Excursions from Helsinki: the best day trips around Helsinki

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is one city ​​full of places and attractions to visit. It is located in the south of the country, on the peninsula overlooking the Finnish Gulf, its geographical position is excellent, especially from a naturalistic point of view. In fact, there are many points of interest around the city, let's find out together what are the best day trips around Helsinki.


  1. Porvoo
  2. Loviisa
  3. Tuusula Lake
  4. Hyvinkaa
  5. Riihimaki
  6. Hameenlinna
  7. Turku
  8. User questions and comments

1 - Porvoo

Porvoo is a city located 50 kilometers east of Helsinki, and one of the medieval cities of Finland, the second oldest in the country. Its name derives directly from the ancient and homonymous fortification on the Porvoonjoki river that crosses the city. Porvoo is divided into three different parts: the old part of the city, the new one, and that of the th century, with the empire style typical of the time of the Russian Tsar Nicholas. The old part is really interesting, with narrow alleys and ancient buildings, inside you can see the famous red wooden warehouses on the riverside, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, very suggestive. Here there is also the Gothic Cathedral of the city.

  • Range: 50,9 km
  • by car it takes about an hour from Helsinki, otherwise there is a bus every half hour leaving from the station in the center, next to the Kaampi Center. The line is 848 and takes you directly to Porvoo in 1 hour and a quarter. Tickets cost € 6,40 each way - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free
  • Porvoo: 5-hour city tour from Helsinki

2 - Loviisa

Loviisa is located east of Helsinki along the rugged coast of the Gulf of Finland. The city was named after the Swedish queen Lovisa Ulrika in 1752, but the area had already been inhabited for over a century. In those years, Sweden was losing more and more Finnish cities in the eastern part, so he thought of fortifying Loviisa, but there was nothing to do and in 1755 it passed under Russian control. In the nineteenth century it became a spa and port city, then unfortunately it was largely destroyed by the Crimean War. T.The main points of interest, Linnake Bastion Ungern, that is the remains of the ancient fortification of the city, a very suggestive and perfect place for a picnic because it is surrounded by greenery. The neo-Gothic church is also worth visiting in Loviisa, and, off the coast of Loviisa, the remains of the fortress of Svartholm, on an island.

  • Range: 89,8 km
  • Loviisa is 89,8 kilometers from Helsinki, just over an hour's drive. There are several bus lines that, running every two hours, take you from Kaampi station to Loviisa in 1 hour and a half, lines 848, S717, S721, S724, S729, the ticket varies from € 9,00 to € 11,00 , - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

3 - Tuusula Lake

Lake Tuusula is located about 33 kilometers north of Helsinki, very close to the capital yet already in the most unspoiled nature of Finland. The basin covers an area of ​​6 square kilometers and, from the beginning of the th century, it is famous as an artists' residence precisely because here they could get away from everyday life and immerse themselves in the stillness of the lake. In particular, here you can visit the house of the famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, which is located at the far north of the lake in the town of Järvenpää. On the shores of the lake there are many other residences of famous artists, open to the public. From the lake it is possible to leave for numerous boat trips or excursions in the woods. The lake area comes alive in particular in June, when a blues and jazz festival, the Puisto Blues, is held on the shores of the lake, which has become very important all over the world.

  • Range: 33,8 km
  • to reach the lake by car it takes about 45 minutes. By public transport, you can take bus 665 from Kaampi Terminal 5, every half hour or so, it takes an hour and takes you to Tuomala, in the middle of the lake. Tickets cost € 7,40 each way - Get directions
  • always accessible, to visit the individual artists' residences check the timetables
  • free

4 - Hyvinkaa

Hyvinkaa is a very lively city, located about 56 kilometers north of Helsinki. The whole area is very well connected with public transport, so it can be pleasant to spend a day even in the less large and touristic cities of the surroundings. In Hyvinkaa, in particular, the Finnish Railway museum is very famous. Also interesting to visit is the modern church, designed in 1961 by the architect Aarno Ruusuvori, which has a pyramidal shape. Here, as in many Finnish cities, the Swedish language is also preserved for half the population, following colonization by Sweden in past centuries. Hyvinkaa is surrounded by large pine forests and for this reason its air was considered, before industrialization, particularly healthy and clean. The area around the city is full of small unspoiled lakes, very interesting to reach for a tour.

  • Range: 56,7 km
  • by car it takes about an hour to reach Hyvinkaa. From Helsinki Central Station you can take a train of line R every half hour, direction Riihimäki, which arrives in 45 minutes in Hyvinkaa for € 9,70 each way. Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

5 - Riihimaki

Riihimaki is a city north of Helsinki, in the region called Kanta-Häme, characterized by greenery and a myriad of small and large lakes. The city has grown gradually around the railway station on the Helsinki-Hamenlinna route. Today it is a city that can be taken as a base for a trip to the numerous lakes, or to visit the small and interesting museums it hosts. Suomen Lasimuseo, for example, is the Finnish museum of glass processing, a very important activity for the country. Another must-see museum is the Riihimaki Art Museum, a really interesting display of Finnish paintings. Finally, for those interested, this city also hosts the Finnish Hunting Museum.

  • Range: 69,3 km
  • Riihimaki is 69,3 km from Helsinki, 1 hour by car. From the central station, otherwise, you can take the R line train every half hour, the ride takes just under 1 hour and the ticket costs € 6,40 each way - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

6 - Hameenlinna

Hameenlinna is located north of Helsinki and is truly an enchanting place, on the shores of Lake Vanajavesi, surrounded by nature, in a region full of lakes and greenery. At the center of the city are the remains of an ancient archaeological site called Vanain kaupunki, ie old city, it is therefore thought that the origins of the town are really ancient. The present city developed around the Häme Castle, a splendid medieval construction on the shores of the lake, once perched on an island, today connected to the mainland and dating back to around 1300. It is an excellently preserved military fortification, with an intense brick red color, to be visited absolutely, inside there is a museum. Near the city there is a Torronsuo natural park, very interesting in particular for bird watchers.

  • Range: 101 km
  • Hameenlinna is 101 km from Helsinki, about 1 hour by car. Frequent buses can be taken from Terminal 29 at Kaampi station, one every hour, which take 1 hour and 15 minutes from € 7,20 each way - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

7 - Turku

Turku looks like a city of fairy tales, with its castle overlooking the water. It is located west of Helsinki on the rugged coast overlooking the Baltic Sea and the Aura River.

The city is particularly famous for having the oldest castle in Finland, considered a national monument. Ancient residence of the monarchs of Sweden and the captivity of Queen Karin, Turku Castle is a building of medieval origin that now houses a museum, and is one of the largest historical complexes in the entire Scandinavian peninsula. It was once built on an island, as an outpost to protect the city, but then the accumulation of sediments led to its approach to the mainland. Also worth visiting in Turku is the Cathedral, and, for families, a nice cartoon-themed amusement park, named after Moomin World. From a naturalistic point of view, the entire archipelago of islands that populates the waters in front of Turku is very interesting, where it is possible to practice numerous water sports.

  • Range: 166 km
  • Turku is located 166 km from Helsinki, almost 2 hours by car. From Kaampi station there are buses C1 or C8 every hour which in just over 2 hours take you to Turku starting from € 12,00 each way. Get directions
  • always accessible to the city, the castle is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00
  • free
  • Turku Archipelago Tour

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