Daytrips from Helsinki

The holiday season is over but we still have the weekends. There are a number of places one can easily enjoy within Helsinki but there are also some good options for day trips outside of Helsinki:

  • Our most recent day trip was to the old town of the Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The ferry ride to the capital takes 2 hours or less.
  • Probably the most known one would be to the lovely little old town of Porvoo only half an hour drive from Helsinki.
  • Fiskars and Billnäs, 1-1,5 hours drive to the village that grew around ironworks in the 17th century and has been turned into a centre of modern crafts and design.
  • Early in the summer we did a day trip to Puuhamaa, an activity based fun park, located approximately half way between Helsinki and Tampere. It may close for the winter pretty soon though.
  • The centre for five museums in Espoo, we only visited the toy one though.
  • Espoo also hosts Marketta park, a permanent garden exposition. The last time I was there I was devastated to see that they had replaced the lovely kids wooden statue park with a typical playground. So now they have two playgrounds. Lucky they still have a number of labyrinth like paths, jetties, gates, picnic tables etc to entertain on a lovely day
  • Haven’t done a post on these but Aulanko area in Hämeenlinna (about 1 hour driving towards Tampere) is lovely for people who like easy outdoors. Nuuksio national park in Espoo is closer, bigger and in natural state. Great for daytrips.
  • How long can the travelling time for a day trip be? 2 hours by ferry to Tallinn was ok to me but I am not overly keen on doing the same hours driving without a good excuse. But if 2 hours is ok, then driving 2 hours to the north to Tampere (here for families) or two hours two the west to Turku would be good options too. Kotka is about as far to the East, and from what I can remember they have a great maritime museum and water park. And if “day trip” means spending a day somewhere but travelling the nights then St Petersburg and Stockholm are entertaining choices!

I have created a new category for day trips from Helsinki to make it easier to find those tips.

But what is a good day trip to you? How far do you travel and what do you want to do?



  1. I totally agree with the last comment, we need to spend more time there than travelling to get there! That said sometimes a half hour journey can be trying in our car with lots of moaning from the back seat.

    1. Yes, it really puts you in the mood when the first “are we there yet” is expressed about 100 metres from home… In generally I’d agree but I also wish for good company and something to do at the destination!

  2. Travelling by night is always good if you can get it 🙂 Not always the easiest to organise, but definitely exciting. Love having them all here in one place!

    1. Are you talking about the excitement of seeing if Mum gets any sleep at all or how many sleep on top of her…? 😉 As long as I don’t have to drive the whole way, I am all for overnight trips too.

      1. Haha I guess it’s exciting in different ways for different family members 🙂

        1. It is quite exciting to check who wakes up where now when husband is away; it’s rare to have everyone in the morning in the same bed they started in…but lovely to wake up to the cuddles 🙂

  3. Being from California I am used to driving many hours for a great destination. It’s not exactly a day trip, but we would often drive 10-12 hours from Northern California to Southern California on Friday night and drive home Sunday. Disneyland was worth the drive. 🙂

    1. Oh my… even with Zoe?! Hard core! I thing I’ve done like 4hours one way for the weekend, and if it is more I prefer to have an extra day off…

  4. I’ve driven up to 4 hours each way for a day trip! That said, is only do it if the payoff was big!

    1. 4 hours each way? And how long did you spend there? What was such a great temptation, that you wanted to do the drive (can you here my skeptical voice;)? )

      1. Three spots come to mind – all were day trips from my condo in Vegas and varied from 3 to 4 hours each way, depending on traffic:

        1. Grand Canyon (all previous visits, prior to my epic rim to river hike in May) were day trips. Most visitors from las vegas make it a day trip to the GC.
        2. Zion National Park — google this place. I think you’ll see how spectacular it is! After seeing it the first time we made the decision to return for at least a few days of hiking/camping.
        3. Bryce Canyon – same as Zion – google this place. Unbelievably gorgeous. We did it as a day trip with visitors from out of town – but we’ll definitely plan to go back for an extended visit.

        1. Well, I’d do the trip and a few more hours of driving for those destinations!

          1. Right??!! 🙂

  5. Anywhere that you get to spend more time there than travelling to and fro is OK by me!

    1. Quite a good definition. But doesn’t it matter at all what you do at the destination? or who you travel with?

      1. I like to travel by myself but I’m odd like that 😉

        1. I used to too, and will again when life permits 😉

          1. Good luck with that!

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