Helsinki Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
(Helsinki, Uusimaa, Southern Finland, Finland)
There is a huge range of different ways to sightsee in Helsinki and experience the city's many tourist attractions first hand. Guided bus tours of the city are always popular and pass sights such as the Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion), the Linnanmäki Amusement Park and Helsinki Zoo.
However, many tourists currently prefer to view the city's attractions from a slightly different perspective, by taking a boat tour around the coastline and the neighbouring islands. During the summer months, Helsinki's Island of Pihlajasaari is a true suntrap and known for its sandy beaches, while when the snow arrives in winter, the locals regularly flock to the hill of Paloheinän Mäki, bringing their toboggans and skis with them.
Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium)
Address: 1 Paavo Nurmen Tie, Helsinki, FI-00250, Finland, FI
Tel: +358 09 4366 010
The city's Olympiastadion is sited within the Töölö district and approximately 2 km / 1.5 km from the actual city centre. Currently the biggest stadium in Finland, the Helsinki Olympic Stadium was actually built to host the Olympic Games of 1940, which ended up being cancelled due to the war. However, in 1952, the Summer Olympics finally took place here and ever since, the Olympiastadion has played host to a range of events, such as the World Athletics Championships. The stadium can accommodate some 40,000 spectators and over the past few decades, has featured a range of concerts, seeing performances from artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones, who have played in the Helsinki Olympic Stadium no less than five times, between 1970 and 2007.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 20:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge for events, discounts available
Korkeasaari Island and Helsinki Zoo
Tel: +358 09 169 5969
The largest zoo in Finland is located on the city's rocky island of Korkeasaari, which is now connected to the mainland by a bridge. Not only is this zoo large, but it is also extremely historic and dates back to the middle of the 1880s. Today, Helsinki Zoo is amongst the city's leading tourist attractions and thousands of animals are on display, grouped geographically into themed areas, such as Africasia, Amazonia, Arctic and also Borealia. The main highlights are the Asian lions, bactrian camels, monkeys, mountain goats, Siberian tigers, skunks, snowy owls and snow leopards.
Open hours: daily, May to September - 10:00 to 20:00; October to February - 10:00 to 16:00; March and April - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children
Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Address: 1 Tivolitie, Helsinki, FI-00510, Finland, FI
Tel: +358 09 7739 9400
Opened in the spring of 1950, Linnanmäki is the leading amusement park in the Helsinki area and the nearest to the actual city centre. Today the Linnanmäki Park is home to around 40 different rides, which come in a variety of sizes and excitement factors. There are also arcade games, restaurants and kiosks, and even an outdoor stage, where many summer events and live entertainment takes place. The most popular attractions include the historic side-friction Vuoristorata wooden roller coaster, the indoor Linnunrata roller coaster (situated inside an actual water tower), a late 19th-century Karuselli carousel, a monorail, river rapids, the Peacock Theatre (Peacock Teatteri) and even a sealife centre.
Open hours: late April to late October, seasonal variations
Admission: charge, discounts for children
Address: 124 Pakilantie, Helsinki, FI-00670, Finland, FI
Tel: +358 09 754 1204
Offering a range of very different recreational activities, Paloheinän Mäki (Paloheinä Hill) is a popular spot for locals in Helsinki. Standing at around 40 metres / 130 feet in height, the Paloheinän Mäki is floodlit until fairly late at night during its busy winters, when crowds descend and zoom down the steep slope on their toboggans. Hot refreshments are available to warm you up if required.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Pihlajasaari Island and Beaches
Address: Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, Finland, FI
Comprising two separate islands, which are linked by a short bridge, Pihlajasaari is considered to be a part of the city and operates solely as a holiday resort, with no permanent residents. Pihlajasaari boasts long sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing, calm waters ideal for swimming, and there is even a secluded area for nudists. Look out for the rocks, which have names carved on them, the local fishermen, and the regular commuter boats to nearby Kaivopuisto, in Brunnsparken.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, charge for boat trip