Some of the best day trips from Helsinki, Finland, can include lots of interesting history while other day trips offer a more relaxing day away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
From beaches near the capital to the ice hotels in Lapland to three Christmas markets in Helsinki, the time of year makes all the difference. If you are traveling with children, MoominWorld, about 100 miles from the capital, is a must-see on every kid's wish list.
You can find breathtaking scenery and the most natural beauty in the Lapland region of Finland. Travel to Lapland is great year-round, although the area is still mostly known for winter vacations and ice hotels. The flights to Rovaniemi in Lapland only take about 1 hour and 15 minutes and are reasonably priced. While there, plan on taking a scenic tour, which makes for a unique day trip.
There are many free things you can do in Helsinki. If you're on a budget or don't want to spend any more than you have to, visit a fortress, go to the beach, check out the historic railway station or explore Helsinki's old town.
There are two great beaches in the Helsinki area: Hietaniemi Beach and Suomenlinna Beach, which can make for a nice relaxing day trip from the Finnish capital. If the weather isn't in your favor, then visit the Suomenlinna Fortress, which is located on the same island as the beach.
If you are visiting Helsinki in December, an absolute must for every visitor is spending a day or so strolling through one of Helsinki's cozy Christmas markets. Make sure you're are bundled up and bring some cash for the many arts and crafts items and hot beverages sold. The markets are the Women's Christmas Market in early December, the St. Thomas Christmas Market in mid-December, and the Indoor Christmas Market immediately before Christmas.
For a day trip from Helsinki that is perfect for families, MoominWorld is a fantasy-themed park where Moomin fans will get to meet their favorite characters. MoominWorld is home to characters that have captured the imaginations of European children for decades. Moomins are a family of white, roundish fairy tale characters with large snouts that resemble hippopotamuses. MoominWorld is located on a little island in the Southwest of Finland at Naantali, which is 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Turku and 110 miles (180 kilometers) from Helsinki.
You can take a guided tour of Helsinki and see the capital city's top attractions such as the old historical center including the Senate Square, City Hall, the Parliament building, and the Presidential Palace. The tour also includes Finlandia Hall and the Helsinki Opera House. Transportation is included in the price, for approximately $40 per person, and you can plan additional sightseeing on your own at the end of the guided portion of the tour.