Helsinki is full of magnificent sights, but only some of them are truly Instagram-worthy. Such places must be dazzling, unique and above all easy to shoot – ensuring, of course, there’s room in the picture for yourself as well. You don’t have to roam the city to find such locations, though, as we’ve found you ten well-known and lesser-known locations for photos that succeed every time.

    There’s a variety of places on the list: magnificent buildings and statues, a popular sauna, a museum, and an island not open to the crowds until the 2010s. Some of these locations are iconic; others are just achingly beautiful. Check our tips now and make plans for a trip that will get noticed!


    Helsinki Central Station

    Immortalise yourself with stone men

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    Want to show you’re in Helsinki? The easiest way is to take a selfie at the Kivimies (‘Stone Men’) statues of Helsinki Central Station, or by the platform yard, and while you’re there, you might want to also capture the station’s façade and clock tower. Any Finn who sees these photos will instantly know where you are.

    These areas are easy backdrops for shooting, because you’ll pass through the station or by it anyway – the only exception would be if you fly to Helsinki and take a cab from the airport to your hotel. Even then, chances are good you’ll pass the station at some point anyway. You can take these photos whenever you want. The station is always open, and in the dark, the facade is illuminated.

    Location: Kaivokatu 1, 00100 Helsinki, Finland



    A beautiful house in the Art Nouveau style, full of great details

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    Ihantola, in the district of Kallio, is one of the most picturesque Art Nouveau houses in Helsinki. This is the look of classical Helsinki, showcased in hundreds of TV series and movies. The house’s pink colour, tower-like corners, dainty balconies and countless ornaments and geometric details enhance its great effect. All of these can be easily captured in your Instagram photos.

    Ihantola is located next to Kallio Church, at the intersection of Agricolankatu and Itäinen Papinkatu streets. The official address is Viides linja 18. You can get there from Helsinki Central Station or Kamppi by walking, on a city bike or, for example, by taking Trams 6T and 9. And while you’re there, you can visit the Kallio Church or dine at one of the many restaurants in the neighbourhood.

    Location: Itäinen Papinkatu 3, 00530 Helsinki, Finland



    Witness and photograph an idyllic rainbow of colourful houses in Helsinki

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    Huvilakatu, in Ullanlinna, is simply the perfect location for shooting. These photos are sure to distinguish themselves on your Instagram account. The street is known for its colourful blocks of flats, built in the early 1900s. Their façades are full of magnificent details, such as tower roofs, bay windows and small balconies. If you’re at the right part of the street, you can feature the façades of at least six different colours in your selfie, or maybe pick just one piece of decor or a street name sign as a background.

    Due to its central location, Huvilakatu is easy to visit. For instance, you can take a walking tour to the southern parts of downtown. The tour attraction closest to Huvilakatu is Kaivopuisto Park. From there, it’s a couple blocks’ walk to the street. And if you’re starting from Helsinki Central Station, the easiest way to Huvilakatu is with a city bike or Trams 1 and 3.

    Location: Huvilakatu 17, 00150 Helsinki, Finland


    Kaisa House

    An astonishing modern façade with some great artworks at Kaisaniemikatu

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    Kaisa House, only a short walk from the Helsinki Central Station, is one of the most Instagrammable locations in the heart of Helsinki. The house’s modern façade looks great as a background for your selfies or just by itself. However you choose to shoot it, it’s sure to impress everyone. If you have a chance, you should also visit the house itself. The best location for photos inside the building is a large work of art taking up a wall on the third floor, Pienet maailmat (“Small worlds”), a perfect counterpart to the dark façade of the building.

    Kaisa House is the location of the library of the University of Helsinki – anyone can visit it. The easiest way to find the opening hours is online. From the front door of Helsinki Central Station, go a couple of blocks to your left on the street running past the station – you’ll then see the façade on the right side of the street. The easiest way to get to the third floor is through Fabianinkatu street, on the other side of the House.

    Location: Kaisaniemenkatu 7, 00100 Helsinki, Finland


    photo by Bahnfrend (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Sibelius Monument

    A legendary modern scupture that is guaranteed to make an impact every time you see it

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    The Sibelius Monument in the Sibelius Park in Töölö District is one of the most special scuptures in Helsinki, ready for shooting from whichever direction. This abstract monument consists of hundreds of vertical metal pipes on a rock, next to a face relief of composer Jean Sibelius himself. The fascinating appearance and size of the scupture, as well as the beauty of the surrounding nature, make it a perfect background for selfies. You can fit in either the whole memorial, or just a few pipes.

