Things to do in Helsinki

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When in Helsinki, visit Suomenlinna Fortress, admire Helsinki Cathedral, stroll around the Old Market Hall, and relax in the picturesque Esplanadi Park.
Engage with science at Heureka, enjoy the rides at Linnanmäki Amusement Park, and encounter wildlife at Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island.
Savor nature at Nuuksio National Park, kayak along the archipelago, and cycle the scenic routes along Helsinki's waterfront.
Indulge in art at Ateneum, explore the Design Museum, and relax in the traditional Finnish saunas for an authentic indoor experience.
Best Helsinki tours range from exploring the Design District to historical walks through the city's iconic landmarks and boat tours along the beautiful coastline.
Ateneum Art Museum, the National Museum of Finland, and Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum are popular for their rich collections and engaging exhibitions.
On rainy days, opt for an art gallery tour, visit Rock Church, or take the covered Panorama Sightseeing bus tour.
Discover the city’s essence with short but sweet tours like the Helsinki Audio City Tour or a quick guided visit to landmark attractions.

2 reviews for audio tours in Helsinki

October 2022
Helsinki of Many Faces: a Walk through Centuries
Great walk but a bit short

Best Things to Do In Helsinki

Discover the vibrant heart of Finland with an array of Helsinki activities tailored to showcase the city's charm and heritage.

Helsinki: The National Museum of Finland

What is it?
A museum dedicated to Finnish history from prehistoric times to the present.
Why you should go?
Offering a deep dive into Finnish history, The National Museum of Finland encapsulates the rich tapestry of the nation's past. Housed in a striking building inspired by Finnish medieval churches and castles, it's a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibitions. Whether it's the comprehensive ethnological collections, the intricate coin chamber, or the interactive Vintti Workshop, the museum caters to the inquisitive minds of all ages. This educational corner among the things to do in Helsinki promises a memorable journey through the ages.

Helsinki: Helsinki Central Library Oodi

What is it?
A state-of-the-art public library and a living meeting place.
Why you should go?
Oodi isn't just a library; it's an architectural marvel and a community space where knowledge and creativity meet. With its modern design and a diverse range of services, from book collections to maker spaces and recording studios, Oodi exemplifies the new era of libraries. Whether one wishes to dive into literature, enjoy a movie at the cinema, or participate in community events, it ranks highly in what to do in Helsinki, offering enlightenment and entertainment to all who cross its threshold.

Helsinki: Uspenski Cathedral

What is it?
An Eastern Orthodox cathedral and one of the largest of its kind in Western Europe.
Why you should go?
Uspenski Cathedral stands out in the Helsinki skyline with its golden cupolas and red-brick facade. As a prominent landmark in the city, the cathedral not only offers an oasis of tranquility but also a glimpse into the religious diversity of Finland. Visitors can admire the stunning icons and frescoes that adorn the interiors, making it a significant feature amongst things to see in Helsinki. The cathedral's hilltop location also affords panoramic views of the city and the surrounding sea, adding to its allure.

Helsinki: Esplanadi Park

What is it?
A historic urban park serving as a popular promenade and event venue.
Why you should go?
Esplanadi Park is Helsinki's green heartbeat—a place where locals and visitors alike come to relax, people-watch, and take part in cultural events. Lined with cafes and boutiques, this green space is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with views of neoclassical buildings. Throughout the year, the park comes alive with concerts, festivals, and performances, making it a hive of Helsinki activities and a must-visit for those seeking the pulse of the city's social life.

Helsinki: Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum

What is it?
A cutting-edge museum showcasing contemporary art in Finland and beyond.
Why you should go?
Kiasma is a mecca for contemporary art lovers, delivering an ambitious slate of exhibitions and performances that challenge the senses and intellect. Its striking architecture is a work of art in itself, providing an engaging backdrop for the museum's dynamic collections. Whether you're interested in painting, sculpture, or digital art, Kiasma offers an innovative cultural experience. For anyone considering the best things to do in Helsinki, a visit to Kiasma is certain to provoke thought and conversation.

