Discover the best day trip destinations just a stone’s throw away from Helsinki with this comprehensive guide. Explore scenic getaways, historical treasures, and natural wonders, all within easy reach of the Finnish capital. Plan your perfect day out now, in any season! My favourite spots usually include beautiful nature, design and thrifting, but everyone will find something fun here. 

Table of Contents

The best Day Trips from Helsinki

Strömforsin Ruukki

Distance / Time from Helsinki: 105 km / 1.20 hrs by car

What to do: Explore the village, see the old ironworks museum, browse boutiques. Eat at the Bed&Bistro or the Old Mill.

When to go: Summer has the most options and longest hours. But it is beautiful in any season.


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 88 km / 1.13 hrs by car

What to do: Walk by the picturesque river, enjoy a meal and coffee in one of the idyllic restaurants, enjoy a beer at the brewery. See overnight options here. See my winter blog post here!

When to go: I loved our winter visit, it was magical! But it’s super popular during summertime too.


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 142 km / 1.45 hrs by car

What to do: Explore the ironworks village and shop in the local boutiques. Meet the alpacas and enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants. If you feel like nature, you can go for a hike or paddling in Teijo National park next to the village. Read my blog post for all the details!

When to go: It’s the most gorgeous little summer village and has the most to offer then.


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 180 km / 2 hrs by car

What to do: while you can easily spend many days in Tampere, if you’re short on time, you can get a best-of done in one day! The lakeside sauna capital is well known for its laid-back vibes, industrial heritage, design and culinary scene, and of course munkki (local donuts). So that’s an easy list of must-do’s!

When to go: truly a year-round destination, it’s really fun to explore the lake in frozen winter times, during the beautiful autumn colours or vibrant summer days.

Read my full guide to the perfect getaway to Tampere here!


Distance / Time from Helsinki: ca. 100 km / 1,5 hrs by car

What to do: a great little idyllic spot with a small beach, a charming town with beautiful wooden houses, a great pizza spot and excellent second hand shopping – what else is there you need? Oh right, design lovers should absolutely visit Villa Skeppet, which was designed by iconic Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

When to go: I’ve been both in summer and autumn and it was delightful both times. 



Distance / Time from Helsinki: 128 km / 1.31 hrs by car

What to do: The old fishing lodge from the Russian times is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Walk through the house that’s both elegant and rustic and like time travel. Just sitting by the wild waters of the rapids is lovely. Read more about the area here!

When to go: Open seasonally, usually from May to September. Check the website before you go.

Malmgård Manor & Brewery

Distance / Time from Helsinki: 71 km / 1.04 hrs by car

What to do: The old Malmgård Manor is a stunning house even to just admire from the outside, but guided visits are possible too upon prior request. In the Malmgård brewery you can learn about the brewing process and buy all kinds of amazing local products and of course, beers. Read more about the area here!

When to go: The shop and visits of the Manor house are possible throughout the year. Read more here.

Iittala Village & Aulanko

Distance / Time from Helsinki: 126 km / 1.33 hrs by car

What to do: Anyone even just a little interested in Finnish art and design should visit the Iittala glass museum! It’s stunning to learn about the history of the company and its designers. There’s also an outlet shop 😉 To extend your day, combine your trip with a visit to Aulanko nature reserve or to Hämeenlinna castle. Read more here!

When to go: Museums are always great, at any season! If you like cross-country skiing, Aulanko is great in winter, in summer excellent for hikes. The castle is also always worth a visit. 


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 148 km / 1.44 hrs by car

What to do: Kotka is a really versatile destination, you can visit the island of Varissaari and learn about history, enjoy a famous “posso” baked good and much more. Definitely visit the Vellamo maritime center and museum – one of my favourites! Read more about the area here!

When to go: The town is most charming in the summer, but a visit to Vellamo in particular is a great idea at any time of year.


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 125 km / 1.41 hrs by car

What to do: Hanko will charm you with its seaside vibes and beautiful coastline, it’s a great town to relax and go for a beach day. Lovely restaurant options, too. A very romantic overnight stays at Villa Maija is recommended!

When to go: Mostly known as a summer town, so aim for that!


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 89 km / 1.11 hrs by car

What to do: Walk by the seaside, browse the little shops in the old warehouses and have a drink on one of the terraces in the Laivasilta area. You can combine Loviisa and Langinkoski, Malmgård or Kotka on your day trips from Helsinki. 

When to go: It has a lot of charm in the warmer months!

Read more about the area here!

Paimio Sanatorium

Distance / Time from Helsinki: 145 km / 1.40 hrs by car

What to do: anyone interested in architecture and design should plan a visit to Paimio Sanatorium – it was created by Alvar Aalto, and it is truly one of his most interesting places. Originally a sanatorium for people with breathing issues, it’s tucked away in a beautiful pine forest. The guided tour shows you many fascinating details on the human-centric design of Paimio, you can enjoy a tasty lunch and go for a walk along the surrounding nature path.

When to go: It is an interesting spot to visit at any time of the year.

Find more info and book your visit here


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 67 km / 0.54 hrs by car

What to do: One of the most popular options for day trips from Helsinki, for a reason – it’s a classic. The town with its wooden houses along the river is picture book beautiful, you can visit lovely shops and enjoy great food.

When to go: Porvoo is lovely at any time of the year.


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 46 km / 0.46 hrs

What to do: Lohja is my personal favourite for second hand shopping, but the surrounding nature is a close second. You can visit the Villa Haikari in the summer for a lovely meal by the sea and a swim at Liessaari beach across, visit the famous Paavolan Tammi (a giant oak tree) during a short hike – a very versatile place for one of your day trips from Helsinki!

When to go: Summer places like Villa Haikari are only operating seasonally. If you want to shop around, you can do that all year round.


Distance / Time from Helsinki: 48 km / 0.50 hrs by car

What to do: The rugged cliffs and wild nature of the Porkkalanniemi peninsula are one of a kind in Southern Finland, and my top choice for those who want to experience Finnish nature at its best! Bring a picnic and sausages for a bbq. There is also an accessible path. 

When to go: It’s just stunning when it’s all green from May onwards. Trails are maintained in the winter as well, so day trips from Helsinki are possible then too.