May 31, 2023

Finland’s vibrant capital Helsinki is an excellent place for households. Very like Stockholm, the coastal metropolis epitomises Scandi cool, surrounded by stunning islands, peppered with leafy, massive, stunning parks and a smattering of Moomin-themed points of interest.

Plus, the Finnish capital has dedicated to being carbon impartial by 2035 so it boasts stellar eco credentials too. 

Ensure to time your go to accurately: Winter within the capital of Finland is bleak and really, very darkish. However staff a visit to the Helsinki with a go to to Finnish Lapland and also you’ll have a good time. 

Come Might and town is reborn, throwing off its winter woollies and having fun with heat days of limitless daylight

Helsinki is a metropolis the place experiences trump sights. Positive, there are a handful of Instagram-worthy points of interest however Helsinki is extra about wandering town streets, island-hopping by ferry, swimming within the Baltic Sea, and consuming heaps and heaps of cinnamon buns. To find one of the best of Helsinki with children, learn on! 

Helsinki with kids
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a good metropolis for households.

Issues to do in Helsinki with children

We spent two days and three nights in Helsinki firstly of our summer time street journey round Finland with children. It was undoubtedly sufficient time to get a really feel for town however not fairly sufficient time to do the whole lot that was on our listing so the next our are favorite actions plus a handful which have come extremely advisable. 

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Helsinki with kids
At Suomenlinna Island Fortress, Helsinki

Suomenlinna Island Fortress

In all probability essentially the most well-known Helsinki attraction is the island fortress of Suomenlinna. Which means “the Fortress of Finland”, this advanced is positioned on a sequence of small islands simply 20 minutes away from Helsinki by ferry.

Development began on the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress in 1749, when Finland was a part of the Kingdom of Sweden, to defend towards doable Russian invasion. The tactic didn’t work, nevertheless, as Finland was annexed by Russia in 1809 as an autonomous grand duchy with its personal senate.

Below Russian rule the fortress was expanded and strengthened, and lots of the unique buildings and constructions can nonetheless be seen in the present day. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Web site.

We had a terrific day on Suomenlinna discovering historic tunnels, climbing on board a submarine and exploring small coves and seashores. You’ll be able to even go swimming should you’re ready to courageous the chilly waters!

Suomenlinna can be a dwelling a part of Helsinki with a inhabitants of round 800 everlasting residents who dwell within the 350+ residences and homes on the island. There’s additionally a library, store and a major faculty.

Ferries run to Suomenlinna often from the ferry dock at Market Sq.. A water bus additionally runs throughout the summer time months.

Helsinki Metropolis Museum

For one of the best in imaginative play, head to Children’s Town on the Helsinki Metropolis Museum. Situated within the Sederholm Home, the oldest home in Helsinki courting again to 1757, Youngsters’s City is an exhibition designed particularly for teenagers and it’s an excellent option to study extra about Helsinki’s historical past by means of hands-on actions and experiences.

Children can bounce in a horse-drawn carriage, steer an 18th century ship or uncover the preferred TV reveals in Finland throughout the Nineteen Seventies.

There’s the 18th century Sederholm store the place youngsters can function play and a Thirties classroom the place you’ll be able to play at being schoolmaster.

Throughout the summer time months, Youngsters’s City presents every day DIY crafts workshops for households.

Helsinki with kids
Bathing within the Baltic Sea on the Allas Sea Swimming pools

Allas Sea Swimming pools

One among our favorite issues to do in Helsinki was to swim within the Allas Sea Pools, which have been welcoming chilly (and heat) water swimmers since 2016. 

The out of doors advanced presents three completely different swimming swimming pools: a heat water 25m lap pool, a shallow youngsters’s pool and a sea water pool fed by waters from the Baltic Sea.

The entire household tried all three swimming pools and despite the fact that the sea pool is unquestionably on the chilly facet (even throughout the peak of summer time) it was splendidly refreshing. The sea water pool is pumped in from the Baltic Sea however not from the harbour, relatively it’s taken from cleaner currents out at sea and filtered utilizing UV know-how.

There are additionally three saunas on the Allas Sea Swimming pools, a males’s sauna, a girls’s sauna and a sauna for personal occasions (the Finns love their saunas!). There’s a restaurant on the bottom ground and a extra upmarket restaurant, Allas Wine & Dine, on the second ground.

