Family Fun: Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Do you know what Linnanmäki is? If you are new to this attraction, here are some fun facts about Linnanmäki!

Have you heard about Linnanmäki Amusement Park?
Everyone in Finland knows what Linnanmäki is, and many have also visited.
But if you are new to this attraction, here are some fun facts about Linnanmäki!

Linnanmäki is an Amusement Park

Linnanmäki is an amusement park in Helsinki. It is most likely the best known amusement park in Finland.

Linnanmäki is in Helsinki

Linnanmäki’s address is Tivolikuja 1, Helsinki. It is located on a hill in the Alppila district. The highest point of the hill is about 40 metres above sea level, and it is one of the highest places in Helsinki. The Alppila district was named after the Alps, although the 40 meter hill is not quite as high as the Alps.

Linnanmäki Amusement Park was Opened in 1950

Opened in 1950, Linnanmäki is the oldest amusement park in Finland. It was founded by six organizations working for child protection in Finland.

Named after a Water Tower

The name Linnanmäki, which could be translated as “castle’s hill”, comes from the water towers (built in 1867 and 1938) which were the first buildings on the hill. The two buildings are still there, but neither is used anymore as water towers. The red round building on top of the hill looked a bit like a castle, and so the place was known as Vesilinnanmäki (Water Castle’s Hill). When Linnanmäki was opened, the name stayed, but was shortened as Linnamäki.

Open During Summer

Linnamäki is open during summer. The fun season begins at the end of April. Linnanmäki is open every day during summer months, between early May and end of August. In the September and October the amusement park is still open, but has special theme weeks with different opening hours. Check the opening hours from Linnanmäki’s website.

The Most Popular Attraction in Helsinki

Linnanmäki is the most popular attraction in Helsinki. Although it is closed during winter months, Linnanmäki still gathers about million visits every year.

Fun for the Whole Family

In Linnanmäki there are about 40 rides for visitors of all ages. In additon to the amusement park rides, there are also games, cafes and restaurants. This is a must visit destination especially for the families visiting Helsinki.

The Wooden Rollercoaster

While Linnamäki unveils new rides and retires old ones almost every year, there is a one ride that is almost as old as the amusement park itself. Linnanmäki’s wooden rollecoaster, known as Vuoristorata, has been operating since July 1951. It is the oldest, but also the most popular ride in Linnanmäki.

Visit Also the Sea Life Helsinki Aquarium

Right next to Linnanmäki is the Sea Life Helsinki aquarium, where you can discover the exciting underwater worlds. Unlike Linnanmäki, Sea Life is open throughout the year. Check the opening hours from the Sea Life’s website.

Linnanmäki’s Special Theme Weeks

Linnanmäki likes to end it’s year with special theme weeks, which are a great way to enjoy the darkening evenings of Autumn in Finland. In recent years, September evenings in Linnanmäki have been dedicated to horror themed “iik!week”, while in October Linnanmäki celebrates the “Carnival of Light”, which brightens up the darkness of October. So Linnanmäki is great summer destination, but can be nicely intriguing also in Autumn.

For more information visit the Linnanmäki website!

Linnanmäki, Taiga ride, image by Jussi Vidberg

Images by Linnanmäki

History Trip: Museum Submarine Vesikko

What it was like to be one of the 20-member crew of submarine in 1930s? If you want to experience this exotic enviroment, it is possible by visiting the museum submarine Vesikko in Suomenlinna

What it was like to be one of the 20-member crew of a submarine in 1930s?
If you want to experience this exotic enviroment, it is possible by visiting the museum submarine Vesikko in Suomenlinna.

Story of Vesikko

Vesikko was built in 1930s in a shipyard in Turku, Finland. It was launched in 1933 and delived to Germany, where is was known as CV-707. However, Finland wanted to strengthen its own navy and bought a submarine back in 1936. In Finland it was renamed as Vesikko. Vesikko was one of Finland’s five submarines. The other four were named Vetehinen, Vesihiisi, Iku-Turso and Saukko.

Vesikko is a Finnish word for mink and Saukko means otter. The other three; Vetehinen, Vesihiisi and Iku-Turso are mystical Finnish creatures living in water. So Finnish submarines didn’t sound very threatening, but were ready to protect Finnish waters when needed.

Unfortunately, submarines were soon needed when Finland was drawn in the World War II. Finnish submarines were used for patrol and convoy missions. Vesikko operated in the Gulf of Finland and had its home base in Suomenlinna. During the Winter War (1939-1940), the role of Vesikko and the other submarines remained small. In the Continuation War (1941-1944) Vesikko patrolled the Gulf of Finland and protected trading ship traffic. Vesikko’s duties as a warship ended on December 15, 1944.

Vesikko Became a Museum Submarine

After the war, the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 forbade Finland from having submarines. Therefore all of the submarines were scrapped, expect one. Vesikko was the only was that was saved. After a long and extensive restoration it was opened to the public in 1973 as an exhibit of the Military Museum. Nowadays it is a significant memorial to naval warfare as a restored 1930s submarine.

