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Instructions for filming

Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When planning photography or filming sessions in Suomenlinna, you must bear in mind Suomenlinna’s special characteristics as a historic sea fortress, a place of residence and a destination for many kinds of visitors.

To protect the fortress and its valuable nature and to prevent any disturbance to the fortress’s residents or visitors, we have compiled these instructions for photographers and film crews.

The guiding principle when planning a photography or filming session is that you should act like you would like others to act, in order to ensure that all visitors to Suomenlinna can enjoy their visit.

Permission for photography is never granted for the tunnel of Suomenlinna. The tunnel providing the city infrastructure to Suomenlinna is intended solely for the technical maintenance of the tunnel and rescue vehicles. The tunnel is used only when absolutely necessary, and no media or the public is allowed in the tunnel. The Communications department of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna delivers photo and video material on the tunnel when necessary.

Photography and filming are allowed in outdoor areas if

  • they do not require restricting access to any area
  • they take place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m
  • the Antiquities Act is adhered to and soil, structures and nature at the fortress are not harmed
  • roads and passages are kept accessible because they also function as rescue routes
  • the ordinary activities or events at the fortress are not disturbed
  • the privacy of residents is respected
  • privacy in general is protected and photography or filming is not carried out in courtyards
  • photography or filming does not take place in areas where authorities or the Finnish Defence Forces operate or in industrial areas, such as construction sites or the dry dock
  • heavy photography or filming machinery, such as dolly tracks or cranes, are not used
  • open fire, firearms and explosives are not used
  • special arrangements, such as staff facilities, electrical arrangements and so on, are not required.

Adhere to

Photography and filming indoors

Important safety information

  • Photographers and film crews move about in Suomenlinna at their own risk.
  • Photographers and film crews must pay attention to their own safety and that of others.
  • The fortress structures, walls and ramparts are in a number of places without fences.
  • Even areas that seem safe may feature unexpected precipices.
  • The ground in the fortress may be slippery, especially in the winter.
  • Vessels may cause strong currents. When visiting the shoreline, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the sea traffic.

When permission is needed for photography and filming

Photography or filming sessions that do not meet the above-mentioned criteria can be arranged in exceptional cases only. In these cases, apply for permission with the Governing Body of Suomenlinna, which grants or refuses permission based on a case-by-case consideration. Permission can be granted for photography and filming sessions that contribute to the values of the World Heritage Site, such as supporting the local community, history or year-round tourism. Apply for permission by filling in the form that opens when you click this link. Fill in all the fields and provide as detailed information as possible. That will make the processing faster.

  • Contact us at the latest 30 days before the planned session.
  • Permission applications are processed in the order they are received. The decision is made at the latest within two weeks of the date when the form or required additional information, if any, is received.
  • The Governing Body will provide permission recipients with information about, for instance, how to act in the fortress so as to prevent any harm to it and respect its value as a World Heritage Site, and how shooting schedules can be harmonised with other activities in the fortress (construction sites, events, other photography or filming sessions).

Successful planning!

  • During summer weekends and on sunny days in the spring and the summer, there are a lot of visitors in the fortress and it may be difficult to find a peaceful shooting location. Could you arrange the photography or filming session at another time or in another season?
  • Suomenlinna is being developed as a car-free area so arrange your session so that you do not need to use motor vehicles.
  • Respect all visitors and our shared world heritage.
  • Adhere to drone-related instructions and no drone zones.
  • Use local services, such as cafés and restaurants, during the session.
  • Yards and private properties
  • The dry dock area, which is an industrial area, and authorities’ operating areas with prohibited access
  • Areas on top of the gunpowder magazines for safety reasons
  • Naval Academy area is prohibited by the authorities
  • Great Courtyard and Ehrensvärd’s tomb: respect the sanctity of the grave; it is also one of the most popular destinations where all visitors must have access
  • King’s Gate: a monument of national significance that must be respected; it is also one of the most popular destinations where all visitors must have access
  • Prison camp memorial: we ask you not to organise a photography or filming session out of respect for the memory of people who were on Suomenlinna prison camps in 1918–1919