The Go Helsinki Card: is it worth buying?

Planning a trip to Finland’s capital city? Then you’ve probably heard about Helsinki’s very own discount pass – the Go Helsinki Card.

Pedro Szekely (CC)

The Go Helsinki Card is aimed at tourists and other short-term visitors who want to check out a few of the city’s biggest attractions without breaking the bank.

According to the official website, getting the sightseeing card could save you a whopping €142 on a three-day visit to Helsinki.

However, this assumes that you’ll visit up to four museums a day and pack your trip with 24-hour sightseeing!

Check out our itineraries below for a realistic idea of what you can expect to pay – and save – on a one-day, two-day and three-day trip.

So, is the Helsinki Card worth buying? And will it really save you a nice stack of euros? Read our review to find out!

What is the Go Helsinki Card?

Once you buy the Helsinki Card, you’ll get free access to more than 25 attractions across the city, including the extraordinary Rock Church, the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the impressive Suomenlinna sea fortress.

The Helsinki Card – is it worth buying?
Pic: Giuseppe Milo (CC)

You’ll also have free access to popular city tours, including Helsinki’s hop-on, hop-off tourist buses and a canal cruise that lets you see the city from the water (both summer only).

Perhaps best of all, you’ll get free use of the city’s public transport network for the entire time that your Helsinki Card is valid, including buses, trams, the metro and local trains within the city centre.

In addition, the card gives discounts at a variety of cafés, restaurants, shops and attractions, including the SkyWheel Helsinki, day-trips to Tallinn and Korkeasaari Zoo.

As a nice bonus you’ll also get a free digital guidebook that includes handy maps and some information about the different attractions that you can visit with the Helsinki Card.

How does it work?

There are three main types of Helsinki Card, valid for 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours respectively.

They come in two versions: The Go Helsinki Card City, which includes unlimited free transport within travel zones A and B; and Go Helsinki Card Region, which covers unlimited travel within zones ABC and includes Espoo (Finland’s second-largest city) plus travel to and from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Olga1969 (CC)

Both City and Region cards work in the same way. You simply scan the card when you first use it at an attraction or on public transport.

This activates it, and you’ll then be able to travel around and gain entry to attractions until the time runs out.

You can only visit each museum or attraction once with each card, but to be honest, it’s very unlikely that you’d want to visit the same place multiple times in the same trip.

Where can I buy the Go Helsinki Card?

To get started, you need to buy the card online. You then print your order confirmation email and can pick the card when you arrive in Helsinki. 

There are several pick-up points across town but the easiest for most visitors is Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, where the pick-up point is in the Arrivals Hall of terminal two.

Alternatively, you can pick it up in central Helsinki: there are pick up points at the Hotel Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre, near the main train station, at the Stockmann department store, Aleksanterinkatu 52, and at the Stromma sales kiosk on Market Square.

Note that the Go Helsinki Card Region is not for sale in advance online via the Go City website. However, you can buy it online in advance through Get your Guide

What’s the cheapest way to get the Helsinki Card?

You can also buy the Go Helsinki Card City through Get Your Guide, and it’s worth checking both Go City and Get Your Guide sites before you buy to see which is cheaper, since both sites have special offers and discounts now and again.

It’s also worth noting that Get Your Guide offers free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance of your trip and you can pay in pounds on its website, while Go City payment is in euros.

Alternatively, you can buy both City and Region versions of the Go Helsinki Card once you arrive at Helsinki airport or at selected hotels and ferry terminals within the city itself.

Because the Helsinki Card is valid for a full 12 months from the point of purchase, it makes sense to buy it as far in advance as possible, especially if there’s an online sale on (see below). This will ensure that you get the best rate and help you avoid any price rises.

What’s not included with the Go Helsinki Card?

Most of Helsinki’s main attractions are included on the Helsinki Card, though there are a few sights and attractions that are not included. 

Admission to Finland’s Natural History Museum is not covered (it costs around €17 per adult) and neither are the city’s two botanic gardens, Kaisaniemi and Kumpula.

However, admission to Kaisaniemi is free anyway (you only pay to enter the greenhouses – €12 an adult) and entrance to Kumpula gardens costs €9.

Neither of Helsinki’s landmark cathedrals, Uppenski and Tuomiokirkko are included but entrance to both is free anyway.

Some sights, such as the zoo and the Skywheel are not included but both give a discount on the entrance fee.

The Suomenlinna Fortress - one of the attractions included on the Helsinki Card
Pic: Michal.Pise (CC)

How much does the Helsinki Card cost?

There are several different versions of the card, with validity periods of between one and three days. Passes are available on the Helsinki Card website.

Adult (age 17+)1 day2 days3 days
Go Helsinki Card City€51€63€74
Go Helsinki Card Region€55€69€82
Child (age 7–16)1 day2 days3 days
Go Helsinki Card City€25€31€37
Go Helsinki Card Region€27€34€41
Costs (in euros) are correct at the time of publication.

