Helsinki with kids – discover the Finnish capital
Cityguide, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, Tips
The capital of Finland surprises with its modern and dynamic soul. Snow-covered landscapes, many playgrounds and the Mumins as travel companions make Helsinki the perfect destination for family holidays.
Family vacation in Helsinki
Scandinavia is a treasure chest. The cold Nordic region enchants with its renowned cities, rich in design and culture. Where Oslo and Copenhagen have been crowded tourist destinations for years, there is still a great treasure to be discovered in the snowy landscapes: Helsinki. With 100 kilometres of coastline and an archipelago of more than 300 islands, this coastal city is surprising in many ways. Partly monumental and grandiose, partly modern and original, it owes its dual nature to its political and cultural dependence on Russia and the creativity and experimental spirit of its avant-garde architects. Of course, the Finnish capital, like many other Scandinavian cities, is particularly suitable for children. With its many attractions and activities, both outdoor and indoor, Helsinki is a hip destination for a wonderful family holiday.
When to visit the city
Since temperatures in Finland can drop very sharply, it is not recommended to travel with the little ones in the middle of the winter months. For those who want to explore Helsinki in the snow, but not with temperatures far below zero, a visit in March or the first half of autumn is recommended.
With the countless online platforms, it is certainly no longer a problem to find accommodation for the whole family. But if you prefer to enjoy all the comforts on holiday, then these two hotels are just the thing for you. The F6 Hotel and Scandic Paasi are modern, colourful and have everything a family needs on vacation.
HOTEL F6 OY Fabianinkatu 6 00130 Helsinki
Scandic Paasi Paasivuorenkatu 5 B FI-00530 Helsinki
Where to eat
Café & Store Moko Market
Moko Market Café & Store is a concept store that combines a furniture store and a café. Under the management of 2 sisters the café offers breakfast and lunch every day on weekdays and a delicious brunch on Saturdays at 10 and 12 o’clock.
Moko Market Café & Store Punavuori
Perämiehenkatu 10, 00150 Helsinki
358 (0) 10 3156156
working days 8-18.00
Located in the art centre for children and families “Annantalo”, this café is a great hotspot for families with children. Skidilä serves traditional café delicacies and vegetarian lunches, and the children have plenty of room to play… the perfect place to discover.
Annankatu 30, 00100 Helsinki
Working days 9-19:00
Restaurant and bar BRO is located at the Hilton Helsinki Strand. The menu is a fusion of international flavours and Nordic ingredients. The restaurant is ideal for families who want to eat well and at the same time not worry about children’s food.
Hilton Helsinki Strand
John Stenbergin ranta 4 00530 Helsinki
tel. +358 9 393 51
Culture and leisure tips for Helsinki with children
Whether for a weekend or a whole week, the first thing you need to do after your arrival is to explore the historical centre. This is located around the Senate Square, which, thanks to its impressive buildings, will amaze even the youngest ones. The State Council, the University Library and the Lutheran Cathedral create a dreamlike setting. Close to Senate Square, in the oldest quarter of the city, is Sederholm House. It is the oldest house in Helsinki and one of the most popular destinations for families. Here children and their older companions can learn more about the city’s history through interactive experiences. The modern part of the centre, on the other hand, is formed by the Central Station and the surrounding streets. The station is considered one of the most important creations of Art Nouveau.
The “Annantalo Arts Centre” and the museum of contemporary art “Kiasma” are a must for young and old art lovers alike. Annantalo is a building in the centre of Helsinki dedicated to the artistic and cultural education of children, while Kiasma offers special guided tours, made to measure for the little ones. For those who prefer science and nature, the Natural History Museum and “Sea Life Helsinki” are an obligatory stoppover. The last one shows many species whose environment is threatened by pollution and other man-made damage. The aim is to educate young and older visitors about the need to protect the oceans.
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
P.O. Box 10417
FI-00099 City of Helsinki
Museum of Natural History
Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13 Helsinki
SEA LIFE Helsinki
Indoor playgrounds in Helsinki
After this cultural tour it is time for a short playful break. Although the capital is surrounded by green spaces, in winter time it is better to choose closed and heated places. As Helsinki is an absolutely child-friendly city, there are plenty of indoor playgrounds. The best known and most renowned (which we can warmly recommend) are “HopLop Ruoholahti” and “Leikkiluola Indoor Playground”. HopLop is an adventure park where children can try climbing, sliding, diving and sports. In Leikkiluola there is a huge adventure labyrinth, a multi-action playground, a large trampoline cage and a play area for children under three years old.
Itämerenkatu 21, 00180 Helsinki
Tel. 010 8373 004
Leikkiluola Indoor Playground
Jaffa STATION – Arena Center Hakaniemi
Sörnäisten rantatie 2, 00530 Helsinki
Trip to the outskirts?
The islands of Suomenlinna and Muumimaailma are highly recommended. The first of these is perhaps the most famous of the islands around Helsinki and is known for its fortress and lighthouse, but it will surprise children with its small toy museum. If you leave Helsinki behind and head west, you will come across the town of Naantali and its Moominworld. This island, which is dedicated to the famous white animals, is a highlight for the little ones. With attractions that change with the seasons, big things await you with the arrival of the first snow!
tel. +358 (0)2 511 1111
Slider and Teaser: @Unsplash