Suomenlinna is a popular place for student groups. You can move around the fortress by yourself, but the best way to enjoy the trip is to participate in the ready-made programmes and guided tours provided by local experts.
Even if you do not book a ready-made programme, your programme should be planned beforehand and the group should move around together during the visit. There are many dangerous and unfenced fortifications and cliffs in the area, and students should not be allowed to roam freely around the fortress. You should allow at least half a day for the visit as Suomenlinna is large and there is plenty to see.
You should always dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. The cold wind from the sea makes the temperature seem much colder than on the mainland, especially in May, when the surrounding sea is still cold. Bring torches, as the winding tunnels within the walls are dark but interesting places to explore.
The staff at the Visitor Centre will be happy to help you with any questions you may have concerning the planning of your trip.
The Ehrensvärd Society offers various guided and themed tours as well as an orienteering quiz, in addition to combination packages covering everything Suomenlinna has to offer. School groups may also book an complete camp package from the Ehrensvärd Society, including, for example, museum visits, guided tours, meals and water bus transport.
The programmes offered by the Hostel Suomenlinna introduce the nature of the islands, camping in the area as well as adventures in the historical surroundings. In addition, groups may include a visit to one of Helsinki’s popular class trip destinations in their field trip programme. For schools in the Helsinki metropolitan area, the camp centre offers shorter trips, for example 24-hour trips with a one night stay, or educational programmes focusing on the nature or history of Suomenlinna, lasting for the duration of a normal school day. The Camp School Centre offers packages that include accommodation and meals in addition to the programme.
Student groups can dine in the restaurants in Suomenlinna. Meals should be booked in advance. Cafés and restaurants will provide more information on the available meal packages. Visitors may enjoy their packed lunches in the yellow picnic shed, dating from the period of the Russian rule.
Accommodation is offered by Hostel Suomenlinna, close to the ferry.
The Helsinki City Transport ferries run to Suomenlinna throughout the year. The ferries depart from the Market square, in front of the Presidential Palace. In addition to the ferries, JT-Line operates a waterbus to Suomenlinna during the summer season. The waterbus departs from the Kolera-allas area of Kauppatori to Tykistölahti in Suomenlinna.
If you are travelling to Helsinki with a large group, you can purchase a Helsinki City Transport tourist ticket for everybody in advance. More infomation here.
Below are some suggestions on planning your day and time in Suomenlinna:
- crossing to Suomenlinna: approximately 15 minutes
- short film in the Suomenlinna Museum: approximately 25 minutes
- guided walking tour of the area: 1.5 hours
- meal time: 45 min
- visit to a museum: approximately 30 minutes per museum