World Heritage Site Suomenlinna is a cultural treasure. Its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. The development of tourism began after the wars in the 20th century, and in the 21st century, the Suomenlinna sea fortress is one of the most popular attractions in Finland. Today, the fortress and its museums, restaurants and events are a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Suomenlinna is not only a popular visitor attraction but also a home of 800 residents.
The number of visitors to Suomenlinna has continued to grow, and with over 900,000 visitors every year, the sea fortress is one of Finland’s most popular tourist destinations. Suomenlinna attracts visitors from both Finland and abroad: it offers an ideal environment for exploring a historical world heritage site, or just spending a day relaxing. Many visitors come to the island during the summer, but the number of wintertime visitors is steadily growing. https://www.suomenlinna.fi/en/
This tiny island, just 150 m long, is part of the Suomenlinna district, located between Helsinki’s bustling market square and the Suomenlinna fortress island. The island is only 1.5 km from the mainland, so the journey takes just under ten minutes on the JT-Line ferry, which departs from the market square dock.
The island of Lonna is a place where we create good moments. Spending the day at Lonna will make you smile and relax, that’s a guarantee. The Lonna island warmly welcoming everybody with an open mind regardless of age, gender or origin. Especially you, are extremely welcome! Every island guest is worth gold and dogs are also welcome to the island to its terraces and coffee shop.
Located only a 10-minute ferry ride away from Helsinki’s Market Square, you’ll experience Finnish hospitality at its best here at Lonna. Enjoy locally sourced, organic tasty delicacies at Lonna restaurant or spend your time relaxing at our 5 star, critically acclaimed public sauna. You might find yourself at the beach cliff gazing the most gorgeous sunset in Helsinki or spending time at our coffee shop’s terrace sipping your favorite drink. http://www.lonna.fi/en/
Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari are enchanting destinations for outings, next to the Suomenlinna fortress, just 20 minutes by boat from the Market Square in Helsinki. These two islands have served as the home and workplace of hundreds of people and as the place of military service for thousands of soldiers. Fortifications, buildings, and a record-breaking range of species tell a tale of coexistence between humans and wild nature. Just take a trip to these mysterious islands on which time seems to stand still. http://www.nationalparks.fi/Vallisaari
Allas Sea Pool is a gardenlike oasis in the heart of Helsinki with a large pool area and magnificent saunas. In addition to swimming, bathing in the saunas and good food, Allas Sea Pool offers many options for wellness. Spending a perfect day at Allas means relaxing, lingering and enjoying the experience with all of your senses, refreshing both the body and the mind. Nestled in the middle of Helsinki, next to the Market square, here to be enjoyed every day of the year. https://www.allasseapool.com/en/
The Cathedral, by Carl Ludvig Engel, rising on the northern side of the Senate Square is the stage of national and academic festive services and one of the most popular tourist sights. http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/sights-and-attractions/helsinki-cathedral
The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel (1778-1840): Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. A statue of Alexander II (1894) stands in the middle of the Senate Square. Helsinki Cathedral is arguably Finland's most famous and photographed building. The oldest stone building in Helsinki is the Sederholm House located on the southeast corner of the square. Today the building hosts the Helsinki City Museum. The Esplanade park and the Market Square are just a block away. The Senate Square also hosts a sound installation called the Sound of the Senate Square. It is a modern version of the European glockenspiel and can be heard every day at 17:49 as it travels from one building to the next. The composition runs for 5 minutes 18 seconds and is composed by Harri Viitanen and Jyrki Alakuijala. https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/senate-square
Completed in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church is carved right from the bedrock in the center of Helsinki.
The underground house of worship, called Temppeliaukion kirkko in Finnish, was designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in the charmingly named Töölö neighborhood. On all sides of the circular church are roughly hewn stone, where sometimes water still seeps in to create miniature waterfalls. A dome coated with copper covers the rock church, with a skylight open in a belt below it to make the dome appear to hover. Even further below the church is a Cold War-era air raid shelter, which now serves as parking.
