Photo: Eetu Ahanen | Allas Sea Pool | Visit Finland

Experience summertime in Helsinki with locals

Community saunas, al fresco dining, cycling tours, and island adventures invite visitors to experience Helsinki alongside its residents. The Finnish capital is embracing a fresh, welcoming approach, offering a blend of its unique customs and traditions, and ensuring that guests feel at home while discovering the city’s vibrant culture and scenic beauty.

Helsinki is a modern, pocket-sized European city known for its unique blend of east-meets-west architecture, design, and high technology. Besides its unique attractions, this northern city is fostering a new community-focused city culture. Public saunas, dinners under the sky, sightseeing on wheels, and island hopping make it easy for city guests to explore Helsinki alongside the locals.

We have listed our favourite Helsinki things to do for you when planning a visit to this northern capital.

Swimming in Helsinki

Allas Sea Pool opened in the heart of Helsinki by the Market Square in September 2016, is open throughout the year. This unique complex combines swimming, saunas, urban culture, and sustainable development in the best possible place in Helsinki. Enjoy a refreshing swim in heated pools, or take a dip in the sea pool for a more invigorating experience. The saunas offer a perfect way to relax and warm up, while the rooftop terrace provides stunning views of the city. Photo: Jussi Hellstén  

Löyly, an urban oasis occupying a stretch of beautiful Helsinki waterfront, offers a warm welcome and many delights for locals and visitors alike. This architectural marvel provides a seamless blend of nature and design, where you can enjoy a traditional Finnish sauna experience year-round. The spacious terraces and inviting lounge areas make it an ideal spot to unwind and take in the breathtaking seaside views. Photo: ©

With Löyly (which refers to the steam created by throwing water on hot sauna stones), Helsinki provides foreign visitors with a year-round public sauna experience – an essential activity when visiting Finland. Photo: Harri Tarvainen

Dining with Locals in Helsinki

Dinner under the open sky and Restaurant Day are annual summer events in Helsinki, where everyone can organise their own dinner anywhere they want: in front of their house, in the local park, or on the pavement. These events transform the city into a vibrant dining scene, where you can taste a variety of homemade and unique dishes. It's a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, enjoy delicious food, and experience Helsinki's community spirit. Photo: Jaakko Blomberg

Day bike rides in Helsinki

Explore Helsinki on wheels. The city boasts over 1,200 km of dedicated bike paths, ensuring there is virtually no place you can’t reach by bike. Popular yellow city bikes are available on the main streets of Helsinki, or you can hire one from several local outlets. Cycling is a perfect way to explore the city's sights, from the bustling market squares to the serene parks and waterfronts. Helsinki's bike-friendly infrastructure makes it safe and convenient for all ages. Photo: Aku Pollanen

Head out to the Helsinki Islands

The archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 330 islands, providing a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hop on a ferry and unwind in Lonna, Kaunissaari, or Pihlajasaari - these islands are just 7 to 40 minutes from the city. Each island offers its own unique charm, from sandy beaches and lush forests to cosy cafes and historical landmarks. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventurous day out, the Helsinki islands have something for everyone. Photo: Jussi Hellstén

Experience Helsinki on one of our  Finland tours.

Some other articles on Helsinki:

What to do in Helsinki

Nordic Design and Food Tours

Things to see and do in Helsinki with kids

Countdown to Christmas: Magical Helsinki Christmas Markets

Our guide to Restaurants in Helsinki

Helsinki Highlights: Visit a local sauna

May Day Celebrations in Helsinki

And much more regarding Finland