Accessibility

Suomenlinna is a challenging environment for people with impaired mobility. Footpaths in Suomenlinna are paved with cobblestones, gravel or sand. Uneven sections cannot be avoided completely.

The terrain is hilly and difficult in parts, so wheelchair users should be accompanied by a carer/companion. The weather may also make the footpaths uneven and slippery.

Perceiving where the footpaths run may be hard for visually impaired people. There are also several places where there is a danger of falling from heights. Navigating through poorly-lit tunnels may be difficult for the visually impaired.

This section contains information about the accessibility of the main services. In addition the pages which introduce the various sights and services include accessibility information as well.

Wheelchair route

For people with impaired mobility there is a wheelchair route which is a bit easier to travel than the blue main route as it avoids some of the more difficult sections. The wheelchair route is not marked with signposts but you can print out a map of the route or get one from the Visitor Centre in the Jetty Barracks near the main quay.

Accessible toilets

There are five accessible toilets in Suomenlinna. These are shown on the map. In addition, many of the restaurants and museums have accessible toilet facilities. The sizes and features of the accessible toilets vary.

Ferry and water bus

HSL ferry

The ferry departs from the eastern side of Market Square, opposite the Presidential Palace. At Suomenlinna the ferry departs from the main quay on Iso Mustasaari island.

The nearest parking bays to the Suomenlinna ferries are in the Market Square. No accessible parking bays have been designated for people with impaired mobility. Cobblestones make crossing the square difficult for anyone using a mobility aid equipped with wheels.

Ticket machines are located at the Market Square (outside the terminal building) and the main quay at Suomenlinna. Wheelchair users or little people may find the ticket machines hard to reach. During the summer, you can purchase tickets from the terminal building at Market Square. Seating is provided  in  the terminal building.

The Tor, Suokki and Suomenlinna II ferries are boarded via a ramp. The most accessible ferry to Suomenlinna is Suomenlinna II. Its doors are button operated and the thresholds between the parking deck and cabin are low. The cabin is big enough for wheelchairs, but there are no designated places for people with impaired mobility and wheelchairs cannot be secured. No accessible toilet facilities are available on any of the ferries.

JT-Line water bus

The waterbus departs from the Kolera-allas area of Market Square, near the Esplanadi Park. At Suomenlinna the waterbus departs from the Suomenlinna Centre pier and also stops at the King’s Gate. You can buy tickets for the waterbus on board or from the ticket booth. HSL tickets are not valid on the waterbus.

The water level determines how easy it is to access the waterbus via the ramp on a wheelchair. Wheelchair users need to be accompanied by a carer/companion. The ramp is narrow and electric wheelchairs cannot board the waterbus.

The Suomenlinna Centre waterbus pier is accessible to wheelchairs, but visitors should be aware that the ramp is steep (the maximum inclination of the fixed part is 15 %). The inclination of the lower part of the ramp varies according to the water level. The waterbus pier at the King’s Gate is not accessible to wheelchairs because of the stairs.

We recommend wheelchair users to take the ferry instead of the waterbus.

Service ferry

The service boat deck can be accessed easily but the cabin is small. Doorways are narrow and thresholds high. However, you can sit in the car for the duration of the short crossing.

Accessibility at the main quay in Suomenlinna

The Suomenlinna main quay has a shelter where you can wait if it rains. You can also wait for the ferry inside the Jetty Barracks right next to the main quay. Jetty Barracks also has accessible toilet facilities.

The buttons and display of the ticket machine are high off the ground. You can also purchase a ticket with your mobile phone – instructions are included on the guidepost in the shelter.

Museums

Suomenlinna Museum
The museum is located on two floors in the Suomenlinna Centre. The exhibition on the ground floor has wheelchair access. The staff will help you access the first floor by lift with automatic sliding doors from the Centre’s office. The museum auditorium has wheelchair access. The building also has accessible toilet facilities.

Ehrensvärd Museum
The museum is located on the first floor of the commandant’s house, at the top end of a long staircase. The museum does not have wheelchair access.

Submarine Vesikko
The submarine Vesikko does not have wheelchair access.

Military Museum’s Manege
The front of the entrance is slanting, with small differences in level which are difficult to cross with a wheelchair. The doors are rather large and heavy to open, but the museum staff will be happy to assist you as best they can. The exhibition is on one floor and the exhibition space is equipped with seats where you can sit and rest. The museum has accessible toilet facilities.

Toy Museum
There are some steps at the entrance, but a wooden ramp can be erected when necessary to allow assisted entrance with a wheelchair. The inside of the museum is relatively accessible with a wheelchair. The premises are on one floor, and the exhibition space is also equipped with seats where you can sit and rest. One of the toilet facilities at the museum is spacious enough for a wheelchair.

Customs Museum
There are some steps at the entrance.

Restaurants and cafés

Restaurant Suomenlinna Brewery
There is a ramp at the entrance, and the building has accessible toilet facilities.

Bastion Bistro
There is a ramp at the entrance, and the restaurant has accessible toilet facilities.

Restaurant Café Chapman
The entrance is almost on ground level, and the restaurant has accessible toilet facilities.

