Are you a soft adventure lover and want to escape the city for a few days? We put together the best day trips from Helsinki tailored to culture and outdoors lovers. During our week in Helsinki, we took a few days trips in search of silence and pristine nature. Our favourite day trip was to Nuuksio National Park, which proved to be the best place for a mini photoshoot. We also loved crossing from Helsinki to Tallinn is one of the best things to do in Helsinki.
Are you ready to explore the best day trips from Helsinki? Let's go!
Table of Contents
Suomenlinna is a World Heritage Site accessible by ferry from Helsinki. There is no fee to visit Suomenlinna, all you have to do is cover the ferry cost from Helsinki. If you have the Helsinki Travel Card, your trip is included for free.
Suomenlinna is a beautiful sea fortress which is part of the Helsinki borough. Suomenlinna was shaped by three different historical eras and with its unique sights, it now makes one of the best Finish attractions.
Suomenlinna is a relatively flat island which makes it very windy. Make sure you dress appropriately for the weather.
I bet you didn't know that Espoo is the second largest city in Finland. There are Espoo bound trains which go every 10-20 minutes from the centre of Helsinki. One of the main tourist attractions is the Haltia Finish Nature Centre. Haltia's purpose is to bring Finland's nature under one roof and showcase stunning exhibitions.
For cultural interests, Espoo is home to various museums and exhibitions, but in order to feel the true nature of Espoo is best to prepare for some outdoors fun. We recommend the 40 km waterfront walkway, long hikes in the wild and if you travel during summer, don't forget to enjoy one of the 11 beaches by the sea or 10 beaches by the lake.
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Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio National Park was perfect for our need to enjoy some wintery outdoors activity. We absolutely loved the mass of trees, covered in snow. The lake was also frozen, which created a picture-perfect landscape. So much so, that we actually decided to use Nuuksio as a natural environment for a few brand photoshoots.
To get to Nuuksio National Park from Helsinki, take an early train to Espoo. From Espoo (pretty much in front of the train platform) you need to wait for the bus 245 which will take you to Haltia visitor centre. From there you can pick a walk suitable for your fitness level. Just remember to check the 245 bus timetable in advance and remember that the bus goes every hour or so with different times at the weekend.
Once in Nuuksio, simply switch off, walk, hike and admire the beautiful surroundings. Remember to pack a few sandwiches for the road. Make sure you are wearing comfortable, waterproof and warm clothing.
Who wants to visit two countries in one day? Head over to Tallinn, Estonia and have a full day of exploring around its medieval old town. To cross to Tallinn, book your tickets here. The cruise trip takes about two hours and you can get access to the deck if you wish to take pictures (see below where we caught large blocks of ice on the Baltic Sea). To properly enjoy the trip, we recommend booking for the business lounge which gives you access to the bar for unlimited drinks and all you can eat buffet. You can even craft your own cocktails which is pretty fun. Don't forget to board early so you can get a window seat.
Once in Tallinn, walk to the old centre on foot or grab a cab from the ferry terminal. The walk is 15 minutes. You can pick a Tallinn Card from the information office which gives you access to a myriad of museums and attractions. Alternatively, get your camera ready and discover Tallinn. Don't forget to head over to the Patkuli Viewing Platform to enjoy amazing views of the city.
Can you honestly tell us that Russia is not high up on your bucket list? From Helsinki, you can be in St Petersburg in less than 3.5 hours by train.
St. Petersburg is the northernmost major city in the world and it is well known for its unrivalled architecture. Spend some time enjoying a hot beverage in a cosy Russian cafe, walk on the Nevski Prospekt street which is in the heart of the city and visit the Hermitage Art Museum located at the Winter Palace.
Visa-free cruises are also available from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Just note that most of these cruises are for min 1 night in St. Petersburg.
If you wish to see a quaint and traditional side of Finland, head over to the old town of Porvoo. Meander around winding streets and photograph charming wooden houses and cafes. It's a great location for those wanting to purchase authentic, locally crafted souvenirs.
Start your day by photographing the riverside red warehouses which date back hundreds of years. Continue your journey towards the Porvoo Cathedral and enjoy lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants which serve quality Nordic food.
You can also join an organised tour where you can learn more about the history of Porvoo. You can book it here.
Are you ready to enjoy some day trips from Helsinki? Leave a comment below and tell us about your prefered trip and don't forget to use #myhelsinki on social media, to document your journey.