Address: Suomenlinna C 74, 00190 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358 29 5338300
Hours: Ferry runs almost constantly, activities vary but the on-island visitor center will be helpful in identifying what you would like to do.
Admission: Ferry Costs 3.80 Euros per person. Activities vary once there though many are free. Guided tour starts at 10 Euros for Adults and 4 for children.
Getting There: Only accessible by a 15 minute ferry ride that leaves regularly, especially in summer.
Years ago the capital of Finland was a city called Turku but was transferred to Helsinki primarily for purposes of defense. This small group of islands guard the entrance to Helsinki’s Harbor and the fortress constructed there is an impressive monument to the city and the reason it was made the capital. This site has since been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique monument of military architecture. There is a ton to do in this scenic island location. There are activities for children, films and the 1 hour guided walking tour will give you a good lay of the land. Children will enjoy seeing real cannons and walking through the underground tunnels and caves that connected embankments. Historical reenactors bring the story to life at many exhibits. Worth a big chunk of time you will find a good mix of history, fun and breathtaking views all in one spot.
Address: Simonkatu 7, Helsinki, Finland
Hours: Weekdays 7AM – 8PM and Weekends 10AM – 6PM
Admission: Free of Charge
Located in the heart of the city in Narinkka Square this modern chapel is a sight to behold and worth a quick visit. Walk around to take in the marvelous contemporary design and unique architecture. Then step inside to enjoy the juxtaposition of total silence in the middle of the busiest part of Finland. Take a moment to rest up after a long morning and refocus in this urban oasis before moving on.
Address: Mannerheiminaukio 2, Helsinki FIN-00100 , Finland
Hours: 10AM – 5PM Tues and Sunday, 10AM – 6PM Saturday, 10AM – 8:30PM Wednesday – Friday. Closed Monday.
Admission: Adults 10 Euros, Children under 18 are free.
Located a stone’s throw from the Kamppi Chapel, this modern art museum features an impressive statue of local hero Carl Mannerheim in front. The classical art ends there as the inside and the museum itself are filled with the kind of cutting edge art and culture that a modern city like Helsinki are known for. While some of the art may be over children’s heads there are engaging activities such as a wall where you can leave a “postcard from Kiasma” to future visitors and become a part of the museum yourself. In addition to an impressive permanent collection, new exhibits rotate in on a regular basis and are all carefully curated. If one piece doesn’t get you another surely will. As with most modern art a mixture of different mediums and a wide variety of scales will ensure something impresses even the most reluctant visitor, young or old. The museum also features a lovely park area perfect for a quick snack.
Address: Lutherinkatu 3, Helsinki, Finland (Kampinmalmi)
Phone: +358 9 23406320
Hours: Generally 10AM – 8PM. Vary depending on events as it is a functioning church. Consult website or phone for specifics (running bulletin available by calling +358 (0)9 2340 5940)
Admission: Free of charge.
Built into the rocky area of the Fredrikinkatu, this Lutheran church is the result of an extensive architectural contest that resulted in a unique and exciting display of human ingenuity. Featuring a copper dome ceiling this house of worship is actually carved into solid rock. Its features are made of the most common types of granite in Finland making it not only an architectural feat but a symbol of national pride. It also showcases a crucifix, candelabra and font by the artist Kauko Moisio. This modern marvel is a must-see in Helsinki and promises to be unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Address: WeeGee, Ahertajantie 5, Tapiola FI-02100 Espoo
Phone: +358 (0)9 8163 1833
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11AM – 6PM, Wednesday 11AM – 8PM, Weekend 11AM- 5PM, closed Mondays.
For a fun end to the day visit the Toy Museum in the WeeGee Exposition Center. This different and offbeat choice highlights the history of fun, games and toys in Finland from the 19th century days of Russian rule on into the present. Featuring an impressive permanent collection (including Löylymäki Station, a winner of several international model train competitions) and rotating exhibits about everything fun. This will take adults on a walk down memory lane while being fun and informative to children. This is a sure winner for families. Fun and games aren’t just on display here, as the museum features numerous play areas to allow children to run free (and run themselves down) after a long day of touring while parents and older children relax. Just beware the gift shop…
Address: Luotsikatu 2, Helsinki 00160, Finland
Phone: +358 41 4763317
Hours: Monday Noon – 7PM. All other days 9AM – 7PM
Admission: Costs vary based on what you rent and the time (see website for details). NOTE: they only accept cash and will require a deposit of 50-100 Euros depending on rental, as well as valid ID.
The beautiful and modern city of Helsinki can very easily be traveled by bicycle. What better way to see the sights at your own pace, get some exercise and some family fun than on a bike. The city’s many bike paths are easy to navigate, and the better rental shops such as this one will be very helpful in providing information on routes and sights to help you create a custom city tour. Bike locks and helmets are included at no additional cost to ensure safety and to allow you to pop into whatever catches your eye. Experts recommend the bike paths along the water as good fun and even better views.