Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Helsinki

Things to do in  Helsinki

Welcome to Helsinki

Harborside Helsinki, the capital of Scandinavia’s less-touristy Finland, rewards travelers who make the trek with a flourishing arts scene, innovative restaurants, and plentiful islands and inlets along the Baltic. Strolling through downtown reveals an untouched art nouveau building on virtually every corner, as well as landmarks such as the Alvar Aalto–designed Finlandia Hall and the Temppeliaukion Kirkko, a church hewn into solid stone. Mannerheim Street is the city’s major artery, lined with cafes, galleries, and boutiques where visitors can find Scandinavian-design wares. Helsinki is also home base for day trips bound for the medieval town of Porvoo, Suomenlinna Fortress, or outdoor adventures in the Finnish wilderness.

Top 15 attractions in Helsinki

Helsinki Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko)

star-5586
The Helsinki Cathedral is also known as Tuomiokirkko. Built from 1830 to 1852, it replaced a smaller 18th-century church and was originally called St. Nicholas' Church in homage to Russian Czar. After Finland gained independence from Russia, the church was renamed, and in 1959 it became an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral.More

Sibelius Monument

star-5348
Nestled among the trees of Sibelius Park, the contemporary Sibelius Monument commemorates the life of acclaimed Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. 600 hollow, silver-steel pipes hover above the ground and evoke a range of creative interpretations. Initially, the abstract sculpture caused controversy with its modern design, so a bronze Sibelius bust was installed nearby to appease critics.More

Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko)

star-5344
Hewn into solid rock in the middle of a residential square, Helsinki’s Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko) features a circular ceiling covered entirely with copper stripping. Natural light streams in through 180 window panes, while an ice age crevice in the natural rock serves as the altar.More

Parliament House of Finland (Eduskuntatalo)

star-4.5340
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.More

Suomenlinna Fortress

star-4.5428
Spread over six islands in the Helsinki archipelago, Suomenlinna Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular destination for picnicking and leisure activities. The fortress is an important historic site with multiple on-site museums, as well as a living community with roughly 900 permanent residents.More

Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori)

star-5613
Senate Square (Senaatintori) symbolizes the cultural heart of Helsinki. Among the many landmarks surrounding the square are the Government Palace, National Library, Lutheran Cathedral, City Museum, and Helsinki’s oldest building, which make Senate Square an essential stop on any first-time visitor’s itinerary.More

Helsinki Central Station

star-5485
For thousands of commuters, Helsinki’s Central Railway Station is the main traffic hub from which buses, the metro and numerous local and long distance trains arrive and depart. In fact, with roughly 200,000 daily visitors, it is Finland’s most visited structure. The building also happens to be one of the landmarks of the city and looks back on over 100 years of history. Designed in 1909 by Eliel Saarinen and opened in 1919, the Railway Station’s most distinctive features are the big clock tower and the two towering figures of two heavily muscled, half-naked men holding big globes of light.Another notable feature is the red Finnish granite that was used to clad the façades of the Central Railway Station. The granite originated in Hanko, the southernmost region of Finland and is believed to be over 400 million years old. A more curious addition to the station, which is also unique in the world, is the presidential lounge. It was originally supposed to be reserved for the private use of the Emperor of Russia, but since Finland’s independence, the waiting area has been dedicated to the sole use of the Finnish President and his guests.More

Helsinki Olympic Stadium

star-5177
Located a mile from the city center in the Töölö district, Helsinki Olympic Stadium (Helsingin Olympiastadion) is the biggest arena in Finland, with 40,600 spectator spots.Finland was originally meant to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, but the outbreak of World War II delayed the games until 1952, when the country finally got to host the big event. Today, the stadium is home to the national soccer team and houses big-name concerts and sports events every year.For views of all of Helsinki and its downtown, take the elevator to the top of the 72.21-meter Stadium Tower. Why the idiosyncratic height? Well, that was the gold-medal winning result of Finnish athlete Matti Järvinen’s javelin throw in the 1932 Summer Olympics, of course!Aside from its 14-story viewing tower, the Helsinki Olympic Stadium also has a restaurant, an Olympics museum and, quirkily enough, a youth hostel.More

