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Top 5 Inspiring Museums to Visit in Helsinki

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Helsinki is full of interesting museums and now that it is the darkest time of year with short, grey and gloomy days I decided to go out there to explore the museum scene of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

As I mentioned earlier, I have never been a big fan of museums and never in a million years thought I would get excited about museums but on my explorations I actually found some great gems and fantastic sources of inspiration. Did I find the inner artist or historian in me? Not really, but it did widen my horizons a bit more and I did enjoy a great deal!

 Hot Spot by Mona Hatoum. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

Hot Spot by Mona Hatoum. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

Oh and one great tip: some museums in Helsinki offer free entry on the first Friday of the month (or some other day of the month). Some of my friends who are really into museums have even purchased a Museum Card that gives you access to over 200 museums all around Finland.

Mona Hatoum. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

Mona Hatoum. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

The following 5 museums are currently my absolute favourite museums in Helsinki:

1. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Kiasma – the Museum of Contemporary Art (Nykytaiteen Museo Kiasma) in Helsinki hosts both domestic and world-class international exhibitions following the latest developments in visual art and breaking the borders of a traditional art museum. In addition the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma also showcases contemporary art from the collections of the Finnish National Gallery. The museum building with winding staircases, curvy corridors and glass ceiling is a beautiful piece of modern art and architecture on its own.

Location: Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio 2, 00100 Helsinki

Winding staircases of Kiasma.

Winding staircases and curvy corridors of Kiasma.

Exhibition by Mona Hatoum. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

Mona Hatoum. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

Plastic Jungle by Choi Jeong Hwa. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

 2. HAM Helsinki Art Museum

HAM Helsinki Art Museum (Helsingin taidemuseo HAM) hosts a collection of over 9000 works of art on display around Helsinki, in parks, libraries, streets etc. HAM’s flagship museum is located at Tennis Palace (Tennispalatsi) in Helsinki city centre, with domestic and international exhibitions on modern and contemporary art. I was particularly blown away by the colourful polka dot exhibition In Infinity by Yayoi Kusama. Earlier I wrote a full post on her weird but wonderful polka dot exhibition, you can read it here.

Location: HAM Helsinki Art Museum, Tennis Palace, Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8, 00100 Helsinki

In Infinity by Yayoi Kusama. HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

In Infinity by Yayoi Kusama. HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

In Infinity by Yayoi Kusama. HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

In Infinity by Yayoi Kusama. HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

3. Helsinki City Museum

Helsinki City Museum (Helsingin kaupunginmuseo) in Tori Quarters, the historical heart of Helsinki by Senate Square encompasses five buildings built between 1750s and 1920s taking visitors on a journey through time to bygone Helsinki. In Children’s Town kids can play, draw, try on costumes, go to school in an old-fashioned classroom and visit a granny’s house from the 1970s.

Location: Helsinki City Museum, Aleksanterinkatu 16, 00170 Helsinki

HelsinkiCityMuseum_02

Helsinki City Museum.

HelsinkiCityMuseum_04

Helsinki City Museum.

HelsinkiCityMuseum_01

Helsinki City Museum.

4. Design Museum

Housed in a stunning building dating back to 1894 the Design Museum (Designmuseo) hosts classics of the Finnish design as well as exhibitions on the development of industrial art and design, and artistic handicraft from the second half of the 19th century to present day.

Location: Design Museum, Korkeavuorenkatu 23, 00130 Helsinki

Eero Aarnio. Design Museum.

Eero Aarnio. Design Museum.

Eero Aarnio. Design Museum.

Eero Aarnio. Design Museum.

5. National Museum of Finland

The National Museum of Finland (Suomen Kansallismuseo) illustrates some fantastic treasures of the history of Finland from a period of over 1000 years from medieval times to the 19th century. The dome ceiling of the main entrance hall with stunning paintings is probably the most beautiful I have seen in the city.

Location: National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, 00100 Helsinki

Ceiling of the main entrance hall. National Museum of Finland.

Ceiling of the main entrance hall. National Museum of Finland.

National Museum of Finland.

National Museum of Finland.

National Museum of Finland.

National Museum of Finland.

Have you visited any of these museums? Which museum is your favourite one in Helsinki or elsewhere?

Did you like this blog post? Read more about Helsinki:

9 New Places to Visit in Helsinki

Helsinki Street Art

In Infinity with Crazy Polka Dot Art at HAM Helsinki Art Museum

Finland: Frosty Fairytales in White Winter Wonderland

In Photos: Autumnal Colour Explosion in Helsinki

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Author: Ticket to Adventures

Captivating travel stories from around the world, near and far, by an experienced traveller and adventurer.

20 thoughts on “Top 5 Inspiring Museums to Visit in Helsinki

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Inspiring Museums to Visit in Helsinki — Ticket to Adventures – onArt magazine

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  5. I loved those museums as well -especially the design museum and kiasma- good photos

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  6. Pingback: Soaking up Christmas Spirit at Helsinki Christmas Markets | Ticket to Adventures

  7. Some of these images are mind-blowing.

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  8. Helsinki City Museum is also free of charge, always! Great for budget travellers.

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  9. Pingback: In Infinity with Crazy Polka Dot Art at HAM Helsinki Art Museum | Ticket to Adventures

  10. Thank you for the tips!

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  11. Museums are ideal places to visit on cold, damp, dark wintry days and your photos are very cheerful at this bleak time. I’ve visited all but one – we’ve not made it to the Design Museum yet but now I know that I need to add this to my list!! Thank you.

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    • Great, you have truly seen so much about Helsinki! Which one is your favourite museum in Helsinki? I think I really have to discover some of the less known museums soon too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I enjoyed both the City Museum and National Museum of Finland the most. I’m not really into Modern Art but I enjoy the bright colours and some aspects of such places as Kiasma and London’s Tate Modern!

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      • Sometimes modern art is so weird and so simple that it is hard to understand. And that is one reason I like modern art. I have never been to Tate Modern, definitey on my list on my next visit to London.

        Liked by 1 person

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