Park Kaivopuisto in Helsinki.

© TanyaSv/Getty Images/iStockphoto


Punavuori & Ullanlinna

On the waterfront, this sprawling park dating from 1834 is a favourite Helsinki idyll. There are expanses of lawns; numerous sculptures and winding paths; the waterside Mattolaituri cafe; the bar-club Kaivohuone – originally the park's spa, dating from 1838; and a small, domed observatory, Ursa, dating from 1926. In winter, tobogganing down the slopes is a popular pastime for kids. Locals flock to the park on Vappu for picnics with sparkling wine.

Rock, pop and classical concerts take place in the park during summer.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Punavuori & Ullanlinna attractions

1. Ursa

0.02 MILES

In the Kaivopuisto park, this charming dome-topped observatory was built in 1926. During the darker months, it opens of an evening, while on summer…

2. Mannerheim-Museo

0.25 MILES

This fascinating museum by Kaivopuisto was the home of Baron Gustav Mannerheim, former president, commander in chief of the Finnish army and Finnish Civil…

3. Observatory Hill Park

0.37 MILES

Designed in 1868 by Swedish landscaper Knut Forsberg in the style of a German city park, and completed in 1889 by his compatriot Svante Olsson, this…

4. Helsinki Observatory

0.44 MILES

Operating as an observatory from 1834 to 2010, this CL Engel–designed building within pretty Observatory Hill Park now contains an astronomy museum with…

5. Johanneksenkirkko


Helsinki’s largest church, with seating for 2600 worshippers, is the soaring neo-Gothic St John’s Lutheran Church. Designed by Swedish architect Adolf…

6. Museum of Finnish Architecture

0.56 MILES

Finland's architecture museum occupies a neo-Rennaissance building dating from 1899. Exhibitions are its key focus, including the fascinating Decades of…

7. Design Museum

0.58 MILES

An unmissable stop for Finnish design aficionados, Helsinki's Design Museum has a permanent collection that looks at the roots of Finnish design in the…

8. Kauppatori


The heart of central Helsinki is the harbourside kauppatori (market square), where cruises and ferries leave for archipelago islands. It's completely…