Helsinki Moomin Cafe

The Moomins are a nationwide Finnish treasure so it’s solely proper that Helsinki has a few Moomin-themed cafes to go to. The capital is house two Moomin cafes and there’s a 3rd Moomin Cafe at Helsinki airport.

Probably the most central cafe is positioned in Fabianinkatu road, close by to the Helsinki Cathedral; you’ll recognise it from the massive Moomin standing outdoors! Subsequent door is a store the place you’ll be able to fill up on all of your Moomin memorabilia.

When you’re on the lookout for a fair higher Moomin expertise, then it is best to go to magical Moominworld in Turku. Followers of Tove Jansson, the writer, ought to go to the Helsinki Art Museum the place there’s a everlasting exhibition devoted to her work.

Café Ekberg

The oldest café in all of Finland, Café Ekberg, first opened its doorways in 1852  continues to be place to cease for truffles and occasional in the present day. 

The primary eating space has room for 90 visitors and may be very family-friendly with loads of treats for teenagers massive and small. The Napoleon Cake comes extremely advisable and it is best to undoubtedly attempt the liquorice ice cream. Café Ekberg can be a terrific place to start out the day with breakfast or brunch.

Helsinki with kids
The SkyWheel in Helsinki

SkyWheel Helsinki

Get a birds eye view of town with a visit on the Helsinki SkyWheel. At 40m excessive it’s not as tall as some metropolis statement wheels but it surely’s nonetheless affords a terrific view of town of Helsinki. A full rotation takes 10-12 minutes.

The Kaisaniemi Botanic Backyard

If it’s inexperienced house that you just’re after then head to the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, not removed from Helsinki metropolis centre. Come for the tropical glasshouses and witness great plans such because the espresso bush and the strangler fig.

The Palm Home is house to the world’s largest seed. You’ll additionally spot outsized lily pads. Free entry is obtainable on the primary Friday of each different month.

Helsinki with kids
Esplandi Park in central Helsinki

Esplanadi Park

It’s pretty inevitable that your Helsinki sightseeing plans will lead you previous Esplandi Park in some unspecified time in the future. Situated within the coronary heart of town, it is a fairly park that comes alive throughout summer time months when locals and guests collect for picnics and to be entertained by road artists and performers. It’s additionally a enjoyable play space for youthful youngsters.

The Espa Stage within the park hosts various occasions together with the Jazz-Espa concert series held each July.

Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre

No doubt top-of-the-line issues to do with children in Helsinki is Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre. Situated close to the airport, this science museum is especially good for older children. It’s stuffed with video games, reveals and hands-on actions that encourage, inform and customarily simply get children very excited.

Some actions require participation from the complete household whether or not its constructing a two-metre excessive piece of vaulted artwork or making an attempt to stroll alongside a tightrope. 

The Thoughts Your Mind! exhibition explores varied methods to maintain our brains ticking over and consists of video games and workouts together with puzzles, dances and the significance of getting ol’ snicker. 

Helsinki Ice Park

When you go to Helsinki in winter then make time to strap your skates on for an Arctic skating expertise. The Finnish capital has numerous ice skating rinks to select from – check out this listing from My Helsinki for concepts.

One of the well-liked ice rinks is Jaapuisto, positioned subsequent to the Helsinki Central Railway Station. The ice rink is open from December till the top of March and there’s a restaurant on website for a warming cup of scorching chocolate post-skating. 

Helsinki with kids
The Previous Market Corridor in Helsinki

Helsinki Previous Market Corridor

Helsinki is house to three market halls together with the oldest indoor market in Finland, the appropriately-named Previous Market Corridor. Opened in 1889, the market corridor sits on the harbour reverse the Allas Sea Swimming pools.

It’s one of the crucial well-liked Helsinki points of interest and never simply due to it’s historical past, that is the place to come back to attempt some native Finnish delicacies.

There are stalls promoting the whole lot from fish and meat to pastries and breads and it’s the right place to select up some lunch or a snack. A few stalls additionally promote a choice of worldwide meals together with Spanish and Center Japanese.

