things to do in helsinki

Last Updated on: 15th February 2024, 08:35 am

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, offers a range of diverse and exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring top attractions to experiencing local culture, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in art, history, nature, or food, Helsinki has it all. In this article, we will guide you through the best things to do in Helsinki, giving you a comprehensive overview of the city’s top attractions and unique experiences. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable Finnish adventure!

When it comes to things to do in Helsinki, the options are endless. From visiting the top attractions in Helsinki to exploring popular activities, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to soak up the charm of Helsinki, you won’t be disappointed.

Some of the must-visit places in Helsinki include the iconic Suomenlinna Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore its historic buildings and scenic parks spread across six islands. For art lovers, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art is a must-see, with its impressive collection of modern works and temporary exhibits.

Things to Do in Helsinki

If you’re interested in history and culture, be sure to visit the National Museum of Finland and Helsinki City Museum. These museums offer a comprehensive glimpse into the city’s past and its rich cultural heritage. And don’t miss the Bank of Finland Museum, where you can learn about the fascinating history of money and finance.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Helsinki has plenty to offer. Take a stroll through the picturesque Esplanade Park or relax in the beautiful Kaivopuisto Park. If you’re up for an adventure, head to the Gulf of Finland for snowmobiling and enjoy the stunning winter wonderland.

When it comes to food, Helsinki will not disappoint. Visit the vibrant Market Square and indulge in traditional Finnish delicacies such as hot chocolate, meat pastries, and herring. For a unique experience, visit the Finnish Sauna Society and unwind in a traditional Finnish sauna before taking a refreshing swim in a nearby lake.

This Helsinki travel guide is your gateway to the city’s top attractions, popular activities, and must-see sights. Whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, there are plenty of things to see and do in Helsinki. So grab your Helsinki city guide and start planning your Finnish adventure today!

Museums and Art Galleries

Helsinki is home to a wide range of museums and art galleries, offering visitors the opportunity to explore Finnish culture, history, and art. The city’s rich cultural heritage is showcased through its diverse collection of museums and galleries, each offering a unique experience for art enthusiasts and history buffs.

Kiasma (Museum of Contemporary Art)

The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art is a must-visit attraction for modern art lovers. Located in the heart of Helsinki, Kiasma features a captivating collection of contemporary works by renowned international artists. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, providing visitors with an ever-changing display of cutting-edge art. From thought-provoking installations to vibrant paintings, Kiasma offers a unique and immersive journey into the world of contemporary art.

Finnish Museum of Photography

The Finnish Museum of Photography offers a fascinating insight into the world of photography, both from Finland and around the globe. The museum showcases a diverse range of photographic works, from stunning landscapes to thought-provoking portraits. Visitors can explore various exhibitions that highlight the beauty and power of visual arts captured through the lens. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply appreciate the art form, the Finnish Museum of Photography offers a unique and enriching experience.

Sinebrychoff Art Museum

The Sinebrychoff Art Museum is a treasure trove of European paintings and portraits. Housed in a historic building dating back to the 18th century, the museum features an impressive collection of art from prominent European artists. Visitors can admire the exquisite brushwork and intricate details of masterpieces that span different artistic periods. The Sinebrychoff Art Museum is a must-visit destination for those interested in exploring classical European art.

National Museum of Finland

The National Museum of Finland offers a comprehensive journey through the country’s history and cultural heritage. The museum’s extensive collection includes artifacts, archaeological finds, and exhibits that illustrate Finland’s fascinating past. Visitors can explore the rich traditions, stories, and customs that have shaped Finnish identity over the centuries. From ancient artifacts to interactive displays, the National Museum of Finland provides a captivating glimpse into the nation’s history.

Helsinki City Museum

The Helsinki City Museum tells the story of the city and its people. Through fascinating exhibitions, visitors can learn about Helsinki’s past, present, and future. The museum offers insights into the city’s development, culture, and everyday life, providing a deeper understanding of Helsinki’s unique character. From historical photographs to interactive displays, the Helsinki City Museum offers a captivating and educational experience for all visitors.

