What does Seurasaari offer?
The island has sand roads, along which you can walk around the island.
Nature in Seurasaari is characterised by forests, rocky hills, wet hollows and herb-rich forests. The animals living on the island are accustomed to humans, but the southern shore is protected as a feeding area for bird litters. The area of Seurasaari is approximately 46 hectares.
Go round the Seurasaari island as President Kekkonen did every morning. There are stairs along the route, but they can be avoided if necessary. The length of the route is about 3.1 kilometres.
You can grill your own food at the public barbecue area of the Festival Ground, where the city regularly delivers firewood (bring your own matches). The canopied gazebo next to the barbecue area is available for visitors.
When the forest fire warning is in effect, barbecuing is prohibited, and the city will not provide any firewood. Please check the current warnings on the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute(Link leads to external service). Using your own grills and making an open fire in Seurasaari are not allowed.
There is a public toilet next to the Seurasaari bridge on the mainland, at Seurasaarentie 15. There is also a toilet at the bath and beach.
Café Mieritz and Festival Ground kiosk
Located next to the white wooden bridge of Seurasaari is Metsänvartijan talo, built in 1890 and designed by architect Frithiof Mieritz. This charming little Norwegian-style villa nowadays houses Café Mieritz, which serves delicacies to the visitors.
The yellow kiosk of the Festival Ground serves customers on weekends.
Seurasaari bath and beach
Seurasaari bath and beach has no lifeguard on duty. The beach is a nudist beach with separate, fenced areas for women and men. Everyone can enjoy the beach on Wednesdays and Sundays, which means that a swimsuit is mandatory on these days. The bath and beach are free of charge and there is a dressing room, an outdoor shower and a toilet and kiosk.
Seurasaari bath and beach, location on map(Link leads to external service)
During the summer season, you can find up-to-date information on the condition of the beaches in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, the blue-green algae situation and the water temperature on the Outdoor Exercise Map.
Outdoor exercise map(Link leads to external service)
In summer, you can also take a dip in the sea from Seurasaari’s rocky sandy beach, which can be found next to the bath.
During the winter season, the bath serves as a winter swimming place, maintained by Seurasaari Swimmers’ Association.
Seurasaari Swimmers’ Association (in Finnish)(Link leads to external service)
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is open from mid-May to mid-September. The museum was founded in 1909 and contains 88 buildings typical of different regions from the end of the 17th century to the 20th century.
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum(Link leads to external service)
Seurasaari is home to one of Helsinki's two naturalist beaches. Seurasaari nudist beach has separate fenced areas for women and men. The beach is free of charge. Everyone can enjoy the beach on Wednesdays and Sundays, which means that a swimming suite is mandatory on these days.
History of Seurasaari
Seurasaari is a popular outdoor park and home to a famous open-air museum that is known by all Finns. The City of Helsinki purchased the island of Seurasaari, which was called Fölis at the time, in the 1870s. Prior to this the island belonged to Meilahti Farm and was used as a cow pasturage. In 1889, a company specialising in the sale of alcoholic beverages, established a people’s park on the island, five years after the establishment of Helsinki Zoo. The people’s park was a recreational area for the city’s poorer residents, where everyone was allowed to lounge around, spend nights and make fires, unlike in other parks owned by the gentry. In the following years the area underwent significant construction, including a road network, a steam ship pier, an alcohol-free restaurant, wells, stairs and lookout spots as well as two dance halls. Seurasaari was the place were many Finns first became familiar with new products, such as photography, ice cream stalls and fireworks. In the beginning there was only a boat connection to the island, the bridge was completed in 1892. The buildings were designed by architect Frithiof Mieritz. The open-air museum showcasing Finnish wooden buildings was established in the 1910s.
Today, Seurasaari is known for its Midsummer celebrations, and it is one of the most popular places for Sunday strolls in Helsinki. For several decades, the island was also the daily jogging destination of former President Urho Kekkonen. Even today, the island is often visited by Finnish presidents.
Fitness stairs of Urho Kekkonen
The stone stairs at the southern tip of the island are called Kekkonen’s fitness stairs. President Urho Kekkonen lived next to Seurasaari in Tamminiemi for thirty years, and jogging around Seurasaari was part of his daily routine. Kekkonen used the stairs to build his take-off power by jumping all of the stairs at once.
Seurasaari nature reserve
The southern shore of Seurasaari with its islets is a nature reserve. From 1 April to 15 August, it is forbidden to disembark or move closer than 25 metres from the islet.
Read more about the restrictions in the Rules and recommendations section.
Seurasaari features diverse habitats, including natural coastal forests, herb-rich forests with valuable flora, ponds, smooth rocks and a coastal meadow, which is a protected habitat type. The area’s flora is very diverse in places, particularly in the south-east part of the island.
The peaceful recreational area with its old trees is attractive to many birds, offering visitors the chance to observe birds and squirrels at close range. Seurasaari is also Helsinki’s most diverse bat habitat. In addition to sheltered hunting spots, the area has plenty of uninhabited buildings offering daytime hiding places for bats. Seurasaari’s shores and islets are used as nesting grounds by a variety of birds.
The island houses two protected natural monuments: the second-thickest unbifurcated Scots pine in the Helsinki region, with an anthill at the base that has spread into the cracks in the tree, and the giant’s kettle near the Festival Ground.
The Citynature website presents the nature of Seurasaari
Read more about nature and history.
Rules and regulations for nature reserves
The southern shore of Seurasaari with its islets is a nature reserve.
Please observe the following rules in the nature reserves of Seurasaari
- Do not let dogs, cats or other pets roam free
- Do not make a fire, barbecue, or camp
- Do not damage the plants, fungi or lichens
- No motorised vehicles or bicycles
- Do not disturb wildlife or damage nests
In all outdoor areas, observe Everyman’s Rights and rules and move responsibly in nature:
Accessibility information for Seurasaari’s services is still incomplete. Links to accessibility information will be available here when the analysis is completed.
Seurasaari’s services on the map
Seurasaari has good walking trails, a beach and a winter swimming place, a barbecue place, a café and a kiosk.