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Spend a summer day in the archipelago

30.6.2020 Text: Helsinki This Week Photos: Julia Kivelä / Visit Finland
Spend a summer day in the archipelago

The archipelago of Helsinki consists of over 300 islands, and dozens of them are accessible for all. Most of the recreational islands have lovely beaches and beautiful nature as well as cafes and restaurants. Some smaller ones house a summer restaurant, and on some islands, you can experience sauna.

Please remember current COVID-19- related restrictions!

1. Vallisaari island

Vallisaari island was opened to the public for recreational use in 2016. The island was in military use from the 1800s onwards and closed for public for hundreds of years. Now the unspoiled nature and amazing history with old fortifications are just some of the reasons to visit this lovely island.

→ Ferries to Vallisaari leave from the Market Square during summer months. You can reach Suomenlinna and Lonna island with the same Island hopping ticket.

Vallisaari Island

2. Seurasaari island

Seurasaari is located just five kilometres from the heart of the city. It’s a popular outdoor recreation area and an open-air museum. The museum displays the Finnish way of life with cottages, farmsteads and manors of the past four centuries. There’s also a beach on the island.

→ No need to take a boat, just hop on the bus no. 24 from Lasipalatsi. Seurasaari is the last stop of the bus line.

Spend a summer day in the archipelago

3. Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna is a unique monument of military architecture and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Take a one-hour guided walk or go and wander around the islands by yourself. Museums, cafes, restaurants and lots of sights to see in Suomenlinna.

→ Ferries to Suomenlinna depart from the Market Square around the year and the ferry trip takes around 15 minutes.

4. Korkeasaari island

Korkeasaari is the island of animals and the Zoo. Explore the whole world on a single island, from the tundra to rain forests.

→ Ferries depart from the Market Square and Hakaniemi Square. You can also take the bus no. 16 from the Central Railway Station straight to the Zoo.

Korkeasaari Zoo

5. Vartiosaari island

Vartiosaari is the fourth largest island in Helsinki and located in eastern Helsinki. It is a beautiful island with different kinds of woods, forests, plants and shores. There’s also a stable with farm animals!

→ Ferries of the Eastern Archipelago Route go to Vartiosaari both from Hakaniemi near the city centre and from Vuosaari in eastern Helsinki.

6. Harakka

An island full of nature, Harakka island has no summer terraces
or beaches, only the best of the beautiful and versatile nature of the archipelago. Harakka is situated right next to Kaivopuisto park. Visit the nature centre and walk along the nature trail. There’s also an Artists’ house with exhibitions, art events and handicraft workshops.

→ Waterbuses leave from Kaivopuisto park, just next to Café Ursula.

7. Pihlajasaari island

This former villa island, Pihlajasaari has been a popular summer paradise since the 1930s. Explore the beautiful nature and the sandy and rocky beaches, experience some fantastic views of the sea. You’ll find a summer café and a restaurant on the island as well as the legendary colourful changing cabins.

→ Ferries from Merisatama and from Ruoholahti to Pihlajasaari during the summer season. The trip takes around 20 minutes.

Pihlajasaari Island

8. Uunisaari island

The tiny island just next to Kaivopuisto park has a nice beach, a restaurant and an interesting history. Uunisaari is linked to the neighbouring Liuskasaari island by a breakwater.

→ Non-stop waterbus connection to Uunisaari during summer months. The waterbus leaves from Merisatamantori.

9. Liuskasaari island

On Liuskasaari island, next to Kaivopuisto park, you can find an old yacht club building, a restaurant and a boat harbour. The restaurant Skiffer is worth a visit.

→ If you are visiting Uunisaari island, you can simply walk to Liuskasaari as there’s a connecting breakwater. Or hop on a small ferry at Merisatama and reach the island in a few minutes.

10. Isosaari island

This former military island, Isosaari offers open sea views, pristine nature and great history. A walk around the island is a must. Also a few cafes and restaurants, and a few nice sandy beaches.

→ Ferries to Isosaari operate during the summer season. They depart from the Market Square. The trip takes about 50 minutes.

11. Lonna Island

Small and trendy Lonna island offers amazing views, a restaurant and a café with organic and local food and a possibility to enjoy the sauna.

→ Ferries to Lonna leave from the Market Square during summer months. You can reach Suomenlinna and Vallisaari island with the same Island hopping ticket.

Lonna island

12. Tervasaari island

Tervasaari island is within walking distance from the Market Square, next to the lovely Kruununhaka district. There’s a walk path around the small island, a small bridge, views towards Korkeasaari, a playground and a dog park. Also remember to visit restaurant Savu!

→ A 15-minute walk from the Market Square.

13. Kaunissaari island

Kaunissaari is a recreation island located almost on the high seas is one of the farthest islands from the city. The island is two kilometres long and 800 metres wide with rocky shores and sandy beaches. Amazing views, a nature path, cooking shelters and a restaurant.

→ A 50-minutes ferry ride, ferries depart from Vuosaari.

14. Sirpalesaari island

Sirpalesaari is a little island just south of Kaivopuisto park. There you can find cliffs and rocky shores and restaurant Saari. Enjoy a summer lunch or dinner with a sea view.

→ Small boats depart from Merisatama, and the trip takes only a few minutes.

15. Lammassaari island

A nature trail from Vanhankaupunginlahti connects directly to a beautiful duckboard path through reeds to the island of Lammassaari. The duckboards are easy to walk, and there are wider areas for over- taking as well as viewing platforms. The path leads to a birdwatching platform at Lammassaari. The summer cottages on the island are private.

→ Take a bus to Tekniikan museo stop and walk from there.

Lammassaari Island

16. Vasikkasaari island

Vasikkasaari island is a small and picturesque island with unspoiled nature, impressive rocks and lovely views. Visit also the huge old oil tanks. The island hous- es also around 50 summer cottages and their tenants.

→ Ferries to Vasikkasaari leave from the Market Square. The trip takes about 20 minutes.

17. Klippan

A tiny Klippan island just outside the South Harbour is only a 2-minutes boat ride from the mainland. The wooden villa on the island was built in 1898, and there you’ll find the legendary estaurant Saaristo.

→ Boats to Klippan leave from a pier located on the south side of the Olympia Terminal.

18. Valkosaari island

Valkosaari is also a tiny island just outside the South Harbour. The white wooden pavilion was built in 1900, and nowadays this beautiful building houses the summer restaurant NJK.

→ Boats to the island leave from a pier located on the south side of the Olympia Terminal.

restaurant NJK

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