An active city
Helsinki is internationally known for sports, having hosted a large number of international sports events since the XV Olympic Games held in the city in 1952. The city caters for the needs of both professional and amateur sportspeople as well as those who seek to maintain an active lifestyle. The City of Helsinki promotes wellbeing by offering its citizens extensive opportunities for sports, both indoors and outdoors throughout the year.
Sports clubs in Helsinki organize a wide array of activities. The most popular sports in Helsinki are ice hockey and football, and the list covers well over one hundred other sports.
Helsinki’s large green areas including the Central Park and the sea offer ample opportunities for physical activity: walking and Nordic walking, hiking, jogging, running, bicycling, roller skating, swimming, boating and fishing. The city claims 50,000 amateur fishermen, more than any other capital city in Europe.
The City of Helsinki maintains a variety and extensive sports facilities. These include more than 200 km of tracks for walking, more than 40 km of tracks for jogging and running and 200 km of skiing tracks; 70 indoor sports halls and 350 sports fields including indoor skating rinks and natural skating rinks; indoor swimming pools, 2 outdoor pools in summer, close to 30 beaches, and 11,000 boat berths.
Ice Park is a downtown skating rink and a city-centre landmark at the Railway Square, complete with skate rental and a heated café.
One of the exotic sports in Helsinki is ice swimming, and Helsinki even hosts ice swimming world championships. The City maintains some 15 ice swimming sites.
The City organizes a variety of supervised sports activities in communities and customized for age and special groups.
The City of Helsinki’s sports function is managed by the Sports Department. The department also rents facilities for sports, conference rooms and saunas.
In addition to the facilities maintained by the City of Helsinki, there are vast opportunities for sports and recreation in Helsinki.
Helsinki offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Bicycling and Outdoor Map shows many of these opportunities. The print version of the map is available from city libraries and City of Helsinki information booths including Virka Info at the City Hall.
Helsinki people are active bicyclists. Helsinki’s bicycle path network exceeds 1,000 kilometres inside the Helsinki city limits, half of it in green areas, and the Helsinki region offers vastly more paths. Bicycling is supported with many services, including the regional Journey Planner for Cycling.
Golf is increasingly popular in Helsinki. There are many golf courses in the area, for example, in Laajasalo and Paloheinä.
Campers find a convenient site inside the city: Nuuksio National Park offers camping in wilderness just half an hour from the city.