With its seafront location, striking architecture, and thriving arts scene, Helsinki is one of the coolest Nordic cities. The Finnish capital is a port of call on northern Europe and Baltic cruises, and provides a starting point for trips north to Lapland. Highlights of the city range from the grand ‘Rock Church’ to island fortresses and bustling food markets. Guided tours of Helsinki offer travelers insight into Finnish culture, design, and cuisine, and avoid language hassles when dealing with transportation. For those wanting to explore further, boat cruises run around the city’s canals and the islands of the Helsinki archipelago, while regular ferries shuttle day-trippers to Tallinn in Estonia.
Helsinki Weather (When to Visit)
During the months of May or June, the weather in Finland is usually warm with plenty of outdoor activities and events being held. Helsinki during August also is perfect with the city’s Annual Flow Festival being held. If you are an adventurer, be sure to visit during June and July to catch a glimpse of the ever famous Midnight Sun. August is vacation month for Finns, who tend to head en masse to the countryside or the coast just after midsummer, even then only the most popular areas are uncomfortably crowded. Summer is almost always sunny and clear, with temperatures rarely stifling: the warmest month is July, which averages 62°F to 79°F.
Best Helsinki Beaches
Situated near the Helsinki Zoo Korkeasaari, the Mustikkamaa beach is a great place to take your family for a relaxing day outing. The beach is decked with amenities like cabins, toilet, showers and kiosks along with exercise equipment to keep you engaged.
Hietaniemi is a very popular sandy beach among the tourists and locals alike because of its close proximity to the city. Visitors can relax on warm days playing volleyball, sunbathing or swimming.
A predominantly nudist beach the Seurasaari beach is located within the Seurasaari island. They have separate nudist areas for the men and woman to enjoy independently. The island is intended to be a recreational area where people can enjoy their holidays or weekends away from the city. Facilities like cabins, showers and toilets are provided.
The Aurinkolahti beach lies within the Aurinkolahti neighborhood and is a great place to visit with your friends or family. The beach offers all the necessary beach amenities along with a kids play area and an outdoor gym. Life guards are also present to assist you anytime.
The Pihlajasaari Beach is one of the most popular recreational areas in the city of Helsinki. The beach is located on the Pihlajasaari Island which is a popular vacation destination. The island is intended to be a holiday resort and has no permanent residents while the beach is a perfect place to hang out on a hot summer’s day.
Helsinki Recommended Experiences & Tours by Viator
Helsinki Airport Layover Sightseeing Tour
Keen to see Helsinki during a layover at Helsinki Airport? If so, this whistlestop tour of Finland’s capital is just the ticket. Hop inside an air-conditioned coach and enjoy a panoramic tour of 12 landmarks including the Rock Church, Helsinki Cathedral, and Sibelius Monument as you discover their history. Select from various departure times and, if your layover is longer than the tour, choose a drop-off in central Helsinki before returning independently to the airport. Learn more about the Helsinki Airport Layover Sightseeing Tour.
Helsinki and Suomenlinna Sightseeing Tour
Combine a city tour of Helsinki with a ferry journey to Suomenlinna Island on this half-day excursion. Listen to guided commentary while exploring the highlights of Helsinki such as Esplanade Park and the Sibelius Monument. Hop a ferry to Suomenlinna for a walking tour including the Jetty barracks, the Suomenlinna Church, and Kings Gate. Learn more about the Helsinki & Suomenlinna Sightseeing Tour.
Tour Helsinki with a City Planner
Get a fresh perspective on Helsinki on this quirky small-group tour, led by a city planner. Discover bizarre traditions, such as picnicking on graves, famous Finns, such as architect Alvar Aalto, and curios, such as a church built inside a giant granite rock, a statue that seagulls hate, and a 19th-century Bohemian hangout. Leave with an understanding of the city that you won’t get from guidebooks or everyday organized tours. Learn more about the Helsinki Tour with a City Planner.