The Previous Market Corridor is open six days per week (it’s closed on Sundays) from 8am to 6pm. Close by is the Market Sq., one in every of Helsinki’s predominant hubs, the place you’ll discover a every day market with locals promoting Finnish souvenirs such because the wood mugs historically used to drink berry tea and reindeer horns. At the start of October begins the Baltic Herring Market, which is a good time to go to.

Things to do in Helsinki
The Chapel of Silence in Helsinki

The Kamppi Chapel of Silence

Admittedly, wherever that has “silence” within the title will not be historically someplace that you just need to carry small children (not to mention older youngsters!). Nonetheless, the completely stunning Kamppi Chapel deserves a go to.

Situated on a nook of Narinkkatori Sq. in central Helsinki, the multi-faith chapel was designed as a spot to unwind, calm down and disconnect. No providers are held right here, relatively guests are welcome to take a seat inside and easily be.

The chapel was designed by a Helsinki-based structure agency and includes a curved, wood, windowless exterior and pale concrete partitions inside. A skylight runs alongside the ceiling’s edge, permitting gentle to shine softly in.

Classic Tram Trip

A good way to take pleasure in sightseeing in Helsinki for youngsters is on a vintage tram ride. Select to take a seat in both the motor automotive courting again to 1909 or the open-sided summer time trailer from 1919 and set off on the three-hour tour of the preferred Helsinki points of interest together with Senate Sq..

Helsinki with kids
The Linnanmäki Amusement Park, Helsinki

Linnanmäki Amusement Park

For Finnish thrills and spills head to Linnanmaki amusement park. There are bumper automobiles and spinning tea cups in addition to water rafting adventures and loads of rides the place you’re assured to lose your abdomen.

The park’s most well-known journey is Vuoristorata, a wood rollercoaster that dates again to 1951 and continues to be in operation in the present day. The park is open from April to October.

Things to do in Helsinki
Carusel Cafe in Helsinkid

Carusel Café

Among the best locations to take pleasure in an early night dinner outdoors throughout the summer time months is Carusel Café, positioned in entrance of the seashore in Kaivopuisto park. It serves recent pastries (together with huge cinnamon buns), sandwiches, pizzas and easy meals. The meals is sweet and comparatively cheap – for Finland!

The café can be very environmentally pleasant; it was the primary in Helsinki to have its personal photo voltaic panels they usually use wind generators in addition to sea heating. Kaivopuisto park is a pleasant inexperienced house with play areas and a playground. There’s a path that follows the ocean entrance, excellent for strolling or scooting, and a big skate park as properly.

The Helsinki Underground Playground

When you’re looking for issues to do in Helsinki in winter then you’ll need to learn about the city’s underground playground. Situated within the coronary heart of town, this house is house to bouncy castles, a ball pit, laptop video games, a LEGO play desk, a climbing wall and a glow-in-the-dark ghost cave.

You’ll discover it close to the Hakaniemi metro station.

Things to do in Helsinki
The Finnish Museum of Pure Historical past, Helsinki

The Finnish Museum of Pure Historical past

One other good possibility should you go to Helsinki throughout the winter months is a visit to the Natural History Museum. Right here you’ll be able to take a digital journey round Finland, exploring its varied locations and climates, in addition to delve into the larger stuff with the ‘Historical past of Life’ exhibition.

The Helsinki Zoo

Often called Korkeasaari amongst locals, the Helsinki Zoo first opened in 1889 making it one of many oldest zoos on this planet. Go to in the present day by ferry for a enjoyable, kid-friendly time out. 

The zoo is house to some 150 animal species together with tiny pygmy marmosets, snow leopards and the European bison known as wisents. You’ll additionally spot indigenous Finnish species together with elk, bears and forest reindeer. Korkeasaari can be house to 1,000 plant species.

The zoo is open on daily basis of the 12 months. Ferries run from the primary of Might till the top of September departing often from the Kauppatori Market Sq.. From June to August there are additionally ferries that depart from Hakaniemi. Bus no 16 operates year-round and departs from the practice station.

Things to do in Helsinki
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Helsinki, Finland

Seurasaari Island

One other enjoyable day journey from Helsinki is to Seurasaari Island and the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum. This museum is an excellent option to get a glimpse of conventional Finnish life. Authentic Finnish cottages, farmsteads and manors pepper the grounds. These date again during the last 4 centuries and had been dismantled of their unique location and relocated right here.