    Due to the monument’s somewhat remote location, your photo sessions usually won’t be disturbed. From the centre of Helsinki, the easiest way to reach it is by city bike or Trams 2, 4 and 10. If you select the latter option, you should jump off a few blocks to the east of Sibelius Park, at the Töölö Hall exit.

    Location: Sibeliuksen puisto, Mechelininkatu, 00250 Helsinki, Finland


    The Natural History Museum

    A magnificent historical building full of extraordinary photo opportunities

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    The Natural History Museum is both a brilliant attraction and an excellent location for photos. You can start your photo session directly at the façade of the building, which has a small tower on the top. Once inside, you can try to capture the building’s magnificent historical decor. There are a huge number of mounted animals and skeletons, plants and other nature-related objects – endless opportunities for shooting, in other words.

    The most extraordinary subjects are the extinct animals, such as the mammoth. Many distinct natural materials can serve as great photo backgrounds as well, however. The Natural History Museum is at Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13. From Helsinki Central Station, it is easiest to walk. It’s a short trip – only about five blocks.

    Location: Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Summer season: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Winter season opening hours vary

    Phone: +358 (0) 2941 28800


    Vallisaari Island

    Island with wild nature and plenty to photograph

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
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    • Adventure

    Vallisaari, not open to visitors until 2016, is a gorgeous marine nature zone, only a short boat ride from Market Square. It’s a real treasure, especially for those who are into natural and marine photography. There’s no chance of running out of details and backgrounds. The island’s wild nature has had a chance to live and grow completely uninhibited for ages, and the number of different plant and animal species on the island is spectacular. In addition, the island has several picturesque buildings and structures, such as the island’s most amazing sight, the fascinating Alexander Battery.

    The boat ride to Vallisaari also offers a lot of opportunities for shooting, should the sea allow it. From the start of June to the end of September, the only easy way to Vallisaari is the water bus departing from the Market Square. Otherwise, you can only access the island with your own boat.

    Location: 00860 Helsinki, Finland



    A modern, picturesque sauna complex on Hernesaari Island

    • Couples
    • Families
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    The Löyly sauna complex, opened in 2018, was practically created for Instagram. The building, which blends seamlessly into its surroundings, and the sea at its feet offer the sort of a background that makes photos an effortless success. The large terrace of the building also allows you to get snapshots of large crowds, tender moments, and that special Helsinki summer atmosphere. Or maybe ask someone to take a picture of you going for a first winter swim in the frosty Baltic Sea?

    Löyly’s magnificently stylish restaurant, on the other hand, offers opportunities for interior photography. After your photo session, you can warm up in one of the three saunas in the complex. Löyly is located at Hernesaari beach, only a short bike ride from the centre of Helsinki. If you’re using public transport, the easiest way to get there is Tram 1.

    Location: Hernesaarenranta 4, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Restaurant: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm, sauna has varying opening hours

    Phone: +358 (0) 9 6128 6550


    photo by Vadelmavene (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Havis Amanda

    Immortalise yourself alongside a sea lion at this famous fountain

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    The Havis Amanda statue, a central location for May Day festivities, is easy to shoot on your way to Suomenlinna Fortress, for example. The Art Nouveau fountain, built in 1906, presents a maiden rising from the ocean, surrounded by four water-spraying sea lions. Thanks to its small size, it’s easy to get the whole fountain in one photograph.

    If you want to take some selfies, the best spot is next to the sea lions as, unlike the main statue, they do not stand in the water. Just remember: the statue is owned by the Finnish Museum Bureau, and it’s not for climbing. You can find Havis Amanda in the middle of Helsinki Market Square. From Helsinki Central Station or Kamppi, the easiest route is walking, city bikes, or Tram 2.

    Location: Kauppatori, 00130 Helsinki, Finland


    Artek Helsinki store

    A store with great decor and backgrounds in the heart of Helsinki

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    The Artek Helsinki shop has an endless number of backgrounds, furniture, objects and other details that suit Instagram perfectly. Here, you can take a picture of yourself in one of Artek’s legendary chairs, in an environment that is – to say the least – quite harmonious. Or you can take photos of various interior design alternatives and textiles for your later use and inspiration. In addition to Artek’s own brand, the shop showcases products from many other design brands, and there’s also a changing selection of art exhibits. All in all, it’s truly an aesthete’s heaven.

    The shop is located at Keskuskatu 1 B, only two blocks from the front door of Helsinki Central Station. The shop is not open on Sundays. On other days, the specific opening hours are easily found online.

    Location: Keskuskatu 1 B, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +358 (0) 10 617 3480


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