Helsinki Culture & history

Our most recommended Helsinki Culture & history

Helsinki: Tallinn Guided Day Tour with Ferry Crossing

1. 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.

Helsinki: Architecture Walking Tour with Expert

2. Helsinki: Architecture Walking Tour with Expert

Helsinki is a gem for architecture enthusiasts. It is difficult to find another urban area that houses such a wide range of architectural styles. Neoclassical, gothic revival, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Nordic classicism, modernism, functionalism, and contemporary styles all coexist in the city center. Different historical periods have definitely left their mark on Helsinki. Join this architecture tour led by an expert guide to marvel at the architectural wonders that Helsinki has to offer. See the National Library of Finland, Central Railway Station, the new Oodi public library, Chapel of Silence, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Rock Church, Finlandia Hall, and more. Admire the great works of world-renowned architects, such as Engel and Saarinen.

Helsinki: Small-Group Walking Tour with City Planner Guide

3. Helsinki: Small-Group Walking Tour with City Planner Guide

Get to know central Helsinki like a local on a small-group walking tour with a city planner. Take in the sights, culture, and history with your PhD student and professional city planner guide who knows the city inside out. Ask any questions you like.  Find out tidbits of Helsinki’s past, from the plague in the middle ages to Lenin’s stay in the 20th century. As you tour Helsinki city center, find out why Helsinkians picnic at gravesites, which statue is most discriminated against by seagulls, and why an orthodox cathedral exists in the city.  Visit many of Helsinki’s most important landmarks, with a typical itinerary (weather, holidays, and events permitting) including: Senate Square, Market Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki Cathedral, National Library of Finland, the Presidential Palace, Allas Sea Pool, Esplanadi Park, Kappeli, Old Church Park, the Central Railway Station, Oodi, Lasipalatsi, Kamppi Chapel, and Amos Rex.

Helsinki: City and Porvoo Guided Day Shore Excursion

4. Helsinki: City and Porvoo Guided Day Shore Excursion

Discover the quaint town of Porvoo on a guided shore excursion, followed by a tour of the Finnish capital of Helsinki. Admire the traditional architecture of Porvoo and some of the main landmarks of Helsinki including Sibelius Park, the Olympic Stadium, and Uspensky Cathedral. Meet your guide at Helsinki Port. Then, take a scenic drive towards Porvoo, the second oldest town in Finnland. Upon arrival, marvel at the picturesque waterfront red-painted houses whilst your guide takes you on a walking tour. See the Old Church, Town Hall Square, as well as shops and workshops.  Following the visit to Porvoo, head back to Helsinki. Enjoy a sightseeing tour by bus as you discover Esplanadi Street and the Grand Mannerheim Boulevard. Admire the views of the Opera House, the Finlandia Concert Hall, the National Museum, the Parliament Building, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the famous Sibelius Park, named after the renowned Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. See the Sibelius Monument, an abstract grouping of hundreds of steel pipes. After the park, continue the Olympic Stadium, the site of the 1952 Summer Olympics. Arrive at the Rock Church, carved directly out of the side of the mountain and topped by a magnificent copper dome. Admire the exterior of Uspensky Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe. See Helsinki Central train station with its famous clock tower as well as the beloved Havis Amanda fountain. The tour ends with free time by the seaside Market Square, where you can try some local delicacies. At the end of the tour, be returned to the port in time for your cruise ship's departure.

Helsinki: Self-Guided City Highlights Audio Tour

5. Helsinki: Self-Guided City Highlights Audio Tour

Immerse yourself in the charming and fascinating city of Helsinki which is a centre for maritime life. On this audio tour, learn of its history through visiting beautiful old buildings and hear of famous local composers who were crucial in the development of this Scandinavian city. Enjoy beautiful sights in Esplanade Park, marvel at the huge ferries coming and going in its harbour and visit the iconic Senate Square. Try something new in the country’s unique food market and learn about its daring swimming traditions. You will also see the Helsinki Information Centre, the Senate Square, Kaisaniemi Park, the Ateneum Art Museum with the Finnish National Gallery, the Helsinki Music Centre, the Parliament House, and the Design Museum. Your tour. Your way.

