• Be sure to visit the market square on your stay in Helsinki (c) Lauri Rotko

What to do in Helsinki in 3 hours

Here are a few tips on how to spend your day in Helsinki when you only have three hours to spare.

Helsinki is a compact city where most sights and attractions are within walking distance and getting around town is easy.

1. Visit the main sights

The city centre, especially around Senate Square, forms a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture.

Must see:

Tram passing by the Cathedral (c) Niklas Sjoblom

2. Have lunch at a local restaurant

Finnish cuisine is based on fresh and natural ingredients that vary according to the season. Try Finnish seasonal delicacies e.g. at participating HelsinkiMenu restaurants or enjoy the cosy atmosphere at the Old Market Hall over a bowl of delicious salmon soup. Afterwards enjoy a cup of coffee and doghnut at the Market Square.

Local delicacies in Helsinki (c) Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki

For more tips on restaurants according to each area, pick up the Hel Yeah! Food Helsinki brochure (including map) at the Tourist Information. 

3. Buy design souvenirs

Helsinki is an ideal city for purchasing designer goods and discovering fresh fashion! The main shopping streets in the city centre are Aleksanterinkatu and Esplanade along which you can find i.e. these Finnish design classics:

Shopping for design is a must in Helsinki (c) Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki

To help you, we've also listed the best gifts to buy (in the price range of €10-30) from Helsinki – recommended by people who live in the city.

+ Good to know

It takes around one hour to reach the city centre from the Helsinki Airport. You can either take a train (40 min) or Finnair City Bus (30 min) to the Central Railway Station. Tip! Eliel Saarinen's Railway station is an attraction itself!