Things to do in
Helsinki

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

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Our most recommended things to do in Helsinki

Helsinki: Private Tour with a Local Guide

1. 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.

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From Tallinn: Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki

2. 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.

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From Helsinki: Return Day Trip Ferry Ticket to Tallinn

3. 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

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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)• Free entry to the city’s major sights and museums; like SeaLife, Ateneum, Kiasma, 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 • Free Helsinki Card Guide Book in English with maps and complete information • Discounts in restaurants, shops, tours and concerts Summer season: • Free Canal Route sightseeing by boat May 1 – September 12• Free Hop-on Hop-off bus tour (back in 2022) 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)

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Helsinki Panorama Coach Tour

5. 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 (if the church is closed).  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.

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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.

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Porvoo: 5-Hour Town Tour from Helsinki

7. Porvoo: 5-Hour Town Tour from Helsinki

Dating from the 14th century, Porvoo is one of Finland’s oldest towns. With its wooden houses and cobbled streets, it has preserved the spirit of medieval times. Porvoo’s natural setting makes the town particularly attractive, and includes a winding river, hills with centuries-old pines, and primeval rocks. Admire the mosaic of colorful houses along the river bank and hill slopes. Just 50 kilometers from Helsinki and connected by regular bus service, Porvoo can be reached in less than an hour. The guide will meet you in Helsinki center to travel with you by bus on this 5-hour excursion. When you arrive in Porvoo you’ll take the most interesting and picturesque route to see the major sights and to get the best overview of the town. During the tour you’ll have an opportunity to stop for coffee, tea, or lunch in one of the town's charming cafés or restaurants, and to visit the shops of local manufacturers if you like. Some of the most famous national poets and artists chose to settle and create here. Russian Tsar Alexander I, probably charmed by the town during his visit, granted Finland autonomy!

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Helsinki: Arctic Hovercraft Experience with Lunch

8. Helsinki: Arctic Hovercraft Experience with Lunch

Prepare to travel over breaking ice and snow as you explore deep into the frozen archipelago in a hovercraft. This day trip from Helsinki includes all the gear you need to experience the arctic waters warmly and safely. Complete your trip with a Finnish lunch. The trip starts with morning pickup in Helsinki. After a 30-minute drive, reach Gumbostrand, the hovercraft departure pier. Here you will be provided with warm clothing for the day and safety equipment together with a short safety briefing. The Hovercraft features a heated cabin and room for up to five passengers. Feel secure traveling with one to two experienced crew members and guides during the whole trip, depending on the number of passengers. Depart the pier to start the drive through the archipelago winter landscape. Experience the empty, deep, frozen, and beautiful landscape as you travel between the islands over ice and open water on the way to an empty island. Spot summer cottages, scenic landscapes, and potentially a seal, eagle, or other animals. Stop can be made on the way to take pictures on the thick and solid ice or to have a walk and listen to the complete silence. Upon arrival at the base camp island, enjoy a warm non-alcoholic welcome drink as you prepare for a walk around the island. Next, enjoy a guided walk along a typical archipelago nature trail. Learn about summer cottages and saunas, the birth of the archipelago after the Ice Age, and daily life in the archipelago. There will be dry toilets available to use on the island. After the nature trail walk, optionally try out a unique experience floating around between ice rafts in a survival suit while staying completely warm and dry. The suits are well insulated to keep you perfectly warm and dry during the whole swim. There is a heated cabin ready for you to change into these special suits. An experienced crew member will be assisting you the whole time while a second member acts as a safety officer on the shore side. You can stay as long as you want in the water; a typical duration for the swim is 15-45 minutes. If you choose not to swim, you can also stay ashore and take pictures of the other swimmers. After the swim, enjoy a campfire lunch to get a taste of Finland. At the campfire, there is seating, roof protection, and big windows giving protection from the wind, rain, and other elements of nature, yet still providing beautiful scenery of the sea. After the tour, ride back to your hotel or the airport.

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Helsinki: Tram Tour

9. Helsinki: Tram Tour

Enjoy a tour of Helsinki on its famous trams with an expert guide. Discover lesser-known parts of the city like a local as you use its extensive public tram system, which has been in operation since 1891. Explore 7 different neighborhoods of Helsinki including Katajanokka, Eira, Ullanlinna, and Töölö. Enjoy a relaxed tour and discover points of interest that you may not find in standard tour itineraries. Visit the charming urban park of Kaivopuisto, see the Sibelius Monument, and discover the beautiful architecture of Luotsikatu. Uncover beaches, trendy cafes, flea markets, great viewpoints, and other hidden gems. Keep your day ticket for public transportation which is valid for 24 hours so you can explore even more of the city.

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Helsinki: Small-Group Walking Tour with City Planner Guide

10. Helsinki: Small-Group Walking Tour with City Planner Guide

Get to know central Helsinki like a local on a small-group walking tour with a city planner. Take in the sights, culture, and history with your PhD student and professional city planner guide who knows the city inside out. Ask any questions you like.  Find out tidbits of Helsinki’s past, from the plague in the middle ages to Lenin’s stay in the 20th century. As you tour Helsinki city center, find out why Helsinkians picnic at gravesites, which statue is most discriminated against by seagulls, and why an orthodox cathedral exists in the city.  Visit many of Helsinki’s most important landmarks, with a typical itinerary (weather, holidays, and events permitting) including: Senate Square, Market Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki Cathedral, National Library of Finland, the Presidential Palace, Allas Sea Pool, Esplanadi Park, Kappeli, Old Church Park, the Central Railway Station, Oodi, Lasipalatsi, Kamppi Chapel, and Amos Rex.

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Frequently asked questions about Helsinki

What top attractions are a must-see in Helsinki?

Planning Your Visit

  • How to get there

    Flights to the city land at Helsinki Airport, which is half an hour's drive into the city center. Car hire is available at the airport and for the best prices, book and pay in advance. Trains leave the airport for the city every ten minutes, while the 620 bus offers an even cheaper option, but takes a little longer to arrive - perfect for backpackers.

  • What to do after dark

    The nightlife in Helsinki is vibrant and varied, with many bars, restaurants and nightclubs on offer. There is also a growing gay scene, a popular rock and metal scene and a wealth of live music to experience. Check local listings to see what's happening when you visit.

Good to know

  • Language
    Finnish
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +358
  • Best time to visit
    May, June and September are the best months to visit, because the days are longer, the outdoor markets are open, the city is in bloom, and you'll avoid the higher prices, driven up by the tourists visiting during July and August, the peak months.

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

Emek is so knowledgeable and meanwhile interesting. He knows everything. There's not a boring moment in the trip. It was -15 degree Celsius that day but Emek took care of us, he adjusted the trip to the most comfortable way and we enjoyed it a lot.

It was an awesome trip in the nature of Finland. The guide Mikhail has detailed knowledge about Finland and it's nature. And I have to say, he's a relaxed cool guy. Really recommendable tour.

Wonderful guide with lots of local knowledge. Experienced and able to answer the lots of questions we had. Absolutely recommend him to anyone looking to learn more about the area.

A very informative and I interesting trip.We covered all the main sights and our guide face us alot of interesting information .

What a lovely way to spend the afternoon out in the city! Highly recommend