So, is the Helsinki Card worth it?

If you’re visiting for the first time and want to squeeze in a few of the city’s big attractions, then yes – buying the Helsinki Card could save you a lot of money.

You’ll also benefit from unlimited public transport during your stay. This includes buses, trams and local trains – even the ferry to Suomenlinna is included.

Another advantage is that you won’t have to worry about standing in line for tickets at each attraction you choose to visit, saving you valuable time during your visit. You can order the card here.

One day in Helsinki: how much could you save?

We’ve worked out a typical itinerary for a one-day whizz round Helsinki’s top sights and how much it would cost if you paid for each attraction individually compared to the price of the one-day Helsinki Card.

The DIY optionGo Helsinki Card CityGo Helsinki Card Region
Upfront costn/a€51€55
City highlights cruise€25n/an/a
Museum of Contemporary Art€18n/an/a
Hop-on, hop-off bus ticket (24hr)€32n/an/a
Total cost€75€51€55 
The costs above are in euros and for one adult. All prices correct at time of publication.

Since you’re unlikely to have the time to travel outside the city centre on a one-day trip (unless you really are on a whistle-stop tour!), it’s not probably worth buying the Helsinki Region card.

So the Go Helsinki Card City works out as the best value for a one-day visit, with a saving of almost €25.

Two days in Helsinki: how much could you save?

Take a look at the example below to see how much you could save when visiting Helsinki for two days, compared with doing it yourself (the ‘DIY option’).

We’ve included some of the city’s main attractions and a couple of smaller sights and tours.

The DIY optionGo Helsinki Card CityGo Helsinki Card Region
Upfront costn/a€63€69
Suomenlinna Museum and tour€38n/an/a
Museum of Contemporary Art€18n/an/a
Rock Church€4n/an/a
Hop-on, hop-off bus ticket (24hr)€32n/an/a
Canal cruise€25n/an/a
Design Museum€12n/an/a
Return airport trip (train)€8.20€8.20n/a
Total cost€137.20€71.20€69 
The costs above are in euros and for one adult. All prices correct at time of publication.

As you can see for two days, buying the Helsinki Card City will save you a whopping €66. And if you need a return airport ticket too, you can save an extra couple of euros by buying the Helsinki Card Region.

Three days in Helsinki: how much could you save?

And if you’ve got three days to spend in Helsinki, you can really get to grips with the city and still have time to see some of the surrounding attractions too.

The DIY optionGo Helsinki Card CityGo Helsinki Card Region
Upfront costn/a€74€82
Suomenlinna Museum and tour€38n/an/a
Amos Rex Museum€20n/an/a
Rock Church€4n/an/a
Hop-on, hop-off bus ticket (24hr)€32n/an/a
Helsinki Art Museum€12n/an/a
Canal cruise€25n/an/a
Design Museum€12n/an/a
Seurasaari Open-air Museum€10

Return airport trip (train)€8.20€8.20n/a
Total cost€161.20€82.20€82 
The costs above are in euros for one adult. All prices correct at time of publication.

So, for a three-day trip, if you pack in the sights a Go Helsinki Card will save almost €80.

There’s little difference in price between the City card and the Regional card, so it will probably depend on whether you think you have time to explore any of the surrounding area.

And while you’re in money-saving mode, check out our guide to free and cheap things that you can do while you’re in Helsinki.

The Helsinki Card: our verdict

Results will vary depending on what you want to see, but unless you’re sticking to completely free attractions and travelling very little, we think you’ll make a good saving with the Go Helsinki Card City.

And if you’re flying to Helsinki, you’ll probably want to opt for the Region card.

One thing to bear in mind is that not all of Helsinki’s sights and tours are open all year round, so check the Helsinki Card website for more details if you want to double check a specific attraction before buying.


Tips for using the Go Helsinki Card

  • Plan your trip in advance. The cards are valid for 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours after the moment you first use them, so if you activate a 24-hour card at 10am it will be valid unit 10am the following day. So, make sure you make full use of your time. 
  • Check opening hours and closing days. If you want to visit a specific sight or museum, check it’s not closed on the day you plan to visit.
  • Look out for discount codes and special offers. You can save even more money by checking the Go City website for occasional special offers.
  • Get a group discount. If you’re travelling with friends and can get together with some fellow travellers to make a group of 15, you’ll get a group discount on the card.
  • Check other websites. It’s worth doing some research and looking at other sites before you buy. Get your Guide also sells both the Helsinki City and Region cards and sometimes they can be cheaper than on the official site.

Helsinki card discount codes

We’ve tried our best but we haven’t been able to find any discount codes for the Helsinki Card that are currently valid.

However, the website does have offers from time to time when it sells the card at a discount of up to 15 percent – so always it’s always worth checking online first and buying there is there’s a sale on.

Have you found a code? Please share it in the comments below!

See also:
Getting from Helsinki airport to the city centre
Unusual Places to stay in Helsinki
One day in Helsinki: the ultimate guide



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