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Things to do in Helsinki

Helsinki is especially notable for its abundance of stunning architecture, inlcuding the neo-classical buildings of Senate Square, such as the distinctive white Helsinki Cathedral, in the city centre. But it's not all elegant boulevards and the attractive waterfront – the Finnish capital has an excellent and varied selection of museums - design and art feature heavily - and it is well worth taking a ferry trip across to Suomenlinna among the many nearby Baltic islands.

IHA Lines OY Cruises, Helsinki. © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Ateneum Art Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki. Courtesy of Ateneum Art Museum

    The city centre Ateneum Art Museum houses Finland's largest collection of art, including all the best-loved Finnish masterpieces, spanning more than 200 years to the 1960s. The international collection includes Western art from the late 19th century to the 1950s.Show this on map

    Cost

    €8; concessions €6.50; under-18s free

    Opening hours

    Tue & Fri 10am-6pm; Wed & Thu 10am-8pm; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm

    Address

    2, Kaivokatu, Helsinki 00100

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 1733 6401

    Transport

    Central Station tram or metro

    Website

    Ateneum Art Museum Website

  2. 2. Kiasma - Museums and Galleries

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    Kiasma, Helsinki. Photo by Matti Tirri, © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    Kiasma, in the city centre, cleverly harmonises the clinically simple with incredibly sophisticated high technology, and is home to the contemporary art collection of the Finnish National Gallery. An integrated theatre offers music, movies, multimedia presentations, debates and seminars.Show this on map

    Cost

    €7; under-18s free

    Opening hours

    Tue 10am-5pm; Wed-Fri 10am-8.30pm; Sat-Sun 10am-6pm

    Address

    2, Mannerheiminaukio, Helsinki 00100

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 1733 6501

    Transport

    Central Station tram, bus or metro

    Website

    Kiasma Webiste

  3. 3. The Finnish Museum of Photography - Museums and Galleries

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    The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki. Courtesy of the Finnish Museum of Photography

    The Finnish Museum of Photography at Ruoholahti presents the history of the genre from the mid-19th century to the present day. It features works by photographers such as Anders Serrano, Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, as well as Finnish photographers.Show this on map

    Cost

    €6; concessions €4; under-18s free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 12pm-6pm

    Address

    1G, Tallberginkatu, Cable Factory, Helsinki 00180

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 6866 360

    Transport

    Metro to Ruoholahti

    Website

    The Finnish Musuem of Photography Website

  4. 4. Design Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Design Museum, Helsinki. Photo by Jussi Tiainen, courtesy of Design Museum

    Founded in 1873 as a study collection for the arts and crafts school, the Design Museum in the Kaartinkaupunki area of the city centre covers the history and development of design in Finland. It presents both permanent and temporary exhibitions.Show this on map

    Cost

    €8; concessions €7/€3; children free

    Opening hours

    Jun-Aug daily 11am-6pm, Sep-May Tue-Sun 11am-6pm; (until 8pm Tue)

    Address

    Korkeavuorenkatu 23, Helsinki 00130

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 622 0540

    Transport

    Tram 10 to Johanneksen Kirkko

    Website

    Design Museum Website

  5. 5. The Sports Museum of Finland - Museums and Galleries

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    The Sports Museum of Finland, Helsinki. Courtesy of The Sports Museum of Finland

    Great moments and bitter defeats of Finnish athletics are captured in the multimedia shows and exhibits at The Sports Museum of Finland in Taka-Töölö. Race an Olympian on the simulator and see the gilded shoe of legendary runner Paavo Nurmi.Show this on map

    Cost

    €5; concessions €3; under-18s free

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11am-5pm; Sat & Sun 12pm-4pm

    Address

    Olympic Stadium, Helsinki 00250

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 4342 250

    Transport

    Tram 3, 4, 7 or 10 to Töölön Halli

    Website

    The Sports Museum of Finland Website

  6. 6. National Museum of Finland - Museums and Galleries

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    National Museum of Finland, Helsinki. Photo by Paul Williams, © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    The National Museum of Finland, in the city centre, includes exhibits covering Finnish pre-history to the mid-20th century. Learn about Finnish history and society from the treasure trove of coins, medals and weapons, archaeological exhibits and displays about Finland's independence.Show this on map

    Cost

    €7; concessions €4; under-18s free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Wed 11am-8pm; Thu-Sun 11am-6pm

    Address

    34, Mannerheimintie, Helsinki 00101

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 4050 9544

    Transport

    Tram 4, 7 or 10 to Kansallismuseo.