From Helsinki: Porvoo Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

6. From Helsinki: Porvoo Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

You'll meet your guide in Helsinki just before noon. From here, you'll head to Porvoo to marvel at the historic Old Town, with its well-preserved historical buildings as well as a 15th-century cathedral. The Old Town is a historically and culturally significant place and is recognized as one of the important National landscapes of Finland. During the tour, you will learn about Finnish history and culture, exploring the Red Riverside Warehouses, Porvoo Castle, Porvoo Old Town Hall, and the devil's stairs, as well as many other attractions. After your guide shows you around the top attractions in Porvoo you'll have about 40 minutes of free time to explore the many cafes, restaurants, and shops in Old Town. Then you'll head back to Helsinki where the bus will drop you off in Senate Square.

Helsinki: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

7. Helsinki: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

Embark on a tour of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, and watch daily life unfold with stories and history from your guide. Visit city highlights, from the bustling Market Square where locals get their groceries to the colossal Central Library Oodi. Begin at the iconic Senate Square and admire the Lutheran Cathedral. From the square, see Helsinki University and the old Senate, and discover the meaning behind the statue of the Russian Czar. As you walk, feel free to ask your guide any questions about the capital. Next, follow your guide to the port and marvel at the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. Continue to Market Square and learn about Finnish gastronomy. Here, get tips on where to eat and drink after the tour. If you're lucky, you might see locals swimming and relaxing in the Baltic Sea. Make your way to Havis Amanda and learn about this statue's significance to many in the city. Stop at the picturesque Esplanade Park and see the man that the seagulls love the most. After passing by the Esplanade, walk through Helsinki's bustling Aleksanterinkatu street, and discover the "unicorn block". At the end of Aleksanterinkatu street, view the Three Smiths statue, which was damaged during the bombings of the Second World War. Hear stories about this complicated period of Finland's history and the impact that lingers to this day. Stop by the Helsinki Central Railway Station before coming to the last stop on the tour, the new Central Library Oodi. As you arrive, see the Finnish Parliament, the Music Centre, and Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum. Take a small tour inside the library and marvel at its unique architecture before finishing the tour.

Helsinki Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing and Suomenlinna

8. Helsinki Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing and Suomenlinna

Discover Helsinki and visit some of its most famous sites with your help of your professional local guide. Your tour will start with a pick-up from your choice of meeting points in Helsinki harbor. Then it's time to set off to discover some of the city's most important cultural landmarks and historical monuments. See the Olympic Stadium and Sibelius Monument, take a turn around Esplanade Park and visit the Market Square and Old Market Hall. Complete your cultural tour by seeing the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral and Senate Square. Your professional guide will share the city's stories along the way, with plenty of stops for photographs. Then, from Helsinki's Market Square, continue by ferry to Suomenlinna, listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the world's largest sea fortresses that sprawls across a series of six small islands. During your walking tour, learn about the site's eventful history and see some of Suomenlinna's main attractions, such as the King's Gate, the Jetty Barracks, the Great Courtyard and Suomenlinna Church. After your tour, you will be taken back to Helsinki Market Square to continue your adventure. 

Helsinki: Helsinki and Porvoo Sightseeing Tour

9. Helsinki: Helsinki and Porvoo Sightseeing Tour

Prior to departure, your experienced local guide will pick you up from your relevant harbor. From here you will begin your Helsinki city tour, visiting a variety of cultural landmarks and historic monuments. You will stop for photos at the Sibelius Monument and Senate Square, and visit other Helsinki attractions such as Olympic Stadium, Esplanade Park, Old Market Hall, and the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. After spending the morning sightseeing in Helsinki, your bus tour will continue to the charming medieval town of Porvoo. Once having arrived, you can take a walking tour of Porvoo to see the Old Town Hall, Porvoo Cathedral, the Devil's Stairs, and the Statue of A. Edelfelt. You will also be able to look out over the charismatic red warehouses on the shoreline from the Bridge on Mannerheiminkatu Street. Porvoo is also a dream come true for food lovers, due to its reputation it has for its restaurants and cafes. You will be free to take a break to have lunch in a local cafe, and can also visit a local artisans shop (at your own expense). Following your sightseeing in Porvoo, your tour bus will take you back to the harbor at around 4:00PM.

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What people are saying about Helsinki

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 135 reviews

The best tour you can do. History, current affairs, architecture, Helsinki specials. Informative, to the point and enough time for coffee and questions. Any time

Emick was an excellent guide! He had loads of interesting information that we thoroughly enjoyed! We believe it was a BONUS that he was a city planner, also!

Emek is highly knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. The tour was well thought out and easy to follow, and the pace was great. I highly recommend it.

Great tour, excellent guide, perfect combination of history and urban development perspective. Highly recommended!

Excellent tour guide, Jonna. Very informative with an emphasis on the history and culture of Finland.