Built on five interconnected islands by the Swedes in 1748 to protect Helsinki from seaborne attack, the fortress of Suomenlinna, fifteen minutes away by boat, is the biggest sea fortress in the world. Reachable by ferry from the harbour, it’s also a great place to stroll around on a summer afternoon, with superb views back across the water towards the capital: you can either visit independently or take one of the hour-long summer guided walking tours, beginning close to the ferry stage and conducted in English (June–Aug daily 11am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm; Sept–May Sat & Sun 1.30pm; €11 high season, €4 low season). Suomenlinna has a few museums, none particularly riveting, but the best is Suomenlinna Museum (daily: May–Sept 10am–6pm; Oct–April 10.30am–4.30pm; €6.50), with a permanent exhibition on the island. There are several atmospheric places to eat and drink.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Finland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In pictures: brushing shoulders with bears in Finland’s newest national park

In pictures: brushing shoulders with bears in Finland’s newest national park

In 2017, Hossa – an area of pristine wilderness with superb hiking near Finland’s eastern border – became the country’s 40th national park. Photographe…

05 Dec 2017 • George Turner insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Brave new world: the quirks of Finland’s saunas

Brave new world: the quirks of Finland’s saunas

To Finns, it is the most natural thing on the planet: disrobing, sweating it out naked in front of strangers in temperatures of 80°C, occasionally self-flagell…

11 Aug 2016 • Luke Waterson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right