HelloMondo / Finland / Helsinki


Helsinki is the capital and the most populous city of Finland. Compare tickets and tours prices to get the best from your stay in Helsinki.

Book your round trip to Helsinki

We suggest to plan a 3 days trip to Helsinki in Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Cityscape with the SkyWheel and the Helsinki cathedral

Located on the  Gulf of Finland a step away from the Russian border, Helsinki owes its charm more than to the monuments and beautiful buildings to the wonderful natural environment that surrounds it. The numerous parks and beaches make it very pleasant especially in summer, when due to its latitude it acquires a very special charm.

3 days in Helsinki is enough time to see the majority of the city and enjoy it.  The Helsinki Card is a good choice in order to get access to major attractions.

 The best time to visit it is between May and September when the temperatures are a bit milder (with a maximum of 26°C in July).

How to best experience Helsinki?

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Most popular city pass for visiting Helsinki

Tickets for Linnanmäki Amusement Park: Unlimited Rides


Enjoy endless roller coasters and games at Linnanmäki Amusement Park in Helsinki

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Tickets for SkyWheel Helsinki


A wheely good way to see Helsinki!

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Top things to do & see in Helsinki

Select the following sights and activities to discover best tickets and tours available in Helsinki.

Helsinki: The Nordic Hub of Culture and Innovation

Country Finland
Time in Helsinki GMT+2
Language spoken Finnish
Population 656,229 (source: City of Helsinki, 2023)
Currency Euro (€, EUR)
Airports Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (12 mi / 19 km)

Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, stands on the shores of the Baltic Sea. This vibrant urban center is not only the most populous city in Finland but also represents a hub for politics, education, media, culture, and science. Helsinki’s distinct charm encompasses its maritime heritage and modern architecture, a gateway between the West and the East for centuries.

Helsinki’s influence reaches beyond its historical and geopolitical significance, evolving as a noted center of thought and innovation in northern Europe. Founded in 1550 by King Gustav I of Sweden, the city originally served as a trading town intended to compete with Tallinn to the south, then part of Denmark. However, it wasn’t until the city became the capital of Finland in 1812 that it truly began to flourish.

Today, Helsinki’s skyline is marked by landmarks such as the Helsinki Cathedral, Uspenski Cathedral, and the modern Oodi Library, which reflect the city’s rich architectural blend that spans neoclassical, art nouveau, and contemporary styles. Helsinki also hosts notable annual cultural events like the Flow Festival and the Helsinki Festival, attracting artists and audiences from around the globe.

The city is recognized for its high quality of life, advanced education system, and robust healthcare services. Helsinki continues to progress as an example of sustainable city planning and public transportation solutions, with extensive green spaces and a commitment to carbon neutrality by the year 2035. Its educational institutions, like the University of Helsinki, contribute significantly to both national education and global research initiatives.

Helsinki’s economic landscape is equally dynamic, spearheaded by sectors such as information technology, service industries, and maritime businesses. The presence of various multinational corporations and startups underlines the city’s status as an economic powerhouse in the Baltic region. Such diversity also spurs multiculturalism, drawing expatriates and students, which enrich Helsinki’s cosmopolitan ambiance further.

Where is Helsinki?

Helsinki is situated in southern Finland, stretching along the shoreline of the Gulf of Finland, to the north of the Baltic Sea.


Route Distance by car Time by car
Helsinki to Turku 102 mi / 164 km 1 hour 40 min
Helsinki to Tampere 106 mi / 171 km 1 hour 45 min
Helsinki to Oulu 379 mi / 610 km 5 hours 40 min

What is Helsinki famous for?

Helsinki is renowned for its architectural beauty, with a landscape marked by both historic buildings and modernist designs. It’s also celebrated for vibrant cultural events and a strong emphasis on innovation and design.


The vibrant city of Helsinki, located in southern Finland on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. From its early inhabitants to its status as a modern European capital, Helsinki’s history is a fascinating journey through time.

Prehistoric Times – Ancient Settlements

The area now known as Helsinki was originally inhabited by hunter-gatherer societies. Archaeological evidence suggests that these early inhabitants settled in the region thousands of years ago, utilizing the rich marine resources of the Baltic Sea for their livelihood.