Despite its cave-like appearance, Temppeliaukio Church actually has marvelous acoustics, where the sound beautifully bounces from the craggy stone. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/temppeliaukio-church
The Ateneum is Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The images held by the Ateneum are ingrained in the collective memory of the Finnish people: the beloved works in Ateneum’s collections date from the period from the 19th century to the modern age. http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/sights-and-attractions/ateneum-art-museum
Situated in the heart of Helsinki, the Esplanade Park serves as a promenade for visitors and a place to relax for the locals. The park and the Espa Stage host many popular events, including the Marimekko Fashion Show in June and the Jazz-Espa concert series throughout July. http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/sights-and-attractions/esplanade-park
Linnanmäki is the most beloved amusement park in Finland and has the widest selection of rides in the Nordic countries. Helsinki's most entertaining district offers also top-quality food and program for all tastes. Linnanmäki is easy to reach from the centre of Helsinki. The admission to the amusement park is free of charge. There are plenty of rides available for children free of charge including the Panorama tower. https://www.visitfinland.com/mystay/product/linnanmaeki-amusement-park/48355/
Helsinki Zoo is home to 150 animal species and almost 1000 plant species that show the diversity of nature. Helsinki Zoo is one of the few zoos located on an island, in the Baltic Sea. It is the perfect place to visit due to its natural environment, animals and history. The zoo was established already in 1889 and this makes it one of the oldest zoos in the world. Helsinki Zoo also participates in the work to protect the habitats in the original homes of the various species. Helsinki Zoo´s mission is to work towards preserving biodiversity.
Meet the large Amur tigers, tiny pygmy marmosets, agile snow leopards, impressive wisents and dazzling, free roaming peafowls alongside indigenous Finnish species such as the elk, bear, wolverine and forest reindeer. All this while enjoying the silence and peace of the Finnish nature surrounding you. https://www.korkeasaari.fi/helsinki-zoo/
The world famous composer Jean Sibelius' (1865-1957) monument by Eila Hiltunen is located at the Sibelius park. It was unveiled 7 September 1967. The Sibelius Monument, resembling organ pipes, is made of welded steel with over 600 pipes and with the bust of the composer on one side. The monument is one of Helsinki's most popular statues and one of the most well-known tourist attractions. https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/see-and-do/sights/sibelius-monument
A new type of visitor centre, Haltia strives to bring all of Finland’s nature under one roof and closer to the visitor through the building’s facilities and its exhibitions. With a visit to Haltia you can experience nature from all over Finland, in the Helsinki region. Visitors to the Haltia – The Finnish Nature Centre are blessed with spectacular views of Nuuksio National Park and Lake Nuuksio Pitkäjärvi, as well as access to the excellent hiking trails that abound.
The exhibitions in Haltia take visitors on a trip through Finland to experience the country’s nature at its most spectacular, from all the distinct regions, and the 40 national parks within its borders. There is also an introduction to the numerous nature experiences available in the Helsinki region, some of which will be well known while others much less so.
The Snowy Canyon leads you to the main exhibition hall, where you can examine the Finnish winter and how animals and plants survive it. In the main exhibition, photography and videos by Finland’s finest nature photographers take visitors through Finnish landscapes as well as underwater in all seasons. There are over 80 Finnish nature destinations that can be explored through touchscreens, from the Finnish Archipelago to the fells of Lapland. The exhibition includes a large wooden Duck Egg, which serves as the setting for the Game Theory video installation by artist Osmo Rauhala. At Haltia, you will also find the Nature Mothers Call sound installation room, Bear’s Den (Karhunpesä) and an Open wilderness hut. The exhibition follows the annual cycle of nature, utilising not only the panorama landscape but also video presentations, dioramas, interactive features, works of art and scale models, among other features. The experience is completed with a world of sounds and light, allowing visitors to live and experience real Finnish nature! https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/haltia-the-finnish-nature-centre/
Experience a touch of the Lappish exotic with reindeer in Nuuksio reindeer park which is the southernmost place in Finland where you can see and feed reindeer. You can also enjoy brewed coffee with Lappish cheese bread, grilling sausages or stick bun on an open fire or delicious glow fried salmon or game dishes in an atmospheric wilderness style of tepee restaurant "White Reindeer”. The tepee has a capacity of about 40 persons + outdoor terrace from where you can admire the reindeer at close range. "White Reindeer” Kota restaurant is fully licenced and it is open for groups on a reservation basis.
