If you have already gone through our article on how to visit Helsinki on a budget, you might want to spend a bit more time and money on getting to know this beautiful city. Helsinki offers you a wide variety of things to do. In this separate article we leave you some of the best plans to do in Helsinki.
1. Cruise to Helsinki Islands and visit to Suomenlinna.
Helsinki has over 300 islands which are the best way to spend your free time if you love sea and nature, especially if the weather is good. Among all the islands, one of them is a must: Suomenlinna. Suomenlinna is actually not an island, but six islands linked together through bridges. It is an 18th century sea fortress and nature area, probably one of the most impressive ones among the Baltic countries. In 1991 Suomenlinna was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO, representing an important element of Finnish culture at the same time.
Walking trails cross parkland between popular sights such as the King’s Gate drawbridge and Suomenlinna Museum. Submarine Vesikko lets visitors explore a restored 1930s vessel. There’s also a brewery and several waterside restaurants. Currently in Suomenlinna live approx. 900 inhabitants, it is easily accessible by ferry HKL from the Market Square in Helsinki (approx. 15 minutes). The ticket costs around € 4 (round trip).
If you fancy a longer and more panoramic cruise without having to walk too much, you can take a ferry (also at the Market Square) that runs through different islands without stops. During our visit in June 2017 we chose this cruise that last 90 minutes (costs 25€). The ticket can be purchased directly before boarding the ferry at the Market Square.
2. Design District Helsinki
Scandinavian design or Nordic style makes us think especially about Norway or Sweden. However, the concept of “Nordic Design” applies as well to Iceland, Denmark and of course, Finland. If you are interested to learn a bit more about Finnish Design, we recommend you the Design Museum and its exhibitions about how the design is made to serve people and create perfect living conditions.
You can also grab a map at Information Office just next to Market Square called “Design Destrict” Helsinki to find easily the most important spots related to Finnish design or access the official website Design District Helsinki.
3. Stroll along the boardwalk with sauna
If you visit Helsinki any other month than June, most probably you will easily understand the meaning of Sauna and its importance in life of the Finns. It is said that there is one sauna for every 3 Finns – that is actually quite a lot of Saunas in the country!! Many of people in Finland have their own sauna at home or buildling. There are also many public saunas all over the place, as Sauna is also very important social event. If you have never had sauna in Helsinki, we recommend you to try that tradition in Löyly Sauna or natural swimming pools Allas.
4. Spårakoff Tram – Pub
If you are a beer or cider lover, or simply what you really like is spending time in the bars… Spårakoff is a perfect choice! What we are talking here about is a red HM V tram converted into a bar. The tram – pub only circulates during summer months, it has seats for groups for up to 35 people. The tram leaves the railway station and stops at the Opera and in Kauppatori. If you need more information, here is the link to the official Spårakoff website.
5. Seurasaari Island and Open-Air Museum
Especially if you are visiting Helsinki during “summer” months, Seurasaari House Museum is a great choice to spend your time. Seurasaari is located on a beautiful island near the district of Töölö. This is an open-air exhibition of Finnish traditional houses and farms from the last 4 centuries that have been brought to Helsinki from different parts of the country.
6. Nuuksio National Park
Finally, for those who love nature, the range of options is huge. You can of course enjoy nature in Helsinki, but if you have an additional day, we recommend the excursion to the Nuuksio National Park. It is located in the northwest of the city, near Espoo, approx. 30 km from Helsinki. The Nuuksio area represents the type of nature typical for Finland: swampy land, marked by lakes and lots of forest!
The best way to get there is by car, but there is also a public transport available. You can get information about how to go to Nuuksio at your accommodation or ask at the central railway station and bus station located just next to it.