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Outdoor summer activities in Helsinki

Taking a last minute jaunt to Helsinki at the end of August. The weather is supposed to be wonderful, so what are the best must-do outdoor activities? Any good hikes or hidden gems I should make sure to check out? Would love some recommendations! 

7 Answers

top answer by
John from Helsinki

Uh... The weather isn't always wonderful on the 60th parallel, and the end of August can be decidedly autumnal. The kids have been back in school for weeks and the feeling is that's summer's over.

That said, there are plenty of outdoor activities, weather permitting. I like the walk around Töölönlahti, myself, as it takes you through a pleasant park to the timbered houses of the 19th century's upper crust on Linnunlauluntie - if you're a Moomin fan, you'll recognize the architecture. There are plenty of good strolls along the much-indented coast, or you might try walking from the Sibelius Monument to Seurasaari / Fölisön island's outdoor museum of old rural buildings collected from various parts of Finland (take some peanuts for the red squirrels).

Then there are the islands. The classic is Suomenlinna, the massive fortress bestriding Helsinki harbor, which will take at least a few hours to check out. But my favorite is Harakka island, another former military outpost but much less developed than  Suomenlinna.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Töölönlahti (attraction)
  2. Linnunlauluntie (attraction)
  3. Sibelius Monument (attraction)
  4. Seurasaari / Fölisön (attraction)
  5. Suomenlinna (neighborhood)
  6. Harakka (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Rita from Belgium

If you are a culture enthousiast, you chose a perfect time! In the end of August there is the biggest cultural event of the year, the Helsinki Festival. Two weeks of all possible kinds of cultural activities around the city, a big part of them for free. Check out their calender:

Have a nice trip!

4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Minna from Hämeenlinna, Finland

If interested seeing smaller town by the lake hop into train towards north and go to Hämeenlinna.  It has medieval castle by Lake Vanaja, and nice routes for hiking in Aulanko (Aulanko).   

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hämeenlinna (attraction)
  2. Vanaja (attraction)
  3. Aulanko (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Rafael from Helsinki

Well quite a lot was allready recommended, but try this: rent a bike for example there are splendid bicycle routes arround the city and along the coasts, take the route: city- Lauttasaari-Espoo (approx. 10-14 km.) its a easy ride.  You can bike all the way near the seaside and enjoy some nature and beaches along the way, dont miss the Lauttasaari outdoorpark (the south end of the Island) and Karhusaari/the Villa Sinebrychoff area a further 15 min. ride, then take a turn to Westend, Espoo-Haukilahti some nice beachfront cafes there...  get a bike route and outdoors map from

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lauttasaari (attraction)
  2. Espoo (city)
  3. Karhusaari (attraction)
  4. Villa Sinebrychoff (attraction)
  5. Westend, Espoo (attraction)
  6. Haukilahti (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Johanna from Pirkkala

I would recommend two places; Suomenlinna,, which is an old fortress island in Helsinki and if weather is nice, taking ferry there, perhaps having a pique-nique and just strolling around the island is really nice.

Another nice place, a bit further from Helsinki, is Nuuksion National Park,, which is really nice national park within easy reach of Helsinki, you can get there even by local bus. There are lots of lovely walking routes in Nuuksio.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Suomenlinna (neighborhood)
  2. Nuuksion National Park (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Sarah from Hamburg

hi Kimberly, there's a rather new area in Helsinki which is supposed to be the new hip place to be. It's called the Abattoir in the Teurastamobuilding. You can find several great cafés and restaurants there. Also a nice place to just hang out and watch people. More information here
Have fun in Helsinki!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Teurastamo (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Jack from Illinois

We loved the open market area by the port area. Found fresh cooked salmon & vegies there. Took a city tour bus that left from the park near the port area. We also walked the downtown area and checked out the shops.
 Loved the city - enjoy your trip.

2 thankscomments (1)

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