Nuuksio reindeer park also offers nature program services to an additional request such as Guided nature trail from the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia or from Haukkalampi to reindeer park, either on foot, Nordic walking style with poles, skis, snowshoes or kick sledges; transportation by two 8 person minibuses is also possible. https://www.visitespoo.fi/en/service/nuuksio-reindeer-park-and-white-reindeer-kotarestaurant/
At Espoo City Theatre – The International Theatre of Finland brings together a broad range of in-house productions with the finest domestic and international visiting performances.
With programming befitting a performing arts festival, Espoo City Theatre is unlike most theatres in Finland. For over 30 years now, the theatre has presented up to four world-class international visits each season, in addition to domestic visiting performances. Our Louhisali stage has featured cutting-edge talent from home and abroad, performing in many languages, over the years. Each spring, Espoo City Theatre hosts the Viro-viikot festival presenting the most ambitious new work from Estonia.
The Theatre aims to be an open and inclusive platform for all performing arts. Its bold programming reflects the changing world around us. In addition to a more classical theatre repertoire, Espoo City Theatre regularly presents contemporary circus, dance, opera, and performance art. https://www.visitespoo.fi/en/service/espoo-city-theatre/
On the northern shore of Laajalahti Bay, in Tarvaspää, lies the Gallen-Kallela Museum, designed and built by one of Finland’s finest artists, Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Tarvaspää’s beautiful surroundings and the museum’s unique architecture provide the perfect setting for a museum visit. Originally a studio and residence, the museum opened to the public in 1961. The temporary exhibitions that present the art and life of Gallen-Kallela are shown alongside present-day works of contemporary art, while a wide range of events and activities are arranged during the year, with the museum acting as a centre for information on the great artist. Tarvaspää Cafe Zoceria is located in a delightful villa next to the museum where visitors can enjoy great coffee, snacks, salads and soups. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/gallen-kallela-museum-2/
Hanasaari is an enchanting place in the midst of the archipelago, close to the Helsinki city centre. The Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre promotes and develops interaction between Finland and Sweden, as well as co-operation in all areas of society.
Hanasaari’s home is a modern well-maintained building, amply decorated with modern Finnish and Swedish art. The Hanasaari cultural centre was inaugurated on 1 June 1975 by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and President Urho Kekkonen of Finland. The building was designed by architect Veikko Malmio, and its original interior decorations by Professor Yrjö Sotamaa.
An art competition was organised during the building phase, and the winner was revealed by King Carl XVI Gustaf when he inaugurated the house. The winning piece was Heikki Häiväoja‘s grand relief “Vuorovaikutus” (Interaction). Two other participating works were also purchased for Hanasaari: Marjatta Weckström‘s relief “Vuodenajat” (The seasons), which today can be seen in Restaurant Johannes, and the bronze front doors with small coloured windows embedded in them by Kauko Räsänen. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/hanasaari-swedish-finnish-cultural-centre/
Nuuksio National Park – fresh air, nature, tranquillity. Away from the hectic city life but still next door. Nuuksio National Park is only 40 minutes from Helsinki.
Within easy reach of Helsinki, you can escape into wild natural settings and experience nature, lovely lakes, green forests and clean air. With its marked trails, cooking shelters and camping sites Nuuksio is ideal for short hiking trips lasting one or two days.
