Instructions for event organisers

The land and water area of Suomenlinna belong to the state and are administered by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna, operating under the Ministry of Education and Culture. In order to maintain the fortress, which is protected by UNESCO, and the delicate nature of the area, the restrictions are stricter in Suomenlinna than in other public areas of the city. Suomenlinna is maintained with the high quality required from World Heritage Sites. The events organised at Suomenlinna must respect these principles and must not endanger the peace of residents and visitors nor harm the nature on the islands.

Permissions

Events and functions may not be organised and canopies, structures or task points may not be erected in Suomenlinna without the landowner’s permission. A permit is required when the event includes activities that require booking or closing off a certain area, setting up structures and equipment, or activities that cause noise or other disturbance. Overnight accommodation in Suomenlinna is available only in Hostel Suomenlinna. Camping is forbidden throughout Suomenlinna.

Public events also require other permits from the authorities. Please read more on the City of Helsinki Rescue Department website. The Governing Body of Suomenlinna monitors the feedback from events and functions and maintains a register of event organisers. Any breaches of the regulations will result in the person(s) in question being prohibited from acting as an event organiser in the Suomenlinna area.

The Suomenlinna sports field is rented by the Sports Department of the City of Helsinki. If canopies or eating arrangements need to be set up on the sports field, the relevant permit must be acquired from the Governing Body of Suomenlinna.

Setting up canopies

Permission for setting up tents and canopies is only given for public events, such as concerts and plays. Permission is not granted for private functions. A written rental agreement must be made for the tent or canopy places, and a rental fee for the outdoor facilities is collected. For outdoor activities such as activity courses and outdoor games, permits may also be granted to companies and private persons. The Suomenlinna restaurants have the right to temporarily set up a canopy on their outdoor premises without a separate permit. The restaurants are, however, obliged to announce this in advance to the Governing Body of Suomenlinna.

Permits are applied for in writing from the Governing Body of Suomenlinna (tilavuokra@suomenlinna.fi). The permit for a public function must be applied for at the latest one month before the event, and the permit for a private function at the latest two weeks before the event. Outdoor events that have been granted permission are added to the outdoor event calendar of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna.

Nature of the events

Outdoor events and functions must respect the historical surroundings and the dignity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the domestic peace of the residents.

All activities threatening the safety or restricting the free movement of the public, such as fencing off a certain area, are forbidden. Sports such as darts and baseball may only be played on the sports fields, rented by the Sports Department of the City of Helsinki, or on the Parade Field, rented by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna. Shooting sports, such as paintball and archery, are strictly forbidden.

Safety

All visitors to Suomenlinna visit at their own risk. There are several dangerous and only partially fenced cliffs in Suomenlinna. Passing vessels may cause dangerously high waves on the waterfront. No entry is allowed to construction sites and closed areas that may contain collapsing structures. The holder of the outdoor area use permit is responsible for the area during the time of use.

The permit holder is also responsible for cleaning the area after use and for disposing of all waste in waste containers, and for larger events, disposing of the waste outside of Suomenlinna at their own cost. The ground and vegetation may not be harmed. The terms and responsibilities shall be agreed upon in detail in the written rental agreement or use permit for the area in question.

Buildings, fortification works and memorials

According to the Antiquities Act, damaging or defacing the buildings, fortification works and artillery pieces is forbidden. There are two memorials on the Susisaari island: Ehrensvärd’s grave in the courtyard and the Monument to the Fallen to the east of Piper Park. The sanctity of the graves must be respected. The King’s Gate cannot be used for events, due to its national importance.

Vegetation

Suomenlinna has many rare and protected plants. They may not be picked or damaged. In order to protect the vegetation, we recommend that groups keep to the routes marked on the map.

Motor vehicles and bicycles

The use and parking of motor vehicles is restricted. Suomenlinna is a car-free area, and the local speed limit for maintenance vehicles is 20 km/h. Only maintenance vehicles are allowed on the Susisaari and Kustaanmiekka islands. For events and functions that have the applicable permissions, maintenance traffic must follow the marked service routes and park only in the designated parking places. The need for service traffic must be reported in the outdoor area use permit application. Cars are transported to Suomenlinna on ferries. Car transportation is booked from Suomenlinnan Liikenne Oy. Transporting cars is subject to a charge.

Cycling is permitted on the roads only. All sandbanks are protected structures. Cycling on the sandbanks is strictly forbidden.

Boats and water transport

Visitors may bring their own boats to Suomenlinna, but the only mooring facility is the guest harbour. The other quays are reserved for the use of public transport, the Defence Forces, the Frontier Guard or residents. Mooring boats anywhere else is strictly forbidden because of the waves caused by passing vessels. There is a 10 km/h speed limit in the water areas of Suomenlinna, and creating waves is forbidden.

Chartered water transportation vessels may moor for the duration of unloading and loading passengers at the western and north-western pier of Tykistölahti and the main pier of Iso Mustasaari island, excluding the quay for the Helsinki City Transport ferry and the military quay. The Tykistölahti pier on the eastern shore (Suomenlinna Centre) and the Kustaanmiekka pier are reserved for scheduled services.

Noisy activities

When performing a loud or noisy programme, the peace of residents and visitors should be taken into consideration. Making noise is forbidden between 10 pm and 7 am. Permission for the use of audio equipment, megaphones and so on should be applied for from the landowner. Outdoor events must finish no later than 10 pm.

Open fires and barbecues

Open fires and barbecues are prohibited throughout Suomenlinna. Setting decorative outdoor lights on public routes is forbidden, but the use of outdoor lights in front of function facilities and restaurants is allowed under supervision. Restaurants are allowed to barbecue within their terrace areas. Residents are allowed to barbecue in their backyards and in their allotments.

Fireworks and historical shooting shows

Organising private fireworks is forbidden in Suomenlinna. Organising fireworks as part of a public event is always subject to permission from both the City of Helsinki Rescue Department and the Governing Body of Suomenlinna.

Other noisy activities, such as historical shooting shows, require the landowner’s permission. The relevant permit must be applied for in writing at the latest two weeks before the event. The organiser must also hold valid permits for the weapons used in the show.

Alcoholic beverages

The consumption of alcoholic beverages in Suomenlinna is prohibited on the roads, squares, in public jetty areas, in children’s playgrounds, on sports fields, on beaches and in residential areas as well as on the ferries and waterbuses. Excluding these areas, the public consumption of alcoholic beverages and the conduct associated therewith may not, according to the law, prevent or unreasonably interfere with the right of others to use the place for its proper purpose

Adverts and signposts

The adverts and signposts for the route to public events and private functions with the appropriate permissions must be agreed upon with the Governing Body of Suomenlinna. Attaching adverts and signposts to building facades is forbidden. The Governing Body of Suomenlinna will loan out stands and give advice on the usage of adverts and signposts. The organiser of the event must remove the adverts and signs immediately after the conclusion of the event.

Applying for permits and contact information