Korkeasaari, Helsinki Zoo

…is not free, the entrance fee is 12e for everyone who has turned 4 (but there is a family ticket too). But in my opinion it is one of the more affordable family day trip options in Helsinki, and the facilities are good.

IMG_0552 IMG_1547DSC_9650 We have a tradition of going there about once a year, preferably in the spring or early summer as there are generally animal babies born then. This year we saw lion cubs (but forgot to take the “watching” year by year picture)!

I’ve mentioned before that we as a part of a gift to our children try to give time. The last two months have just been crazy, so we didn’t manage a lot of eg crafts sessions. When our daughter said she wanted animals for her birthday, we thought the zoo trip would be a great gift for her. We invited grandparents and godmothers to join us and the day was perfect! Both our kids were beaming for days!


View from the ferry from Hakaniemi

You can drive or take a city bus to Mustikkasaari, an island pretty close to the zoo island Korkeasaari and then cross over the walking bridge to the zoo. At the Mustikkasaari end of the bridge there is the main entrance with a cafe and a little souvenir shop but also great toilets. By the till you can rent or borrow, not too sure which, strollers and trolleys for children. We decided to make the day more special and took a ferry from Hakaniemi. The ferry ride takes only about 10-15 minutes but it was enough to eat a cake and get into birthday mood! There is also a ferry from Kauppatori to Korkeasaari. Both ferries cost a couple of euros on top of the admission fee to the zoo.

We spotted quite a few animals this year (some of the pictures are from previous years). The day was perfect for a zoo: sunny but not hot, so the animals where out and about. By the bears there is a restaurant, great toilets and baby changing as well as nursing facilities, a playground and a huge sandpit where kids can dig and find mammoth bones. But there is also a barbecue and a number of picnic tables for everyone to use. You can buy coals for the barby from the restaurant, which we did, got our sausages done and enjoyed our picnic dinner at one of the tables with a wonderful view.

DSC_9669 DSC_9659 DSC_9651 IMG_1551

There are a couple of bbq places and quite many picnic tables scattered on the islands. Quite in the middle is the biggest restaurant and another playground. There are a few more kiosks, cafes and toilets on the island, in my opinion one never needs to go far to find what one needs. There are also two places where one can under cover eat their own food if the weather is bad: one is by the bears too and the other is in the lobby of the Amazonia house.

Korkeasaari also hosts a few events like the sand sculpting one which was on now but which we’ve seen before too. Impressive. To see what’s on there, please check their website.

All in all, I find that the zoo makes a lovely day trip for all ages, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive day!



  1. Definitely love the gift philosophy. We had a bit of a stuff- heavy birthday for P so we’ll have to make sure to balance that out at Christmas! A zoo trip is always a favourite.

    1. I guess theze to nd of gifts are a tiny bit selfish too; it’s so much fun to take the time to do something fun with the kiddos! But she did get things too, and eg the scooter has been well used ever since.

      1. Good old scooters.

        Yes, there’s a balance, but I think the kids do get a lot more out of an experience like that than yet another toy. A few things here and there, sure.

  2. I love to give zoë experiences instead of “things” although I admit she got quite a few gifts for her birthday yesterday… I think it’s parental guilt that she had to hang out with us only for her big day. 🙂

    1. …maybe I should have mentioned that the trip was part of her birthday present, she did get other things too! 😉

  3. I love trips to the zoo!

  4. I love it that everything is on an island 🙂 The zoo sounds really nice and I am sure your daughter was really happy with her present 🙂

    1. Helsinki has quite a few islands, and I love the sea so that’s were we go 🙂

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Reetta K.

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