Best Free Things to Do in Helsinki
Helsinki is an amazing city with tons of interesting activities and attractions that will simply fill up your travel itinerary. It is also the capital of Finland and it is not known for being a cheap place to travel. There are plenty of things to do in Helsinki. So it is possible for you to explore the city and enjoy many activities on a budget. Check out my list of Best Free Things to Do in Helsinki which help you save time and money and fully enjoy this city.
Explore the famous Suomenlinna sea fortress
The Suomenlinna is one the biggest sea fortress in the world. Founded in 1748, the Suomenlinna Fortress is still ruled by Finland, Russia, and Sweden. Take a 15-minute ferry ride out here. Also wander along amazing forest walls, museums, cafes, scenic trails and cobbled streets. You can also explore the city from the ferry and view lakes, forests and three walking trails. There are also cooking huts out here. So you can get an opportunity to pick mushrooms and blueberries if you’re hungry. Exploring the Suomenlinna sea fortress is free. I would also recommend that you buy the tickets online or get them at the Suomenlinna center. The Suomenlinna is really a perfect destination for you to spend a nice sunny day away from the city.
Walk around the Sibelius Park
The Sibelius Park is another large and beautiful landmark in Helsinki. It is the amazing creation of the world famous composer Jean Sibelius. This park also holds the Sibelius Monument, which is one of the most popular attractions. The monument is an abstract creation made of welded vertical steel pipes that rise 8.5m, resembling an organ. You can come here and blow into one of the 600 pipes and create your own symphony. You can head to the Regatta Cafe and try out some wonderful cinnamon rolls as you view a lake nearby. Walk around the Sibelius Park for free any day of the year. This is an ideal spot to rest as you enjoy a nice picnic while in Helsinki.
Tour the unique Temppeliaukio or Rock church
The Rock church is an unusual and unique church in the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki. It was also designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in 1969. It is also built inside a massive block of natural granite in the middle of an ordinary residential square. You can go inside and view the wonderful mix of glass, rugged stone and steel. Also, try viewing it from above as it looks like a flying-saucer that has lodged itself in the ground. The Rock Church is open daily and has a free entrance. You can come here and listen to some lovely piano music and music concerts that take place every week. So be sure not to miss to view this amazing architecture that continues to attract millions every year.
Relax at the Kamppi Chapel of Silence
The Kamppi Chapel of Silence is a religious church and a quiet oasis in the center of all Helsinki. The Chapel is windowless and soundproof. It also welcomes everyone irrespective of their philosophies, background, and religion. You can come here for a moment of silence, reflect and enjoy the Nordic architecture at its finest. You can also expect to see a lot of bibles written in about 30 different languages. The entrance to the chapel is free and it is open daily. This is the best place to meditate or get some peace and quiet in the city.
Hang out at the Moomin Shop
The Finnish people love the Moomins. They are basically ‘fairytale trolls’ that look like cute hippos. They are the most adored Finnish icon (besides Santa Claus) and it is the creation of Tove Jansson in 1940. There are lots of Moomin merchandise in Helsinki. You can find them particularly in souvenir shops and supermarkets. So if you’re a super Moomin fan, then you must head into one of their shops. I would also suggest that you hang out at the Moomin Shop in the Forum shopping center. You can view simple souvenirs, chinaware, prints of cartoon sketches and cuddly figures. Also, newbie shoppers can enjoy a 10% discount. You can browse the Forum shopping center for free as you experience the magic of the Moomins.
View free exhibitions at the Hakasalmi Villa
Hakasalmi Villa is at the center of Helsinki. It offers interesting exhibitions that will make you fall in love with the city. The exhibitions Hakasalmi Villa are usually based on daily-life and common objects. You can peek in at an interactive dance studio and enjoy hilarious Travolta imitation. Also head upstairs and test your music taste by listening to short exerts. Entrance to the Hakasalmi Villa is free. This is the best place to experience and get to know Helsinki from a historical point of view.
Visit the famous Market Square
The Market Square is a central popular market in Helsinki. Here you can find rows of vendors selling Finnish fruits, jewelry, food, crafts and much more. This is a lovely spot to visit for free and also don’t miss a chance to eat free sardines.
Check out the famous Bridge of Love
The Bridge of Love is just a short walk away from the Market Square. Many couples come here to attach a love padlock with their names and a special date to symbolize their love. So you can come and perform this simple recipe by locking a padlock and throw-away the keys into the river. This is the best way to leave your symbol of love in Finland.
Stroll around the Töölö Bay
The Töölö Bay features one of the most scenic running paths in Helsinki. It is popular among local walkers and runners every year. The path is lit and it is also kept clean from snow during winter. You can come here for a quick morning walk or run. Also join the locals that are out running, walking and cycling. You can even view iconic Helsinki buildings like Finlandia Hall while you’re at it. Couldn’t think of a better to start your morning while in Helsinki.
Explore the Uspenski Cathedral
The Uspenski Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe. It is also a clear symbol of the Russian impact on the history of Finland. You can come and admire the wonderful architecture and study about the Russian influence on Helsinki. The cathedral has a spacious rocky mound and plaza with grassy patches so you can enjoy a nice picnic. Also, enter the Cathedral and marvel at the nave. Take some photos of the glorious religious structure. You can explore the Cathedral for free and any day of the week. The church doesn’t open just on Mondays during winters.