This war veteran is spending its quiet retirement days on the Susisaari island, on the coast of Helsinki, but is happy to welcoming guests during summer season. Please check the opening hours from the Suomenlinna website.

More info:
Military Museum

Image by Dorit Salutskij / Suomenlinna Governing Body

What is Suomenlinna?

Suomenlinna is a World Heritage Site and one of the most popular attractions in Finland, but what is Suomenlinna?

Suomenlinna is a World Heritage Site and one of the most popular attractions in Finland,
but what is Suomenlinna?

What is Suomenlinna?

Suomenlinna is a sea fortress, tourist attraction and one of Helsinki districts.

Where is It?

Suomenlinna is located on a group of islands on the coast of Helsinki. It takes about 15-20 minutes ride on a ferry or water bus to reach from Helsinki.

How to Get to There?

You can get to Suomenlinna either with a ferry or with a water bus. Ferry runs throughout the year, while the water bus is in service only in summer. There is also a guest harbour for those arriving with their own boats.

How Big is It?

Built on six islands, there are about 200 buildings in an area of 80 hectares. The total lenght of the defensive walls is about 6 kilometres.

What to Do?

There is much to do in Suomenlinna. In addition to the fortifications, there are also several museums, shops, restaurants, cafes, art gallery spaces and small parks. It is also a great destination for a picnic. There is even a small beach if you want to take a little swim in the Gulf of Finland. But please notice that there is also a lot of sea traffic which sometimes may cause dangerously high waves.

Visit the Museums

There are five museums (Suomenlinna Museum, Ehrensvärd Museum, Military Museum of Manege, Customs Museum and Toy Museum) and museum submarine Vesikko. In addition there are about 100 old cannons from different ages.

How Much is the Admission?

Museums have entry fees, but there is no entry fee to Suomenlinna. Just the ferry/water bus ticket price.

Visit Anytime of the Year

Suomenlinna is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Finland with about one million visits every year. And although some museums might be closed during winter, Suomenlinna is more than just a summer destination. It is great summer destination, but interesting also in Autumn or Winter.

Unique Helsinki District

Suomenlinna is not just an tourist attraction, but also one of Helsinki districts. There are about 350 apartments and 800 people living in Suomenlinna.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

When you visit, remember that Suomenlinna is protected. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Most of the old fortification structures, walls and ramparts are unfenced. So please be extra careful when moving around in the fortress, especially when climbing up the walls. Check the visitor instructions from here.

Have fun visiting Suomenlinna. For more info, visit Suomenlinna website.

Image by Suomen Ilmakuva Oy / Suomenlinna Governing Body

10 Museums for Kids in Helsinki

If you are planning to make a little educational family trip to capital region, here are 10 museums for kids in Helsinki area you might want to visit

If you are planning to make a little educational family trip to capital region,
here are 10 museums for kids in Helsinki area you might want to visit.

Museums for Kids in Helsinki

1. Sederholm House – Children’s Town

Are you interested in the history of Helsinki?
Children’s Town exhibition at the Sederholm House is a great destination especially for the family’s youngest members. Kids and their companions can learn more about Helsinki’s history through own experiences and joint activities. Entrance to the museum is always free of charge. Visit the Sederholm House website for more information.

Sederholm House is located right in the heart of the city at Aleksanterinkatu 16, Helsinki.

2. The National Museum of Finland

Are you interested in the history of Finland?
The National Museum’s (Kansallismuseo in Finnish) exhibitions offer plenty to explore, discover and experience for visitors of all ages. Especially the Playtime area on the museum’s third floor is is full of activities. Divided into three spaces; the sea, the village and the castle, children get to experience medieval life hands-on by building a castle wall, playing with wooden swords or exploring the sea. Visit the National Museum website for more information.

The National Museum of Finland is located at Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.

3. Museum of Technology

Are you interested in technology?
At the Museum of Technology (Tekniikan Museo in Finnish) you’ll get to learn about the development of technology in Finland. For example the museum’s “The Ghost and the Invention Decive” exhibition (open until end of 2027) is a versatile and interactive learning enviroment, designed specially for the children. The museum building is located next to a beautiful park which is a great destination for a picnic after the museum visit. Visit the Museum of Technology website for more information.

The Museum of Technology is located in the old part of Helsinki at Viikintie 1, Helsinki.

4. Tram Museum

What would it be like to be a tram driver in old Helsinki?
At the Tram Museum (Ratikkamuseo in Finnish) you get to explore the history public transport of Helsinki in different times. The tram simulator lets you hop into the driver’s seat or become the conductor, and take you to a journey through time. Visit the Tram Museum website for more information.

The Tram Museum is located at Töölönkatu 51 A, Helsinki.

5. Aviation Museum

Do you love airplanes?
Then you should take a flight through the different ages of the Finnish aviation at the Aviation Museum (Ilmailumuseo in Finnish). The Aviation Museum collection includes 80 aircrafts, including old fighter jets and nostaltic airliners like Douglas DC-3 and Convair Metropolitan. Visit Aviation Museum website for more information

The Aviation Museum is located in Vantaa, near the Helsinki-Vantaa airport at Karhumäentie 12, Vantaa.

