Helsinkiguide - Karin Niiniharju - Suomenlinna - Vallisaari


Visit and immerse yourself in the maritime beauty of Helsinki

In the summer of 2021, an extraordinary moment unfolded as the grand stage for artistic expression embraced the enchanting isles of Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari, nestled alongside the illustrious Suomenlinna. Those once shrouded in secrecy as military bastions opened their storied gates to the public in 2016, and in a breathtaking convergence of nature and culture, the Helsinki Biennale graced Vallisaari for the inaugural time, etching a new chapter in Finland's artistic legacy. Then, in the summer of 2023, the Biennale rekindled its radiant splendor for a second exhilarating rendezvous with creativity.

The inaugural Helsinki Biennale represents a significant milestone in Finland's cultural landscape as an esteemed international contemporary art exhibition held biennially. Showcasing a curated selection of 40 exemplary visual artworks from Finland and abroad, the event offers a unique opportunity to engage with artistic endeavors. The art installations are strategically positioned along the historic cannon road, within powder cellars, and even within disused residential structures, providing a compelling and immersive experience.

Join us for a guided tour of Vallisaari to discover its remarkable natural beauty, artistic treasures, and rich history, all while enjoying the delightful presence of thousands of butterflies.

Suomenlinna and Vallisaari

Warmly welcome to the enchanting Suomenlinna and Vallisaari! Come and hear what memories and stories Suomenlinna and Vallisaari hold within!

Suomenlinna represents a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, conveniently located just a 15-minute ferry ride from Kauppatori. In "Suokki," visitors have the opportunity to deeply engage with the history of Finland from the 18th century to the present day. This 273-year-old sea fortress, characterized as a bastion fortress, has played a pivotal role in all major wars and critical moments in Finnish history. The presence of authentic cannons and tunnels greatly enriches the visitor's experience. Today, Suomenlinna stands as a vibrant district and is home to approximately 800 residents. During the general tour, visitors can explore significant sites such as the original dry dock, Linnanpiha (Ehrensvärd's grave), Kruunulinna Ehrensvärd, and the ramparts of Suomenlinna.

Welcome to the enchanting island of Vallisaari. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the stories of Vallisaari's residents and experience the unique way of life on the island. While gaining insights into Vallisaari's history, our tour focuses not only on its military heritage but also on its natural beauty, rich narratives, artistic expressions, and breathtaking landscapes, all tailored to your individual pace. Following the outdoor excursion, we trust that you will depart feeling rejuvenated and fulfilled.

I am an authorized guide for Suomenlinna and Vallisaari. I have undergone comprehensive training provided by the Ehrensvärd society and Metsähallitus. It is recommended to allocate a minimum of one hour for a guided tour on either island. Generally, the duration of the tour is approximately 1.5-2 hours. Visits to Suomenlinna and Vallisaari can be arranged collectively or separately, and may encompass an exploration of Lonna island, subject to scheduling feasibility.

See you on the treasure island of art and history! Guided tours via email:

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