If you’re visiting Helsinki, make sure to also explore its surrounding cities such as Espoo – read further and find out what are the top things to do in Espoo, one of the cities in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area along with Vantaa, and Kauniainen and is also the second-most densely populated city of Finland, with over 250,000 residents.
It is a bustling metropolis rich in culture but still firmly rooted in nature, located between the Baltic Sea and Nuuksio National Park, with five centers.
Espoo has a lot more to offer to visitors who enjoy water activities. There are around 165 islands in archipelago and 58km of shoreline covered by waters ideal for boating and fishing, whether in canoeing, kayaking, or larger craft.
Usually overlooked by most of the tourists in Finland, there is a range of things to do in Espoo. Nuuksio National Park has untouched beauty of lakes and forests in the north, which houses lakes, and forests, while the idyllic archipelago and long coastline house more islands than in Hawaii.
Another best tourist attraction in Espoo is the well-known King’s Road, which leads to Viipuri from Stockholm. This ancient road dates back to the 13th century and intersects Espoo. Espoo Cathedral is one of the oldest preserved buildings and Espoo landmarks, built in the 1480s.
Espoo is the fastest growing city and has five different local centers rather than having a traditional city center, and Tapiola Garden City is one of them. So, without further ado, let’s discuss some of the best things to see in Espoo.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Espoo travel tips
- 2 Experiences and top things to do in Espoo, Finland
- 3 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Quick information and Espoo travel tips
- Currency? Euros
- Languages? Finnish and Swedish
- Where is this place? Located in Northern Europe; South of Finland.
- What is Finland famous for? Skiing, Northern Lights, Santa Claus Village, Forest, Lakes, Vikings, and many more!
- Best time to visit Finland? Visit during Winter (November to March) and do some winter activities, explore Santas Village, and witness Aurora Borealis. Come around Spring (March to May) to see the surroundings bloom to life and Summer (June to August) to explore the lakeside, festivals, and the midnight sun. That said, Autumn (September to October) is also a beautiful time to visit as the weather is still nice but chill and the surroundings start to change color from green to beautiful golden yellow and orange.
- What to wear during winter in Finland? Read our winter packing guide and as well our jacket reviews
- Closest Airport? Helsinki-Vaanta International Airport
- How to get to Espoo? Regional buses and trains run all the time between Helsinki and Espoo
- Other famous places in Finland? Helsinki, Lapland, Lappeenranta, Porvoo, Vaasa, Tampere, Pori, Åland Island, Savonlinna, Turku, Rovaniemi, Salla, Jyväskylä, Kuhmo, Kajaani, Oulu, and Joensuu
- Famous neighboring countries? Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Russia, and Sweden
Do you need a visa for Finland?
In order to enter Finland, you need to have a valid Schengen visa. If you’re a citizen of the EU group of countries, you can enter Finland without a visa. However, if you’re a citizen of Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia – you can stay in Schengen areas for 90 days.
Check out our detailed guide on how to apply for a Schengen visa – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Finland?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need travel insurance for Finland?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Experiences and top things to do in Espoo, Finland
Taavinkylä’s Frisbee Golf Course
It was established recently in 2015, Taavinkylä’s frisbee Golf Course is one of the best starts for Espoo sightseeing for those who want to explore Frisbee Golf as a hobby.
There are three fairways in the track along the schoolyard in Taavinkyla. The terrain is flat and open, and a training track is not that hard. It is helpful to hone your skills for Frisbee Golf.
Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA)
Another on the list of exciting things to do in Espoo is visiting Espoo Museum Modern Art, and it is one of the largest museums in the nation.
There are two sections of its exhibition area. A collection from the Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection is the permanent exhibition here, and the other half is the changing international and domestic exhibitions.
This museum is located at the Exhibition Center WeeGee, Tapiola, and Espoo. EMMA received the Osmo Valtonen Art Collection as a donation. EMMA hosts the Educational Collection Art Park, which consists of works of art which may be used in different workshops, art projects, and guided tours.
Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio National Park is an easily accessible national park for the tourists and locals. It is a beautiful escape from hustles, and bustles of city life into the wild where they can enjoy pristine Finnish scenery, with green forests, exotic lakes, and rugged rocky crags.
It is located only 30 minutes from Helsinki Vantaa Airport and Helsinki City Center. Nuuksio National Park is ideal for wonderful guided excursions in the forest, mushrooms, herbs, and wild berries picking, fishing. And canoeing trips, a longer stay in log cabins by the lake and a camping getaway.
Haltia – The Finnish Nature Centre
Haltia is a new visitor center to bring all of the nature of Finland under one roof, and you can get up closer through its exhibitions and facilities of the building.
You can experience nature across Finland by visiting Haltia. Here, you will be blessed with serene views of Lake Nuuksio Pitkajarvi and Nuuksio National Park, along with great hiking trails abound.
You can embark on the trip through Finland with exhibitions in Haltia and experience the nature of the nation in its spectacular form in all unique regions, and over 50 national parks also border it. You can also get a lot of nature experiences.
Serena Water Park
You can even soak up water in outdoor slides and indoor pools at the water park, which also offers locker and shower facilities. It also has a Finnish sauna, which is open all year-round for swimmers and skiers.
It is also located around the adventure park, which adds extra fun during summers with rappelling, zip lines, and paintball. You can also rent snowboard or skis, along with helmet in winter. It is a well-known attraction among local tourists.
So, book your lodging in advance, if you want to stay the full night. There is also a discount available if you opt for a combined ticket for Water Park and Snow Park.
Also, don’t forget that that Espoo is one of the top day trips from Helsinki you must not miss out!
Pentala Archipelago Museum
Located on old fisherman’s estate in Espoonlahti Bay on Pentala Island, the Pentala Archipelago Museum consists of 15 different complexes and is one of the best places to visit in Espoo. The oldest building is the fisherman’s cottage which dated back to the 1790s. The fisherman’s estate was inhabited until 1986.
The maritime side of Espoo can be seen on Pentala Island at its best. You can explore the life in an archipelago in the Archipelago Museum, from hard work and housing to leisure activities and villa.
The museum area has a lot of things to do and see in the summertime. You can explore the unique archipelago nature of Espoo here by following the nature trail to Diksand beach and Lake Pentalanjärvi. It is one of the five museums in Espoo City Museum.
Embark on the Archipelago Cruises
Espoo Line departs from Haukilahti and Nokkala harbors in Espoo (walking distance from Matinkyla metro station). It offers dinner cruises and guided lunch on their RoyalCat restaurant. You can pass through the Espoo archipelago with 165 skerries and islands and 58 km of coastline.
Cruising is the best way to enjoy delicious food and one of the exciting things to do in Espoo while floating around the stunning scenery.
You can go for two lunch cruises sail around an hour and 40 minutes for three days a week, and a dinner cruise for two and a half hours to explore the waters for three days a week. You can book the customized cruise packages across the whole Espoo archipelago area.
If you’re not into cosmopolitan cities, explore some of the beautiful islands in Finland. You can find some of them quite close from Espoo and Helsinki!
WeeGee Exhibition Center
You can enjoy a lot of activities and experiences at WeeGee Exhibition Centre. You can find a lot of temporary exhibitions in the museums to complement guided tours and permanent collections, themed events, and workshops held all year-round.