72 hours in Helsinki
Discover the magic and excitement of the capital of Finland with a 72 hour stroll around some of its top attractions.
Rest assured that you’ll have a trip to remember with the help of our top tips for what to see, do and where to stay on a long weekend in Helsinki!
Before you go and where to stay
Helsinki is liveliest and most welcoming in the summer but if you prefer fewer crowds and a more chilled out atmosphere, book your trip for after the midsummer festival, when many locals head out to the countryside. There are some stunning views to enjoy during the winter months too – including the Northern Lights, if you’re lucky – just be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes.
Hotels tend to be on the expensive side in this capital so be sure to book ahead. If you want easy access to the majority of entertainments, the centre is best. Check out Scandic, Radisson and Sokos Hotels for reasonable prices and do buy a Helsinki Card beforehand, for free entrance to many attractions and free rides on public transport.
Must see attractions to fill your three days
This is a city rich with cultural attractions and its fantastic selection of museums means there’s a glimpse into history to suit everyone. Some highlights include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ateneum Art Museum, the comprehensive National Museum of Finland and the Helsinki City Museum. Also worth a visit is the illuminating Bank of Finland Museum, which stands by the beautiful Helsinki Cathedral.
Helsinki’s lovely setting, nestled in an archipelago of hundreds of little islands, makes it an excellent place to explore. Set aside one day of your long weekend for taking a tour of a few of the harbour islands and enjoying some spectacular views. Or, if you have the time, pay a visit to the Island of Suomenlinna for secluded parks and beaches.
When you’re ready for a break, relax in Esplanade Park, located right in the heart of the city and loved by locals and tourists alike. Or, head along to the huge Kaivopuisto Park, which boasts brilliant views of the harbour and plenty of space for sporting activities. If adventures and outdoor pursuits are your thing, then check out Paloheinän mäki where you’ll find a great ski slope as well as guided nature excursions and tours or have fun at the Linnanmäki Amusement Park.
Top spots for getting a bite to eat
For a taste of some authentic, local treats, head to the Central Market down by the harbour. From pastries to delicious seafood dishes, it’s a great and inexpensive way to get a taste for some Finnish treats. For more authentic dishes, look out for participating HelsinkiMenu restaurants or grab a gourmet burger at Teurastamon Portti or some tapas at Kombo Winebar & Kitchen.
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