Tallin Day Cruise from Helsinki
Discover picturesque Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, on a private day trip from Helsinki by ferry. After hotel pickup, cruise across the Gulf of Finland to Estonia in a comfortable ferry. Then, set off on an afternoon tour of this lovely city by foot and air-conditioned transport. View top Tallinn sights including the cobbled Old Town, Toompea Hill, and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral as you hear about the city’s history and culture. Afterward, (depending on timings), enjoy time at leisure before your return ferry trip. Learn more about the Tallin Day Cruise from Helsinki.
Finnish Sauna in the Nature
Saunas are loved in Finland for their magnificent health benefits. Enjoy an authentic Finnish tradition by spending a day in a Finnish Sauna in the idyllic setting of Nuuksio National Park. Not only will you be in a picturesque lakeside setting, but you’ll also doing something that’s good for the body and mind. When you've worked up an appetite, you won’t have to worry about where to buy food, as a delicious open fire barbecue is included. Learn more about the Finnish Sauna in the Nature.
Best Helsinki Restaurants
Demo $31 – 60
The idea here is offering memorable experiences and delicious food in a relaxed environment. This philosophy has remained true through the years, maintaining our reliability. In the year 2007 the restaurants reputation surpassed itself and Demo was granted a Michelin Star which they have retained to this day. Telephone: 358 9 2289 0840 Web: Demo
Restaurant Olo $31 – 60
Olo is considered to be one of Helsinki’s best restaurants for its modern Scandinavian cuisine. Six and nine-course menus named Shorter Way and Journey encompass creatively prepared ingredients, altering the way they’re perceived. These dishes along with wines from small producers around the world are served up in a 19th-century house on the seafront. Telephone: 358 1 0320 6250 Web: Restaurant Olo
Chef & Sommelier $31 – 60
Chef & Sommelier also boasts a Michelin star. Here, the chefs create modern Finnish plates, which are made up of locally sourced organic and wild ingredients. Diners can choose the five or seven-course menu to taste this refined cuisine with wines selected to match each plate. Telephone: 358 4 0095 9440 Web: Chef & Sommelier
Restaurant Nokka $31 – 60
This restaurant takes ingredients that have been hand-picked by the chef Ari Ruoho and produce from local farmers. The kitchen puts out modern Finnish cuisine, within its converted, harbor-side warehouse space. Telephone: 358 9 6128 5600 Web: Restaurant Nokka
Restaurant Savoy $31 – 60
Restaurant Savoy is one of Helsinki’s most famous fine dining spots. A menu of both classic and modern plates offers a tightly curated offering of local cuisine, such as Anjou pigeon with cabbage stewed in truffle cream, apple froth and Port wine sauce. Telephone: 358 9 6159 2300 Web: Restaurant Savoy
Best Helsinki Bars
Goldfish, the urban bar, draws inspiration from the library bars of London’s luxury hotels and the best cocktail bars the world over. The full-service bar also has an extensive wine list and quality food on offer. Telephone: 358 1 0323 2980. Web: Goldfish
This small bar in Kallio has a retro airplane-style interior where you’ll always find the regulars chatting to the bartenders. It gets super busy on weekends as people flock to this comforting joint, but if you’re lucky you’ll nab a seat. Telephone: 358 4 0559 3617 Web: Pulmu Baari
This hidden bar is hard to find – you’ll just a doormat and a tiny sign. To enter, ring the doorbell and step inside to discover vintage sofas and dark window. Phones are supposed to be left in pockets and bags, so no scrolling here. You'll find quality tequila, mescal, pisco and rum here, no gin, vodka or scotch are stocked. Web: Chihuahua Julep
Way Bakery & Wine Bar
A bakery by day and an cosy wine bar by night, Way specializes in natural wines. The compact wine list has some bubbles, four whites and reds, two orange wines and specialty bottles according to whatever is opened. The small space fills up fast but you can usually always grab a seat at the counter. Telephone: 358 5 0470 2388 Web: Way Bakery & Wine Bar
Panema has 18 distinct tap beers (both Finnish and imported), and the bottle selection is even wider. It hosts regular “brewery tap take overs”, so you can constantly try new things in this friendly bar. Plus, you can even bring your own food or have it delivered to enjoy with your drinks. Telephone: 358 4 0143 5545 Web: Panema