Mr Nordic

History, nature and culture on the island of Fort Suomenlinna near the Finnish city of Helsinki

Suomenlinna is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Finland, near the capital Helsinki. Suomenlinna is an inhabited fortress built on six islands. In total 800 residents live there, almost all of whom work within the walls of Suomenlinna. Here you’ll find the best views of the Helsinki archipelago, interesting museums and beautiful nature.

The history of Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna means “Finnish fort”. In Swedish, this island is referred to as Sveaborg in the port of Helsinki, which means “Swedish fort”. It was therefore built when the Swedes were in charge in Finland. Construction began in 1748 as a defense against the Russians. A few years later the imposing King’s Gate was built, on the occasion of a visit by the Swedish king Adolf Fredrik who wanted to see how the construction was progressing.

It is hard to imagine that this peaceful island was once the scene of heavy fighting and heavy bombing

The fort, built in the 18th century, was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991. From Helsinki you can reach this beautiful fortress in about 15 minutes by ferry. Read everything you need to know about your visit to Suomenlinna, one of the highlights of a holiday in Finland!

Your visit to Helsinki is not complete without having set foot on the island of Suomenlinna.
Your visit to Helsinki is not complete without having set foot on the island of Suomenlinna.

Six islands

On the six islands Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaaro, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören you will find Suomenlinna. This fort can be reached with a special ferry from Helsinki. Every fifteen minutes a boat sails to this beautiful place, the last boat leaves around 02:00. So you can enjoy a long day at this unique location. All six islands have a different atmosphere. On one island you can walk beautifully, while the other island is more suitable for a picnic or a party weekend with friends. In the summer it is possible to spend the night on Suomenlinna. The balmy summer nights, the setting sun and the warm evenings make it a romantic place in the summer months.

Enjoy the view! From the walls of the fort you have a great view of the sea and the rest of the island.

Activities on Suomenlinna

The fortress in Finland is perfect for a nice walk. There are different routes that you can walk. And everywhere you can enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. It is possible to have a picnic. There are plenty of lawns and romantic places where you can have a nice picnic. Would you rather not lug around all your stuff? There are possibilities to arrange for an organized picnic. There are also cafes and restaurants on Suomenlinna. Have a nice bite to eat at Café Piper or Café Chapman. Of course it is possible to take a refreshing dip in the ice-cold water.

On the walls of the fjord you will find the old cannons and a beautiful view of the water, the coastline and the fjord.
On the walls of the fjord you will find the old cannons and a beautiful view of the water, the coastline and the fjord.

Sights

Suomenlinna has a number of sights that you should definitely take a look at. King’s Gate is the main entrance to the fort and is now seen as the symbol of this tourist attraction. Are you going to Suomenlinna with children? Children can fully enjoy the many tunnels that are present on the islands. The dark tunnels are not lit, so a flashlight is recommended in some cases. There is a church on the islands in Finland. The Suomenlinna church was built in 1854 and serves both as a church and as a lighthouse. The large cruise ships that dock at the narrow Kustaanmiakka Strait are an impressive sight every time.

The ferry to Suomenlinna leaves from the market at the port of Helsinki. Departure times and prices vary per season.

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Mr Nordic

Mr Nordic is always looking for the most beautiful places and the best experiences in the Nordic countries. He enjoys traveling, outdoor, writing and is based in Sweden.