)
    Entrance fee: 4/2 €, children under 7 years free (combination ticket for the Manege Military Museum, the Coast Artillery Museum and the submarine Vesikko 6/3 €).
    Tel. (09) 1814 5296, Address: Suomenlinna C 77, 00190 Helsinki

    Vesikko Submarine
    12.5-31.8. daily 11-18 (closed 22-24.6)
    Entrance fee: 4/2 €, children under 7 years free (combination ticket for the Manege Military Museum, the Coast Artillery Museum and the submarine Vesikko 6/3 €).
    Tel. (09) 1814 6238, Address: Suomenlinna B 79, 00190 Helsinki

    Coast Artillery Museum
    12.5-31.8. daily 11-18 (closed 22-24.6)
    Entrance fee: 4/2 €, children under 7 years free (combination ticket for the Manege Military Museum, the Coast Artillery Museum and the submarine Vesikko 6/3 €).
    Tel. (09) 1814 5295, Address: Suomenlinna A 2, 00190 Helsinki

    Customs Museum
    26.5.-31.8. Tue-Sun 12-17 (Closed 22.-24.6)
    Closed on Mondays.
    Free entrance.
    Tel. 020 492 2394 (only in summertime)
    Address: Suomenlinna B 20, 00190 Helsinki

    Aerial of Suomenlinna Photo: Kari Palsila The 1. Helsinki City Traffic ferry, 2. JT-line's water Water bus The bastion
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    The tourist bus

    by kixon Written Sep 4, 2006

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    The tourist bus is very expensive in my opinion, last time I checke3d they charged about 25€ for a jump on and off-trip, and you can get away cheaper than that.

    Unique Suggestions: Try and bargain the price.

    Fun Alternatives: The tourist bus is a great way to explore the town, but you can do that the cheapest way possible: Tram or walk. The tram 3T or 3B takes you around the whole town plus a few of the far end citydistricts, you can pick up a map of the sights on the way from a tourist office. Or the just walk around with the same map and you'll see everything and save about 25€.

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    Suomenlinna fotress JL boat trip

    by kikili Written Sep 24, 2007

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    The JL boat tour to the fortress is near the corner or start of the K markets.They have an interesting set up where they don't sell you the ticket till the boat leaves. Thought this was unusual till we were a few hundred metres out to sea when they started selling tickets.More than 5 people who had HKL tickets were told that their tickets would not be honoured and that they had to buy JL tickets.They had to fork out for the trip..about 7euro return.This is not much but strikes me as a scam as they could easily check and advise customers that their tickets would not be valid and to instead walk another 200 metres down the markets and see the HKL ferry which is partly hidden by signs.

    Unique Suggestions: The HKL ferry is further down, about 150 metres.Not easily as visible as the JL boat.Between the JL and HKL boats is the Porvoo trip cruise boat.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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    The Boat Tours

    by mydreamquest Updated May 31, 2006

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    Near the Fish Market in front of the Lutheran Cathedral, there are offers for a boat tour around the Islands off of Helsinki (such as IHA Lines). They'll charge around 12 Euro for an hour and 30 minute Archipelago Sightseeing.

    Although it takes you to historically significant areas such as where certain fortresses were, I found the boat tour to be rather boring primarily because I like to take landscape pictures. During the 2 hours trip, there were few photo opportunities, and in mid-September, it was very cold going out on the boat tour. I slept thru most of the boat trip.

    However, I did like this picture which I took of the Lutheran Cathedral.

    Helsinki from a Boat Tour
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Helsinki card

    by orlikins Updated Sep 18, 2002

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    The Helsinki card is a bit pricey, you have got to work fast to really make it pay off.

    You do get free entry to most museums and discounted meals and public transport, so thats the pro side. However it is not valid on the airport bus to the city centre.

    Unique Suggestions: Dont buy it unless you're sure you're going to visit most of the musuems featured in the brochure. You can skip paying for public transport if you're on a budget ;)

    Fun Alternatives: If you're not a musuem buff, then the card is of no use to you. If you know you're going to use public transport a lot, and would prefer to pay, then see if you can get a commuter ticket - ask at the airport if they sell them

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    The Sibelius Monument....

    by helimaarit Written Aug 25, 2002

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    The Sibelius Monument. Beautiful..and surrounded by tourists :) The Sibelius Monument by sculptress Eila Hiltunen, unveiled in 1967 in memory of Finland's national composer, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).

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    International aquarium

    by helimaarit Written Feb 14, 2005

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    Sea Life Helsinki is attached to Linnanmäki-amusement park. It's great for families and for people interested in sea life.
    I've visited the place and liked it, but I find it rather expensive and for this reason I wouldn't go there again.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium

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  • Water

    by snux_849 Written Jun 12, 2005

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    Water in drink stands is very expensive.

    Unique Suggestions: Buy water from the grocery and not from kiosks around the city. There's this gift shop (Kioski) that sells water at 2.30 euros... in the grocery, a small bottle costs around 30 cents.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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