33 Best & Fun Things to Do in Helsinki (Finland)

If you want your vacation or weekend break to be full of fun things to do, then you would love Finland’s capital, Helsinki.

There’s even a whole district of sophisticated and innovative artworks and designs for lovers of art to explore.

You can even visit The Wilkman House, Pohjola Insurance Building, and the Finnish Stock Exchange which displays authentic Finnish traditions and rural mythology in a uniquely nationalistic style. 

Even with all the art and beauty, Helsinki is a food paradise with plenty of locally sourced delicacies for your tastebuds.

Helsinki has enough light to brighten up the winter seasons and is also an excellent summer spot. 

If you’re now interested in going to Helinski, Finland, this guide provides the 33 best and most fun things to do in Helinski to have an exciting weekend.

33 Best and Fun Things to Do in Helsinki, Finland.

1. Explore Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna popularly called the ‘Fortress of Finland’ is one of the most interesting islands in the world. To get to Suomenlinna, you’d go to Kauppatori and then take a ferry ride of about 15 minutes.

You should explore this Finnish Castle and see this class of military structure and culture that is also recognized by UNESCO.

You can explore the Suomenlinna Museum and enjoy a collection of historical exhibits, toy sections, and antique dolls.

You’ll see the dry dock, courtyards, jetty barracks, and star-shaped walls marked with different gun positions.

This is one of the best places to visit in Helsinki, it should be on your checklist of things to do in Helsinki, Finland.

2. Explore Esplanadi

Esplanadi popularly known as Espa by the locals comprises the esplanade and the urban park in Helsinki.

You can locate Espa in downtown Helsinki, in the city center between the Market Square and the Erottaja square.

You can explore the Historical Engels Teater, the sizzling Kappeli restaurant, and the crafted statues including that of Johan Ludwig Runeberg.

You can relax, host picnics, attend live music shows, and be entertained at Esplanadi Boulevard.

Exploring Esplanadi should be on your list of the best things to do in Helsinki.

3. Explore Seurasaari 

Seurasaari Island is one of the best islands in Helsinki and exploring this island should b on your checklist of fun things you can do during your stay in Helsinki.

You’d find this island some kilometers north of Helsinki’s center and you can use a professional guide to give you more adventure and fun.

Exploring this island, you’ll find an open-air museum with exhibitions like old timber houses, old barns, a manor house, a Kiruna church, farmsteads, and old wooden houses displaying rye carpets and other local textiles.

You can pick a spot on this Island to host a picnic and enjoy yourself with delicious grills from nearby restaurants.

4. Explore Design District

Design District offers Helsinki’s specially designed and unique products at the center of Helsinki and it’s one of Helsinki’s tourist attraction sites.

The Design District Helsinki is a district with over 200 streets full of design and antique shops, fashion stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants, and showrooms.

You can view and purchase top Finnish designs and products in the various boutiques, antique shops, design shops, galleries, workshops, museums, restaurants, showrooms, and fashion stores.

Explore Design District to experience the unique designs of Helsinki and this should be on your list of top things to do.

5. Explore Vallila District

Vallila District is one of the popular districts in downtown Helinski and exploring it should be on your list of best things to do in Helsinki.

You’d find some new buildings with blocks and timber houses called Puu-Vallia meaning “Wood Vallila”.

You’ll love the green environment, trendy bars, coffee shops, and restaurants in Vallila District.

There are other ancient landmarks in Vallila apart from Puu-Villala that you’ll see which include the Vallila allotment gardens, Saint Paul’s Church, and the Pasilan konepaja.

6. Visit Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral is one of Helsinki’s popular landmarks and tourist attraction sites. You can find the Cathedral close to the Senate Square at the northern end of Helsinki.

When you visit the Cathedral and see its 5 green domes on an all-white neoclassical structure. You’ll also see the status of the 12 apostles placed decoratively on the roof of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral hall is a beauty and hosts prayers on weekdays and then church services on Sunday.

Do well to check it out this summer and don’t forget to take some memorial photos, especially on the steps of the building.

7. Visit Temppeliaukio Church

There are not many churches in the world like Temppeliaukio Church that are significant and unique, making it one of Helsinki’s tourist attraction sites.

You can find the church in the southwest direction of the National Museum of Finland, and its building is on bedrock.

