We spent a day browsing the museums within the Finnish capital. And although it was tough, here are our top 3 picks of the best museums in Helsinki.
Getting around Helsinki couldn’t be easier. There are generally 3 options:
By Public Transport:
The most convenient way to explore Helsinki, is with a little help from public transport.
You can buy a Helsinki City Card, which allows unlimited use of Helsinki public transport for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
The Helsinki Card also gives free entry to the main sights and museums, a free sightseeing tour and discounts on dining, shopping, and tours, so it’s certainly worth the investment.
By Hop On Hop Off Bus:
Standard buses are available around Helsinki with the Helsinki Card.
However, there is also of course the famous Helsinki Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus.
Take a full loop of the route in just 90 minutes to get an orientation of the city, or jump off at any of the 13-15 stops to explore the attractions that interest you the most.
The bus lets you explore monuments such as the Helsinki Cathedral, the National Museum, and the Sibelius Monument.
This option is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around Helsinki at ease.
Some of the best days out we’ve had in Helsinki have been on private tours.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
From food tours, to river cruises and walking tours, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Finnish capital!
What To Pack:
Ateneum is an art museum and one of the three museums forming the Finnish National Gallery. As well as Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum completing the trio.
It is located in the centre of Helsinki on the south side of Rautatientori square close to Helsinki Central railway station.
This museum holds the biggest and oldest collection of classical art in Finland. There are more than 4,300 paintings and more than 750 sculptures.
The collection grows each year through the museums own acquisitions and through donations.
There is a restaurant-cafe that offers traditional Finnish bistro cuisine and a shop where you can pick up souvenirs and products related to the Ateneum’s art collections.
Visitors are welcome in the museum shop and cafe without viewing the exhibitions.
Tue & Fri 10am–6pm
Wed & Thurs 10am–8pm
Sat & Sun 10am–5pm
Amos Rex is an art museum dedicated to publisher and arts patron Amos Anderson. It is tucked away underground in the ancient glass place in the heart of Helsinki.
It opened in August 2018 and welcomed more than 10,000 visitors in its first weeks.
Amos Rex’s exhibition programme extends from the newest, often experimental, contemporary art to 20th-century Modernism and ancient cultures.
Japanese art collective TeamLab opened the exhibitions in Helsinki.
The museum has a shop that has an inspiring book and magazine collection.
There are half a dozen restaurants and cafes operating adjacent to the museum if you are looking for something to eat.
Amos Rex is only open when hosting an exhibition.
You can find exhibition dates through the official Amos Rex website.
Kiasma is a contemporary art museum and another part of the Finnish National Gallery. It is responsible for the gallery’s contemporary art collection.
The collection includes works from more than 8,000 artists.
The building was designed by Steven Holl, who won an architectural design competition to design a building for the contemporary arts museum. The museum opened in May 1998.
Kiasma is Finnish for chiasma, a term that describes the crossing of nerves or tendons or the intertwining of two chromatids, the thread-like strands of a chromosome.
The Kiasma building itself is also a major architectural landmark, as well as one of the best museums in Helsinki.
You can drop in at the Kiasma Café while visiting the museum’s exhibitions or just pop in and try the delicious lunch and café specialities that are made on the premises.
In the summer the cafe opens it’s outside terrace at the foot of the equestrian statue of Marshal Mannnerheim, where you can sit in the sunshine and enjoy the bustle of the city.
Kiasma also has a shop that stocks a wide range of products related to current exhibitions, along with books, Finnish design, distinctive jewellery and fun surprises for kids.
Tues & Sat 10am-6pm
Weds, Thurs & Fri 10am-8.30pm
Luxury – Hotel Kämp
Established in 1887 as Finland’s grand hôtel, Hotel Kämp is located in the heart of Helsinki opposite the beautiful Esplanade park.
The hotel features 179 spacious rooms, 15 of which are luxurious suites.
The spacious rooms combine historical elegance with high-quality facilities. All rooms feature comfortable beds, marble bathrooms and Chromecast-streaming systems.
Guests can also order in-room dining and enjoy the lovely view over the park, the city or the inner courtyard.
The Brasserie Kämp a la carte menu boasts a wide range of European dishes and an extensive list of beverages.
Mid-Budget – Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
Featuring the Plaza Restaurant, this historical hotel from 1917 is next to Kaisaniemi Park, 150 yards from Helsinki Central Station.
All rooms come with a flat-screen TV, tea/coffee maker and Magic Dream beds with a pillow menu. All rooms also come with Finnish design items. Some rooms offer city views.
Free fitness centre access and modern air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi are all available.
Plaza Restaurant also serves drinks, while snacks and light dishes are available at the 24-hour lobby bar. Room service is also available all day long.
Budget – Eurohostel
Located on’s Katajanokka island, this hostel is a 5-minute ride from the city centre.
Eurohostel’s fresh, simple rooms have shared bathroom facilities. Additional communal areas include kitchens and lounge rooms.
Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast buffet onsite. Eurohostel’s lobby also has vending machines with drinks and snacks. T
he 24-hour reception sells city passes and tickets to attractions. Staff can also recommend area activities.
Kauppatoriis ‘ walk away. It offers guest kitchens, free WiFi and a .
Bed sheets and towels are also inclusive of your stay.
For more places to stay in Helsinki, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.