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What to do in Helsinki

Helsinki offers experiences for travelers throughout the year. It’s a small yet vibrant city that encompasses everything from nature adventures to food and art experiences, and from architecture to a lively urban culture. Whether you have half a day or several days, in Helsinki, you can explore a variety of activities according to your preferences! Here are 25 insider tips on exciting and delightful things to do and experience in our capital.

Sights and Architecture

Keskustakirjasto Oodi

Senate Square Area

Feel the ambiance of the past at Helsinki’s historic central square, surrounded by Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, and the main building of the University of Helsinki, representing neoclassical architecture.

Olympic Stadium

The functionalist arena, dubbed the world’s most beautiful Olympic Stadium, was designed by Yrjö Lindegren and Toivo Jäntti in 1938. After a complete renovation, you can attend events, take a stadium tour, or climb 72 meters for a view over Helsinki!

Central Library Oodi 

A cultural urban space and meeting point at that attracts visitors from afar! The architecturally world-renowned Oodi complements the cultural and media hub formed by the Music Centre, Finlandia Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in the heart of Helsinki.

Temppeliaukio Church 

Carved into the rock in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church was designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. Known for its acoustic qualities, the church is a popular concert venue, and it’s worth visiting for its architecture and atmosphere.

Sibelius Monument

Located in Töölö’s Sibelius Park, this memorial to our national composer Jean Sibelius was created by sculptor Eila Hiltunen in 1967. The artwork consists of over 600 welded pipes forming an organ-pipe-like structure, along with a portrait of the composer, making it one of Helsinki’s most popular attractions.


Allas Sea Pool

Market Square and Old Market Hall 

Experience the authentic market atmosphere at the Market Square! In addition to traditional market delicacies, you can find crafts and souvenirs. The market comes alive especially during the summer, with accordion music and the taste of fresh strawberries. In winter, enjoy a hot cupper with a fresh donut and then warm up in the historical setting of the Old Market Hall.

Flea markets

Do you enjoy nostalgia? Is sustainability your thing? Looking for unique finds? Then flea markets are your go-to! Helsinki has dozens, if not hundreds, of second-hand shops for items and clothing. During the summer, explore the atmosphere at Hietalahti Market Square, where locals sell their items. In winter, places like Bella Kirppis and Kaivarin Kanuuna are among the many options.

Have a sauna and take a dip in the sea

In the city center and its immediate vicinity, you’ll find several cozy year-round saunas where you can take a refreshing dip in the sea. For a more upscale experience, choose Allas Sea Pool or Löyly. For a unique communal atmosphere, Sompasauna offers an outdoor dressing room and the sea as the only bathing option.

Linnanmäki amusement park

Linnanmäki is one of Finland’s most entertaining amusement parks, opened in 1950, featuring over 40 rides and providing laughter and thrilling experiences for all ages and sizes. The park is open daily from late April to the end of August and with limited hours in September and October.

Korkeasaari Zoo

Established in 1889 on an island just outside the coast of Helsinki, Korkeasaari Zoo can be reached by bridge or, in the summer, by a charming ferry. Known for its responsible practices, the zoo is open every day of the year and is an ideal destination even in winter, provided you dress warmly!

Art and Culture

Amos Rex

Best of Art Museums – New and Old

Amos Rex is a uniquely designed private art museum offering immersive and technologically experimental exhibitions of contemporary and modern art. Ateneum is our country’s most famous art museum and the National Gallery of Finland, showcasing significant rotating collections of domestic art.

Musiikkitalo (The Music House)

Musiikkitalo is a public and architecturally stunning concert center and meeting place offering diverse music experiences for all ages. The venue serves as the home for the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Design District Helsinki

Finnish design is highly valued globally. If it’s your thing, visit the galleries and stores in the Design District throughout the city, talk to designers, and make delightful purchases!

Enjoy Theatre

For fans of theater arts, Helsinki offers numerous artistic experiences from small neighborhood theaters to large institutional theaters, with performances in various languages. A theater excursion to historical surroundings is best experienced at the National Theatre or Aleksanteri Theatre

Urban and Street Art

While walking through the city, especially in areas like Baana, Kallio, or Itä-Pasila, you can discover breathtaking street art and murals. The urban culture, which experienced a resurgence in recent decades after a zero-tolerance policy on street art and graffiti ended in 1998, is truly captivating.

Get Active and Explore Nature

Suomenlinna Ferry

Historical Islands

Explore Finnish history, fortifications, and picturesque architectural details on foot in Suomenlinna throughout the year or on Vallisaari during the summer! Both islands have direct ferry transportation, only 15-20 minutes from the Market Square.

Experience the Health Benefits of Nature

Our beautiful capital is a lush oasis with the sea, extensive parks, green areas, and nature reserves. You can take nature walks and hikes throughout the year in places like Central Park or Viikki.

Hop on a Bike

Helsinki is a cyclist’s dream city during the summer. If you didn’t bring your own bike, pick up a city bike and explore the waterfront route in the city center.

Kayaking and SUP Boarding in the Heart of the City

Located in the embrace of downtown, Töölönlahti (the Gulf of Töölö) offers various water activities during the summer. Rent a SUP board, kayak, pedal boat, rowboat, or water bike and experience the city vibes from the bay!

Enjoy Winter Activities

Helsinki offers fantastic winter sports opportunities during the winter season. You can skate on various outdoor rinks, go skiing in places like Paloheinä, and sled down hills, for example, in Kaivopuisto. Bring your own equipment!

Need more ideas?

Check out the comprehensive MyHelsinki digital guide!