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Best beaches in Helsinki

Hot summer day in Helsinki? Helsinki may not sound like a beach holiday destination, but in this maritime city, you can actually find a variety of swimming spots, from long sandy beaches to rocky sun worship places. We listed five top beaches in Helsinki.

Hietaniemi beach – A classic near the city centre

Hietaranta, or more familiarly Hietsu, located in Töölö, is the oldest and the most popular public beach in Helsinki. The long and shadowless sandy beach is a true sunworshipper’s paradise, and the shallow water is also suitable for the smallest members of the families.

Hietaniemi beach is enlivened by several open-air concerts and summer events. Hietaranta also has a cosy beach cafe, Cafe & Bistro Hiezu, whose wide selection of artisan pizzas and pastries invites you to enjoy yourself in the middle of the most beautiful summer day.

Hietsu also happens to be the most popular place to play beach volleyball in Helsinki – and no wonder, as there are numerous courts on the beach for both more advanced and more relaxed volleyball. At Hietsu, you can also play basketball and work out in an outdoor gym. A short distance from the beach to the southern tip of the cape, water sports lovers can try a wide range of different water activities. Laguuni Hietsu offers, among other things, wakeboarding, kayaking, standup paddleboarding and e-surfing.

The easiest way to get to Hietsu from the city centre is by bus number 24. And by foot, it only takes around 20 minutes from Kamppi.

Aurinkolahti beach – Eastern Helsinki beach pearl

In Aurinkolahti, located in East Helsinki, you can find up to 700 meters of wonderful sandy beach. This long beach is bordered by a lovely beach boulevard, which creates a Miami-alike holiday atmosphere. The soft sand and mostly steadily deepening beach invite families to spend a pleasant beach day.

In Aurinkolahti, you can play ball games, exercise outdoors or enjoy the beach atmosphere from the nearby cafes. In the adorable cafe Kampela, located on the adjacent marina, you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze from a deck chair and feast on the cafe's famous salmon soup and pancakes. Alternatively, you can stop by Cafe Biitsi’s terrace and refresh yourself with cold summer drinks.

It takes about 15 minutes to walk to Aurinkolahti beach from the Vuosaari metro station.

Pihlajasaari – Beach on the former villa island

Pihlajasaari, nicknamed Pihlis, is a popular summer holiday destination for Helsinki residents. The island is known for its long beach and its historic villa buildings from the 19th century, which create a lovely, idyllic holiday atmosphere on the island. One of the old villas serves the restaurant Pihlajasaari, and from the terrace you can enjoy mouth-watering delicacies as well as a wonderful sea view.

In addition to the island's dazzling 500-meter sandy beach, it is possible to worship the sun from the cliffs. There are rocks all over the island and it is possible to take a dip in the sea in most of the places. The beach's services include a children's playground, volleyball court, toilet and a shower. Colourful and rustic bathing huts create a distinctive feature of the beach.

It is also possible to stay overnight on this island idyll! The city of Helsinki rents cottages and saunas on Pihlajasaari. In addition to the cottages, you can stay for the night on the island at the campsite in the eastern part of Pihlajasaari.

You can get to Pihlajasaari by water busses that operate from Kaivopuisto's harbour near Cafe Caruselli and from Ruoholahti. The boat trip takes about 15 minutes.

Mustikkamaa – Beach paradise for families

Mustikkamaa, an outdoor island located to the east of Kalasatama, delights with its captivating sandy beach. Just a 15-minute walk from the noise of the city, and you can relax on the beach, where the sandy beach is separated from the grass by an embankment. Mustikkamaa's shallow and comfortable sandy beach attracts families in particular. The services of this well-equipped beach include lifeguards, changing rooms, showers, toilets, a children's playground and an outdoor gym.

If you want to spend a pleasant summer day in Mustikkamaa, but beach life is starting to get boring, head to Adventure Park Korkee or to one of the atmospheric restaurants. You can also find plenty of outdoor trails in Mustikkamaa, and you can easily visit the neighbouring Korkeasaari Zoo via the footbridge.

The easiest way to get to Mustikkamaa beach from the city centre is to take the metro to Kalasatama station and continue on foot (about 15 min) or by city bike.

Suomenlinna – Historical Island with stunning seascapes

On a beautiful summer day, Suomenlinna bustles with holidaymakers. In addition to attractions, parks and restaurants, Suomenlinna invites locals to worship the sun and refresh themselves in the sea. Suomenlinna's small and charming sandy beach is located in a cove in the western part of the island. There are no lifeguards at the beach, but a toilet and a shower can be found nearby. The rocks surrounding the sandy beach expand the sunbathing area and create an excellent setting for picnicking. Lay down on the cliff, feel the breath of the sea breeze on your skin and enjoy the wonderful seascapes.

You can easily get to Suomenlinna by ferry from Kauppatori with an HSL ticket. The ferry ride between the mainland and the island takes about 15–20 minutes.

+ 1 Allas Sea Pool

If you don't want to swim at the beach, but you definitely want to feel the touch of the sea breeze on a hot summer day, choose Allas Sea Pool. In the seawater spa located in Katajanokka, you can enjoy both the bustle of the city and the seascape from the pools at the same time. This sea spa consists of three pools built over the sea, as well as a sauna, a cafe and a restaurant. Allas Sea Pool also offers experiences for culture-enthusiast, as it also functions as an event venue, which offers a wide range of cultural programs.

See also our tips for discovering the summer in Helsinki.

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