Helsinki’s museums have it all: weapons used by Finnish Defence Forces, old toys, trams, great artworks both old and new and – of course – history from the Stone Age to the current day. To pique your curiosity, we’ve put together a list of ten interesting, diverse museums. Some of our selections, like the National Museum of Finland, can be considered true classics. There are also a few less-known targets, and some museums that offer fun for the whole family. The introductions don’t just focus on the content -- they also include the specific location of each museum, as well as directions for getting there from the city centre via public transport. All the museums are open throughout the year, and you can easily find the exact opening hours online.

    1

    The National Museum of Finland

    Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present

    • Families
    • History

    If you wish to learn the story of Finland from prehistory to the present, the National Museum of Finland, on Mannerheimintie Street, right opposite to Finlandia House, is the place to be. The permanent and rotating exhibitions present various historical periods, from the Stone Age to the age of Finnish independence. Among the crown jewels of the museum’s vast selection are the throne of the Russian Czar Alexander I, the Suontaka sword from approximately a thousand years ago, and a moosehead statue from Huittinen, which is approximately 8000 years old. Things presented in the rotating exhibits include the histories of various Finno-Ugric peoples and the cultures of continents outside Europe. The museum building is in itself a sight to behold with its high towers and the interior lobby’s ceiling frescos, created by the famous painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela. In addition to the main building at Mannerheimintie, the National Museum includes 9 other targets, such as the outdoor museum at Seurasaari Island and the locations of Hvitträsk and Tamminiemi.

    Location: Suomenlinna C74, 00190 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 29 5338 410

    Map
    2

    The Museum of Finnish Architecture

    Get to know the modern history and the newest trends of architecture at Kasarminkatu Street

    • History
    • Photo

    The Museum of Finnish Architecture, only a few blocks from Esplanadi Street to the south, showcases the newer varieties of Finnish architecture in a truly magnificent setting. See how the country’s top architecture has developed from the early 20th century to this day, a summary of the latest achievements of the field, and changing exhibitions and art installations. The museum building, finished in 1899, is a brilliant palace, built in the Renaissance Revival style. Its most appreciated detail is the decorated staircase in the interior. The Museum of Architecture is an easy way to spend a hour or two, and while you’re in the neighbourhood, you can also visit the Museum of Finnish Design on the other side of the block. From the heart of Helsinki, the easiest way to get there is walking, taking a city bike, or Tram 10.

    Location: Kasarmikatu 24, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 45 7731 0474

    Map

    photo by Eteil (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    Suomenlinna Museum

    260 years of fortress history at Tykistölahti Bay

    • History
    • Photo

    The Suomenlinna Museum presents the fascinating history of its namesake sea fortress, from its foundation to the present day. Check the museum’s permanent exhibitions to learn about the most memorable events of the fortress and to see how people have lived on the island during different periods. There’s lots of historical equipment, tools and ammo to see. The main exhibition is located on the lower floor of the museum. Upstairs, you can see changing exhibitions and an exhibition that focuses on the restoration of the fortress. The Suomenlinna Museum is located in the middle of Iso Mustasaari, near the bridge leading to Susisaari Island. It’s not a large museum – usually, an hour is enough to see all it has to offer. Ferries can take you to Suomenlinna from other parts of Helsinki all year round.

    Location: Suomenlinna C74, 00190 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 29 5338 300

    Map

    photo by Óðinn (CC BY-SA 2.5) modified

    4

    Military Museum of Finland

    A museum at Suomenlinna, presenting the history of the Finnish Defence Forces

    • Families
    • History

    The Military Museum of Finland at Suomenlinna, run by the Finnish Defence Forces, showcases a vast quantity of objects and photos related to warfare. There are three parts to the Museum: Military Museum's Manege, Artillery Manege and the Vesikko Submarine. The two settings mentioned first host the Museum’s main exhibitions, focusing on the war years of the 20th century. Vesikko, on the other hand, is Finland’s only historical intact submarine, and its interiors are absolutely worth a visit. There’s simply no experience like this anywhere else. The Military Museum’s collection of exhibits is enormous. Through the years, the museum has accumulated a collection of hundreds of thousands of objects, some of them owned by the Defence Forces, others received or taken into custody from wartime allies and enemies. If military history is your thing, here’s a place you simply cannot miss.

    Location: Iso Mustasaari c 77, 00190 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 29 9530 261

    Map

    photo by Arkkipuudeli (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Sinebrychoff Art Museum

    A chance to admire old European art in the Punavuori District

    • Couples
    • History

    This art museum, next to Sinebrychoff Park and bearing the same name, is the only art museum in Finland specialising in old European art. Their exhibitions showcase beautiful landscape paintings, portraiture and statues, old graphic works, and much more. Probably the most famous painter exhibited here is Rembrandt, the giant of the 17th century. The museum’s building is also well worth checking out. It was built in 1842 as the office building of Sinebrychoff Brewery, which was operational at the time. It also housed the famous family that owned the brewery. In addition to the art museum, the building currently hosts the Sinebrychoff Home Museum, where the spaces are kept exactly as they were in the 1910s. From the centre of Helsinki, the easiest way to get to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum is walking or taking Tram 6.

