Free Museums in Helsinki
Cultural holidays in Helsinki are a variety of museums, exhibitions, galleries and concerts. However, all of this pleasure is not cheap. If you are on a tight budget, do not worry: in this article we will tell you how to visit the museums of Helsinki for free.
Helsinki is a city of diverse museums and galleries. However, most Russian tourists do not stay in this city for more than 1-2 days. And for good reason – there is a lot to see here. And although Helsinki is considered a rather expensive city, it is possible to spend a great time without breaking the budget. For example, you can visit the museums of Helsinki for free – you just need to know how. Trip to Finland by car →
It is no secret that many museums allow visitors on certain days and hours for free. Therefore, when planning a cultural holiday in Helsinki, check the schedules of museums. Note that on Mondays, most museums are closed!
Look for interesting excursions on Sputnik and Tripster. Individual and group, without crowds of tourists and in Russian.
List of free museums in Helsinki
- Helsinki City Museum includes several branches (admission to all of them free of charge): Sederholmin talo, Hakasalmin Huvila, Tram Museum, Burgher’s House, Worker Housing Museum, Tuomarinkulya Manor Museum.
- The Bank of Finland Museum.
- Daily Newspaper Museum.
- Museum of the Diaconess Institute in Helsinki.
- Tidehalli Helsinki.
- Salvation Army Museum.
- Museum of cultures.
- House of Music.
- Kluuvi Gallery.
(photo by dalbera / flickr.com)
Free days and hours to visit museums in Helsinki
- National Museum of Finland in Helsinki – free admission on Fridays from 16:00 to 18:00.
- Museum of Modern Art (“Kiasma”) in Helsinki – first Friday of each month from 17:00 to 20:30.
- Art Museum “Ateneum. On the first Wednesday of each month from 17:00 to 20:00 admission to the museum is free – only the rooms with the main collection (on the basement and the third floor) are open. Days of free admission: May 18, June 12 and August 21.
- Art Museum Sinebrychow in Helsinki – first Wednesday of each month from 17:00 to 20:00.
- Museum of Natural History in Helsinki – Thursday from 16:00 to 18:00.
- Art Museum of Helsinki – Fridays from 11:00 to 16:00.
(photo by Earth-Bound Misfit, I / flickr.com)
- Museum of Technology – free admission on Thursdays.
- Design Museum in Helsinki – the last Tuesday of each month from 17:00 to 20:00.
- Museum of Finnish Architecture – the first Friday of each month.
- Finland’s Museum of Photography – last Wednesday of each month from 17:00 to 20:00.
- Maritime Fortress Suomenlinna. There is no separate entrance fee to the fortress. Visitors pay only sea fare to Suomenlinna and back. But to enter the museums of Suomenlinna you have to pay.
- Arabia Factory Museum. Free admission on the last Tuesday of each month from 17:00 to 20:00.
On a side note: ways to get to and from Helsinki Airport (prices, schedules, stops).
21 free Helsinki attractions
Of course, St. Petersburgers have long been fond of the Finnish capital not only for shopping, but also for cultural enrichment. We have compiled perhaps the most comprehensive guide to the free places in Helsinki – from consistently free or open only in the summer to a list of free days to visit the main museums of the city.
Roots of the city
An unusual installation at one of the Kamppi metro stations in Helsinki is a figment of sculptor Otto Karvanen’s imagination. Roots made up of signs with the names of cities of the world hang from the ceiling and indicate the direction of populated areas. The exact coordinates and directions of the signs were determined by geographer Nina Kolu of the University of Helsinki, and the lighting was designed by lighting artist Taneli Pyusalo. A total of 375 signs were used. In this case, according to the author’s idea, the signs mark only the places from which the Finns who currently live here moved to Helsinki. Among the signposts was found a plate with the name of Kondopoga. It is said that Petrozavodsk should be there, but it has not been found yet. But, of course, not all are indicated.
Kamppi metro station
A cozy park where you can take a pleasant stroll and gaze at the local sculpture. It is popular not only among the locals but also tourists from all over the world. In the park there are monuments to Finnish poets, as well as a sculptural group “Fairy Tale and Fairy Tale”. Every year from the beginning of May, the Espan Lava summer stage in the park hosts free jazz, blues and rock concerts performed by Finnish and international musicians.