Market Square (Kauppatori)

star-5295
Helsinki’s Market Square (Kauppatori) has served as the center of city trading for more than 200 years. Located on the harbor, just a short walk from Senate Square, the open-air market takes place year-round and attracts tourists and locals alike with its range of clothing, crafts, and fresh produce.More

National Museum of Finland (Suomen Kansallismuseo)

star-4.5421
Discover Finnish history and art during a visit to the National Museum of Finland (or Suomen Kansallismuseo. The exterior of the museum resembles a Gothic church with its stonework and tower, but inside the rooms explore different periods of local history. The museum was built in 1916 and extensively renovated in 2000.More

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

star-5394
Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma contemporary art museum is part of the wider Finnish National Gallery, and showcases both national and international art from across a broad creative spectrum. The museum exhibits more than 8,500 works, including and has a permanent collection that includes pieces by iconic Finnish artists Tom of Finland and Kalervo Palsa, as well as international names such as Andy Warhol.More

Sinebrychoff Art Museum (Sinebrychoffin Taidemuseo)

star-4.5138
The Sinebrychoff Art Museum was once the family home of a wealthy brewing dynasty. Today, it houses treasures of historic European art, from paintings by German Old Masters such as Lucas von Cranach the Elder to the baroque Antoine Watteau to prints by Goya and Piranesi.More

Helsinki Swedish Theatre

star-4.5162
The Helsinki Swedish Theatre, also known as the Svenska Teatern, is the oldest theater in Helsinki and offers performances exclusively in Swedish, the country’s second official language. Going to a theatre performance in a foreign language can seem a bit daunting, but musicals such as the timeless feel-good show “Mamma Mia” or George Orwell’s 1984 can be quite enjoyable even if you don’t have the necessary language skills. The national theatre offers a wider repertoire that caters to everyone and genres range from drama to musicals and children’s theatre. The atmosphere alone is worth the visit.Established in 1827, the once small wooden theatre used to be a quick road stop for actors en route to Saint Petersburg, but it soon became so popular that a newer and bigger building had to be constructed. The theatre seen today was opened in 1863 and was built in the neoclassical style, although during a renovation in the early 20th century, the richly decorated façade was replaced with a more functional one. It offers room for up to 700 spectators, but also has smaller stages with fewer seats.More

Finlandia Hall (Finlandiatalo)

star-5220
Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall is an architectural masterpiece designed by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Its exterior complements the local landscape and nearby park, while the inside features asymmetrical and curvy structural details, along with natural materials and colors. The multipurpose venue hosts concerts, meetings, other events, and a gallery.More

Helsinki City Museum

star-423
One of the largest museums in all of Finland, the Helsinki Art Museum, is located within the Tennis Palace complex in central Helsinki. However, the museum also has a regional art museum in Uusimaa, keeps the Kluuvi Gallery, and also maintains much of the city's public domain art. The main museum itself has been located in the historic Tennis Palace space since 1999 and hosts one of the largest collections of art anywhere in all the Nordic countries. All in all, the art museum has a collection of nearly 9,000 pieces, most of which come from modern era Finland.The vast majority of the museums exhibitions are temporary, and the works found within the museum are not necessarily locked into any particular region, history, or genre. Both contemporary and modern works are displayed at the museum and art is often brought in on exchange from partners in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere in Europe.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Helsinki

