Ultimate Family-Friendly Guide To Helsinki With Kids

Where To Stay, Play & Explore With Kids In Helsinki

Bubbles Helsinki

With some of the cleanest air in the world, countless great museums and delicious local seafood, Helsinki makes for a fun-filled family trip. From a zoo on its own island that’s home to climate-appropriate species like reindeer and snow leopards to indoor and outdoor markets where you can sample the local produce, this guide will introduce you to everything you’ll need for a trip, including family-friendly hotels where you can kick back and relax, restaurants, museums, malls, independent boutiques, plus the best bars in the city! Read on and get some great ideas to plan a vacation that your whole family will never forget. Here is Little Steps’ ultimate guide to visiting Helsinki with kids!

  • Amusement Park Helsinki


    Don't Miss Activities, Including The Amusement Park And Sea Life!

    Helsinki is a great city that all the kids will enjoy, from lively toddlers to inquisitive teenagers. Love animals? Then get yourself along to Korkesaari Zoo or Sea Life. At the former, you'll find more than 150 different species, but only animals that can cope with Finland's cool climate like snow leopards, reindeers and wolverines. Sea Life is equally spectacular, playing host to rays, turtles, piranhas and electric eels plus plenty more!

    A popular hangout with locals (especially it's a rainy day!), Helsinki's central library, Oodi, has cozy corners where you and the kids can curl up with a good book or two, plus spaces for crafts, gaming, a cinema and cafes. If you're a family with a head for heights, then head over too the Skywheel, which stands 40m high and boasts gorgeous views over the harbor and can lay claim to being the only observation wheel with a sauna on one of its gondola cabins!


    Top 20 Things To Do With Kids In Helsinki - The BEST Activities:

  • St George Hotel Helsinki


    Luxury, Boutique and Budget Options

    Like any capital city, Helsinki has a solid range of accommodation options, ranging from top-end options like Hotel St. George, which is housed in a gorgeous building dating back to the 1840s and features an impressive art collection (there's a rare piece by Ai Wei Wei on display), through to affordable self-serviced apartments like Inotelli, where you'll have more space for you and the kids to spread out.

    There are plenty of recognisable brands if you're looking for a bit of familiarity: there's Hiltons scattered throughout the city, and the Radisson and Crowne Plaza also have a presence here, too. If you're looking for something a bit different, there's a great selection of boutique hotels in Helsinki: we love heritage property Hotel Lila Roberts, which boasts roomy suites and connecting rooms if older kids want a bit of privacy, and Hotel U14, where you can have breakfast until 10am on weekdays and 2pm on the weekends. Get ready to bed down in the Finnish capital!

    Luxury Family Hotels And Resorts In Helsinki:

    Boutique Hotels In Helsinki:

    Affordable Hotels In Helsinki: 

  • Meal Levain Helsinki


    From Kid-Friendly Menus To Locally Foraged Food

    Whether you’re travelling with newborns, toddlers or teenagers in tow, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants available in Helsinki that will welcome you and the fam with open arms. At Krog Roba inside the Lila Robers Hotel, you can book in for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, while Aito is the place to try dishes made from locally-foraged herbs, berries and mushrooms. Bistro Garden By Olo boasts a lovely piazza-like courtyard, while bakery/eatery Levain is a great lunch spot, with egg and bacon sandwiches made with home-made sourdough bread, plus scrambled eggs and pancakes.

    If only pizza will do, head to Pizzorante Bro inside the Hilton Helsinki Strand (there’s a kid’s menu too), while for sustainable eats that teenagers may appreciate, try family-run Restaurant Natura. Another good choice Italian fare – let’s face it, anything with pasta and pizza on the menu is going to be a winner with kids – is Ravintola Nerone, which scooped a 2021 Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor last year. Dig in and enjoy eating your way around Helsinki from morning ‘til night! Once you’ve eaten, grab an early-evening cocktail at somewhere like Goldfish or Sivukirjasto before heading home for bed and another day of adventure…

    Best Family-Friendly Restaurants In Helsinki: 

    Where To Get A Drink in Helsinki?  The Best Bars: 

  • Moomins Shop Helsinki


    Shop For Scandi-Style Goodies Including Moomins!

    Like many major Scandinavian cities, Helsinki is home to some great shopping malls where you can shop for major international brands alongside iconic Finnish brands like Marimekko, which  is renowned for its coloful prints. The city takes design seriously and even has its own design district, where you can shop for x and do street art walks. Indeed, there is a big focus on local craftsmanship, and you can pick up Finnish ceramics and textiles at stores including Lokal Gallery and Casuarina, or head to Artek for Scandi furniture (they'll ship) and home accessories.

    Love a department store? Then don't miss Stockmann, the largest department store in the Nordic countries, for fashion, cosmetics and design, and Sokos, another department store where you can shop for Nordic fashion labels and more! If the kids are keen to take home a souvenir or two, then nothing says Finland more than Tove Jansson's Moomins! At the Moomin Shop inside the Forum shopping mall, you can pick up Moomin-themed clothing, cups, books and of course cuddly Moomin toys! With so many cute plushies to choose from, including snork maiden, sniff and snufkin, you might end up with not much room in your suitcase!

    Best Shopping In Helsinki With Kids - MALLS:  

    Independent Stores 

    Iconic Finnish stores  

  • Sports Museum Helsinki


    Get Your Culture Fix In The Finnish Capital

    Helsinki is a cultural city, and there are plenty of great museum options that will engage the whole family, from arresting contemporary art museums where kids' workshops await and under 18's go free to a great sports museum inside Helsinki's Olympic Stadium, where kids can pose on the podium and take in multimedia shows.  Little ones will love the Helsinki Tram Museum, where they can step inside a simulator and pretend they're the driver while learning about the history of the Finnish capital.

    If you're there in the summer months, then don't miss the beautiful botanic gardens at the Finnish Museum of Natural History, or the Seurasaari Open Air Museum, where you can step inside Finnish cottages and see how locals used to live. Finnish museums really like to get the kids involved, and they can get on stage at the Finnish Museum of Theatre or dress up, stage puppet shows and see an old-fashioned school set up with blackboards and wooden tables. Who said museums are boring?!

    Best Museums In Helsinki:


    Tips For Parents By Parents: Visiting Helsinki With Kids
    • Summer in Finland is warm and mild, and July is usually the warmest month. The winter is cold, so bring plenty of layers and warm clothes for the kids if you travel during the winter season


    • Taking a taxi? Write the address for the driver as the pronounciation names can be difficult. Tips aren’t expected but you can round up the fee


    • Most businesses and shops are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm. Larger stores are usually open until 7pm Monday to Friday and 6pm on Saturdays. Nearly all shops closed on Sunday


    • Plan ahead by booking restaurants online with TableOnline

Additional Info:​

All photos courtesy of Helsinki Partners

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