Rainy Day Activities in Helsinki: Your Ultimate Guide

A rainy day can happen and – let’s be real – we’d rather not spend our day out in the rain. But don’t worry, Helsinki has some wonderful options on how to spend a rainy day if you don’t want to be outdoors. From food to sightseeing to shopping – here are my top tips on what to do on a rainy day in Helsinki! 

But: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing – yes – but we don’t have to push it either. 

Table of Contents

Map overview for Helsinki on a rainy day

Brunch and a church visit

Not many things are better than a weekend brunch! And luckily, a bunch of excellent options are near a couple of interesting churches – so why not take the chance to visit them? 

Because honestly – the Temppeliaukio Rock Church is amazing, and when have you been there the last time? Exactly.

Brunch at Levain & Visit Temppeliaukio Rock Church

Brunch at Green Hippo Café & Visit St. John’s Church

Brunch at Story café in the Old Market Hall & Visit the Tuomiokirkko Cathedral and the Crypt

Visit the Market Halls

Hakaniemi Market Hall: this traditional market hall is where the locals go to shop – you can find some of the best cheese, high-quality produce, meat and fish, lovely little restaurants and a lot more. Easy to spend half a day! 

Have lunch at Kirsikka restaurant, or just treat yourself to a Karelian pie with egg butter, a cinnamon bun and coffee in one of the cafés. 

Hietalahti Market Hall: the place for a wide variety of food – if you have trouble deciding on a place, it will be easier here because you have a bunch of excellent options to look at. 

Always recommended is Petiscaria for Portuguese food and Särdough for pizza.

See a movie at a small cinema

A classic for a rainy day – choose a special theatre for your rainy movie day! Helsinki has some beautiful small cinemas that are more cozy and intimate than the big screen ones. Check out these:

Riviera – modern, yet oldschool elegance – and snacks by your cozy sofa seats

Orion – discover indie and art movies at Orion cinema

Kino Engel – very small hidden gem in the historic heart of Helsinki

Finnkino Maxim – although part of the bigger chains, this particular theatre is small and cozy

Indoor picnic at the Winter garden

Pick up your favourite snacks and head to the Winter garden! The stunningly beautiful glass building is home to over 200 plants, it’s peaceful, educational and smells great. 

You can enjoy a little picnic and feel like you’re on a tropical mini-holiday!

Visit not just any Museum

Helsinki has many special museums to offer, and a rainy day is the perfect time to explore these – some of these are the largest ones in the area so you can easily spend a few hours there. Here are my favourites:

Alvar Aalto’s House & Atelier – did you know that you can visit the famous architect’s home and studio? Both are located in the Munkkiniemi neighbourhood which are easy to reach with tram 4 and a great way to spend a few hours, even if you are not super interested in his work – the places are a beautiful glimpse of Finnish design in everyday life.

Natural History Museum – the large moose statue sets the pace and mood for a visit to the museum where you can learn all about nature around the world, in addition to their themed exhibitions. Several floors will keep you busy for a while in bad weather!

Ateneum – the Finnish National Gallery and the largest collection of art in Finland is just a few metres from the Railway Station, so it’s easy to get to and you can spend a lot of time exploring the many different floors in a stunning building. Local tip: their lunch is really good!

Amos Rex – with stunning underground architecture and well-curated, super interesting exhibitions and installations, Amos Rex is a special museum in many ways, and a fairly new one on the Helsinki map

Didrichsen Art museum – another combination of a private home and museum, on the island of Kuusisaari.

If you love museums – consider getting the Museokortti – Museum card! It gives you access to over 300 museums (but not all of them) all around Finland. And with admission prices at some places being 18€ – it’s a great way to save money.

Swimming & Sauna

A classic choice for a rainy day! Here are some great options:

  • Löyly Helsinki – a modern classic – the gorgeous wooden seaside sauna is cozy and warm inside, and you can still go for a quick dip in the sea if you want
  • Yrjönkatu swimming hall – elegant and just beautiful, this indoor swimming hall from the 20s is a must-visit for wellness lovers. Note that there is optional nude swimming and different days for men and women.
  •  Uusi Sauna – cozy and tucked away in the Jätkäsaari neighbourhood, Uusi Sauna is the perfect spot to warm up amongst the locals

Hop on the pub tram

Sightseeing with a drink – could be worse hey! 

The Pub Tram is a fun way to see the city and it a great rainy day option and to spend some time. 

Make sure to check the timetable before planning a trip, and read all about it here.

Spend a day at the Mall

Now, bear with me, a day at the mall doesn’t maybe sound like your jam but: the Mall of Tripla in Pasila is not just a shopping mall. It is home to the Music museum, some truly fantastic restaurants, a cinema and much more.

  • Start your day with going Surfing – yes, on water, with a surfboard
  • A visit to the FAME music museum (also part of the Museum card)
  • Go see a movie at the Tripla cinema

Another option in the other direction is Redi mall. Here’s what you can experience there:

  • Go climbing at the climbing arena – you can rent shoes on site
  • the Second Hand market is unique to Helsinki, from clothes to houseware, you can find everything in a variety of second hand stores: Kierrätyskeskus (recycling center), Fida, Uff and more. And all that without leaving the building
  • Boneless burgers are unbeaten and voted the best in Helsinki for a reason!
  •  For a taste of fresh Vietnamese food, Saigon Café is your place