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3 Days in Helsinki: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, August 2010

4 80 Reviews | Add your review

Where the lake-riddled Finnish landscape finally gives up and surrenders itself entirely to water, that’s where you’ll find Helsinki. Facing off Tallinn across the Gulf of Finland, this has always been an outward-looking capital combining cultural sophistication and natural beauty.

Day 1: Helsinki's Sightseeing

Start with a morning of Helsinki highlights, including Tuomiokirkko, or Helsinki Cathedral, whose Russian-influenced neo-classical columns and proud green domes make it the city’s best-known landmark. It watches over elegant Senate Square, home to important government and university buildings. Your route will also take you past the Presidential Palace, City Hall and the clean Scandinavian lines of Finlandia Hall and the Opera House. Not forgetting one of the city’s unique sights: Temppeliaukio, a church burrowed into rock and topped with a copper dome.

Day 2: Helsinki's Islands

It’s hard to resist the lure of the water and Helsinki’s numerous islands. A mighty Baltic fortress makes the island of Suomenlinna a stand-out, and a monument to Finland’s troubled relations with Russia. Inside the World Heritage-listed fortifications you’ll find restaurants as well as exhibition and performance spaces; outside you’ll find parks with stunning views of the gulf. The fortress was designed by a Swedish military officer whose fine 18th century residence is preserved as Ehrensvärd Museum on adjacent Susisaari island, along with a World War II submarine. Alternatively, head to the island of Seurasaari, where an open-air museum displays rugged wood cabins, stately mansions and other housing styles from all over the country.

Day 3: Helsinki Museums


Scandinavian style and ingenuity is admired the world over; trace the evolution of this rigorous aesthetic at the Design Museum. Finnish fine arts may be less known, but a visit to the Ateneum will show you what you’ve been missing. Follow this with the nearby Kiasma Museum whose contemporary collection is housed in a superb modern building which follows a long, graceful curve. Finish up with the history of the Finnish capital itself in the Helsinki City Museum, which also incorporates a whole preserved street detailing various stages in the city’s development.

Tours & Tickets

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Helsinki Shore Excursion: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 13 Reviews

While you’re in port in Helsinki, see the city sights aboard a double-decker, hop-on hop-off bus! Discover top Helsinki attractions on this comprehensive shore ...  Read more

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Duration: Your ticket is valid for 24 hours

From USD $34.10

Helsinki Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

There is no better way to see Helsinki than on a double-decker, hop-on hop-off bus! See top Helsinki attractions on this comprehensive sightseeing tour, such ...  Read more

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Duration: Varies

From USD $34.10

Helsinki Sightseeing Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

See the sights of Helsinki from the water on a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise! Relax inside in the lower saloon or out on deck, and admire the beautiful islands ...  Read more

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $30.01

Helsinki Sightseeing Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 42 Reviews

See the beauty of this stunning Nordic city on an introductory sightseeing tour with live commentary from your knowledgable guide. A great way to get ...  Read more

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 105 minutes (approx.)

From USD $39.55

Helsinki Audio City Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Choose from 12 languages on this Self-guided Helsinki Audio City Tour. The tour takes in the most interesting parts of Helsinki, such as the historical center ...  Read more

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $39.55

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