Top ChoiceCastle in Hämeenlinna


Hämeenlinna means Häme Castle, so it’s no surprise that this bulky, twin-towered, red-brick fortress is the town’s pride and most significant attraction. Construction was begun in the 1260s by the Swedes, who...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Hämeenlinna

Palanderin Talo

Finland loves its house-museums and this is among the best, offering a wonderful insight into well-off 19th-century Finnish life, thanks to excellent English-speaking guided tours. There’s splendid imperial and...

Park in Hämeenlinna


North of the town centre, this central-European-style park with ponds, swans, pavilions, a granite fortress and exotic trees was created early in the 20th century by Hugo Standertskjöld. Modern additions include...

Gallery in Hämeenlinna

Hämeenlinnan Taidemuseo

Housed in a former granary designed by CL Engel, the town gallery holds an interesting collection of Finnish art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Notable is Gallen-Kallela’s painting of the Kalevala’s final...

Museum in Hämeenlinna

Sibeliuksen syntymäkoti

Composer Johan Julius Christian (Jean) Sibelius was born in Hämeenlinna in 1865 and was schooled here, but the town makes surprisingly little fuss about it. His childhood home is a small museum containing...

Museum in Hämeenlinna

Museo Skogster

The ground floor of this newly opened museum in the former Skogster Department Store has a small theatrette where an excellent short film about the history of Hämeenlinna is shown in a number of languages,...

Museum in Hämeenlinna

Museo Militaria

There are numerous museums devoted to Finnish involvement in WWII, but this takes the cake. It’s huge. There are three floors packed with war memorabilia, including good information in English on the beginnings...

Museum in Hämeenlinna


Häme Castle's old cellblock, last used in 1993, has been converted into a prison museum where you can visit a solitary confinement cell or see graffiti left by former inmates. Most interesting are three cells...

Church in Hämeenlinna

Hämeenlinnan kirkko

Dating from 1798, this church in the town centre was designed by Louis Jean Depréz, court painter for King Gustav III of Sweden, and is modelled on the Pantheon in Rome.