Bank of Finland Museum

The Bank of Finland Museum provides a fascinating look at the history of money and finance. Visitors can explore the evolution of currency, the role of central banks, and the impact of economic events on society. Through interactive exhibits and informative displays, the museum offers a deeper understanding of the financial world. Whether you have an interest in economics or simply want to learn something new, the Bank of Finland Museum is a must-visit attraction.

These museums and art galleries in Helsinki offer a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and insight into Finnish culture, history, and art. From contemporary masterpieces to classical European paintings, there is something to captivate every visitor. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Helsinki and embark on a journey of discovery through its vibrant art scene and fascinating museums.

Outdoor and Natural Attractions

Helsinki boasts a range of outdoor and natural attractions that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s beautiful surroundings. From historic landmarks to serene parks, there is plenty to explore and enjoy.

Suomenlinna Fortress

The Suomenlinna Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit destination. Built in the 18th century, this fortress offers stunning views of the Gulf of Finland and features historical buildings and picturesque parks spread across its six islands. It’s the perfect place to learn about Finnish history and enjoy a leisurely stroll amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Esplanade Park

Located in the heart of Helsinki, Esplanade Park is a popular green space that provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city. This park is perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and people-watching. With its beautiful flowerbeds, statues, and live performances during the summer months, it offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.

Kaivopuisto Park

Situated in the southeast corner of the city, Kaivopuisto Park is a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike. This expansive park offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Finland and boasts lush greenery, well-maintained paths, and open spaces for outdoor activities. In winter, it transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with sledding hills and ice skating rinks. During summer, it hosts various lively events, making it an ideal destination for all seasons.

Nuuksio National Park

If you’re looking to venture beyond the city center, Nuuksio National Park is the perfect day trip from Helsinki. This pristine wilderness is a nature lover’s paradise, offering serene lakes, dense forests, and breathtaking hiking trails. Encounter native wildlife, such as reindeer, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear lakes. Complete your Finnish nature experience with a relaxing sauna session, a traditional Finnish practice.

Gulf of Finland

The Gulf of Finland, with its vast expanse of water, provides adventure enthusiasts with a playground for exciting activities. During the winter months, snowmobiling across the frozen gulf is a thrilling experience, offering a unique perspective of the Helsinki coastline. Dive into the unspoiled beauty of this winter wonderland and create unforgettable memories amidst the mesmerizing scenery.

Attraction Description
Suomenlinna Fortress A UNESCO World Heritage Site with historical buildings and picturesque parks spread across its six islands
Esplanade Park A popular green space in the city center, perfect for picnics and leisurely strolls
Kaivopuisto Park A favorite spot for locals, offering scenic views, sledding in winter, and lively events in summer
Nuuksio National Park A pristine wilderness with hiking trails, lakes, and the opportunity to experience Finnish nature and encounter reindeer
Gulf of Finland A great place for adventure enthusiasts, with opportunities for snowmobiling and enjoying the unspoiled beauty of winter wonderland

These outdoor attractions showcase the natural beauty of Helsinki and are must-see destinations for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Suomenlinna Fortress

Culinary Delights and Local Experiences

Indulge in the delicious flavors of Finnish cuisine and immerse yourself in local experiences in Helsinki. From traditional food markets to authentic saunas, the city offers a variety of culinary delights that will tantalize your taste buds.

Start your gastronomic adventure at Market Square, a vibrant hub where you can sample a range of local delicacies. Sip on a cup of rich hot chocolate, savor the flaky goodness of meat pastries, or try the tangy pickled herring. The market is a feast for the senses, with colorful displays of fresh produce and the aroma of freshly baked goods wafting through the air.

“Market Square is a bustling hub where visitors can sample traditional Finnish food such as hot chocolate, meat pastries, and herring.”

