Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Hämeenlinna

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 wanted…
Top Choice Museum 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 art-…
Top Choice Finnish in Hämeenlinna

Piparkakkutalo

This fairytale-style ‘gingerbread house’ was built in 1907 for merchant August Skogster, whose department store was next door, and it is now home to the town's best restaurant. The interior still has a warm, domesti…
Park in Hämeenlinna

Aulanko

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 a s…
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 scene, …
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 photograph…
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, including…
Cafe in Hämeenlinna

Café Kukko

Every town needs a good cafe, and Kukko certainly fits the bill. Its bright, diner-style interior has a long counter with an espresso machine and displays of buns, brownies and pastries. A refrigerated cabinet is fi…
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 of t…
Wine Bar in Hämeenlinna

Nooran Viinibaari

You'll feel as if you're enjoying a drink at a friend's house when at this wine bar next to the Skogster Museum. The space features comfortable cane chairs, shelves filled with books and fresh flowers in vases – it'…