Restaurant Walhalla: Walhalla Gourmet, Pizzeria Nikolai and Sun View Terrace
There are some steps at the main entrance to Walhalla, but the restaurant can be accessed by wheelchair via the back entrance with assistance from the restaurant staff. There are several different levels in the restaurant, but the restaurant is equipped with ramps. The restaurant’s toilet facilities are very small but accessible by wheelchair. With assistance, Pizzeria Nikolai is accessible by wheelchair via a steep ramp. A long, narrow staircase leads to the Sun View Terrace.

Valimo
There are some level differences at the entrance, so those in a wheelchair will require assistance. Wheelchairs can be used inside the restaurant. The clearance width of the narrowest doorway is 75 cm. The route through the dining room is equipped with ramps. Some tables on the terrace are accessible by wheelchair. There is a spacious, relatively accessible toilet in Valimo.

Viaporin Deli & Café
There is a ramp at the entrance, and the building has accessible toilet facilities.

Café Vanille
There is a staircase at the entrance to the café.

Icecellar
All of the premises are on one floor. The building also has accessible toilet facilities.

Suomenlinna Centre Café
There are some level differences at the main entrance of the building, but the entrance is equipped with ramps. The forecourt of the building is paved and equipped with seats where you can sit and rest. The café is on the ground floor of the Centre. The building also has accessible toilet facilities.

Café Piper
The café is located in a park, on a hillock. The road leading to the park is on a gentle uphill slope. There is a staircase at the entrance. Some tables on the terrace can be accessed by wheelchair.

Café Samovarbar
There are some steps at the entrance, but a ramp can be erected when necessary to allow assisted entrance by wheelchair. One of the toilet facilities at the museum is spacious enough for a wheelchair.

Suomenlinna Officers’ Club
The facilities are located on the second floor, and there is no lift in the building. The facilities are not accessible by wheelchair.

Other services

Shopping

Suomenlinna Centre shop
The Suomenlinna Centre is along the wheelchair route. Accessibility has been taken into account in the design of the building, and there is an accessible toilet.

Icecellar art shop
The Icecellar facilities are located on one floor. There is a ramp at the entrance.

Arts and crafts summer shop b34
There is a ramp at the entrance. However, inside the store there are two thresholds so an assistant is needed.

Museum shop
There is a ramp at the entrance. However, inside the store there are two thresholds so an assistant is needed.

Toy Museum shop
There are stairs at the entrance, but a wooden ramp can be erected when necessary to allow assisted entrance by wheelchair.

Grocery shop
There is a ramp at the entrance.

Arts and handicrafts

Jetty Barracks Gallery
The gallery is located near the main pier. There is a ramp at the entrance. Accessible toilet facilities are located in the ferry lobby in the same building as the gallery.

Summer theatre
Accessing the summer theatre by wheelchair requires some special arrangements and should be agreed in advance; for example, upon purchasing tickets. Theatre staff will guide the visitor in a wheelchair to their place in the audience. The route leads through the make-up room and across the stage to the audience via a ramp. The route is mostly along accessible terrain. The facilities and settings of the auditorium and stage vary according to the show, but there are a couple of places for wheelchairs at the base of the auditorium.

Icecellar
All of the premises are on one floor. The building also has accessible toilet facilities.

Ceramic studio Pot Viapori
Visitors using a wheelchair will need an assistant.

Glass studio Hytti
The glass studio is accessible by wheelchair and there is an accessible toilet facility next to it.

Accommodation

Hostel Suomenlinna
The main entrance to the hostel is equipped with a stone step and a metal grid. The doorway is wide enough for a wheelchair when both of the main entrance doors are open. The threshold is low.

The building has two floors and there is no lift, but the ground floor is almost entirely accessible. There are accommodation facilities on the ground floor as well. The downstairs group rooms are equipped with bunk beds. The room doorways have thresholds of a few centimetres, and the width of the doorways varies by door. The rooms are narrow for moving around with a wheelchair.

In addition to rooms, accessible toilet and shower facilities are located on the ground floor.

Picnic shed

The picnic shed is accessible by wheelchair with assistance. There is a steep ramp at the entrance. The closest accessible toilet is the public toilet in the Virtue Bastion, next to the Glass Studio Hytti.

Library

The route from the main pier follows the wheelchair route. The library entrance has stairs. The stairs are equipped with handrails on both sides. The library premises can also be accessed through a side door. This route only has one step. The width of the doorway to the library’s public toilet is 80 cm but the facility itself is small.

Church

The route from the main quay to the church follows the wheelchair route. The road leading to the main entrance of the church is steep (inclination 14%) and there are steps on the route. Access to the churchyard and the main entrance is more gently sloped from the Parade Field side.

There are steps at the entrance to the church. Detachable trough-shaped ramps can be erected by the caretaker upon request. However, the ramps are rather steep and designed mainly for prams and pushchairs. There are thresholds on the route from the main entrance to the nave. Steps lead to the altar. There are no designated places for wheelchair users in the church; the only space available is in the aisle or in front of the first row of seats.

The crypt is located in the basement. The nearest accessible toilet is in the Jetty Barracks near the main quay.