Are you in town for one day? Here you will find our top tips for things to do in Helsinki during a few hours’ visit or one day. What are the best attractions to visit in the Finnish capital? What kind of sightseeing tours are available? Helsinki is great destination to explore: here you’ll find famous landmarks, interesting museums and attractions as well as nature’s tranquility and bustling city life all easily accessible either on a Hop On-Hop Off tour or by public transportation. Read our tips of things to do and get inspired!
Enjoy a bus sightseeing tour in Helsinki
Sit down and enjoy one of Stromma’s bus tours!
In the summer season from May to September the CitySightseeing Hop On-Hop Off tour is at your service. Relax and get the full tour or create your own sightseeing experience by hopping on and off in your own pace. The bus route has 19 stops including the top attractions and cruise terminals, which makes it also a great shore excursion. When the sun is shining we drive with open tops and you can enjoy the views from all angels! Read more and book a Helsinki Hop On-Hop Off Bus sightseeing tour.
In the winter season from October to April what could be more comfortable than doing some sightseeing on our Helsinki Panorama Sightseeing tour! The tour takes you to all of the most important sights of Helsinki in 1h 45minutes and includes one 20-minute-stop, either at the Temppeliaukio Church or at the Sibelius Monument.
Multi Destination Ticket - perfect cruise shore excursion option
Are you visiting Helsinki on a cruise ship or otherwise expanding your trip to other Nordic destinations? The Hop On-Hop Off Multi Destination Ticket is our best tip for you! With this ticket you can experience 11 Nordic cities in 11 days and save money and time while getting all the benefits of the Hop On-Hop Off busses and boats in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Here in Helsinki the City Sightseeing Hop On-Hop Off bus tour is included in the ticket. Please note that in Helsinki the boat sightseeing tours are not Hop On-Hop Off boats and therefore not included in the Multi Destination ticket.
Visit the top attractions in Helsinki
Stromma’s Hop On-Hop Off buses stop at the most popular sights and must-sees in the city:
- Temppeliaukio Church – a.k.a. the Rock Church, a church built inside a rock
- Sibelius Monument – one of Helsinki's most popular statues
- Olympic Stadium - the main venue of the 1952 Summer Olympics. Here you'll find also the TAHTO Centre for Finnish Sports Culture
- Market Square - traditional market foods and treats, as well as handicrafts and souvenirs, located at the South Harbour
- Helsinki Cathedral – a cathedral by Carl Ludvig Engel rising on the northern side of the Senate Square
Discover the archipelago of Helsinki on a boat tour
Take Stromma’s 1,5-hour long cruise to see the beautiful archipelago of Helsinki. The Beautiful Canal Cruise sightseeing cruise has commentary in several languages. Enjoy the scenery on the large sundeck of the ship or on a rainy day sit comfortably in the café!
Explore the city highlights from the water
See Helsinki’s urban shorelines and hear stories about our city. The one-and-a-half-hour boat tour City Highlights Cruise has commentary in several languages. Don’t forget to treat yourself with refreshments in the ship’s café!
Sightseeing tips – buy a Helsinki Card
The Helsinki Card is a great package to explore the city. The card includes public transportation, entrance to sights and museums and several sightseeing tours. Buy your Helsinki Card in advance online or from several sales points in the city!
Tips of things to do in Helsinki - places to visit
There's a lot of things to see and do in Helsinki and here are our tips for the day:
- Suomenlinna Sea Fortress - a Unesco World Heritage Site located on the coast of Helsinki
- Helsinki Zoo – Korkeasaari, one of the few zoos located on an island and one of the oldest zoos in the world
- Oodi - a library of a new era, a living and functional meeting place open for all
- SkyWheel - a 40-meter-high observation wheel
Helsinki’s Top Museums
Helsinki has many great and interesting museums. Let us introduce the top museums in the city:
- Kiasma - a museum of contemporary art and part of the Finnish National Gallery
- Design Museum - an internationally recognized national specialist museum of Finnish design
- National Museum - Finnish history from prehistoric times to the 19th century
- Amos Rex – museum’s exhibitions extend from the newest, often experimental, contemporary art to 20th-century Modernism and ancient cultures
- Ateneum - the home of Finnish art
What to do in Helsinki with children?
Helsinki is a great destination for families! All of the tips above are family-friendly too, but here are some more ideas for what to do in Helsinki especially with kids in one day:
A day in Suomenlinna with kids
Head to Suomenlinna with a ferry or waterbus from the Market Square and go on adventures in the exciting tunnels and fortifications of the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, visit the Submarine Vesikko and take a swim in the Baltic Sea on the small beach of the fortress island. The many cafes and restaurants cater for your culinary needs and there is also a small grocery store if you'd rather enjoy a picnic in the park. Check also the small playground! Taking a pram or pushchair with you is possible; the HSL ferry is accessible but be prepared for the cobblestone streets on the island.
Some family fun in the museums
Museums are not always just for watching - touching makes the visit much more fun! For example the Children's Town in the Helsinki City Museum, the Playtime area in the National Museum and the trams in the Tram Museum invite children and adults alike to experience history with all of their senses.
Children's playgrounds in the Helsinki city center
Sometimes you just need an opportunity to let out the extra energy, don't you? If you are looking for an outdoor playground in the city center area, go check the huge climbing frame in front of the Oodi library and the Töölönlahti playground almost right next to it.
Also in the area is the Musical Instrument Park by Music Centre (Musiikkitalon Soitinpuisto); outside the Music Centre there are 5+1 instruments for everyone to enjoy. Start at the water bowl (that's the +1), where you can visually experience the movement of sound vawes. Next to it there are three black instruments, which let you experiment the sound from a simple tone to more complex sound combinations. The metal pipes at the wall and the drums up on the green deck also invite you touch and play.
If you are taking the Hop On-Hop Off sightseeing tour, the playground Meripuisto is conveniently along the route in Eira, not far from the Kaivopuisto Park. The playgrounds Linja and Tokoinranta are located between the stops Linnunlaulu and Hakaniemi.
Activities both indoors and outdoors
If you are looking something a bit more than a playground to strech your legs and challenge yourself, the pine tree rope courses in the Adventure Park Korkee near the Korkeasaari Zoo or the indoor adventure park HopLop in the shopping centre Tripla are great options to have a look at! And let's not forget about the absolute classic: the Linnanmäki Amusement Park along the Hop On-Hop Off route is everyone's favorite when it comes to swirling around in many kinds of rides; there are even some free-of-charge-rides for the little ones of the family. Also the aquarium SeaLife Helsinki is located at the amusement park.
Arriving in Helsinki any day now?
Visiting Helsinki this week? Check Stromma's all current tours & time tables on our WEEKLY INFO!
Map of top sights to visit in Helsinki
Practical information - what do I need to know?
Sigtseeing is fun, but eating is important too. We have collected general information of the every day life in Helsinki and Finland for you so that you don't have to spend your valuable time trying to find the nearest grocery store. Check here for the information package!