You get to see the creativity here turning a natural rocky place into a church and that’s why the church is also known as the Rock Church.

You’ll also see a central dome that allows natural light into the church during the day, the altarpiece, and some other structures are also carved out from the rocks.

You should visit Temppeliaukio Church and attend a service here during your stay in Helsinki.

8. Visit Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral is the largest Orthodox Church in Western Europe and should be one of the places you visit in Helsinki to have a full experience.

You can see this cathedral’s red-brick towered building designed by a Russian architect from the Senate Square in Helsinki city but it’s located in Katajanokka.

You’ll see the amazing interior decoration which includes the altars, intricate patterns beautified with gold embellishments, crosses, icons, and an array of gorgeous paintings of the Virgin Mary and other saints.

9. Visit the Chapel of Silence

The Chapel of Silence is a quiet sanctuary in the lively city of Helsinki that you can visit for free even if it is just to admire the structure.

But for a quiet and peaceful time, you should visit the Chapel of Silence and you can easily find it close to the Kamppi Shopping Centre and Esplanadi Park.

The chapel gives you a calm and warm feeling, with walls made of thick Nordic woods to help provide depth of silence. 

You can visit the chapel to join their prayer meetings or for personal meditation during your visit to Helsinki but you have o leave your camera outside.

10. Go For Shopping At The Market Square

Once you arrive in Helsinki, you’d see The Market Square in the center of Helsinki, and it’s close to the harbor.

This is one of the most popular outdoor markets in Europe, and shopping here you’ll find various vendors with flowers, Finnish foods, and souvenirs for tourists.

Since the market is close to the harbor, you’ll see fishermen and their fishing boats selling fresh fish and seafood.

You can buy varieties of unique goods such as reindeer horns, wooden mugs, reindeer hides, handmade jewelry, and delicious baked foods like cakes, pies, and buns.

11. Shop at Old Market Hall

You can find Old Market Hall by the waters of Eteläranta, close to the popular Old Market Square in Helsinki.

You should shop at Old Market Hall to have a Helsinki shopping experience during your vacation.

Even if you don’t want to shop, you will be tempted to get fresh produce and foods on sale from different vendors.

You’ll see fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, shellfish, Finnish cheese, bread, and cakes.

Shopping at Old Market Hall should be on your checklist of fun things you can do in Helsinki.

12. Go For A Sauna 

There are over 20 saunas in Helsinki and you can find one in the apartment, hotel, motel, hostel, or wherever you booked for your vacation.

Sauna is one of the healthiest cultures in Finland, it’s basically using a sauna stone to steam or heat up a room.

There are saunas open to the public you can go for but they have separate sections for gender, and if you are still shy then you can go with a mini towel.

Amazing saunas you can go to during your vacation to have a fun experience include Sompasauna, Kotiharju, Arla Sauna, Kulttuurisauna, Hermanni, Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall, and the Löyly.

Going to the sauna in Helinski should be your top fun thing to do during your vacation.

13. Visit Linnanmäki

A visit to Linnanmaki amusement park should be on your checklist of fun things you can do during your stay in Helsinki.

You can easily find this park in the city and it has an environment with natural beauty the fastest and highest rides, and a lot of other fun activities to do.

Other fun activities you can participate in include riding roller coasters, enjoying arcade games, and your children can be at the child-friendly attractions section.

14. Visit Sibelius Monument and Park

For a fun day in Helsinki during your vacation filled with fun activities, you should visit  Sibelius Monument and Park.

The Sibelius Park and Monument were established in remembrance of a Finnish composer, Johan Julius Christian Sibelius. 

You can visit with your camera and take pictures of the large monument design of large steel pipes with holes that create music when the wind blows through.

You should visit the park, host picnics, relax, and enjoy the environment.

15. Visit Nuuksio National Park

Nuuksio National Park is a recent park in Finland that covers 45 square kilometers in area and is very close to the city, so you can easily access it.

You will be highly engaged in this park with attractions like lakes, different types of forests, floras, fauna, and swamps.

You can hike through the forest close to Solvalla and other forests close to Musfalampi and Haukkalampi at the park, you might also see reindeer and other wild animals.

A visit to Nuuksio National Park should be on your checklist of things to do in Helsinki.

