Naval history of Northern Europe unfolds at UNESCO World Heritage Site, Suomenlinna Sea Fortress Island

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Helsinki's most historic attractions, situated on a group of islands off Helsinki. The fortress was built during the Swedish era serving as a maritime fortress and naval base for the Swedish Coastal Sea Fleet before construction work began in 1748. Suomenlinna offers interesting perspectives on the history of Finland and Northern Europe, along with stunning seaside views and charming architecture. Helsinki Card visitors can explore museums and join a guided tour to learn more about the past and present of this important Finnish stronghold.


  • Guided tour of Suomenlinna
  • Suomenlinna Museum
  • Ehrensvärd Museum
  • Military Museum
  • Submarine Vesikko
  • Suomenlinna Toy Museum

Did you know:

  • Suomenlinna Fortress has served in the defence of three states: Sweden, Russia and Finland
  • The fortress is also a city district of the City of Helsinki, with 800 residents
  • The fortress' church also serves as a lighthouse
  • Suomenlinna can be reached in 15 minutes by ferry or waterbus

Things to see:

Guided Tour of Suomenlinna - Save Adult €11; Child €4

Enjoy a free guided tour of the main sights of the fortress, stepping back in time to learn about life three centuries ago. You'll be taken around the main sights, barracks, museums and the submarine, to get a complete view of this historic island and its past. Tours last 1 hour.

Opening Hours
6 Jan – 27 May & 1 Sept – 30 December in English Sat & Sun at 13.30 (not on 24.-25.12.)
1 June – 31 Aug in English daily at 11,00 13.00, 14.30 | på svenska varje dag kl 12.00
1 July - 31 Aug in Chinese Mon - Fri at 11.30
Closed: 1 May

Suomenlinna Museum - Save Adult €8; Child €4

This fascinating museum unveils the history of Suomenlinna naval fortress from the 18th century to the present day, through the Swedish, Russian and Finnish eras. Learn about life in the naval base, from the living conditions of the families who were brought there during the 17th - 19th centuries, to the struggles of the Civil War and life thereafter, as well as the important role the island had to play in naval defence Visitors can enjoy a range of exhibitions, including a short-film, Suomenlinna Experience, which brings to life the history of Suomenlinna fortress.

Opening Hours
2 Jan – 30 April: Mon – Sun 10.30 – 16.30
1 May – 30 Sept: Mon – Sun 09.45 – 18.00
1 Sept – 31 Dec: Mon – Sun 10.30 – 16.30
Closed: 6 Dec, 24 - 25 Dec

Ehrensvärd Museum - Save Adult €5; Child €2

The Ehrensvärd Museum will give you a unique insight into 18th-century living in Suomenlinna fortress island. Its stunning 18th-century décor has been preserved to give you a look into how some of the upper class lived. Walls are adorned with Indian ink drawings, by Augustin Ehrensvärd, oil paintings by Elias Martin, as well as other collectables and curious objects of maritime history.

Opening Hours
April: Sat - Sun 11 - 16
5 - 31 May: Mon–Sun 10–16
1 June - 31 Aug: Mon–Sun 10–17
1 - 16 Sept, 22 - 23 Sept: Mon–Sun 11–16

Military Museum

The Manege was originally used as a storeroom for artillery at the Suomenlinna fortress in the 18th century, so the buiding itself as a story of its own. Now, as a museum, its exhibition, From Autonomy to Atalanta, focusses on the history of Finland’s defence forces and soldiers, as well as wars involving Finland from the 17th century to the present day. Visitors can learn through the objects (including the Submarine Vesikko) and displays about the weapons and wars throughout the displays.

Opening Hours
9 May - 31 December: Mon - Sun 11.00 - 18.00

Submarine Vesikko

Climb on board the historic Submarine Vesikko to get a sense of what cramped and crowded life was like on board this submarine when it operated in the Finnish navy during the wars of 1939-44. Having undergone significant restoration, it's one of the museum's most impressive historic artefacts that you can experience.

Opening Hours
9 May - 31 October: Mon - Sun 11.00 - 18.00

How to get there:

- Boat from Market Square (Kauppatori)

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Suomenlinna, Helsinki


+358 (0)9 6841850