    Location: Bulevardi 40, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 29 4500 460

    Map

    photo by Finnish National Gallery (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    The Finnish Museum of Photography

    The leading museum of Finnish photography at the Cable Factory and Kämp Galleria

    • History
    • Photo

    The Finnish Museum of Photography, at the Cable Factory Cultural Centre and the Kämp Galleria shopping centre, is the leading museum of photography in Finland. Among other subjects, its magnificent exhibitions showcase societal themes, history and important people. The museum’s own collection, meanwhile, includes millions of photos, and countless top photographers and artists are continuously presented in the exhibitions, so there’s an almost boundless amount of source materials. The Museum’s main location at the Cable Factory usually hosts one main exhibition and three smaller, shorter exhibitions. There’s also the smaller K1 branch, at the bottom floor of Kämp Galleria. There’s always just one exhibition there, generally lighter fare than at Cable Factory. In 2020, for example, the presentations included Douglas Copeland’s Marilyn Monroe and the Coco Chanel picture collection.

    Location: Kaapelitehdas, Tallberginkatu 1 G, 00180 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 9 6866 3621

    Map
    7

    Didrichsen Art Museum

    Stylish, diverse art museum at Kuusisaari Island

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    The Didrichsen Art Museum, at Kuusisaari Island in Western Helsinki, offers varying exhibitions, showcasing both their own collection and works from abroad. The former home of Gunnar and Marie-Louise Didrichsen, which houses the Museum, is already a sight to behold – a modern building designed by internationally famed architect Viljo Revell, featuring a pool and a statue park. Among other selections, the Didrichsen Art Museum collection includes classic Finnish works, a large number of mainly modernist foreign paintings, ancient archaeological finds and an extensive selection of statues. Finnish art is represented by, among others, the painters Hugo Simberg and Helene Schjerfbeck. Some well-known foreign artists include Mark Chagall, Salvador Dalí and the sculptor Henry Moore. From the centre of Helsinki, you can access the museum at Kuusisaari easily with, for example, Bus 34 and Bus 510.

    Location: Kuusilahdenkuja 1, 00340 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 10 2193 970

    Map

    photo by Bengt Oberger (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    Tram Museum

    A free museum experience for the whole family in Taka-Töölö

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    The name says it all, really -- the Tram Museum, between Sibelius Park and Mannerheimintie Street, showcases historical trams and everything related to them, presenting trams from the days when they were still pulled by horses to the present. In addition to carriages, there are a lot of smaller objects -- old fare tickets, stamping machines, signs, photos and uniforms of the drivers and collectors. The museum is located at the old tram depot at Töölönkatu 51 A. A unique benefit is that the museum can be accessed by anyone for free. The easiest way from the centre of Helsinki to the museum is by walking, taking a city bike or – how else – taking a tram (2, 4 and 10). This is a museum the kids are sure to love!

    Location: Töölönkatu 51 A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 9 3102 3921

    Map

    photo by Matthias Süßen (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Museum of Toys

    A magnificent setting presenting toys from 200 years

    • Families
    • History

    The Museum of Toys at Suomenlinna, at the bottom floor of the Villa Vasiljev, showcases toys in all of their variety. You can also stop by the popular museum café. The museum specialises in showcasing toys from venerable European manufacturers – particularly plushies, dolls of all sorts, and doll houses. There’s also a vast range of decorative items. That’s not all, either. The museum shops allows you to purchase products that are still being manufactured, as well as the museum’s own Amor Karhu products – mugs, cloth shopping bags, towels and other goods. Suomenlinna Museum of Toys is located on the eastern side of Iso Mustasaari Island, near the maintenance wharf of Suomenlinna Fortress. While visiting the museum, you should also consider visiting the museum’s café and its roomy terrace. The café serves traditional café fare and ice cream from local producers.

    Location: Suomenlinna C 66, 00190 Helsinki

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 40 500 6607

    Map
    10

    HAM – Helsinki Art Museum

    The home of city of Helsinki’s art collection in Tennispalatsi

    • Photo

    Helsinki Art Museum HAM, at the Tennispalatsi building, is one of the most popular museums in the city. Its exhibitions showcase modern art and current art, such as, among other attractions, paintings, video artworks, photos and various installations. There’s also a permanent exhibition showcasing the famous Moomin writer Tove Jansson. Compared to the nearby Kiasma and Ateneum, for example, HAM is comparatively small, but it’s still worth visiting for anyone interested in modern art – there’s always something new and interesting to see. Thanks to its central location, HAM is extremely easy to access from every point in central Helsinki. The entrance to the museum is at Eteläinen Rautatiekatu Street, less than a hundred metres from the Kamppi shopping mall, and the closest you can get by public transport is Bus 24, which stops opposite the museum.

    Location: Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Opening hours vary.

    Phone: +358 9 3108 7001

    Map

    photo by Bengt Oberger (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Travel alert

    COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

    Check restrictions for your trip.
    Back to top

    Maps