Easy access to sights and activities with the Helsinki Card

Buying a city card is an easy way to get access to many sight, saving time, money and energy. By buying the Helsinki Card online in advance, you will save even more money.

If you have a plan what you want to see, you can easily compare what you would have to pay to get access, with the savings by buying the Helsinki Card. It will also give you the possibility to enter a sight or museum that you did not originally plan to, but since it is free or discounted with the city card, you might as well just have a look anyway.

We bought a 48 hour Helsinki Card, and got started with the sightseeing. All public transport is included as well, also the ferry to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.
Suomenlinna
At Suomenlinna there is a guided walk taking you to the main sights of the fortress, giving you an introduction to the fascinating history, and the life on the islands today. During high season (June-August) there are daily guided walks in several languages. The rest of the year the guiding is in English, and limited to once daily in the weekends.

At Suomenlinna Sea Fortress you will also find the Toy Museum. It presents toys from the beginning of the 19th century up to the 1960s, featuring hundreds of dolls, teddy bears and other old toys.

Collection of different toys at the Toy Museum.

Collection of different toys at the Toy Museum.

Dolls at the Toy Museum at Suomenlinna Off course they also had Moomin dolls at the Toy Museum at Suomenlinna

Barbie dolls, named after the daughter of the inventor, Barbara.

Barbie dolls, named after the daughter of the inventor, Barbara.

Augustin Ehrensvärd was the commandant of the fortress, and played a major role in building it. His house is made into a museum, showing both interior from that time, and also an exhibition about his life.

The house of the fortess commander Augustin Ehrensvärd.

The house of the fortess commander Augustin Ehrensvärd.

The submarine Vesikko, belonging to the Military Museum, is also possible to enter. This is the only remaining submarine in Finland after the peace treaty signed after World War 2.
Submarine Vesikko at Suomenlinna

Inside Submarine Vesikko.

Inside Submarine Vesikko.

Read more about our experience on Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.

Being in the maritime mood, we also went on the cruise to see the shoreline and other islands surrounding Helsinki. The taped guiding told about the history of the area and about the Finnish culture, while we enjoyed the beautiful scenery passing by.
The archipelago of Helsinki
Helsinki seen from the seaside 1 Helsinki seen from the seaside 2
You get one of the sightseeing offers free, and you will have a discount on the others if you are eager to learn more about the sights in the city.

Time was running out, so we stopped for a quick look at the Ateneum art museum. It has the most extensive art collection in Finland, housing the most important classic art of the country. There is also a changing exhibition, and due to the 100 year anniversary for the birth of the Finnish artist Tove Jansson, her work is now exhibited there. She may be most famous for her books about the Moomins, but she has done so much more during her career.
Ateneum art museum. It has the most extensive art collection in Finland, housing the most important classic art of the country.
Finishing off with a little bit of shopping, we felt we had enjoyed the Helsinki Card to the fullest. The card gives you discount in several shops, including Iittala.

Get more information about the Helsinki Card, and the other inclusions.

Compound experiences at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress

You can easily spend a whole day just walking around on the islands. Or even spend the night if you wish. There are plenty of things to see, several restaurants spread out on the islands, and nice trails through the beautiful nature. It is also a vibrant, with about 800 persons living there, having their own school, shops and everything else a community need.

One of the cosy cafes at Suomenlinna.

One of the cosy cafes at Suomenlinna.

Regular houses at Suomenlinna.

Regular houses at Suomenlinna.

Piper park at Suomenlinna
One of the first things you notice approaching the islands, is the church. It was built as a Russian Orthodox garrison church in 1854, but was converted into Evangelival-Lutheran in the 1920s. The tower also work as a lighthouse for air and sea traffic.

Suomenlinna Church. The tower also works as a lighthouse.

Suomenlinna Church. The tower also works as a lighthouse.

The bell of Suomenlinna Church. Situated on the ground, as the tower work as a lighthouse.

The bell of Suomenlinna Church. Situated on the ground, as the tower work as a lighthouse.

We decided to start with the guided walk taking you to the main sights of the fortress, giving an introduction to the fascinating history, and the life on the islands today. It start from the visitor center, and depending on season and language, you should check the timetable.

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress was founded on the islands outside of Helsinki in 1748. In 1991 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction began already in the early 1700s, when Finland was a part of the Swedish kingdom. The mission was to prevent the Russians to get to close to Stockholm, and also to protect the then small city of Helsinki with its 1500 inhabitants. Even though the building was panned to finish in four years, it took ten times longer.

Augustin Ehrensvärd was the commandant of the fortress, and played a major role in building it. His house is made into a museum, showing both interior from that time, and also an exhibition about his life. It is situated on one of the sides of the courtyard, where he is also buried.

The Courtyard at Suomenlinna fortress with the tomb of Augustin Ehrensvärd. The yellow building behind was his house, now a museum.

The Courtyard at Suomenlinna fortress with the tomb of Augustin Ehrensvärd. The yellow building behind was his house, now a museum.

The house of the fortess commander Augustin Ehrensvärd.

The house of the fortess commander Augustin Ehrensvärd.

The courtyard was one of the most important places and served as the main square. It was closed on all sides, a trick to make it look bigger, and the show off the power.

After the Finnish War in 1808 the Russians took over the fortress, and it was used as their naval base the next 110 years. The Swedish commandant, Carl Olav Cronstedt was accused of treason against the Swedish crown when he surrendered to the Russians and Suomenlinna and Finland became a part of the Russian Empire. However, they had autonomy.

One of the Russian cannons from 1860-70. They were never used.

One of the Russian cannons from 1860-70. They were never used.

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress 2

The King's Gate at Suomenlinna, built in 1953-54.

The King’s Gate at Suomenlinna, built in 1953-54.

The dry dock is one of the worlds oldest that is still in use. It was initially used to build ships for the Swedish Coastal Fleet, and to keep the boats in the winter. Nowadays it is used to store old wooden ships.

On the way to the dry dock.

On the way to the dry dock.

The dry dock at Suomenlinna. The oldest in the world that is still in use.

The dry dock at Suomenlinna. The oldest in the world that is still in use.

The submarine Vesikko, belonging to the Military Museum, is also possible to enter. This is the only remaining submarine in Finland after the peace treaty signed after World War 2.
Submarine Vesikko at Suomenlinna

Inside Submarine Vesikko.

Inside Submarine Vesikko.

If you want something completely opposite, visit the Toy Museum. It presents toys from the beginning of the 19th century up to the 1960s, featuring hundreds of dolls, teddy bears and other old toys.

Collection of different toys at the Toy Museum.

Collection of different toys at the Toy Museum.

Dolls at the Toy Museum at Suomenlinna

Barbie dolls, named after the daughter of the inventor, Barbara.

Barbie dolls, named after the daughter of the inventor, Barbara.

Toy museum
The guided walkthe house of commandant Augustin Ehrensvärd, the submarine Vesikko and the Toy Museum are all included in the Helsinki Card. It also include the ferry to Suomenlinna.

After walking around for a few hours, we were in need of something to eat and drink. We sat down at the brewery, Suomenlinnan Panimo, enjoying local beer and food. The perfect ending of a nice time at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, the islands of adventures for everyone.

Outside the brewery, Suomenlinnan Panimo.

Outside the brewery, Suomenlinnan Panimo.

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress 1
Suomenlinna Sea Fortress 3

Nice beach and walking paths.

Nice beach and walking paths.