How to Spend 1 Day in Helsinki

How to Spend 2 Days in Helsinki

How to Spend 2 Days in Helsinki

How to Spend 3 Days in Helsinki

How to Spend 3 Days in Helsinki

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Helsinki

star-5
Great tour if you have limited time
James_M, Jan 2023
Helsinki Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
Guide spoke English very well and was a pleasure to spend time with.
star-4
Insights of Helsinki - past and current days
Mark_M, Oct 2022
Tour Helsinki with a City Planner
Even though at times wondering why (in the middle of winter).
star-4
Easy and informative
Graham_S, Aug 2022
Money Saver: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Sightseeing Boat Tour
Best way to see Helsinki in a short period of time.
star-5
The bus stop was really...
Piotr_P, Jul 2022
Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
Other bus stops are located in convenient places next to touristic attractions.
star-5
Arto, the true ‘Helsinki child’
Mary_L, Dec 2022
Half-Day Walking Tour around Helsinki with Arto
The usual tourist-like attractions were pointed out but the greatest feature of the tour was Arto himself.
star-5
Helsinki’s trams VS the snow 🚋 🤣❤️
Mary_L, Dec 2022
Tram Tour of Helsinki with a city planner
We talked politics, history, environment, ethics; all of which allowed us to see the other side of the glass; through Finish eyes.
star-5
Seamless and efficient
Laurie_T, Dec 2022
VIP Transfer Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to Helsinki City
Thank you and hope to see you again.
star-4
Tallinn
Aashish_B, Nov 2022
Helsinki to Tallinn Guided Tour with return Cruise tickets
This schedule might work during long summer days but in November with it getting dark and cold by 4:00 pm it got very tedious and exhausting.
We perform checks on reviews

All about Helsinki

When to visit

After hiberating all winter, Helsinki wastes no time in embracing the sunshine come summer. Plan a visit in June or July to experience the magic of the Midnight Sun—a phenomenon only observed in the Arctic—or join the crowds for events such as Flow Festival, Helsinki Festival, and Walpurgis Night (Vappu).

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
EET (UTC +2)
Country Code
+358
Language(s)
Finnish

People Also Ask

What is Helsinki best known for?

Helsinki is known for its design scene, diverse architecture, and easy access to the islands and bays of the Baltic Sea. The city’s compact center is a thriving cultural hot spot filled with cafes, nightclubs, and galleries, but the great outdoors is never more than a stone’s throw away.

...More
How many days in Helsinki is enough?

Helsinki is a compact capital, and you can comfortably see its important attractions in just three days. Give yourself a little longer and use Helsinki as a base for further adventures around the hundreds of islands that make up the Helsinki archipelago and visit a nearby town, such as Porvoo.

...More
What is there to do in Helsinki in the summer?

With long daylight hours, Helsinki is glorious in summer. Join locals hanging out in the park, island-hopping around the archipelago, and sunning on sandy beaches. Enjoy live tango music at the tent cafes of Hakaniemi Market Square, explore the sea fortress of Suomenlinna, and visit during the music- and arts-focused Flow Festival.

...More
What is the number one tourist destination in Helsinki?

Helsinki’s most recognizable landmark is the 19th-century Helsinki Cathedral, located at the Senate Square. Visitors are permitted to enter the Cathedral’s Crypt and take part in public services and prayers at the Neoclassical-style cathedral—its bright white facade and green domes are a city icon.

...More
Is Helsinki worth visiting?

Yes. While Helsinki is often overlooked in favor of other, better-known Nordic cities, such as Copenhagen and Stockholm, Helsinki's combination of urban culture and easily accessible nature makes it a rewarding place to visit. It should especially appeal to those with an interest in art, design, and architecture.

...More
Is Helsinki expensive?

Yes. Helsinki is an expensive destination. However, there are ways to save. Use the city’s excellent public transportation system to get around and get a Helsinki Card to cover transportation and admission fees. Save money on food by dining at city markets and opting for lunch buffets when available.

...More

Helsinki information

Number of Attractions

45

Number of Tours

267

Number of Reviews

1,722

Currency

USD
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Helsinki?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Helsinki?
A:
Check out things to do near Helsinki:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Helsinki?