Things to do in Helsinki

Have a sauna and experience the beautiful city of Helsinki

Finland is a Nordic country known for its shifting clouds and frosty climate. Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland, and it is the world’s northernmost metropolitan city with over one million people. Everything the city has to offer combined with the proximity to nature means that there are a lot of things to do in Helsinki for people visiting. The city has been named the “Pearl of the Baltic” and it has the ability to melt your heart with its ever friendly citizens, awesome architecture and bustling markets.


Things to do in Helsinki


Art & Design

Helsinki was awarded the World Design Capital status for 2012 due to wonderful art and design contributions all over the city by Finnish artists and designers. Great works of design are scattered throughout the city, from quirky high-chairs for little nippers at Kiasma modern art gallery, to Eliel Saarinen’s magical central station guarded by lamp bearing giants carved in granite, which inspired the fictional Gotham City in the first Batman film.



Suomenlinna is a sea fortress that has been built on six islands. The fortress of Suomenlinna is today a Unesco World Heritage Site and thousands of tourists visit the fortress every year. Suomenlinna was originally known as Sveaborg, Fortress of Svea, but got a new name in 1918 for patriotic reasons, a Finnish name that translates to Castle of Finland. Guided walking tours in English are held every day at Suomenlinna.


Experience Finnish Sauna

The Finns are fanatical about saunas, with 1.6 million saunas for a population of 5 million people. Of all the things to do in Helsinki while on vacation in the beautiful city, a sauna experience is a must. Most hotels in Helsinki have saunas, and there is also a lot of public saunas where one can enjoy the sweaty experience.



Helsinki ferries whisk you away to pleasure islands, housing craft shops and museums. One of the most popular islands to visit is Pihlajasaari where one can enjoy swimming and sunbathing.


Visit Lapland

From Helsinki one can easily get to the northern part of Finland, Lapland. The pure, inland air of Finnish Lapland makes it one of the best places in the world to witness nature’s most beautiful light display of the Northern Lights. The Husky safari makes the Arctic winter a magical one with the swishing of the sled runners breaking through the snowy ice. It’s exciting to see the local wildlife like moose, arctic foxes, lynx, wolves and even brown bears.


When to go to Helsinki

The city has a humid continental climate. The mildest weather and the highest number of visitors come in the months of May through September. The average maximum temperature from June to August is around 19 to 23 °C (66 to 73 °F). Make sure to visit someday this wonderful city in August when you can enjoy the Helsinki Festival, including the Night of the Arts.


Helsinki Airport

Helsinki Airport (HEL) is the main international airport of Finland. The airport is located about 30 minutes’ drive from the city which you can reach by bus or cab.


Things to do in Helsinki

Helsinki Facts

Population600 551
AirportHelsinki Vantaa, Finland (HEL)

Helsinki average temperatures

-3 °C -3 °C 1 °C 7 °C 15 °C 19 °C 21 °C 19 °C 13 °C 8 °C 2 °C -1 °C


UNESCO World Heritage Sites Helsinki - Fortress of Suomenlinna

The fortress of Suomenlinna, located on islands at the entrance of the harbour of Helsinki, is one of the largest maritime fortresses in the world ad also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during the second half of the 18th century, while Finland was part of Sweden, the fortress had the objective of serving as the main base for the armed forces in Finland and to defend itself, especially from Russia’s ambitions. Since Suomenlinna is only accessible by water, the options to get there are quite reduced. A ferry service runs throughout the whole year from the Market Square, and in the summer season a water bus is also made available. Don’t let the cold during winter discourage you, because this trip through the ice-covered waters is an incredibly unique one!

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Helsinki Opera House

The Finnish National Opera

Located in the bay of Töölönlahti, Helsinki's new opera house was inaugurated in 1993. Residing here is the Finnish National Opera, the main opera company of Finland. Up until 1993, the opera company had the Alexander Theater as home base, but since the new opera house was built, opera performances in Helsinki moved to the new building and the Alexander Theater is now mostly used for theater performances. The opera house usually stage around 140 performances each year, so check out their calendar when you are there to see if they are playing!

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Helsinki Marathon

Do you want a marathon with a lake view? Then the Helsinki Marathon will fit you perfectly. Running around the island Seurasaari Fölisön, from the inner city on the main land to the small island of Kaskisaari, the islands and waters around Helsinki is the perfect scene for a marathon. Put a dot in the middle of August in your calendar, as that is when the marathon event is annually held. No matter if you are a fitness guru or a casual runner, the many distances that the marathon event has to offer means that you can find something that fits your level. Visit their beautifully crafted website to register for the upcoming event!

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Helsinki ski vacations - Experience 112 miles of ski trails

In Helsinki you can go skiing as long as you have the weather on your side. Here you have about 112 miles (180 km) in ski trails, which is taken care of as long into the spring as possible, among others in Centralparken. Only about 6 miles (9 km) away you can find one of the capitals most popular ski terrains, called Svedängens friluftspark. You easily go there by bus or car. The season usually starts in December and continues on, depending on the weather, until April. It will not be a problem if you want to ski during the darker hours of the day because most of the trails are irradiated until late at night. If you are more of a speed person there are more places in the region of Helsinki, where you can go downhill and snowboarding.

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Golf in Helsinki

The most centrally located course in Helsinki is also the most prestigious and the oldest and it is called Helsinki Golf Club. It features a challenging 18 hole course near lake Laajalahti. A bit further west from the city you will find Hirsala Golf Club, a beautiful 18 hole course that opened in 2007 and the 36 hole course Sarfvik Golf Club, located roughly in the same area.

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Water Parks in Helsinki - Tropical heat at Serena Water Park

If you are looking for the largest tropical water in the Nordic countries, Helsinki is the place to go! Located in the city you have Serena Water Park to meet your requirements. It is both an indoor and outdoor water park, which makes it possible to keep the tropical climate all year around. So when the cold comes all the water fun will be kept indoors while the outdoor park turns into a ski and skating venue.

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Theme Parks in Helsinki - Wooden roller coaster at Linnanmäki

Located just north of Helsinki's city center, up on a hill, you'll find the amusement park Linnanmäki. This place offers you a lot of fun rides in different thrilling degrees and you also get great views over the city as a bonus due to its location up on a hill. The park is most known for its wooden roller coaster, which was one of the first rides in the park. Take your family to Linnanmäki when you are in the mood for a day filled with fun and excitement!

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