An impressive architectural landmark, Finland’s Parliament House (Eduskuntatalo) is home to the nation’s governing body. The imposing building looms over Helsinki on Arcadia Hill, making it both the political and geographical heart of the Finnish capital.
Helsinki walking tours and hop-on hop-off bus tours often make a stop at the Parliament House, and the visitor center—located in the Little Parliament—offers extra information on the building and the parliament of Finland. It’s also possible to take a guided tour or visit on “open house” days, although spaces are limited and need to be booked several months in advance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors are welcome to watch plenary sessions from the gallery, although they are conducted in Finnish and no translations are provided.
- Free Wi-Fi is available at the visitor center.
- Strict security checks are in place for anyone entering the government buildings.
- The Parliament House is fully wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Parliament House is located in the district of Toolo, surrounded by several of the city’s most popular museums, art galleries, and concert halls, including Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), Finlandia Concert Hall, and the contemporary art museum Kiasma. The closest tram station is Kansallismuseo, or it’s about a 10-minute walk to Helsinki Central Station.
When to Get There
The Parliament House is open on weekdays throughout the year, but parliament sessions can only be observed on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tours are typically held on weekends.
Architectural Highlights of the Parliament House
A monumental, square building constructed in a classical style, the Parliament House was designed by Finnish architect Johan Sigfrid Siren and inaugurated in 1931. Its striking exterior showcases strong but simple geometry, with sleek granite walls and tall Corinthian columns. Built using mostly Finnish materials, it features reddish Kalvola granite on the facade and Finnish oak, curly birch, and walnut for interior furnishings.