Nuuksio National Park forms the western part of the so-called Nuuksio lake uplands, the most extensive and ecologically important continuous backwoods area in the Uusimaa Region. Because it is located in southern Finland and affected by broken bedrock, the park consists of an intricate mosaic of habitats, where dozens of threatened and near-threatened species live. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/nuuksio-national-park/
The City of Espoo is unique in not having a single centre, but instead have a number of major urban centres. One of these is Tapiola, which can lay claim to being the cultural heart of the city, as it features the Espoo Cultural Centre, home to the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Espoo City Theatre, and two concert spaces in Louhisali and Tapiolasali. Tapiola is also home to the nearby WeeGee Exhibition Centre, which consists of four very different museums: EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, KAMU – Espoo City Museum, the Finnish Toy Museum Hevosenkenkä and the Finnish Museum of Horology.
WeeGee Exhibition Centre provides a wide range of experiences for visitors of all ages. There are numerous temporary exhibitions in the museums to complement their permanent collections, and guided tours, workshops and themed events are held throughout the year. The centre also houses the museum shop, perfect for picking up souvenirs, and the Cafe WeeGee. Behind the main building visitors will find the visionary Futuro House, while the Studio Suuronen exhibitions are always interesting. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/exhibition-centre-weegee/
he Espoo Car Museum is the most diversified and oldest vehicle museum in Finland. Objects and special exhibitions are often altered, so also those who revisit beautiful Pakankylä in Espoo may find something new.
There are cars and motorcycles from the early 1900s up until family cars of the 1960s and 1970s, which have disappeared from the motoring scene. Our sports car collection is of major interest, too.
Famous East European cars were imported to Finland after WW II, making up a section of their own, such as Moskvich, Yalta, Volga, Pobeda, IFA etc., and not least a Russian Chaika. You can also admire beautiful American cars. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/espoo-car-museum/
The Pentala Archipelago Museum is located on an old fisherman’s estate on Pentala Island in Espoonlahti Bay. The museum area consists of fifteen different buildings. The oldest one is a fisherman’s cottage built in the early 1790s. The fisherman’s estate was inhabited year-round until 1986.
Espoo’s maritime side is at its best on Pentala Island. The Archipelago Museum showcases life in the archipelago, from housing and hard work to villas and leisure activities. In the summer, the museum area is full of things to see and do. If you want to experience Espoo’s unique archipelago nature, simply follow a nature trail to Lake Pentalanjärvi and the Diksand beach. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/pentala-archipelago-museum-archipelago-full-history-nature/
Glims Farmstead Museum is situated in the well preserved cultural landscape of Karvasmäki village, where farms and holdings were already established in the Middle Ages. http://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/glims-farmstead-museum/
Wellness Manor Kaisankoti located in northern Espoo, just 25 km from Helsinki city centre and 25 km from Helsinki-Vantaa airport. http://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/wellness-manor-kaisankoti/
The Finnish Orthodox Church in Tapiola, Finland is dedicated to St. Herman of Alaska. Herman was a monk from the Valaam Monastery who, in 1793, left for missionary duty in the Alaskan archipelago. During the 40 years he spent in the Alaska region, he became an important spiritual teacher and defender of the local population. http://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/church_tapiola_espoo/
Näsinneula is an observation tower in the Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere that overlooks Lake Näsijärvi. Designed by Pekka Ilveskoski, the tower was constructed in 1970-71 and is the tallest free-standing structure in Finland, as well as being the tallest observation tower in Scandanavia at a height of 168m. The tower features a rotating restaurant, like the one in the Puijo tower in Kuopio, which makes a full revolution in 45 minutes. An elevator brings visitors to a height of 120m where the Pilvilinna café is located, the restaurant, called Näsinneula, is one story higher. The elevator is the fastest in Finland, travelling at a rate of 6 metres per second, and reaches the café in 27 seconds. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/naesinneula-observation-tower/
Särkänniemi Adventure Park combines six very different experiences that together create a quality destination for all the family!
There are some 34 different rides in Särkänniemi, offering wild whirls, gentle swaying or other fun experiences spiced with sprays of water, for example.
