Ticket to Adventures

Travel blog from around the world, near and far.

Helsinki: Sightseeing Stroll Around Töölönlahti Bay


The peaceful urban park of Töölönlahti Bay is a true green oasis in Helsinki city centre. Many of Helsinki’s best attractions, landmarks and cultural institutions can also be found in this area. Having said that, Töölönlahti Bay makes a perfect place to enjoy nature, sports and cultural activities.

The other day I went on an expedition around Töölönlahti Bay and found so many attractive spots to explore, quiet corners to relax and so much more!A leisurely walk around Töölönlahti Bay takes no more than an hour. If you wish to explore the area and attractions you should reserve at least half a day or why not even one full day to complete it.

The area is easily covered on foot but most spots can also be reached by public transport or car/bicycle.I started my sightseeing stroll around Töölönlahti Bay from Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art next to the main Post Office in Helsinki city centre. From here I could already see the large green park area of Töölönlahti Bay Park (Töölönlahden Puisto), which has during the past few years experienced a facelift and today accommodates playgrounds for children and inviting green areas perfect for sunbathing and picnicking.The newest building on the block between the Parliament House, Kiasma Museum of Modern Art and the green park is Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo), which is a super modern concert hall and home to Sibelius Academy and two symphony orchestras.Designed by a famous Finnish architect named Alvar Aalto, the congress and event centre of Finlandia Hall is the white shiny pearl of Töölönlahti Bay.On the other side of Finlandia Hall I found a cute little villa, Hakasalmi Villa, which accommodates a museum (free entrance) together with idyllic Cafe Huvila. This villa with a well maintained garden and colourful flowers is a sight for the eyes in all seasons.Right across the main road of Mannerheimintie stands a very castle like building. This is the National Museum of Finland (Kansallismuseo) that presents Finnish history from the Stone Age until today.Then I arrived to the waterfront to at Töölönlahti Bay to find golden frames hanging down from a birch tree next Hakuna Matata SUP rental shop. And naturally I took millions of photos of the breathtaking view over Töölönlahti Bay. This must be one of the prettiest vistas of the blue waters of Töölönlahti Bay. Absolutely picture perfect! A paved pathway with two lanes runs around Töölönlahti Bay for 2.5 km. The outer lane is for bikers and the inner one for those on foot.

At this point I needed to decide whether to do the walk clockwise or anticlockwise. I heard from someone that locals always walk around the bay anticlockwise. However, as a local I do not recognise this statement. To be honest, I always prefer doing my stroll clockwise. This is because towards the end of the walk there are a couple of nice coffee shops with fantastic sea views and delicious cakes so I rather enjoy treats at the end of the stroll. So clockwise we go.After Finlandia Hall I walked through Hesperian Puisto Park that offers plenty of green space to enjoy and benches right by the water to take a break and do bird watching. From here views over Töölönlahti Bay are fantastic and you can see all the way to Linnanmäki Amusement Park across the bay.At Cafe Tyyni right on the water’s edge you can relax and enjoy the views on a small sunbathing platform.Soon I came across a striking white building on the left, the Opera House, which is home to the Finnish National Opera.At the northern end of Töölönlahti Bay just across the road Helsinginkatu I stumbled upon Helsinki Olympic Stadium, which is the largest stadium in Finland, mainly used for sports events and concerts. Back in 1952 the XVth Olympic Games were held here. The Sports Museum of Finland is also located here. The stadium tower at 72 meters offers definitely the most panoramic views of the city. Unfortunately the stadium, tower and museum are all currently closed until 2019 due to renovation. But it is definitely worth admiring this architectural masterpiece from the outside too.East to the Olympic Stadium sits another interesting attraction, Helsinki Winter Garden. This summery oasis of exotic plants with barbels splashing in the pools is a delightful place to explore all year round. In the indoor garden you can enjoy a picnic under palm trees in lush picturesque settings. During the summer months you get to admire the beauty of the well maintained outdoor rose garden. You can read more about my visit to the tropical paradise of Helsinki Winter Garden here.From Helsinki Winter Garden it is a short walk up the road to Linnanmäki Amusement Park and Sea Life Aquarium. Entrance to Linnanmäki Amusement Park is free but you will have to pay for the rides. They actually do offer 10 free rides (mostly for children), out of which I enjoyed the Panorama Sightseeing Tower the best as it offers a 360-degree view of the city. You can read more on free things to do in Helsinki here. In October as autumn evenings turn dark and nights long the spectacular Linnanmäki Carnival of Light is a must-see.Back at the northeastern end of Töölönlahti Bay, a couple of paddle boarders launched themselves out onto the water as I walked pass.The east bank of Töölönlahti Bay is a peaceful, leafy green area called Linnunlaulu (Bird song) and home to a series of villas built 120 years ago. From here views over the bay and Helsinki’s most famous landmarks such as the Opera House and the Finlandia Hall are breathtaking.This is also a perfect place to make up for lost calories with a cup of tea and a slice cake at one of the cafes. I have become a regular at Cafe Sininen Huvila (Blue Villa) and Cafe Taideterassi.From Linnunlaulu it was just a short walk downhill back to my starting point at Töölönlahti Bay Park, where I was welcomed by endless flower meadows. This is something I have never in seen in Helsinki city centre before, what a pretty sight for the eyes and a great way to end my sightseeing stroll around Töölönlahti Bay.

