Image by Tim Bird Lonely Planet
Built in National Romantic art-nouveau style and opened in 1916, Finland’s premier historical museum looks a bit like a Gothic church with its heavy stonework and tall square tower. A major overhaul is under way until 2019, but the museum will remain open throughout. Completed sections include an exceptional prehistory exhibition and the Realm, covering the 13th to the 19th century. Also here is a fantastic hands-on area for kids, Workshop Vintti.
From the 1st-floor balcony, crane your neck up to see the superb frescoes on the ceiling arches, depicting scenes from the national epic Kalevala, painted by Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
In July and August, 30-minute guided tours in English at 11.30am from Tuesday to Friday are included in admission.