Lonely Planet review for Suomenlinna Island
An ideal day or half-day trip from Helsinki is to pack a picnic and take the regular ferry to the island fortress of Suomenlinna. A great deal of Helsinki's history was shaped here - the World Heritage Listed fortress was founded by the Swedes in 1748 to protect against the Russians but following a prolonged attack, Sveaborg was surrendered to the Russians in 1808.
There are several good cafés on Suomenlinna, but many locals like to picnic among the fortress ruins with a few drinks - it can get pretty boozy here on summer weekends. At around 17:00 it's worth finding a spot to watch the enormous Baltic ferries pass through the narrow gap.
HKL ferries depart every 20 minutes from the passenger quay at the kauppatori. Buy tickets (around €4.80 return) for the 15-minute trip at the pier. The Helsinki Card is valid for all ferries and attractions at Suomenlinna.