Helsinki
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Top attractions in Helsinki

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The 7 best things to do it Helsinki

Helsinki is an eclectic seaside city - all parks, islands, culture and nightlife. With the many attractions you expect of the capital city of Finland, this is a great place to spend a few days of stylish living. Enjoy our list of what to see when you visit.

Suomenlinna

Helsinki sightseeing starts in earnest at this spectacular sea fortress. The World Heritage Site offers guided tours, six museums and more. Arrive by ferry or waterbus.

Temppeliaukio Church

Known as the Rock Church, this unique structure is carved into the granite, and offers amazing acoustics. As popular for concerts and performances as it is for worship.

Kiasma

The contemporary art museum's building is a work of art in itself, chosen as part of a Nordic design competition. Kids engage easily with modern art - here they can enter for free.

Uspenski Cathedral

From ultra-modern architecture to this historic cathedral. This is the largest Orthodox structure in western Europe, and reflects the Russian influence on 19th century Finland.

Helsinki Cathedral

For another architectural left turn, visit this Lutheran place of worship. Its neoclassical style has an imposing impact over the port. Lots of steps also offer a workout!

Sibelius Monument

This intricate monument to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is located in the park that also bears his name. The powerful tribute is designed to visualize the essence of his music.

National Museum of Finland

Learn all you need to know about Finnish history and culture at this exhaustive attraction. The exhibits cover more than 10,000 years - half a day will let you cover a few hundred!

Planning Your Helsinki Visit

How to get there

Flights to the city land at Helsinki Airport, which is half an hour's drive into the city center. Car hire is available at the airport and for the best prices, book and pay in advance. Trains leave the airport for the city every ten minutes, while the 620 bus offers an even cheaper option, but takes a little longer to arrive - perfect for backpackers.

What to do after dark

The nightlife in Helsinki is vibrant and varied, with many bars, restaurants and nightclubs on offer. There is also a growing gay scene, a popular rock and metal scene and a wealth of live music to experience. Check local listings to see what's happening when you visit.

Good to know

  • Language
    Finnish
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +358
  • Best time to visit
    May, June and September are the best months to visit, because the days are longer, the outdoor markets are open, the city is in bloom, and you'll avoid the higher prices, driven up by the tourists visiting during July and August, the peak months.

Things to Do in Helsinki

Cities in Finland

Other Sightseeing Options in Helsinki

Want to discover all there is to do in Helsinki? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Helsinki

Excellent guide given that he had to stand in a last minute

We sadly had to make our tour short because of the change of arrangement. Meet made us feel very welcome and in the time gave us plenty information. We also appreciated the call from Toronto the previous evening to inform us of the change.

Helsinki: Private Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by yvonne, 09/14/2018

Beautiful canal tour with friendly staff and well run program.

We arrived earlier than our allotted time and they facilitated getting us on the earlier tour with no problem.

Enjoyable and educative tour in Helsinki

Our guide Emek, an urban architect, loves Helsinki and knows a lot about the history of the city, Finland, the people, buildings and sights and Finish culture. His tour is very informative and lively, we enjoyed every minute of it. We were lucky because no other tourist were with 2 of us (+Emek). Thus, we were able to ask lots of questions. Emek answered all of them. We really recommend that enjoyable walk.

Helsinki: Small Group Walking Tour Reviewed by Donata, 09/07/2018

A truly memorable and unique experience in a spectacular scenery

Nuuksio is a marvellous place, the surrounding beautiful nature makes you feel like you're in paradise. But it's so much better if you have Mikhail as your guide. We couldn't have had a better guide - he was absolutely brilliant, very informative, knowledgeable and polite. The tour was filled with breathtaking views which we would never find on our own, interesting facts and insights, and several fascinating activities like a typical Finnish outdoor BBQ, finding animal trails, picking mushrooms and berries and discovering the local flora and fauna. This trip to Nuuksio was a truly rewarding and memorable experience.

Nuuksio National Park Full-Day Hike from Helsinki Reviewed by Mauricio Naoto, 09/01/2018

Really excellent activity with local tour guide

Bea was our English speaking guide, who provided a wonderful tour of the city. We covered most of the main buildings and museums and ended up at Sobelius’s Monument which is quite magical!! I would highly recommend this.

Helsinki: Private Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by jane, 07/10/2018