1550-1809 – Swedish Rule

Helsinki was officially founded in 1550 by King Gustav I of Sweden as a trading town, to compete with Tallinn to the south in Estonia, which was then part of the Danish kingdom. During this period, Helsinki was a small town, with economic activities centered around fishing and trading. Despite its strategic location, the town did not thrive initially and was plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases.

1809-1917 – Russian Empire

After the Finnish War, Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy under the Russian Empire in 1809. Helsinki was designated the capital of the Grand Duchy in 1812 by Tsar Alexander I of Russia, replacing the older eastern capital of Turku. This change was part of an effort to reduce Swedish influence in Finland. The construction of significant architectural projects such as the neoclassical buildings around Senate Square, including Helsinki Cathedral, was initiated in this period, laying the foundation for the city’s modern layout.

1917-Present – Independence and Growth

Finland declared its independence from Russia in 1917. Following independence, Helsinki underwent rapid development and grew into a vibrant modern city. It was heavily influenced by various architectural styles from classicism to modernism, reflecting its progress and adaptability. Significant events such as the 1952 Summer Olympics put Helsinki on the global map. Today, Helsinki is known for its high quality of life, innovative design scene, and active cultural life, making it a prominent European capital.

Visit Helsinki

What to see and do in Helsinki, Finland.

Exploring Helsinki offers a delightful mix of historical and modern attractions. Here’s what you can see and do in the Finnish capital:

  • Visit the historic Senate Square to see Helsinki Cathedral.
  • Explore Suomenlinna, a sea fortress that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the Market Square and taste local Finnish foods.
  • Discover contemporary Finnish design at the Design District.
  • Walk through the serene paths of Central Park, an urban oasis.


Annual events in Helsinki

Helsinki hosts a variety of events throughout the year that reflect its rich cultural tapestry:

  • Helsinki Festival: Held in August, this is Finland’s largest arts festival.
  • Vappu (Walpurgis Night): Celebrated from April 30 to May 1, this is a major Finnish holiday and carnival that fills the streets with joyous celebrations and picnics.
  • Helsinki Book Fair: Taking place in October, it attracts literature lovers and international authors.
  • Slush: Held in late November, Slush is one of the world’s leading startup events.


Best time to visit Helsinki

The best time to visit Helsinki is during the summer, from June to August, when the weather is warmest and the city is full of life with numerous outdoor events and festivals. However, for those who enjoy winter sports and the magical Northern Lights, visiting in the winter months from December to February offers a different kind of charm.

Is Helsinki worth visiting?

Helsinki is undoubtedly worth visiting. It offers a unique blend of scenic beauty, historical richness, and contemporary culture. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities from exploring museums and galleries to indulging in the local culinary scene and participating in vibrant festivals. Furthermore, Helsinki’s design and architecture are renowned worldwide, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in innovative and sustainable urban development.

What are some traditional foods to try while in Helsinki?

While visiting Helsinki, you have the opportunity to explore Finland’s rich culinary landscape. Traditional dishes reflect the country’s connection to nature. Sample classics like: 1. Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian Pie) – A rye crust filled with rice porridge or mashed potato, often served with egg butter. 2. Kalakukko (Fish Pie) – A hearty dish featuring fish baked inside a rye bread loaf. 3. Lohikeitto (Salmon Soup) – A creamy soup made with salmon, potatoes, and leeks, typically seasoned with dill. 4. Poronkäristys (Sautéed Reindeer) – A Lappish delicacy, this dish consists of thinly sliced reindeer meat sautéed with fat, often served with lingonberries and mashed potatoes. 5. Mustikkapiirakka (Blueberry Pie) – A delightful dessert pie made with wild Finnish blueberries. These dishes provide a delicious insight into Finnish tradition and are easily found in local restaurants throughout Helsinki.

What are some popular parks and nature spots in Helsinki?

Helsinki is well known for its green urban spaces and natural reserves. Popular sites include: 1. Esplanadi Park – Located in the heart of the city, this park is perfect for a leisurely stroll and offers numerous cafes and live performances during the summer. 2. Central Park (Keskuspuisto) – A vast green area extending northward from the city center, ideal for walking, cycling, and other outdoor activities. 3. Seurasaari Island – An open-air museum located on a tranquil island, showcasing traditional Finnish buildings and lifestyles. 4. Nuuksio National Park – Just a short trip from Helsinki, it offers beautiful wilderness, lakes, and trails suitable for hiking and camping. These spots provide peaceful escapes and offer visitors a chance to enjoy Finland’s natural beauty close to the urban center.