For an authentic Finnish experience, visit the Finnish Sauna Society. Step into a traditional sauna, where the heat melts away your stress and toxins. After a rejuvenating sauna session, take a dip in a nearby lake to cool off and feel refreshed. The Finnish Sauna Society offers a unique opportunity to embrace this deeply-rooted Finnish tradition.

When it comes to cafes, Café Engel is a must-visit. As the oldest cafe in the city, it exudes a charming ambiance and serves mouthwatering pastries. Indulge in a slice of traditional Finnish cake or enjoy a cup of aromatic coffee while immersing yourself in the cafe’s rich history.

If you’re looking for a cozy spot with a rustic charm, head to Café Regatta. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and tasty treats, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a cup of Finnish coffee and warm cinnamon buns. Sit by the fireplace or relax by the sea, as you soak in the cafe’s unique and welcoming vibe.

For those who love street food, Helsinki has a vibrant street food scene. Explore food trucks and stalls that offer a wide range of local delicacies. From reindeer meatballs to savory vendace pies, you’ll discover a plethora of flavors that showcase the best of Finnish cuisine.

Food tours are a fantastic way to delve deeper into Helsinki’s culinary scene. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours will take you to hidden gems and introduce you to the diverse local food culture. From traditional Finnish dishes to fusion cuisine, you’ll get a taste of Helsinki’s gastronomic delights.

Experience the unique blend of flavors and cultural traditions that Helsinki has to offer. The city’s culinary delights and local experiences will leave you craving for more.

Popular Culinary Destinations Description
Market Square A bustling hub where visitors can sample traditional Finnish food such as hot chocolate, meat pastries, and herring.
Finnish Sauna Society Provides an authentic sauna experience, allowing visitors to relax and detoxify in traditional saunas before taking a refreshing swim in a nearby lake.
Café Engel The oldest café in the city, offering a charming ambiance and delicious pastries.
Café Regatta A popular spot known for its cozy atmosphere and tasty treats.

Helsinki street food


Helsinki, Finland’s vibrant capital, offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From exploring museums and art galleries to immersing oneself in nature and indulging in culinary delights, there is no shortage of things to do in Helsinki. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or food, Helsinki has something to offer every traveler.

This guide has provided an overview of the top attractions and unique experiences in the city, allowing you to plan your itinerary and make the most of your time in Helsinki. Explore the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art or marvel at the Finnish Museum of Photography to discover the rich culture and artistic heritage of Finland. Immerse yourself in the city’s natural beauty by visiting the Suomenlinna Fortress, Esplanade Park, or taking a day trip to Nuuksio National Park.

Don’t forget to treat your taste buds to Finnish delights at Market Square and experience the authentic Finnish sauna at the Finnish Sauna Society. Helsinki’s culinary scene and street food are also a must-try. Embark on a Finnish adventure and create lasting memories in this vibrant and dynamic city. Helsinki is waiting to be explored!


What are some of the top attractions in Helsinki?

Some of the top attractions in Helsinki include the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Finnish Museum of Photography, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, the National Museum of Finland, the Helsinki City Museum, and the Bank of Finland Museum.

What are some outdoor and natural attractions in Helsinki?

Some outdoor and natural attractions in Helsinki include the Suomenlinna Fortress, Esplanade Park, Kaivopuisto Park, the Gulf of Finland, and Nuuksio National Park.

What culinary delights and local experiences can be enjoyed in Helsinki?

Visitors to Helsinki can sample traditional Finnish food at Market Square, experience an authentic Finnish sauna at the Finnish Sauna Society, dine at Cafe Engel and Cafe Regatta, enjoy Helsinki’s street food scene, and take food tours to explore the city’s culinary offerings.

What are some must-visit places in Helsinki?

Some must-visit places in Helsinki include the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Suomenlinna Fortress, Market Square, and Nuuksio National Park.

What are some popular activities in Helsinki?

Some popular activities in Helsinki include exploring museums and art galleries, immersing oneself in nature at parks and national parks, enjoying Finnish cuisine at local eateries, and taking part in cultural experiences such as saunas and food tours.