Helsinki: Senate Square

What is it?
The heart of Helsinki’s historical center, surrounded by neoclassical buildings.
Why you should go?
Senate Square serves as a window into Finland's past, embodying the grandeur of European architecture. Visitors are swept away by the stately presence of the Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the National Library of Finland, and the University of Helsinki buildings, all of which frame this public space magnificently. An essential things to do in Helsinki, the square hosts vibrant events throughout the year, and its steps provide an ideal vantage point for absorbing the city's lively pulse and architectural beauty.

Helsinki: Suomenlinna Fortress

What is it?
An 18th-century maritime fortress and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Why you should go?
Suomenlinna Fortress stands as a testament to Nordic history and military ingenuity. Accessible by a short ferry ride, this sprawling sea fortress invites explorers to unveil a network of museums, tunnels, and galleries. As one of the most popular Helsinki activities, it offers a scenic escape from the city hustle. Cultural enthusiasts will relish the guided tours, while picnickers delight in the serene waterfront vistas, making it undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Helsinki.

Helsinki: Linnanmäki Amusement Park

What is it?
An amusement park renowned for its wooden roller coaster and fun atmosphere.
Why you should go?
Bursting with fun things to do in Helsinki, Linnanmäki Amusement Park is a perennial favorite for families and thrill-seekers. With more than 40 rides, various games, and live entertainment, the park promises an unforgettable day out. The iconic wooden roller coaster, built in 1950, not only offers heart-racing excitement but also panoramic views of Helsinki. The park also contributes to child welfare work, giving visitors a joyful experience with a meaningful impact.

Helsinki: Ateneum Art Museum

What is it?
The leading art museum in Finland showcasing a broad collection of Finnish art.
Why you should go?
As a cornerstone in Helsinki's art scene, the Ateneum Art Museum holds an essential role in presenting Finnish art to the world. Its extensive collections span from classic to contemporary, including works from the Golden Age of Finnish art and avant-garde masterpieces. For those pondering what to see in Helsinki, the Ateneum is an enriching cultural encounter, highlighting national heritage and international pieces that inspire and educate art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Helsinki: Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

What is it?
An outdoor museum island showcasing traditional Finnish houses and folk culture.
Why you should go?
Step back in time at the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, where the rich tapestry of Finnish rural life unfolds in an idyllic island setting. This unique destination is one of the places to visit in Helsinki for an educational and picturesque experience. It features a collection of authentic wooden homes, farmsteads, and manor houses transported from all over Finland. Visitors gain invaluable insight into the country's heritage while enjoying the museum's tranquil nature trails and special events, including Midsummer celebrations.

TOP-5 Tours in Helsinki for First Time Visitors

  • Explore the historic Senate Square, a top place to visit in Helsinki, and listen to captivating stories of the city's past, all at your own pace.
  • Delve into the cultural scene with an audio tour of the Design District, a hub for what to see in Helsinki, featuring unique Finnish artistry.
  • Take a leisurely walk along the seaside promenade, enjoying fun things to do in Helsinki as you learn about the city's maritime history.
  • Experience the best Helsinki tours by visiting Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, an iconic UNESCO World Heritage site with a fascinating strategic history.
  • End your journey at the bustling Market Square, where Helsinki excursions often culminate with tastes of local cuisine and artisanal crafts.

Fun things to do in Helsinki with kids

Helsinki is a playground for all ages, rich in experiences that cater to the curiosity and energy of young explorers. Begin with a visit to the Linnanmäki Amusement Park, a historic theme park that combines nostalgic charm with modern thrills, featuring more than 40 rides. It promises a day packed with laughter and excitement for both kids and adults. For a more serene but equally engaging outing, head to the Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island, where wildlife from frozen tundras to rainforest canopies captivates the imaginations of children. The zoo's commitment to conservation and education makes it a valuable visit. Concluding the top three is the interactive Heureka Science Centre, where hands-on exhibits and planetarium shows make learning about science and technology an enthralling adventure. These destinations are among the best Helsinki tours for families, offering a blend of education and fun that's sure to leave lasting memories.

