Big cats, wolverines, and monkeys…welcome to Helsinki Zoo (Korkeasaari). Opened in 1889, the zoo on Korkeasaari Island is the biggest in Finland, and one of the oldest in the world. With over 150 species of animals, it’s a popular year-round destination, with its notable tropical house, home to more than 1,000 different kinds of plants from all around the world.
Set on a 52-acre island that served as a military base in the Crimean War, the hilly zoo houses monkeys, bears, camels, reptiles and more. Famous for its pioneering work with big cats and snow leopards, the animals are divided geographically into Amazonia, Africasia and Borealia areas. The animals of the Arctic tundra look especially at home here in Finland, so make sure to look out for the resident elks and bison, wild forest reindeer, wolverines and arctic owls.
The zoo is open year-round. Tickets cost 12 euros if you arrive by bus or car, and they cost 18 euros if you include the ferry ticket in summer. From May through August, the zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day, while it is open until 6 p.m. the rest of the year. The Zoo Bus (number 16), regularly runs from Central Railway Station to the zoo from platform 8. In summer, the boat runs from Kauppatori marketplace and Hakaniemi.