Tours During Congress


Should your schedule allow, there are many sights to see in Helsinki and the surrounding area. A number of tours are offered during and after the Congress. Tours can be booked directly with the tour operator, The Travel Experience:

or at the tour desk in the Congress venue.

* Prices are per person
* Please note all tours and prices are subject to change.

Helsinki City Tour

Date: 11th August
Time: 13:00

Price per Person: 32 EUR

This private guided Helsinki city tour by coach will present you with the highlights of the city of Helsinki. An inside visit (if possible depending on services) is made to Temppeliaukio, the famous "Rock Church". The church is built into solid rock, with the inner wall left raw and unfinished, and is crowned with a solid copper dome. In Sibelius Park leave the coach to view the Sibelius Monument before moving on past the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1952 Olympic Games. Next is the city's main street Mannerheimintie, along which there are many fine buildings such as the modern Opera House, the Alvar Aalto designed Finlandia Hall, the National Museum, and the Kiasma Modern Art Museum. Nearby is the main Railway Station, an architectural showpiece in its own right. Next is Esplanade, an elegant boulevard with exclusive shops and a leafy parkland in the centre. It is a popular sitting area with occasional live concerts and buskers. At the base of Esplanade is the bustling Market Square and harbour, overlooked by the imposing red brick onion-domed Uspenski Russian Orthodox cathedral. Rounding off the tour there will be time to walk around Senate Square and the green-domed Lutheran Cathedral the symbol of the city.

What's included:

  • Guided coach tour of Helsinki metropolitan area for 3 hours

Suomenlinna Fortress

Date: 11th August
Time: 14:00

Price per Person: 73 EUR

Depart by private coach for transfer to the Market Square & Harbour with a local guide. Board a ferry for a 20 minute crossing of Helsinki Bay, with fine views of the city skyline, to the archipelago fortress island of Suomenlinna. Start the walking tour around the island. In 1747 a fortress was built as the main base for the armed forces stationed in Finland. A group of islands close to Helsinki were chosen to be the site of the fortress, which was to be called Sveaborg, "the fortress of Sweden". Soon after Finland gained independence from Russia in 1917, the Swedish name of the fortress was officially changed to the Finnish Suomenlinna, "castle of Finland". In 1991, Suomenlinna was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Suomenlinna Museum which includes the Suomenlinna Experience multi-visual show. The Suomenlinna Museum, which is in the main Visitor Centre, gives visitors a glimpse of the life of officers and soldiers during the periods of Swedish and Russian rule in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are also pictures of the period since Finnish independence, when there was a prison for communist detainees on Suomenlinna, a Finnish garrison, a submarine base and the Valmet shipyard, which made ships for the Soviet Union. The entrance fee also includes admission to the prize-winning Suomenlinna Experience, a half-hour widescreen show covering the construction of the maritime fortress, the sea battles for the fortification and life and sounds in the garrison town. Return by ferry, and then coach transfer.

What's included:

  • Helsinki city transfer: coach and ferry
  • 4 hour guided tour
  • Walking tour in Suomenlinna

Hvitträsk Excursion

Date: 13th August
Time: 10:30

Price per Person: 54 EUR

Hvitträsk, located about a 45 minute drive from Helsinki city centre is an architectural sight and a museum. Designed in National Romantic style and built of logs and natural stone, it was both a common studio and a home for famous Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen and Armas Lindgren. The Saarinen home is a museum today, and within the courtyard building is a restaurant and a café. Hvitträsk and its lovely English style garden are surrounded by beautiful nature near the shore of Lake Vitträsk. In the Little Villa at the Hvitträsk estate there is a café with a beautiful and calm atmosphere. On the second floor of the villa there is a first class restaurant and terrace. In the museum shop you can buy handicrafts made by The Friends of Finnish Handicrafts, Hvitträsk souvenirs as well as Kalevala and Kaunis Koru jewellery.

Hvitträsk Manor House, beautifully situated by the side of a lake, was built in the early 20th century by leading architects Gesellius, Lindgren and Saarinen. During the early decades, the main building served as both an architectural office and as a cultural home. It was visited by such esteemed figures as Jean Sibelius, Axeli Gallen- Kallela and Maksim Gorki. The office's staff also lived at Hvitträsk, and this is where the plans were drawn up for the Helsinki Railway Station, the National Museum of Finland and the monumental Munkkiniemi-Haaga project, among other grand works.

