Suomenlinna Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit destination in Finland. Located in Helsinki, the fortress is a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. It is a great place to explore and learn about the history of Finland, enjoy breathtaking views of the sea, and relax in the serene atmosphere of the island. If you are planning a visit to Suomenlinna Fortress, here is everything you need to know.
Suomenlinna Fortress is located on a group of islands off the coast of Helsinki. The easiest way to get there is by ferry. You can take a ferry from the Market Square (Kauppatori) in Helsinki city center. The ferry ride takes about 15-20 minutes, and there are frequent departures throughout the day. You can also take a waterbus from the same location, which is a faster and more affordable option.
Tickets and admission
The admission to Suomenlinna Fortress is free, and you can explore the island on your own without a guide. However, if you want to learn more about the history of the fortress and the island, you can join a guided tour. There are several tour companies that offer guided tours, and the prices vary depending on the length and type of tour. You can also download a free audio guide from the Suomenlinna website, which provides information on the history and sights of the fortress.
Things to see and do
Suomenlinna Fortress is a vast complex of fortifications, tunnels, barracks, and museums. There are several must-see sights on the island, including the King's Gate, the Great Courtyard, the Suomenlinna Museum, and the Ehrensvärd Museum. The King's Gate is the main entrance to the fortress and features two large towers and a drawbridge. The Great Courtyard is the heart of the fortress, and it houses several museums, shops, and restaurants. The Suomenlinna Museum is dedicated to the history of the fortress, and it showcases artifacts, documents, and photographs from the past. The Ehrensvärd Museum is located in the former residence of the commander of the fortress and features exhibits on the life and work of Augustin Ehrensvärd.
Apart from these museums and historical sites, Suomenlinna Fortress is also a great place for a picnic, a stroll, or a bike ride. The island has several scenic paths, gardens, and beaches, where you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the stunning views of the Baltic Sea. You can also take a guided tour of the fortress tunnels, which were used for defense and storage during wartime.
Food and drink
Suomenlinna Fortress has several restaurants, cafes, and food stalls, where you can enjoy traditional Finnish cuisine and drinks. The island is known for its fresh seafood, smoked salmon, and local beers. The restaurants and cafes offer indoor and outdoor seating, and they are open throughout the year. During the summer months, there are also several food festivals and events on the island, where you can sample different types of Finnish and international cuisine.
If you want to stay overnight on the island, there are several options available. Suomenlinna has several hostels, guesthouses, and apartments, where you can stay for a night or two. The accommodation options vary in price and quality, and you can choose the one that suits your budget and preferences. Staying overnight on the island is a great way to experience the serenity and charm of Suomenlinna, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When planning your visit, make sure to allow enough time to explore all that the island has to offer. A full day should be sufficient to see most of the sights, but if you have the time, consider staying overnight to truly immerse yourself in the Suomenlinna experience.
Overall, Suomenlinna Fortress is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Finland. With its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, it is a truly unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and set sail for Suomenlinna Fortress – you won't be disappointed!