Fins love museums. So much so, that there are over 50 museums in Helsinki alone. If you are visiting for an extended period of time then is it well worth purchasing a 1 year museum pass for 69€. This will give you entrance to 34 museums in Helsinki and whooping 280 across the country. Pretty great value considering many of the museums charge upwards of 15€ for a single visit. This site has all the info.
Alternatively, if you’re only visiting for a short stay or don’t want to fork out the money, there are regular free museum days, as listed these below. Additionally, many museums are also free on International Museum Day (18 May), Helsinki Day (12 June) and Night of the Arts (late August). Another tip is that many of the museums in Helsinki are closed on Mondays. Here are my thoughts on 5 of the most popular museums in Helsinki.
This is by far my favourite museum in Finland! Colourful, interactive and captivating, the museum is a must for anyone interested in any form of visual art. As it’s so popular, lines can be very long in peak visiting times and its best experienced without crowds, so try and pick a quiet time to visit, such as an early afternoon on a week day.
Single Visit Cost: 18€
The National museum
Close to Töölönlahti and the center of town, the museum building itself is very grand, and forms a prominent component of Helsinki’s skyline. The collection centers around Finland’s history from medieval times to the 19th century and is both a fascinating insight to the national identity and intriguing window to the past.
Single Visit Cost: 12€
Open 7 days a week; 11am-6pm and Wednesday until 8pm
Free day: Fridays between 4 pm – 6 pm
Kiasma: Contemporary Art Museum
Centrally located near the railway station the contemporary museum collection is diverse and thought provoking. There’s several levels with different temporary exhibitions and the view from level 5 over the city amid different coloured strobe lights is particularly special. My favourite exhibit involved a social experiment where the artist observed people’s responses when she posed as a wellness officer, calmly touching people on the arms/shoulders to improve well being in the workplace.
Single Visit Cost: 14€
Free day: first Friday of the month
HAM: Helsinki Art Museum
Located in Tennispalatsi- an old tennis stadium next to the Kamppi mall, this museum is modern and contemporary and entirely not my thing. I just didn’t get it.
Single Visit Cost: 12€
Free day: the last Friday of every month
This is a ‘classic museum with a twist’, and houses the largest collection of classical art in all of Finland, including the odd Van Gogh. Maybe I’m a traditionalist because this elegant museum was more my style than HAM!
Single Visit Cost: 17€
Free day: seemingly random free days, see their website for details