6. Theatre Museum

Let your creativity fly!
One of the coolest exhibitons at the Theatre Museum is the Arkadia Theatre. At the Arkadia Theatre, which is a small-scale replica of the theatre house designed by C.L. Engel in 1820, you can be an actor or the director of your own show. In the Dressing room you can change roles and dress up your most creative costume. The Theatre Museum offers a lot of fun for the whole family. Visit the Theatre Museum website for more information.

The Theatre Museum is located at Kaapeliaukio 3, Helsinki

7. Natural History Museum

Want to see the skeleton of a dinosaur?
The Natural History Museum (Luonnontieteellinen Museo in Finnish) has five permanent exhibitions; Finnish Nature, World Nature, The History of Life, The Story of the Bones and Change in the Air. With much to see, the Natural History Museum is of the most most popular museums in Helsinki. Visit the Natural History Museum website for more information.

The Natural History Museum is located nearby the Helsinki Central Station at Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13, Helsinki.

8. Leikki – The Museum of Play

If museum’s name is Play, it must be fun!
The Museum Leikki (Finnish word for play) is dedicated to play, toys and childhood. But not just for kids, this experiential cultural destination is designed for visitors of all ages. Visit the Museum Leikki website for more information.

The Museum Leikki is located in Espoo, in the same building with the Finnish Clock and Jewelry Museum Kruunu and right next door to the exhibition centre WeeGee, at Ahertajantie 3, Espoo.

9. Suomenlinna Toy Museum

What kind of toys have Finnish children played with?
The Suomenlinna Toy Museum (Suomenlinnan Lelumuseo in Finnish) presents a private collection of antique and vintage toys, like old dolls, tin toys and teddy bears from different ages. Visit the Toy Museum website for more information.

The Toy Museum is located in Suomenlinna, at Suomenlinna C66, Helsinki.

10. Museum Submarine Vesikko

Would you dare to look inside an old submarine?
Another great destination for in Suomenlinna is a Museum Submarine Vesikko. By visiting Vesikko you get to see what an old submarine looked like inside and experience first hand the crowded working and living spaces of a submarine from 1930s. Visit the Vesikko website for more information. Please note that Vesikko is open only during summer.

Submarine Vesikko is located in Suomenlinna, at Suomenlinna B79, Helsinki

Have fun while visiting one, or all of these 10 museums for kids in Helsinki!

Image by Ella Karttunen / Museom Leikki

History Museum: The National Museum of Finland

Are you interested in the history of Finland? Then the National Museum of Finland is just the place for you!

Are you interested in the history of Finland?
Then the National Museum of Finland is just the place for you!

And by the way, even if you are not a history fan, don’t skip this one just yet. I’ll promise you that visit to the National Museum of Finland might turn out to be surprisingly interesting.

The National Museum of Finland

The National Museum contains the oldest and most comprehensive cultural history collections in the country. So we could easily rename it as the national history museum of Finland!

But the National Museum is more than just a boring history museum. It is a national cultural history museum. It means that the museum has a lot more to offer than just the Finnish history. Instead it tells the story of Finland.

Museum’s permanent exhibitions reveal the story of Finland starting from the prehistory times all the way to modern days. Experience the history through fascinating stories and a collection of artefacts. Study ancient mysteries, discover when the area of Finland was settled, and where the people might have come from? Or you can find out how Finland became Finland and what have happened during Finland’s first 100 years as an independent country.

And with a collection of about half a million objects, there is a lot to see here. The collection includes interesting artefacts, which might not all be valuable alone, but are important to Finns. These include rare findings from the ancient water burial site, a ballot box from the first election, and a suitcase of a little refugee girl who had to leave her home in Karelia during the Second World War.

Intriguing Example of Finnish Architecture

Fun thing about visiting the National Museum is that the museum building itself is a kind of an exhibition of its own. Having an excellent location along the Helsinki’s main street, the building is hard to miss. But what is it? Is it a castle? Or perhaps a church? No, the building was in fact designed as a museum from the start, although the museum was known by a different name at the time.

The predecessor of the National Museum was a State Historical Museum. It was founded in 1893 when several older collections were combined and placed in the care of the state. When Finland became independent, it was renamed as the National Museum of Finland.

The museum building was designed by Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen, Herman Gesellius and Armas Lindgren in 1902, and it is an excellent example of Finnish architecture. With its granite facade and steatite decoration, the National Museum is one of Finland’s most significant national-romantic works of architecture. The construction was completed in 1910 and the museum opened to the public in 1916.

In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the National Museum of Finland also has temporary exhibitions, short-term pop-up exhibitions and events as well as themed tours and workshops.

Have I already convinced you that the National Museum is a bit of a must-visit in Helsinki?
If so, check the opening hours at National Museum’s website.

The National Museum of Finland
Mannerheimintie 34
00100 Helsinki

Finnish Heritage Agency
Photographer Soile Tirilä. Image by The National Museum of Finland