Which neighborhoods in Helsinki are best for shopping?

Helsinki hosts a variety of shopping districts catering to different tastes and budgets. Key areas include: 1. Design District – An area known for Finnish design boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops, offering unique and high-quality goods. 2. Kamppi and Forum – These neighboring shopping centers house a mix of international and local retail brands, fashion stores, and eateries. 3. Market Square (Kauppatori) – Located by the sea, this vibrant market is the place to find fresh Finnish produce, handicrafts, and souvenirs. 4. Hakaniemi Market Hall – A traditional market space where locals shop for groceries, textiles, and specialty items. Each of these neighborhoods offers a unique shopping experience reflective of the city’s culture and lifestyle.

Can you recommend some family-friendly activities in Helsinki?

Helsinki is a great destination for families, offering many activities suitable for children and adults alike: 1. Linnanmäki Amusement Park – Features over 40 rides, along with games, performances, and a panoramic tower. 2. Sea Life Helsinki – An aquarium that offers an underwater journey through various marine environments, interactive tanks, and conservation-focused presentations. 3. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress – Accessible via a short ferry ride, this historic fortress island provides educational tours, museums, and sprawling green areas for picnicking. 4. Heureka Finnish Science Centre – This interactive museum in nearby Vantaa engages children with scientific exhibitions, a planetarium, and hands-on activities. These activities ensure a fun-filled visit for families, combining education, entertainment, and the joy of exploration.

What are the best places for art and culture in Helsinki?

Helsinki is a hub for art and culture, with several venues that showcase the city’s artistic heritage and contemporary works: 1. Ateneum Art Museum – Home to a vast collection of Finnish art from the 19th century to the present day, along with works by international artists. 2. Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art – Features modern art exhibitions and hosts performances, workshops, and lectures. 3. Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) – Focuses on modern and contemporary art, with both permanent and temporary exhibitions. 4. Finnish National Opera and Ballet – Offers a high-quality program of opera and ballet performances. Each venue provides unique insights into the artistic expressions and cultural dialogues occurring within Finland and around the globe.

What unique Finnish experiences can tourists enjoy in Helsinki?

Tourists can immerse themselves in unique Finnish experiences that highlight the local culture and lifestyle: 1. Sauna Visits – Experience the traditional Finnish sauna at public saunas like Löyly or the Allas Sea Pool. 2. Ice Swimming – For the adventurous, this invigorating practice is popular in winter, often followed by a warm sauna. 3. Midnight Sun Activities – During summer, enjoy extended daylight hours with activities like kayaking, cycling, or simply enjoying the lively city nightlife. 4. Nordic Walking – Try this popular form of exercise using specially designed walking poles, available in many of Helsinki’s parks. These activities provide a deeper connection to the Finnish way of life and offer memorable experiences unique to the region.

Where can tourists find traditional Finnish handicrafts in Helsinki?

For tourists interested in acquiring traditional Finnish handicrafts, Helsinki offers several shopping spots: 1. Hakaniemi Market Hall – Known for handmade goods such as wool socks, mittens, and traditional felt hats. 2. Market Square (Kauppatori) – Ideal for finding souvenirs like wooden kuksas (traditional drinking cups), reindeer skins, and handcrafted jewelry. 3. Iittala & Arabia Design Centre – Offers finely crafted Finnish glassware and ceramics which are both functional and artistically esteemed. 4. Lokal – A concept store and gallery that features contemporary Finnish art, design, and crafts by local artisans. These venues allow visitors to find authentic Finnish crafts, perfect for meaningful gifts or personal keepsakes.

What are some must-visit historical sites in Helsinki?

Helsinki is home to several historical sites that offer insights into Finland’s past and architectural heritage: 1. Suomenlinna Fortress – A UNESCO World Heritage site accessible by ferry, offering guided tours that reveal its military history and strategic importance. 2. Helsinki Cathedral – An iconic neoclassical building in Senate Square, known for its distinctive white exterior and green dome. 3. Uspenski Cathedral – A striking example of Eastern Orthodox architecture and the largest orthodox cathedral in Western Europe. 4. Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) – Carved directly out of natural bedrock, famous for its unique architecture and excellent acoustics. Each of these sites provides a glimpse into the different layers of Helsinki’s historical and cultural fabric.