Oh, dating! A good date can make or break it – and I have 10+ unique date ideas in Helsinki for you! An intimate date night with good drinks or food, an outdoorsy date day or something interactive – I got all the ideas for you!
The dating culture in Finland is interpreted as quite difficult by many. People generally tend to be more reserved and it can take a while for things to get to a personal level. Being straightforward is appreciated, which can sometimes be interpreted as blunt. Relationships are based on equality (like pretty much everything in Finland), so it’s common for a couple to split their dinner bill and it’s not rare that the woman pays – or at least does not expect the man to.
My dear friend Varpu has a couple of very extensive posts on dating culture posts from her perspective as a Finn on the Her Finland blog, I highly encourage you to check them out!
Guide to Dating in Finland
No matter if you want to wow your crush on a first date, or take your partner on a little adventure, a great date can be just the best! While the classic dinner at your favourite restaurant and a movie or coffee dates are great, there are some ways to add something special in your dating life every once in a while. Here are some ideas for unique date ideas in Helsinki:
I bet you have walked by the Helsinki SkyWheel a hundred times but never been – and a lovely date is a great reason to change that! You get beautiful views over all of Helsinki, some quality time together. A great way to start or end a date with a lovely meal before or after. Book your tickets for 13€ here.
A bike ride can be a wonderfully romantic activity. You can spend quality time together and visit a special place. Take some snacks with you and have a nice break somewhere, watch the sunset over a hot drink. If you don’t have a bike, you can use the City Bikes (the seasonal pass costs 35€, and just 5€ for a day). Read more about all my biking tips and my favourite routes here!
Another classic for any date night idea in Helsinki, I would recommend to look at the smaller, very beautiful cinemas that make the outing a bit more special! Enjoy some tapas and wine (pre-order them for feeling extra special) with your movie at Riviera Kallio, get extra cozy in the very small, tucked away Kino Engel, art cinema or independent films at Orion cinema or admire art house style vibes in Finland’s oldest cinema, Finnkino Maxim.
The EAT Finland book is a Restaurant book that gives you great deals in selected restaurants, such as a special price for the menu or a free main course – it depends. You purchase the book, and take it to one of the restaurants for the offer. It’s a great way to try out new restaurants and get a special deal while at it, if you use all the offers in the book you make a great deal. It is great for recurring date night ideas in Helsinki – simply try one restaurant each month! You can also buy the EAT Finland book for Tampere or Turku.
Museums are a classic for dates – and Helsinki has many great ones to offer! From the famous Kiasma or Amos Rex museum to more unknown ones like the Alvar Aalto home and atelier, there’s something for everyone. You can also consider getting the Museum Card which includes entrance to over 300 museums all over Finland. Get it here.
In a city like Helsinki there are many beautiful restaurants, and in summertime especially those our on the islands are something to put on your list for date night! Take a boat out for a wonderful meal with a seaside view and the best summer feelings! It’s something special, it gives you quality time and you can combine nature and delicious food. Many of these start their season on May 1st.
Lonna – lovely summer restaurant and sauna – if you feel like adding that!
Saari – classic island restaurant with lovely Finnish dishes and beautiful views
Skiffer Liuskaluoto – enjoy a liuska (similar to pizza) in the middle of the harbour! Unique spot!
Adlerfelt – low-key restaurant on Suomenlinna, with a cozy backyard and good wine selection
Kobben – Pizza on one of the tiniest little spots, Katajanokanluoto – a unique summer spot and hidden gem!
The Botanical winter garden in Töölö is a wonderful little tropical escape for a rainy day or a cold weekend. It’s not huge, but you can take some snacks and have a little indoor picnic after a little wander about. If the weather isn’t too bad, you can continue with a walk around Töölönlahti bay after! See more about it here.
Getting cocktails is always a treat, and lovely for a date night! These bars are cozy, intimate and definitely a treat! Order for each other and surprise your date!
Trillby & Chadwick: a hidden speakeasy in Helsinkis old town, also tasty nibbles along the very creative cocktail menu
Chihuahua Julep: hidden cocktail bar that’s easy to miss, with a specialisation on rum
Bardem: a new, more lovely favourite in the city centre! Great drinks, good music, lovely service
Going on a date to the Helsinki opera is a wonderful and special idea, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. The fine arts are really accessible for everyone in Finland, and there are many beautiful contemporary performances that are really interesting, aside of the classic ones. You can find affordable tickets, and pre-order some snacks for the intermission – it’s a great surprise for your date to come out to a nice set table with a glass of bubbles and treats. And you don’t have to dress up (but you can) – it’s really for everybody. Check out what’s on here.