Töölönlahti Bay | Helsinki

What do you enjoy the most about Töölönlahti Bay? Please leave your comments in the box below!

You may like to read more about Helsinki:

10 Free Things to Do in Helsinki

Island Escape in Helsinki Archipelago: Former Military Island Isosaari

5 New Places to Visit in Helsinki 2017

Sightseeing Cruising in Helsinki Archipelago

Helsinki: 6 Unique Summer Cafes


Author: Piia | Ticket to Adventures

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

28 thoughts on “Helsinki: Sightseeing Stroll Around Töölönlahti Bay

  1. Ohh Helsinki in my heart! Reading your posts just putted a smile on my face! I use to live in Pakila in my younger days. And it was in Helsinki where I meet my husband acutally so you can understand why Helsinki has a special place in my heart. We are going back to Helsinki next summer after 15 years! And this walk is not to difficult for our daughter to do…I think she would love Linnanmäki!


    • So lovely hear that you have such special memories of Helsinki. This is a wonderful city, and I really love living here. I am sure you will enjoy your visit to Helsinki next year, lots and lots of things have changed here during the past 15 years, especially in the city centre (even though sometimes it feels that nothing happens and changes up here haha). Your daugther will definitely love Linnanmäki, they have plenty of entertainment for children.


  2. Had no idea how green Helsinki was during the summer! I’ve only seen Winter scenes so this is refreshing. I also adore the photo frames what a genius idea!


  3. aww i ‘ve been seeing a lot of finland related blogs these day and it seems to me like it is a sign. love your photos of the chill and laid back vibes this town elicits!


  4. Wow, the sky is so blue and the grass is so green! I would love to visit the winter gardens and the National Museum…I can definitely see how this could take at least a full day.


  5. So many gorgeous sights to see around the bay, and your pictures are just stunning! Perfect captures of a cultural location, thanks!


  6. Beautiful pictures with lots of greens and blues – perfect for a nice day of walking!


  7. Thank you for sharing this! Would love to visit helsinki ❤️ It’s on my travel list for next year if everything goes well 🙂


  8. What a beautiful walk to do in the city – and so much to see too! Looked like a great day for it too!


  9. I like these cute little villas))Wouldn’tmind drinking coffee and eating and eating cake there)) I love it when there is a green oasis in the city centre) I will definitely check it out if I ever visit Helsinki!)


  10. Beautiful pictures! Finland seems like a nice place to go during summer!


  11. Just returned from a trip to Helsinki and this was probably my favourite spot in the city… We stumbled across Cafe Sininen Huvila by accident. It’s such a beautiful place to sit overlooking the lake!


  12. Oh wow, beautiful shots! What a lovely walk!


  13. I adores strolling around here and love the idea of the picture frames hanging down ready for photo taking, I hadn’t noticed those on my recent visits. Hope the sunny weather continues over the weekend Piia!


  14. I have done this walk many times, I love it.


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