Things to do in Helsinki

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

Our most recommended things to do in Helsinki

From Tallinn: Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki

1. 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.

From Helsinki: Return Day Trip Ferry Ticket to Tallinn

2. 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

Helsinki: Private Tour with a Local Guide

3. 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.

Helsinki Panorama Coach Tour

4. 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. 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.

Helsinki Card City

5. 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 2021-22)• Free entry to the city’s major sights and museums; like 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• Discounts in restaurants, cruise to Tallinn and other attractions, such as Helsinki Zoo, SkyWheel Helsinki and Flying Cinema Tour of Helsinki Summer season (May - September): • Free Canal Route sightseeing by boat• Free 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off bus tour 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)

From Stockholm: 3-Day Return Cruise to Helsinki & Breakfast

6. From Stockholm: 3-Day Return Cruise to Helsinki & Breakfast

Travel from Stockholm to Helsinki and back by ship. Enjoy 2 cities and plenty of time to relax onboard. Day 1: Depart in the afternoon and check into your comfortable sea-view cabin. While onboard, take advantage of the various dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Book ahead the dinner buffet and end the night with cocktails and live music or karaoke in the pub. Day 2: Take advantage of the breakfast buffet, included in the price, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Baltic Sea. Arrive in Helsinki in mid-morning and enjoy about 6 hours to explore the city on your own before departing back to Stockholm in the late afternoon. Unwind from your day of touring with a visit to the sauna. Day 3: Have a buffet breakfast while sailing through the archipelago on your way back to Stockholm. Arrive back in Stockholm in the morning. You can choose between two different cabin options: The classic sea-view cabin is a high-class, 11m2 cabin for up to 4 persons with air conditioning, TV, shower, bathroom, and hairdryer. The lower beds can be converted into a double bed. A breakfast buffet on both mornings is included. The deluxe option offers an elegant and spacious 14 m2 sea-view cabin for 2 persons with an extra bed for a child under 17 years. The deluxe cabin has a double bed (separable), air conditioning, flat screen TV, shower, toilet, hairdryer, trouser press, and complimentary refreshments in the minibar. A special breakfast served in Tavoláta restaurant, is also included.

Helsinki: Helsinki and Suomenlinna 5-Hour Sightseeing Tour

7. Helsinki: Helsinki and Suomenlinna 5-Hour Sightseeing Tour

Explore the historic monuments of Helsinki with a local guide, and visit sights such as Olympic Stadium from the 1952 Summer Olympics. See the monument to the composer Jean Sibelius and explore the promenade of Esplanade Park. Go to Old Market Hall, and admire the largest orthodox church in western Europe at the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. Then, catch the ferry to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Suomenlinna sea fortress. Upon arrival, walk to visit the barracks and the Great Courtyard, where the memorial tomb of Augustin Ehrensvärd was designed by King Gustav III of Sweden.

Nuuksio National Park: Half-Day Trip from Helsinki

8. 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.

Helsinki Airport (HEL): Premium Lounge Entry

9. Helsinki Airport (HEL): Premium Lounge Entry

Located in the non-Schengen Area of Terminal 2 in Helsinki Airport, Plaza Premium Lounge Helsinki boasts the first in-lounge playroom set within a modern and bright lounge ambiance, complemented with breathtaking apron views. Get 3-hour access to the lounge and take a break before or between flights, a perfect choice for business and leisure travelers. Make use of all the lounge facilities catering to the needs of travelers, such as comfortable seating, a live kitchen, a bar, shower rooms, charging stations, complimentary WiFi, and computer workstations.

Helsinki: Tallinn Guided Day Tour with Ferry Crossing

10. Helsinki: Tallinn Guided Day Tour with Ferry Crossing

Cross the Gulf of Finland by ferry and join a guided city tour of Tallinn on a day tour from Helsinki. Step back to medieval times in Old Town, and see past Russian influences in the architecture of Aleksander Nevski Cathedral and Kadriog Park. After an easy 2-hour ferry crossing from Finland to Estonia, you will be met at the port by your guide. Your guided city tour will take in all the major sites of Tallinn, followed by some free time to explore at your own pace. The most popular destination in Tallinn is Old Town, an area which has maintained its medieval character and charm to this day. Stroll the cobblestone streets, walk through ivy-covered Viru Gate and explore the gothic Town Hall. On Toompea Hill discover the perfectly pink Toompea Castle, built in the 13th century, now home to Estonia's parliament. Directly across from the castle is Aleksander Nevski Cathedral. This striking Russian Orthodox-style cathedral with onion bulb domes will certainly capture your attention. For a dose of nature, the beautiful gardens at Kadriog Park beckon visitors to Tallinn. With geometric flower beds, Japanese garden and a lovely swan pond, there is plenty to delight the senses for all ages. At the end of the day you will return to the port for your ferry trip back to Helsinki where your tour ends but memories will remain.

Available activities

  • Exploring Helsinki
  • Helsinki cruises & Tallinn ferries
  • Helsinki family fun
  • Finland nature gems
  • Porvoo & Tallinn escapes
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Frequently asked questions about Helsinki

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The best day trips and excursions from Helsinki are:

Tallinn

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Other Sightseeing Options in Helsinki

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What people are saying about Helsinki

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,603 reviews

This may be the best walking tour I have been to, Emet is a experienced and informative guide, he provided more then Historical and geographical information, and also his perspective on city planning. It is the best choice if tourist want to explore and understand of the Finland culture, history and current society.

Marc, the guide was very knowledgable. He explained everything in detail. Covered quite alot of places. He was very informative and we were haapy to have him bring us around.

Harry the guide was very friendly and helpful. He explained things in detail. Brought us to try local food which was good. Overall a very good experience.

Great tour. Juliette was knowledgable and friendly and gave us a very interesting introduction to Helsinki. Highly recommended.

The tour gave a nice overview of the city of Helsinki. I was able to see places I wanted to go back to for more time to explore