Helsinki Parks and Gardens

(Helsinki, Uusimaa, Southern Finland, Finland)

Picture showing central parkAlthough there are many parks and gardens strewn all around Helsinki city centre, those with time on their hands should consider venturing a little further and participating in a popular 'Lakes and Forests Tour'. Lasting around half a day, this trip takes visitors to the acclaimed Nuuksio National Park, close to central Helsinki, where native Finnish flora and fauna can be enjoyed close up.

Plant lovers looking for more exotic specimens will find a number of popular gardens around Helsinki, which are filled with colour for much of the year. The University Botanical Gardens (Kasvitieteellinen Puutarha) are well worth exploring, together with Kaisaniemi Park (Kaisaniemen Puisto) and also the famous City Winter Gardens (Kaupungin Talvipuutarha) and their tropical glasshouses.

Hesperian Puisto (Hesperia Park)

Address: 58 Helsinginkatu, Helsinki, FI-00260, Finland, FI
One of Helsinki's most appealing parks, Hesperian Puisto lies close to the very city centre and next to the Finnish National Opera House. Large expanses of grass provide plenty of room for children to run around and let off steam. The park is at its most popular during the Night of the Arts (Taiteiden Yö), which takes place each year at the end of August, in the very middle of the Helsinki Festival, and includes an array of outdoor performances and theatrical events.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Photo of Kaivopuisto Park

Kaivopuisto Park

Address: Helsinki, FI-00140, Finland, FI
Home to the Ursa observatory and loved by locals and visitors alike, the elevated Kaivopuisto Park dates back as far as the early part of the 19th century and boasts stunning vistas across the Helsinki cityscape. This parks is perhaps the ultimate spot for a leisurely picnic and also regularly hosts many of the city's leading events, including a number of the Helsinki-päivä concerts in June, and also the Kaivopuiston Kansanjuhla concerts in July and August. The park gained its name from a nearby spa that was once located close to the coast.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Kaisaniemen Puisto (Kaisaniemi Park)

Address: Kaisaniemi, Helsinki, FI-00100, Finland, FI
Known for its outstanding beauty and first laid out over 100 years ago, Kaisaniemi Park is based around the centrally located lake, where much of the best planting is to be found. Various statues and monuments are dotted around the Kaisaniemen Puisto, while other highlights include a popular coffee shop, the lively May Day celebrations, the University Botanical Gardens (Kasvitieteellinen Puutarha) and the views across Kaisaniemi Bay.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Kasvitieteellinen Puutarha (University Botanical Gardens) picture

Kasvitieteellinen Puutarha (University Botanical Gardens)

Address: 44 Unioninkatu, Helsinki, FI-00170, Finland, FI
Tel: +358 09 1912 4453
If you have time to visit just one of the many gardens dotted around Helsinki, then be sure to pay a visit to the University Botanical Gardens, known locally in Finland as the Kasvitieteellinen Puutarha and first landscaped almost 200 years ago. Enjoying a parkland setting within Kaisaniemen Puisto, these beautiful botanical gardens are home to endless flowerbeds and seasonal displays, although they are perhaps best known for their historic and extremely stylish glasshouses.
Open hours: May to September, Monday to Friday - 07:00 to 20:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 20:00; October to April, Monday to Friday - 07:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Kaupungin Talvipuutarha (City Winter Gardens)

Address: 1 Hammarskjöldintie, Helsinki, FI-00250, Finland, FI
Tel: +358 09 166 5410
Known as the City Winter Gardens and brimming with horticultural interest, the Kaupungin Talvipuutarha can be found within Helsinki's district of Töölö and has become a leading attraction. The glasshouses are filled with towering palm trees, succulents, cacti and alpine gardens, and allow visitors to enjoy a host of plants and flowers, even during the harshest of winters.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 12:00 to 15:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 16:00
Admission: free

Meilahden Arboretum

Address: 2-3 Meilahdentie, Helsinki, FI-00250, Finland, FI
Close to central Helsinki and also within walking distance of the popular Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, the Meilahden Arboretum is home to an impressive collection of mature trees and shrubs, many of which are Finnish in origin and linked by winding pathways. Seasonal attractions include springtime bulbs and fragrant rose borders, peaking during the summer.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Nuuksion Kansallispuisto (Nuuksio National Park)

Address: Nuuksio, Finland, FI
Known locally in Helsinki as Nuuksion Kansallispuisto, the city's highly acclaimed Nuuksio National Park is filled with local wildlife and has become a leading tourist attraction in its own right. This hugely important nature reserve is home to particularly diverse scenery, ranging from marshland and heavily wooden areas, to pretty ponds and valleys. However, it is perhaps most famous for being home to the somewhat vulnerable Siberian flying squirrel, which regularly breeds here in the trees and nest boxes provided. Onsite camping grounds, a cafeteria, barbecue facilities and guided tours are just some of the further highlights here.
Open hours: May to October - daily
Admission: free

Tähtitorninmäki Park (Observatory Hill)

Address: 20A Siltavuorenpenger, Helsinki, FI-00170, Finland, FI
For some of the best views across Helsinki, bring your camera to Tähtitorninmäki Park, stand back and appreciate the panorama. The park enjoys an elevated position atop Observatory Hill and from here it is possible to easily pick out many of the most eye-catching landmarks below, such as Market Square. Tähtitorninmäki is also home to a historic Observatory, which is almost 200 years old and in a state of good repair.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Uutelan Luontopolku Park

Address: Vuosaari, Helsinki, Finland, FI
Lying on the far eastern outskirts of Helsinki, the Uutelan Luontopolku Park is known for its native Finnish flora and fauna, and features a long and extremely popular nature trail. Many points of interest lie along the trail itself and are always clearly labelled, including the magnificent Skatta mansion and a fortress complex dating back to the 1920s.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free