Top choice in Helsinki

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. It was given a major renovation in 2019, and its highlights include the exceptional prehistory exhibition and the Realm, covering the 13th to the 19th century. You'll also find 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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions