So you’re going to Helsinki, and are currently researching where to go, then I would highly recommend you to add Suomenlinna to your itinerary! Most people go Helsinki and then Tallinn, which is a great combination, but if you have another half day to spare, Suomenlinna should be in there in your checklist.
Other than that fact that it’s just a quick 15 minutes ferry ride from downtown Helsinki, this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s history goes back to the 1700’s (starting from the Swedish era, then Russian), and boasts of great scenery all year round. History junkies and photographers should not miss this!
Take the ferry from the ferry pick up near Market Square. You could pay cash on the spot for a return trip, or if you have a Helsinki card, then it’s free! The ferry operates all year long, with frequencies ranging between 1 to 4 times per hour, so it’s of great convenience.
WHAT TO DO/SEE
Once you’ve alighted from the ferry, you’ll find yourself at the Jetty Barracks; use this as your starting point! Depending on how you’d like to walk (well, for most of the case, just walk wherever you want!), but you should end at the King’s Gate. This is also known as the Blue Route, which you’ll easily find on a Suomenlinna map, covering these main attractions:
- Main quay – Suomenlinna Centre
- Suomenlinna Centre – Piper’s Park
- Suomenlinna Centre – King’s Gate
- Suomenlinna Centre – Great Courtyard
- Main quay – Submarine Vesikko
- Main quay – King’s Gate
HOW LONG WOULD YOU NEED
Half a day would be sufficient to walk around the whole sea fortress if you’re not planning to eat, picnic or just chill out. Otherwise, you could factor in another 2-3 hours should you want to have a tea break at a cafe, or even do a last minute picnic at one of the many plains since there’s a supermarket to buy anything you’d like.
I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I had. Let me know if you’ve been there yourself!