    Website

    National Museum of Finland Website

Attractions

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  1. 7. Senate Square - Attractions

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    Senate Square, Helsinki. Photo by Mika Lappalainen, © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    Senate Square and its surroundings form a fine example of Neoclassical architecture. It is dominated by four buildings designed by Engel: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Helsinki 00160

    Transport

    Tram 1, 3, 4, 7

  2. 8. Suomenlinna - Attractions

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    Suomenlinna, Helsinki. © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    Suomenlinna, off Helsinki's southern coastline, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a history of occupation dating back to 1748, the area resonates with over 250 years of military history, aptly illustrated by its name, which literally means "Finland's Fortress."Show this on map

    Cost

    Visitor Centre €5; concessions €4; under-18s free

    Opening hours

    Daily 10.30am-4.30pm (until 6pm in summer)

    Address

    C40 Sveaborg, Helsinki 00190

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 684 1880

    Transport

    Ferry from Market Square

    Website

    Suomenlinna Website

  3. 9. Helsinki Cathedral - Attractions

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    Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki. Photo by Stuart Bowden

    Topped by green domes, the white Lutheran Helsinki Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko) in the city centre is visible across the city. It was completed in 1852 after two decades and, like the Senate Square it overlooks, was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-6pm (until 11pm Jun-Aug)

    Address

    29, Unioninkatu, Senaatintori (Senate Square), Helsinki 00170

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 2340 6120

    Transport

    Tram 1, 3B or 3T.

    Website

    Helsinki Cathedral Website

  4. 10. Sibelius Monument - Attractions

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    Sibelius Monument, Helsinki. Photo by Markku Juntunen, © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    The Sibelius Monument, in the Taka-Töölö district, commemorates Finland's best-known composer, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), who wrote the symphonic poem Finlandia. Initially controversial, the monument is a distinctive abstract construction of hollow metal pipes, chosen after a design competition in 1961-62.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Sibelius Park, Helsinki 00260

    Transport

    Bus 24 to Mechelininkatu

  5. 11. Uspenski Cathedral - Attractions

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    Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki, Finland.

    Located in the Katajanokka district, Uspenski Cathedral was completed in 1868 and is the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe. With its golden cupolas and redbrick facade, the church is a clear symbol of the Russian impact on Finnish history.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    May-Sep Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm; Sat 9.30am-2pm; Sun 12pm-3pm. Oct-Apr Tue-Fri 9.30am-4pm; Sat 9.30am-2pm; Sun 12pm-3pm

    Address

    1, Kanavakatu, Helsinki 00160

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 207 220 683

    Transport

    Tram 4 or 4T to Ritarihuone

Special things to do

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  1. 12. IHA Lines OY Cruises - Special things to do

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    IHA Lines OY Cruises, Helsinki. © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    IHA Lines OY Cruises drift through the beautiful islands off the Helsinki coastline. The three-floor boat Doris departs from the Market Square, and offers live commentary in several languages, including English, Swedish, German and Finnish.Show this on map

    Cost

    €15

    Opening hours

    Departures May-Sep daily 11.30am, 2pm & 4.30pm

    Address

    6, Meritullintori, Helsinki 00170

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 6874 5050

    Transport

    Tram 4 or 4T to Ritarihuone

    Website

    IHA Lines OY Cruises Website

  2. 13. Kotiharju Sauna - Special things to do

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    Kotiharju Sauna, Helsinki. Courtesy of Kotiharju Sauna

    The Finns are big fans of the sauna, a relaxing way to experience an integral part of Finland's cultural life. Kotiharju Sauna in Kallio is a good choice, boasting the only remaining public wood-burning sauna in Helsinki.Show this on map

    Cost

    Sauna only: €10; concessions €7.50; under-17s €5

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri 2pm-8pm; Sat 1pm-7pm

    Address

    1, Harjutorinkatu, Helsinki 00500

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 753 1535

    Transport

    Metro to Sörnäinen

    Website

    Kotiharju Sauna Website

  3. 14. Olympic Stadium - Special things to do

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    Olympic Stadium Tower, Helsinki. Courtesy of Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    Helsinki's Olympic Stadium in Taka-Töölö was built in 1938 and staged the 1952 Olympic Games. Apart from a view of the stadium, a trip up the 72-metre tower affords an impressive vista over Helsinki, best seen on a sunny day.Show this on map

    Cost

    €2; children €1

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-8pm (until 6pm Sat & Sun)

    Address

    1, Paavo Nurmen tie, Helsinki 00250

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 436 6010

    Transport

    Tram 3, 4, 7 or 10 to Töölön Halli

    Website

    Olympic Stadium Website

  4. 15. Temppeliaukio Church - Special things to do

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    Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki. © Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

    Sometimes known as the "Rock Church", Temppeliaukio Church near the city centre is possibly Helsinki's oddest building. The idea was to preserve the rock formation that it was blasted out of. Regular musical concerts make the most of excellent acoustics.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Mon & Wed 10am-5pm; Tue 10am-12.45pm & 2.15pm-5pm; Thu & Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 11.45am-1.45pm & 3.30pm-6pm

    Address

    3, Lutherinkatu, Helsinki 00100

    Telephone

    +358 (0) 9 2340 5920

    Transport

    Tram 3T to Kauppakorkeakoulut

    Website

    Temppeliaukio Church Website

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