This summer’s newest ride spins its passengers around like a tornado. The ride reaches a height of 15.6m when spinning. The upper part of the ride undergoes a maximum of 12 revolutions per minute with the arms spinning at 4 revolutions per minute. The ride features 24 seats, which spin freely, making each ride feel different. The height restriction for High Voltage is 130cm. The ride was manufactured by Italian company Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/saerkaenniemi-amusement-park/
Vapriikki is housed in what used to be the engineering works of Tampella Ltd. on the banks of the Tammerkoski Rapids.
With a picturesque location beside the Tammerkoski rapids, Vapriikki is a museum centre that offers things to see and do for the whole family. We host about a dozen exhibitions, with varied themes, including history, technology, and natural sciences. Vapriikki is also home to the Natural History Museum of Tampere, the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, the Shoe Museum, and the Doll Museum.
In autumn 2014, the Postal Museum and the Tampere Mineral Museum will also open their doors at Vapriikki. Our visitors are served by museum restaurant Valssi and the Vapriikki museum shop, which offers a wide selection of books, gifts, and souvenirs. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/museum-centre-vapriikki/
The Tampere City Hall is a neo-renaissance building in Tampere, Finland, situated at the edge of the Tampere Central Square. The current city hall was built in 1890 and was designed by Georg Schreck. The palatial building has many halls and the city of Tampere holds many events there. During the Great Strike in 1905, the so-called “Red Manifesto” was read from the balcony of the Tampere City Hall. It was one of the last buildings to remain as part of the red base during the final stages of the civil war in 1918, and still shows signs of the battles of that time, including the main entrance and the main staircase where bullet holes are still visible. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/tampere-city-hall/
Alexander Church, built by Theodor Decker in 1880-1881, is one of the more beautiful churches in Tampere, and a fine example of the Neo-Gothic style, although there are also some elements of other architectural styles. During reconstruction in 1937, the church was badly damaged by fire, and in 1980 it underwent another major renovation. The magnificent altarpiece, “The Glorification of the Saviour”, is by Aleksandra Saltin, the motifs on the chancel walls are by Antti Salmenlinnan, the crucifix is by Ipi and Pekka Pyhältö, and the textiles throughout the church were designed by Anja Savolainen.
The church was named Alexander Church to honour the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Czar Alexander II, as its foundation stone was laid on the anniversary date, 2nd of March 1880. The church was consecrated in December 1881. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/alexander-church-tampere/
he Sara Hildén Art Museum, which is the permanent home of the collection of modern art, Finnish and foreign, owned by the Sara Hildén Foundation, is maintained by the City of Tampere. Sara Hildén Foundation Collection currently amounts to some 4500 works. It is thus a comprehensive collection which presents a broad cross section of the development in modern art over the last forty years. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/sara-hilden-art-museum/
The Tampere Art Museum was established in 1931. It was founded by the Tampere Art Society which had already been collecting art and arranging art exhibitions in Tampere since the beginning of the last century.
The museum is renowned for its active exhibition policy, especially exhibitions presenting ancient cultures, wide-ranging publication activities, the Young Artist of the Year event and Moominvalley, which can be found in the city main library “Metso”. The Tampere Art Museum presents important themes from art history and phenomena of contemporary art in both its Finnish and international exhibitions. The museum’s collections consist mainly of domestic art from the early 19th century onwards. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/tampere-art-museum/
The House of Mr Clutterbuck is based on the beloved books by Mauri Kunnas. Mr Clutterbuck’s house is located in Vammala, which is the town center of Sastamala, from where Mauri Kunnas is also from. The stories in Kunnas’ books bring to life a diverse world, and the House of Mr Clutterbuck brings those stories even more to life. So alive, in fact, that you can take part in them yourself! Mr Clutterbuck’s house has five different areas, where you can experience the world of Mauri Kunnas’ stories. During the summer season from May until the end of October Mr. Clutterbuck’s Fun on Wheels Yard is also open.
The Home of Mr Clutterbuck invites you to play in Mr Clutterbuck’s kitchen, to get to know the ghosts of the haunted clock in the attic and to try out how it feels to descend from the lighthouse down the fireman’s pole. https://www.discoveringfinland.com/destination/the-house-of-mr-clutterbuck/