16. Walk Through Helsinki University Botanical Gardens

The Helsinki Botanical garden is a center that exhibits a beautiful display of year-long plants sourced from various parts of the world.

Walking through this garden, you’d see over 800 species of beautiful plants and the fragrance is just heavenly.

Walking here in the evening or afternoon should be on your top list of things to do in Helsinki, especially for nature lovers.

17. Visit Helsinki Railway Station

The Helsinki railway station is an artwork like the Nouveau railway station and a tourist attraction site in Helsinki.

Visit this station, so you’d see the 48-meter high tower which has a clock, the arched walls, and the numerous decorations and monuments on the wall.

This should be on your list of the best things to do in Helsinki.

18. Go For A Ride On The Vintage Tram 

The vintage tram in Helsinki is one of the oldest electrified tram systems in the world and it’s one of Helsinki’s tourist attraction spots.

You can enter the tram from Havis Amanda Fountain and have a 20-minutes ride to see the top sights of Helsinki.

There are no guides on the tram, but you’ll get a leaflet that lists important details about the views you’ll see.

Going for a ride on this vintage tram should be on your list of fun things to do in Helsinki.

19. Eat Delicious Crayfish Dishes

One of Helsinki’s seasonal seafood dishes includes the crayfish dishes which are very popular among seafood lovers.

During the crayfish season, you should go to a seafood restaurant and order their special crayfish dishes.

Even if you don’t know how to eat it, the waiters at the restaurant will show you how to eat it with a shot of Akvavit.

If your vacation in Helsinki is between July and August, then eating the delicious crayfish dishes should be on your list of the best things to do in Helsinki.

20. Enjoy Your Day At Juttutupa

Juttutupa joint is one of the oldest pubs in Helsinki and was once a location for revolutionary socialist gatherings which was led by Vladimir Lenin.

You can come to this join and enjoy your day with some juicy burgers, pizza, drinks, jazz, and rock music after a long day of sightseeing.

Juttutupa has long dining tables where you can eat with other visitors, tourists, and locals.

Juttutupa is a tourist attraction site in Helsinki and should be on your list of the best things to do in Helsinki.

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21. Visit Helsinki Design Museum

If you love museums, then you should visit Helsinki Design Museum in Kaartinkaupunki during your stay in Helsinki.

The gigantic museum is one of Helsinki’s tourist attraction sites and its building shows the cutting edge used in Helsinki design and architecture.

You’d see exhibitions of local and foreign designs, graphic design, fashion design, and industrial design displayed in this museum.

When you get tired from exploring, you can visit the cafe for some snacks and the gift shop to get souvenirs.

22. Visit the National Museum of Finland

The National Museum of Finland represents and displays the history and culture of Helsinki and you’d need to visit here during your stay in Helsinki.

You can find the museum in the center of Helsinki with its design like that of Finnish castles and medieval churches.

You’ll find exhibits like medals, coins, decorations, silver, orders, artifacts, weapons, jewelry, and the Treasure Troves sections.

23. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art 

The Museum of Contemporary Art is part of the few museums in Finland that displays all types of contemporary artworks to the modern generation.

You can view the amazing design of this museum with the exterior in a curvy fashion and the interior displaying contemporary arts with some post-1960 Arts of Finland.

You can also watch performances from the theater inside the museum that performs dance, music, and drama.

During your stay in Helsinki, you should visit this museum to see exhibits of all sorts of contemporary art.

24. Visit The Finnish Museum of Photography

For art lovers, you have to visit The Finnish Museum of Photography during your stay in Helsinki.

You can find this museum in Kaapiali, in the west of Helsinki, and you can visit with a tour guide to get more information on the exhibits displayed.

Visit the biggest cultural center in Finland with three museums, event space, and 10 galleries to see amazing collections of photographs that tell a story.

This should be on your list of the best things to do in Helsinki.

25. Visit Ateneum (Finnish National Museum of Art)

Ateneum is the largest museum that houses classical Arts in Helsinki and one of the largest in Finland, it’s also a tourist attraction site in Helsinki that you should visit.

You’d find the Finnish National Museum of Art at the southern end of Helsinki’s Station Square and its building and design are unique.