Töölönlahti has a beautifully landscaped botanical garden with tropical plants and a fish pond all year round. City Winter Garden was opened to the public on October 1, 1893. It was recently renovated. The conservatory consists of three halls filled with a couple of hundred different tropical plants, including palms and camellias that are over a hundred years old. When you enter this amazing place, you relax your soul and feel harmony with nature. Perhaps for this reason, many residents and visitors to Helsinki love to meet and wander in the Wintergarten. Nearby is the old neighborhood Linnunlaulu (Linnunlaulu), which has preserved a lot of old wooden houses, decorated with carvings.
Chapel of Silence
This is a place designed specifically to hide from the noisy city and meditate in an eco-friendly space. It’s true that critics call the place a “spirit sauna,” and they’re right about that. The architectural solution of the building, which does not resemble traditional church structures, is striking. The facades are made of horizontal, bent at different radii spruce slats, and the inner walls of the chapel are covered with planks of black alder. The height of the main hall reaches 11.5 meters. The chapel was created as part of a project timed to coincide with the theme ‘Helsinki – Capital of Design’.
Cathedral on Senate Square is one of the symbols of Helsinki. Its snow-white hulk with greenish domes towers over the center of Helsinki and serves as a good landmark. It greets us when we arrive in the city by water, looming over the rooftops and catching our eye no matter where we are in Helsinki. The temple, admirable in its rigor and purity of lines, is somewhat reminiscent of classic St. Petersburg cathedrals. In the cathedral regularly held services, marriage ceremonies and a variety of concerts. For example, every Wednesday of the year, at noon sharp, there are short organ concerts, and in the summer such concerts are organized on Fridays as well. Also in summer on Sundays at 20:00 you can visit the full organ concerts.
Kaisa House is a nine-story library with free access. You can get here directly through one of the exits from the central Kaisaniemi subway station, which leads directly to the second floor of the unusual library. You can go there to read in Finnish or look at pictures or just to relax on the sofa and surf the Internet with free Wi-Fi. The library is as beautiful and unusual from the inside as it is from the outside: huge panoramic windows, cozy armchairs and large tables, and high-quality and beautiful furnishings perfectly promote immersion in the learning process. You don’t need to present a library card or other documents, the entrance is absolutely free. But if you don’t have a library card you can’t borrow a book.
Make your Mark Gallery
An ordinary gallery of unusual art, entirely devoted to the format of street art. All the “paintings” are specially painted by artists on the walls of the gallery. Since it is impossible to imagine Helsinki without this element of urban culture, you can stop in here to change the attitude towards the “wall paintings of the XXI century” and get acquainted with the best of the best. Some of the works presented here are striking in their beauty and majestic scope. By the way, exhibits here change monthly, so it always makes sense to check the gallery’s website to find out the author of the current show. Especially since Make Your Mark Gallery is located in the heart of the “new” in the spirit of Helsinki – in the former power plant Suvilahti, where the music festival Flow takes place for several years.
Coriamo Culture Factory
“The Korjaamo is a multifunctional arts venue located in the heart of Helsinki, in two garages inside an old streetcar depot. Here you’ll find an entire cultural complex consisting of galleries, theater and concert halls, a store, cafe and bar, and, of course, a streetcar museum. In Coryamo every visitor is sure to find something to his liking. Here you can sit with friends over a glass of wine, listen to great music, visit various exhibitions and buy the works of art you like, and in the evening watch a show.
Probably one of the oldest and most beautiful parks in the capital. Since the 1830s Russian aristocrats often spent their leisure time here. At that time this place was considered a resort area with beaches and healing mineral waters. In the park can be found and old mansions, such as Villa Kalliolinna, built in 1839. Nowadays, the Kaivopuisto Park is no less busy: in summer you can swim in the bay, and in winter you can ski and skate in the park. In the park you can visit the Ursa Observatory, which is still in use.
In the heart of Helsinki is an active art gallery. Its mission is to support local contemporary art in Finland. It is a platform not only for exhibitions, but also for communication, because its owners are trying to consolidate all those who care about art. The visitors will see the works of both young artists and recognized masters of Finland and Northern Europe. In addition to painting, sculpture and photography, Helsinki Contemporary focuses on artists who have chosen a physical, in-depth approach to their work. Such works and objects are exhibited outside the gallery – in public spaces or at temporary pop-up exhibitions around the city.
