Things to do in Helsinki

Finland’s capital takes explorers in with its coastal air, artistic monuments, and modern architecture.

Our most recommended things to do in Helsinki

From Tallinn: Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki

1. From Tallinn: Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki

Don't miss the opportunity to explore beautiful Helsinki, one of the most liveable cities in Europe. Helsinki lies across the Gulf of Finland from Tallinn: an easy day trip by ferry to stroll around Helsinki’s historical city center and to try local food in cozy nice cafes and restaurants. Secure your place on the ferry with a convenient crossing time. Cruise across the Gulf, and enjoy seven hours to explore Helsinki independently. Tickets include entry on board and seating. You can spend your time on board visiting one of the restaurants, shopping at the Traveller Superstore, or enjoying the scenery of the archipelago passing by. It is about a 10-minute tram ride from the West Harbor Terminal to the city center of Helsinki. Depending on the chosen departure times you will have up to 10 hours to explore the city. Choose to upgrade to comfort class or the business lounge at booking. With comfort class, travel comfortably and enjoy the sea view. The upgrade price includes snacks, coffee, tea, other refreshments, daily newspapers, and free Wi-Fi. Travel in style and luxury in the business lounge, including food and drinks from the exclusive buffet, newspapers, magazines, and free Wi-Fi.

From Helsinki: Return Day Trip Ferry Ticket to Tallinn

2. From Helsinki: Return Day Trip Ferry Ticket to Tallinn

Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, lies across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki: an easy day trip by ferry for those keen to experience its medieval charms. Secure your place on the ferry with a convenient crossing time. Cruise across the Gulf, and enjoy up to 10 hours to explore independently. Delve into Tallinn’s UNESCO-listed Old Town and enjoy the museums, shops, and restaurants. Tickets include entry on board and seating. You can spend your time on board visiting one of the restaurants, shopping at the Traveller Superstore, or enjoying the scenery of the archipelago passing by. It is about a 20-minute walk from the Tallinn D-terminal to the old town, or you can take a taxi from the terminal building. You can also visit different museums like the KUMU art museum or the baroque architecture of the Kadriorg Palace. Depending on the chosen departures you will have up to 10 hours to explore Tallinn.  Upgrade your experience and and book into the Comfort Class or Business Lounge. Comfort Class: • Travel comfortably while enjoying the sea view. The upgrade price includes snacks (with ingredients to make sandwiches), coffee, tea, refreshments, daily newspapers, and free WiFi Business Lounge: • Travel in style and add some luxury to your journey. The upgrade includes food and drinks at the Business Lounge buffet. Newspapers, magazines, and free WiFi available

Helsinki: Private Tour with a Local Guide

3. Helsinki: Private Tour with a Local Guide

Explore Helsinki with a friendly local who is passionate about the city and eager to share all the tips and hints that will help you make the most of your trip. Choose from 2-6 hour private tour options. Meet your guide at your accommodation and head out to get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat and shop, the easiest ways to get around and the top things to see and do. By the end of the tour you'll feel more comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to thoroughly enjoy your stay.

Helsinki Card City

4. Helsinki Card City

Discover Helsinki the easy and economical way! The Helsinki Card is the key to a unique Helsinki experience for the individual traveler. With the Helsinki Card you can save time, money, and energy. The Helsinki Card gives you free entry to the city’s main sights, museums, and public transportation options – along with a wide variety of discounts and bonuses. You can choose 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour validity. All of the following are free with the Helsinki Card: All year round: • Free Panorama Sightseeing by bus (limited timetable 2021-22)• Free entry to the city’s major sights and museums; like Amos Rex, Design Museum, The National Museum of Finland, and much more• Free ferry to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and Suomenlinna Museum and Guided Tour• Free travel on public transport within Helsinki• Discounts in restaurants, cruise to Tallinn and other attractions, such as Helsinki Zoo, SkyWheel Helsinki and Flying Cinema Tour of Helsinki Summer season (May - September): • Free Canal Route sightseeing by boat• Free 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off bus tour Some of the benefits and discounts: • Finnair city buses (35% off) • Cruise and tour to Tallinn • Leisure activities, swimming, concerts, and more • Sights: Helsinki Zoo, SkyWheel Helsinki, Flying Cinema Tour of Helsinki • Shopping • Restaurants (up to 20% off)

Helsinki Airport (HEL): Premium Lounge Entry

5. Helsinki Airport (HEL): Premium Lounge Entry

Located in the non-Schengen Area of Terminal 2 in Helsinki Airport, Plaza Premium Lounge Helsinki boasts the first in-lounge playroom set within a modern and bright lounge ambiance, complemented with breathtaking apron views. Get 3-hour access to the lounge and take a break before or between flights, a perfect choice for business and leisure travelers. Make use of all the lounge facilities catering to the needs of travelers, such as comfortable seating, a live kitchen, a bar, shower rooms, charging stations, complimentary WiFi, and computer workstations.

Nuuksio National Park: Half-Day Trip from Helsinki

6. Nuuksio National Park: Half-Day Trip from Helsinki

If you’re planning a visit to Helsinki, be sure to include a half day for a trip to Nuuksio National Park, located within the boundaries of greater Helsinki. It takes about an hour and a half by public transportation to reach the park from the city center. You’ll be met in the center of Helsinki, and travel by commuter train to Espoo center and then take a local bus to the park entrance. The park is ranked among the top 10 nature attractions in Finland and is a must-see. To get the most from your visit, it’s best to let an experienced guide and professional naturalist lead the way. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the tall coniferous or mixed forest, with trees growing around enormous primeval rocks, in an area that’s rich with mosses and ferns. You’ll come across numerous small forest lakes, and you can stop to enjoy a swim. The forest is inhabited by various animals, including such rare species as the Siberian flying squirrel, found in Europe only in Finland and Estonia. With your biologist guide you’ll trek through the tall forest, learn about the natural features of Finland, enjoy scenic views, and hopefully spot some wildlife.

