Attractions Nearby Helsinki, Day Trips and Excursions

(Helsinki, Uusimaa, Southern Finland, Finland)

Picture showing the Nokia Headquarters in EspooThe sprawling region known as the Helsinki Metropolitan Area contains a number of important cities, towns and attractions, such as Espoo, Tuusula and Vantaa. The Finnish city of Espoo lies on Finland's southerly coast and makes for a popular day trip, while the attractions within Vantaa are also worth visiting and include the state-owned Königstedtin Kartano, a grand building dating from the 17th-century and known for its yellow facade with imposing Ionian columns, and many visiting politicians.

However, as the winter snow arrives in Finland, many tourists choose to put on their ski equipment and head to one of a number of ski resorts close by, where attractions suit both cross-country skiers and snowboarders. Within Greater Helsinki, the ski resort of Paloheinän Hiihtoladut is especially popular, as are the numerous ski slops and chairlifts at Ikkala, which is just over an hour away.

Photo of Espoo's popular Serena Water Park


Considered to be a part of the sprawling Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Espoo borders both Vantaa and Helsinki, and contains many popular tourist attractions. These include the Vesipuisto Serena, which is currently Scandinavia's biggest tropical water park, remaining open throughout the year and features a series of watery attractions. A number of large, warm and inviting swimming pools are always popular, as are Serena's many water slides, fountains and hot tubs. Vesipuisto Serena is situated within Espoo and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and during the summer months, offers many family based activities outside, including paddling pools, 'Ring Rivers' and terraced dining areas. Other top attractions within the Espoo area include the Tapiola Garden Centre, the seasonal Serena Ski Centre, and many surrounding islands, such as Bylandet, Gasgrund, Knappeskär, and Iso Vasikkasaari, which is amongst the most visited of all the islands within the Espoo archipelago and home to a couple of lovely beaches.


During Finland's winter months, many people from Helsinki choose to travel the 70 km / 43 miles to reach Ikkala, since this resort is known for its excellent skiing centre, Alhovuori. With a total of 11 different slopes suiting all abilities, Alhovuori also welcomes snowboarders and features two busy chairlifts. Regular buses connect Helsinki and Ikkala, and those wishing to rent ski and snowboarding equipment will find plenty on offer here, along with various eateries and ski-related shops.

Photo of Porvoo


Tel: +358 09 2288 1600
A historic town with many pretty wooden houses within its Gamla Stan district, Porvoo lies on Finland's southerly coast. Just over 50 km / 31 miles from Helsinki and featuring an array of waterfront attractions, Porvoo boasts a strong medieval character and was founded as far back as the middle of the 14th century, although it did suffer some fire damage in the mid-18th century. Today, tourists wishing to learn more about Porvoo could do far worse than join one of the regular guided bus tours, which actually depart from Helsinki and can last up to four hours, featuring multi-language commentary.


The Vihti Ski Centre is amongst the main attractions in Ojakkala during the winter and linked by frequent buses, which travel to the Vihti Ski Centre each weekend from central Helsinki. With eight ski slopes and excellent facilities, there is plenty of opportunity for all levels of skiers to hone their skills. Younger skiers will enjoy visiting the Snowland area, while for the grown-ups, the Vihti Ski Centre is home to a highly regarded skiing school.

Picture of the Tiedekeskus Heureka Science Centre in Vantaa


Bordering Espoo, Kerava, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo and Tuusula, the city of Vantaa is well placed to explore the many attractions in this part of Finland. Vantaa currently has a population of almost 200,000 people and is where many tourists head, to visit the Tiedekeskus Heureka Science Centre, where an array on hands-on fun and multimedia exhibits await. Also within Vantaa is the Aquarium Castle (Akvaariolinna), which is home to around 100 different aquarium exhibits, including a number of snappy crocodiles.