Things to do in Helsinki with family

Offering an array of family-friendly attractions, Helsinki ensures that visitors of all ages have memorable experiences. Head to the Finnish capital to embark on a Suomenlinna Sea Fortress tour that combines history with picturesque views, a perfect setting for a family picnic and exploration of the fortress's tunnels. Next, immerse yourselves in the wonders of Finnish wildlife at the Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island, open year-round and home to animals from around the globe. Interactive exhibits and expansive habitats make for an educational and entertaining day out. Lastly, the Heureka Science Centre stands out amongst Helsinki activities for its engaging, hands-on approach to learning that will captivate children's and parents' innate curiosity. With a variety of exhibits covering physics, biology, and astronomy, it's an entertaining educational hotspot that stimulates young minds and offers enjoyment for the entire family. These top three attractions are quintessential for anyone seeking things to do in Helsinki with family.

Free things to do in Helsinki

Helsinki presents a bevy of sights and activities that don't cost a dime but are rich in cultural value. Stroll along the bustling Helsinki Market Square where the energetic atmosphere, vibrant stalls, and scenic harbor views come without a price tag. It's an ideal spot to experience Finnish daily life and take in the city's maritime spirit. Wander through the verdant pathways of Kaivopuisto Park, one of Helsinki's oldest and most beloved parks, offering panoramic views of the sea and tranquil spots for picnic. As the day winds down, catch a glorious sunset from the park's cliffs - a perfect free ending to a day in Helsinki. Lastly, don't miss out on the impressive Helsinki Cathedral, an iconic white neoclassical building dominating the Senate Square. The cathedral is open to the public and is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Together, these attractions rank at the top of the list for free things to do in Helsinki.

Cheap things to do in Helsinki

Exploring Helsinki doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Venture to the Hietaniemi Beach, a popular sandy beach perfect for a dip during the summer or a scenic walk in cooler months. Here, families often gather for volleyball games and sunbathing without spending much at all. For a small fee, take a trip to the island of Suomenlinna. The UNESCO-listed sea fortress makes for a captivating day out, rich in history and splendid nature — the ferry ticket is inexpensive and grants you access to an entire day of adventure. Lastly, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art offers an affordable ticket price and is free for visitors under 18. It is home to intriguing Finnish and international art, with interactive displays that appeal to a wide audience. These experiences prove that enjoying the best things to do in Helsinki doesn't have to strain your wallet.

Things to do in Helsinki for couples

Helsinki, with its blend of natural beauty and urban charm, offers couples a romantic backdrop for memorable experiences. Start by enjoying a leisurely stroll through the serene Esplanadi Park, a lush oasis in the city center that leads to cozy cafes and fine dining restaurants, perfect for a date night. Adventure-loving pairs might take a ferry to the enchanting Suomenlinna Fortress, exploring the historical buildings and enjoying seaside picnics with a view. For an atmospheric evening, couples can experience the warmth of traditional Finnish saunas like Löyly, which offers not just a steamy rejuvenation but also a chance to relax by the Baltic Sea. Each of these activities brings out the romance of Helsinki, making them perfect things to do for couples looking to share quality time together.

Things to do in Helsinki at night

Even after the sun sets, Helsinki thrives with an array of nocturnal activities. For a start, couples and nightlife enthusiasts can visit the bustling bars and clubs around the Kallio district, where the vibrant nightlife reveals Helsinki's more bohemian side, offering live music and local craft beers. For a high-end evening, enjoy one of Helsinki’s exquisite restaurants featuring Nordic cuisine, followed by a stroll along the shimmering waterfront, casting a romantic and serene ambience over the city. Alternatively, take in a performance at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet for an elegant night of cultural entertainment. Whether seeking a night of partying, gourmet dining, or cultural arts, Helsinki's nocturnal offerings cater to all desires, establishing it as a dynamic city that truly comes to life after dark.