Hvitträsk is also the boyhood home for world famous architect Eero Saarinen, who made his reputation primarily in the United States designing buildings and monuments such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

What's included:

  • Coach: Helsinki-Hviträsk-Helsinki
  • 4 hour guided tour
  • Entrance to Hvitträsk and guided tour in Hvitträsk

Porvoo Excursion

Date: 14th August
Time: 13:00

Price per Person: 65 EUR

A 50 minute drive to the east of Helsinki lies Porvoo, Finland's 2nd oldest town. Stroll through the medieval old quarter along old cobbled streets of historic painted wooden houses, cafes, and antique stores. The town is famous for its ocher painted shore houses along the riverside. The 13th century cathedral is the town's major historic landmark. Enjoy coffee and cake in one of the atmospheric cafés of Old Town.

What's included:

  • Coach: Helsinki-Porvoo-Helsinki, 5 hours excursion (50 seater)
  • 5 hour guided tour
  • Coffee and cake

Helsinki Design Tour

Date: 15 August, 2012
Time: 09:00

Price per Person: 42 EUR

This private guided tour by coach will present you with the highlights of Helsinki, the World Design Capital for the year 2012. Design is manifested in the everyday lives of Helsinki citizens in many ways, ranging from home furniture and items that represent old Finnish design traditions to modern urban solutions and contemporary interior design. Depart from the Congress venue for a city tour focusing on the design highlights of Helsinki and find out how design is part of the Finnish people's daily life. The tour includes a stop at the Design District Helsinki. There will be an opportunity to visit shops such as Iittala, Marimekko and Artek for shopping. The tour also includes a visit to the Helsinki Design Museum. Founded in 1873, the Design Museum is a specialist museum which selects and maintains a design collection. The museum is responsible for research and documentation in its field, and for holding exhibitions on design history and contemporary products. Exhibitions vary over time, but there are always temporary exhibitions which feature alongside the permanent exhibitions. The Design Museum's comprehensive and varied collections tell the history and development of Finnish design.

What's included:

  • Guided coach tour for 3 hours
  • Entrance into the Design Museum
  • Stop at various shops for shopping

Helsinki Cruise

Date: 15th August
Time: 10:00

Price per Person: 156 EUR

Transfer from Congress centre to harbour. Board the water bus from Market Square harbour. During the cruise through the beautiful archipelago of Helsinki you will see many islands, the charming shores of old city districts, famous historical buildings, icebreakers, villas, and many sea shore saunas. After the two hour sea journey you return back to the harbour.

What's included:

  • Local coach transfers, return transportation
  • 3 hour guided tour
  • 2 hour private Helsinki sightseeing cruise

Tuusula Excursion

Date: 16th August
Time: 09:00

Price per Person: 108 EUR

This cultural tour takes you to the area of Lake Tuusula where a large number of Finnish artists settled at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Our first stop is Halosenniemi, the idyllic home and studio of the Finnish painter Pekka Halonen. You will also visit Ainola, the former home and now a home museum of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Ainola is preserved as it was during Sibelius' time. After the visit at Ainola, you will enjoy a Finnish buffet lunch at a local restaurant, Krapi Manor. The tour ends at Helsinki city centre.


Ainola stands on the scenic shores of Lake Tuusula in Järvenpää, about 30 minutes drive from the Finnish capital, Helsinki. It was the home of Jean Sibelius and his family from 1904. This timber-built villa was designed by the famous Finnish architect Lars Sonck. Its distance from the hustle and bustle of the nation's capital gave the composer the peace that he needed for his creative endeavours, while other artistic families living in the neighbourhood provided a lively social circle.


Restaurant Krapihovi both cherishes and creates Finnish food tradition in an idyllic villa environment. The pearl-grey main building with its green touches was built in 1883 by the Councillor of State Sourander for his summer residence and for the main building of the Krapi estate. The handsome villa-style building amid the old park is a fine specimen of the wooden architecture of its time. The old building's chambers and halls in two stories have a special atmosphere and are a great venue for functions for up t190 people.


Halosenniemi is a home museum of artist Pekka Halonen. This log cabin style house was his home in the Tuusula artist community. This museum is interesting to visit not only for the art but also for the national romantic wood building.

What's included:

  • Coach: Helsinki-Tuusula-Helsinki, 5 hour excursion
  • 5 hour guided tour
  • Entrance to Ainola
  • Lunch
  • Entrance to Halosenniemi

Last update: 16 May 2012