Helsinki: Eco-friendly Helicopter Sightseeing Tour

7. Helsinki: Eco-friendly Helicopter Sightseeing Tour

Experience an exclusive and unforgettable air sightseeing tour around Helsinki and the archipelago. The flights are operated with highly modern helicopters, which are the most silent and environmentally friendly in the world flying with Sustainable Aviation Fuel. After your safety briefing and a photo opportunity, take off and fly above the beautiful nature surrounding Helsinki. Check out the natural state forests on the east side of the city as you fly high. Enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne as you head towards the archipelago in front of Helsinki. As you get closer to the city, fly around Suomenlinna, the sea fortress island, and the city center. Grab some amazing pictures as the helicopter passes in front of the downtown shoreline to show you a beautiful scene consisting of Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral. Take a peek at why Helsinki is known as “the City of Architecture”, with many neoclassical buildings to peek at. Fly close to Löyly and, on a clear day, see if you can see the skyline of Tallinn, the Estonian capital that lies across the water. Finish off the tour by flying over the fancy neighborhoods located on the west side of Helsinki with beautiful villas owned by a few international celebrities.

Helsinki Card Region

8. Helsinki Card Region

Discover Helsinki in an easy and economical way. The Helsinki Card is the key to a unique Helsinki experience for the individual traveler. With the Helsinki Card Region, you will save time, money, and energy. It gives you free entry to the city's main sights, museums, and public transportation options – along with a wide variety of discounts and bonuses. You can choose from 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour validity. All of the following are free with the Helsinki Card: All year round: • Free Panorama Sightseeing by bus (limited timetable 2021-22)• Free entry to the city’s major sights and museums; like Amos Rex, Design Museum, The National Museum of Finland, and much more• Free ferry to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress and Suomenlinna Museum and Guided Tour• Free travel on public transport within Helsinki• Discounts in restaurants, cruise to Tallinn and other attractions, such as Helsinki Zoo, SkyWheel Helsinki and Flying Cinema Tour of Helsinki Summer season: • Free Canal Route sightseeing by boat (May – September) • Free 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus tour (May - September) Some of the benefits and discounts: • Cruise and tour to Tallinn • Leisure activities, swimming, concerts, and more • Sights: Helsinki Zoo, SkyWheel Helsinki, Flying Cinema Tour of Helsinki • Shopping • Restaurants (up to 20% off)

Helsinki: Helsinki and Suomenlinna 5-Hour Sightseeing Tour

9. Helsinki: Helsinki and Suomenlinna 5-Hour Sightseeing Tour

Explore the historic monuments of Helsinki with a local guide, and visit sights such as Olympic Stadium from the 1952 Summer Olympics. See the monument to the composer Jean Sibelius and explore the promenade of Esplanade Park. Go to Old Market Hall, and admire the largest orthodox church in western Europe at the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. Then, catch the ferry to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Suomenlinna sea fortress. Upon arrival, walk to visit the barracks and the Great Courtyard, where the memorial tomb of Augustin Ehrensvärd was designed by King Gustav III of Sweden.

Helsinki Panorama Coach Tour

10. Helsinki Panorama Coach Tour

Take this popular 1 hour 45 minute sightseeing tour of Helsinki by bus, and get a wide variety of information about Helsinki. The tour includes sound effects and commentary via audioguides in 10 languages. You will see the most interesting parts of Helsinki, including the historical center, the Presidential Palace, City Hall, The Parliament buildings, Finlandia Hall, and the stunning Opera House. Stop at the Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) or at the Sibelius Monument. Listen to a lively narrative in the language of your choice: Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish or Swedish. It’s a great chance to get your bearings in Helsinki for first-time visitors, and ideal for those who are pressed for time.

Frequently asked questions about Helsinki

What top attractions are a must-see in Helsinki?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Helsinki?

The best day trips and excursions from Helsinki are:

Tallinn

What are the best deals and discounts on activities and attractions in Helsinki?

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Helsinki?

Other Sightseeing Options in Helsinki

Want to discover all there is to do in Helsinki? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Helsinki

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,570 reviews

We got the 7:30am ferry over to Helsinki. It was an early start but definitely worth it to make the most of the day in Finland. Online check in was really easy (I just downloaded the ferry app). Finding terminal D was easy enough too and check in on the self kiosk was so simple. I wasn’t sure how smoothly it was going to run but it was perfect. Ferry itself had loads to do on board and it was a smooth journey. On the other side there was a tram line right at the terminal. We got the 19:30 ferry back which honestly in the winter was the best time. I think 22:30 would have been very cold and late. The ferry left from the same place it dropped you off, so was easy to find your way back. We already had our tickets from the first check in. Really recommend this to see more of the world, Helsinki had a lot to offer and the ferry couldn’t have been easier to get on and off.

The ferry was super easy to find and very comfortable. I couldn’t work checking in on the app but we arrived and used the self check in kiosk which printed out tickets in second - just have to hand the email from the actual ferry company not get you’re guide. You can charge you phone while you wait and then straight onto the ferry. Super easy and well worth a trip!

This was a very good and informative tour to take. It was done at a pace that we could really learn about the sites we visited and yet we were able to see and enjoy many things.

Very good trip. You should arrived a little bit earlier as the boat might leave Helsinki few minutes before.

Excellent tour guide, Jonna. Very informative with an emphasis on the history and culture of Finland.