What to see in Helsinki in three days: city center, Suomenlinna and Porvoo

Helsinki in three days could be a strange things, maybe nonsense for many of you. However if you’re in a trip through different cities this could be a good option.

Last year we decided to spend three days in this beautiful city. Well, the truth is that we spend only the first day in Helsinki city center and the other two in the surroundings. In particular one day in the island of Suomenlinna and another day in Porvoo.

This is part of our North Europe Tour: click here to read more.

How to reach Helsinki city center from the airport

Helsinki is one of the best connected city in the world. You won’t have any problems to reach the city center after you land in the airport.

You’ll find the subway train right inside the airport hub. You can buy tickets (I remember you that you have to buy the ABC zone ticket) to the city center for a price equal to 4.60€ at the ticket machines, tourist information desk, Alepa grocery store, WH Smith, R-kiosk and, best of all, with the mobile app HSL (during 2018 you got a discount if you bought the mobile ticket using the app).

More informations here.

Prices

Helsinki is one of the most expensive city in the world. However, thanks to our suggestions, you can survive also here (especially if you follow our “Helsinki in three days” guide)!

During our stay we avoided all restaurants, pubs and also tea shops, where an “English Tea stop” could cost you up to 25€.

Inside Helsinki you can find that beautiful and magical discount market named Lidl. This beautiful creature can offer to you also magic prices similar to the one of other cities and other countries. Isn’t this so awesome?

In any case, don’t expect to pay less than 1€ for a big bottle of water (1.5 liters).

What to see in Helsinki

  • Suomenlinna
  • Temppeliaukion Church
  • The Cathedral
  • Market Square
  • Senate Square
  • Sibelius Monument
  • Uspenski Cathedral
  • Linnanmaki
  • The National Museum of Finland
  • Esplanadi
  • Kamppi Chapel
  • Kaivopuisto
  • Helsinki Zoo
  • Kaisaniemi botanic garden

DAY 1 of “Helsinki in three days”

Like Stockholm, also Helsinki during our stay was very hot. And with very hot I mean that we had to stay and sleep in a park during an afternoon since our apartment was too hot to stay inside to eat or also to get a nap!

Apart from that, we decided to reserve the first day for a city tour. We started from the Kaisaniemi botanic garden and the with the beautiful white Helsinki Cathedral.

The Cathedral, in the neoclassical style, is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.

We then walked through the Kauppahalli, a 1800s food hall with vendors for traditional Finnish meats, fish, cheese, bread, sweets & coffee, and up to Kaivopuisto, a beautiful park with views out to the sea & nearby islands.

Helsinki Cathedral
Inside Kauppahalli hall: local products
Kaivopuisto
Barnacle Goose
Local transports

DAY 2 in Suomenlinna island

You can reach Suomenlinna island with the HSL boat. We recommend you to buy the tickets (AB zone) with the mobile app since you can get a discount. The price is less than 3€.

More information available here.

Suomenlinna is a beautiful island of Helsinki and when you reach it you feel like in the past. Houses, restaurants, cafes, all will brought you back in the past.

In Suomenlinna we were able also to swim (the water was absolutely not cold and good, but during our stay the temperatures was high).

I recommend you to do a walk long all the island. One day is more than enough.

One of the beach where you can swim
Suomenlinna’s King’s Gate
Suomenlinna’s Harbor

DAY 3 exploring the true Finland: Porvoo is the last stop of the “Helsinki in three days” trip

Porvoo is the most beautiful place I’ve see in this holiday trip. This beautiful little city still offer you the pure authentic Finland.

To reach Porvoo from Helsinki you can take the OnniBus. The total travel time is equal to 50 minutes and the price is 4.70€. More info available here.

Here you can find the traditional chocolate shops (you have to taste it!), the traditional red wood houses and a beautiful landscape view from a park full of wood bridges.

The center of Porvoo
A small wood house in the center of Porvoo where you can draw whatever you want. A magic place for your children!
A view of Porvoo
A park near Porvoo with many wood bridges
Traditional houses