Throughout the summer time months there are every day guided excursions in English. Or, you’ll be able to merely wander among the many houses your self and see how life has modified through the years. There’s a restaurant and store right here as properly.

The museum is open from mid-Might to the top of September. On June 21 it hosts the Midsummer Bonfires, a standard midsummer pageant celebrated all through Finland. You’ll be able to attain the museum on bus quantity 24, final cease at Seurasaari.

Sea Life Helsinki

Take pleasure in fish feedings, uncover sea urchins and stroll below the saves at Sea Life Helsinki. The capital’s aquarium is stuffed with vibrant sea creatures together with sharks, clownfish and piranhas. The Sea Lab and Conservation Cove is the place to go to study extra about conservation and local weather change.

Go to Tallinn

Helsinki with kids
Tallinn predominant sq.

It’s uncommon that I counsel leaving as a metropolis spotlight however whenever you’re in Helsinki you actually ought to reap the benefits of the truth that the gorgeous metropolis of Tallinn is only a fast ferry journey away. You’ll be able to go to as a day journey, or do as we did and spend three days and two nights exploring the capital of Estonia. You’ll be able to examine all of the issues to do in Tallinn with children.

Visiting Helsinki FAQ

When is one of the best time to go to Helsinki?

Helsinki climate is a story of two extremes.

Summer time is when Helsinki actually comes alive with lengthy sunny days drawing locals and guests alike to the parks, islands and for swims within the Baltic sea. The wriggly shoreline hides sandy seashores and inlets, and past sailboats crisscross the waters with day trippers having fun with the Midnight Solar. Island hopping by boat is an excellent option to see town.

Winter brings its personal form of magic, when the colourful greens of summer time give option to the blues and whites of a Nordic winter. Winter is a nonetheless time to go to Helsinki – town even has an underground playground for youthful children to take pleasure in throughout the chilly months. Simply ensure you wrap up heat. When you’re questioning how you can pack for an Arctic winter, then check out our chilly climate packing information.

What number of days in Helsinki?

Three days is an effective size of time to spend in Helsinki. This offers you sufficient time to take pleasure in the primary points of interest with out being rushed.

Attending to Helsinki

There are many methods to get to Helsinki though undoubtedly top-of-the-line methods is by boat. We flew from London to Helsinki after which loved a return journey from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry.

From Helsinki to Tallinn Ferry

We travelled to Tallinn by ferry from Helsinki and it was a extremely beautiful expertise. The quick ferry solely takes two hours and there are common sailings every day.

From Stockholm to Helsinki

Ferries from Helsinki to Stockholm take round 16 hours. Three ferry firms at present run the route between the 2 capitals; Tallink Silja function their crossing as much as 7 instances per week, Viking Line 7 instances per week & the St Peter Line service is obtainable up as soon as per week. It’s also possible to catch a fast 45minute flight from Helsinki to Stockholm.

It is rather simple to get to Helsinki from the airport. We caught the practice from Helsinki airport that goes proper to town centre. It leaves from outdoors the airport terminal and is cheap.

Getting round Helsinki

Helsinki is a compact and really walkable metropolis. The general public transportation system can be glorious and you’ll navigate utilizing ferry, tram, metro, bus, and practice.

The general public transport area, like in London, is split into zones recognized by the letters A, B, C and D. You should purchase a ticket for all of the zones that you just need to journey in. Single tickets can be found however should you plan on making a number of journeys you then’ll need to go for a day ticket (day tickets can be found for as much as 13 days).

The web Journey Planner is useful for journey planning.

The hop on hop off Helsinki bus is one other good option to get round; you’ll be able to go to as many Helsinki points of interest as you want over 1- or 2-days.

What’s the Helsinki card?

When you’re going to spending just a few days in Helsinki then it’s value investing within the Helsinki Card, which supplies you free or discounted entrance to an enormous variety of Helsinki sights, in addition to a free metropolis bus tour.

The place to remain in Helsinki

The under map recommends vacation rental lodging in addition to resorts in Helsinki.

Extra data in your journey to Finland

Things to do in Helsinki