Helsinki City Museum (all branches)
The idea of creating the Helsinki City Museum was born at the beginning of the 20th century. The museum collection has accumulated a lot of unique exhibits and documents, telling about the history of the Finnish capital.
The museum consists of five old buildings, united by a new building, and three beautiful courtyards. By the way, the museum exhibits are regularly guided free guided tours in Russian. The main building – the Cederholm House – is located in the oldest city block, on the corner of Senate Square. The entrance is from Aleksanterinkatu Street (Aleksanterinkatu 16) through the arch and courtyard. Inside, everything from the furnishings and interiors to the exhibits, tells about the life of Helsinki’s residents in the past. The time machine that brings the photographs of Signe Brander, which she used at the beginning of the 20th century to meticulously document the changing city of Helsinki, to life using modern technology. Now the museum’s collection contains 907 glass negatives taken by her between 1907 and 1913.
Children can experience history interactively in the Children’s City: hop in a horse-drawn carriage or try your hand at captaining an 18th century ship; play salesman and buyer in an 18th century marketplace.
You can visit the Old Town Hall (Ruiskumestarinan talo, Kristianinkatu 12), the oldest wooden building in Helsinki, built in 1818, where the atmosphere of bourgeois life of the 1860s is recreated.
The Museum of Working Life (Työväenasuntomuseo, Kirstinkuja 4) tells the history of Finnish working life and is located in the oldest municipal workers’ house built in 1909.
The exhibition of these two museums is open to visitors only in summer.
In the streetcar museum (Ratikkamuseo, Töölönkatu 51 A), located in the Factory of Culture Korjaamo, you can enter the old streetcar, which in an instant takes you into the past of Helsinki. You can see excerpts from old movies, sit in the chair of the driver or conductor and, just like in the past, punch out streetcar tickets.
You can also see temporary exhibitions at Hakasalmi Mannerheimintie 13 (Hakasalmen huvila). You can also sample freshly baked goods from the 150-year-old in-house bakery.
The Daily Newspaper Museum
The museum tells the history of Finnish journalism, typography and the history of Finland’s largest daily newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is always completely free for visitors.
For a panoramic view of Helsinki you can get to the famous Sokos Hotel Torni on the roof of which bar Atelje is located. Take the elevator to the 12th floor and then go up the spiral staircase and you’ll see the whole capital of Finland as if on the palm of your hand.
Museum of the Bank of Finland
One of the most unusual museums, equipped with special showcases, is like a “time tunnel” that tells the history of banking economy in Finland. Here you can see the first medieval and gold coins, the first accounting documents, printing plates for money and much more. Here you can understand how the prices of everyday goods changed from the 1860s to the present – in commensurate amounts.
Finnish Museum of Photography
Admission here is free on the last Wednesday of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Once inside, you can leisurely stare at about four thousand photographs, the earliest of which dates back to 1840.
Tallberginkatu, 1 C 85
National Museum of Finland
The museum is free to visit on Fridays from 16:00 to 18:00. Its permanent exhibitions present the history of Finland from prehistoric times to the present day.
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
Recently opened its doors after the reconstruction, the museum is free to visitors on the first Friday of each month from 16:00 to 20:00. The museum collection includes works of Finnish and international, especially Northern European, Baltic and Russian art since the 1960s.
Sinebrychoff Art Museum
The museum is open to the public on the first Wednesday of each month from 17:00 to 20:00. The home-museum of the brewery owner and collector Sinebriukhov exhibits old European art.
Museum of Natural History
There is no admission charge on Thursdays from 15:00 to 17:00. Inside the famous Luomus Museum there are four fascinating exhibitions: “Nature of Finland”, “Nature of the World”, “The Story of Life” and “Bones Tell”.
Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu, 13
Museum of Finnish Architecture
On the first Friday of every month you can visit the Museum of Finnish Architecture which has a wide variety of temporary exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. In the same building you can find Finland’s largest library of architecture.
Helsinki Art Museum
This museum can be considered more of an exhibition complex than a classic museum, with once and for all frozen exhibition. But there are also permanent exhibitions, introducing the traditions, national costumes and beliefs of the peoples of Alaska, China, Tibet and Lapland, where you can see the life-size yurts and teepees. Free admission is available on Fridays from 11:00 to 16:00.