You’ll get to see artworks and paintings from the 18th to 20th century and works of popular artists like Pablo Picasso, A. Edelfelt, Vincent Van Gogh, and P. Halonen.

26. Visit Korkeasaari Zoo

The Korkeasaari Zoo is one of the ancient zoos in the world because it was established in the 1880s and it’s one of Helsinki’s tourist attraction sites.

This zoo has established endangered species breeding programs and a natural habitat for over 1000 different plant species and 150 animal species.

You’d find wild cats like the Siberian tiger, the Amur, and snow leopards in the Korkeasaari zoo.

Since this zoo is on an island, you have to go on a ferry or bus and have a fun experience and time with the animals during your stay.

27. Visit Finlandia Hall

Finlandia Hall is in the city center, by the shores of Töölö Bay, and has amazing architectural structure and design.

 This building is one of Helsinki’s tourist attraction sites and has a white Carrera marble design on the exterior and interior.

You should visit this hall even if it’s just to see the main auditorium with over 300 seating capacity and a host for various concerts and operas.

Depending on your time of visit, you could attend mini-shows, programs, and performances held here.

28. Visit Helsinki Olympic Stadium

For lovers of sports, you have to visit this popular Olympic stadium during your vacation in Helsinki.

This stadium has hosted the Olympics before and is popular for its 72-meter tower from which you can have a full view of Helsinki.

You’ll find the Finnish Sports Museum, the swimming stadium, the Ice Stadium, the lawn, and the Municipal Park inside this stadium.

You can enter for free and enjoy the various facilities in the stadium for a fun experience in Helsinki.

29. Central Park (Keskuspuisto)

The Helsinki Central Park (Keskuspuisto) is a large recreational area in the center of Helsinki and one of its tourist attraction sites.

You can hike through the diverse trails, host picnics, or just relax in this comfortable natural environment.

You’ll find meadows, spruce forests, Siberian flying squirrels, herb-rich forests, various bird species, and fields in this park.

You’ll also find several fixed antiquities scattered around the park.

A visit here should be on your list of things to do in Helsinki for a fun and exciting nature-filled day.

30. Explore Hietaniemi Area

 Hietaniemi Area is a large expanse area in Helsinki with structures and sights all having their own unique stories.

If you explore this area, you’d find the 1952 Olympics Rowing Stadium, public saunas, restaurants, Hietaniemi beach, mini-soccer fields, the Canoe rentals, and kayak rentals.

You’d also find the park-like Hietaniemi cemetery, a place of remembrance for some fallen heroes of the Nation.

National heroes like Marshal Mannerheim (1867-1951) Risto Ryti, T. M. Kivimäki, Väinö Tanner E. Linkomies were buried here too.

31. Visit Gallen-Kallela Museum

You can find the Gallen-Kallela museum by the shores of Laajalahti Bay, about 10 kilometers from Helsinki’s city center.

This museum is the home of the most creative and important painter in Finland, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, and has been opened to the public making it one of Helsinki’s attraction sites.

You’ll find paintings and graphics made by Gallen-Kallela himself as well as his working tools displayed in this museum.

You can get to this museum by car or follow the walking or biking path from  Ruukinranta in Espoo or Munkkiniemi in Helsinki.

32. Visit Museum of Technology (Tekniikan museo)

If you love technology and its history, then you should visit here during your stay in Helsinki for a fun and informative experience.

You’d learn the story of how technology developed specifically in Finland in this museum of technology.

This museum displays various evolution stages of computers, television, communications, health, and finance.

This museum is one of a kind in Finland, so you should add a visit here to your checklist of things to do in Helsinki.

33. Explore Kalasatama

Kalasatama is an amazing place to visit in the state of Helsinki and it’s a tourist attraction spot.

This area is located in the Sörnäinen district and has over 25,000 inhabitants and busy street centers.

Exploring this area, you’d also find the Teurastamo, this used to be a slaughterhouse but it’s been converted into a cultural hub.

You can participate in the summer parties, jazz festival, and other amazing events that are held in Kalasatama anytime you visit Helsinki.

Planning Your Trip to Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is a perfect vacation city during the winter or summer, so you can come to have the best and most fun experiences.

You should start planning for your vacation and you can use this guide to create a checklist of the best and most fun things you would love to do in Helsinki.

Have a great day.

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