Suomenlinna’s evolution into a tourist attraction

Over the course of its history, the Fortress of Suomenlinna has transformed from a military installation to an attractive tourist destination with a wide range of services. Today, the fortress is known as an exciting tourist attraction for visitors interested in its culture, recreation or the islands’ legacy as a World Heritage Site.

Travel guides during Swedish rule described Finland as a transit route to Lapland or Russia. Finland’s reputation and Suomenlinna soon spread beyond Swedish borders.

  • By the 19th century, the fortress was already mentioned in several travel guides.
  • Café Piper opened in 1928 and the Ehrensvärd Museum in 1930.
  • Landing rights were revoked in 1948.
  • The year of the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics saw the opening of Restaurant Walhalla and the launch of a ferry service operated by a new passenger ferry.
  • In the early 1990s, the annual number of visitors was approximately 300,000.
  • Suomenlinna was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 as a destination with considerable tourist appeal.
  • The 250th anniversary of the fortress in 1998 began a new era of tourism in Suomenlinna.

More information about sustainable tourism in Suomenlinna. Opens into a new tab into the site of Suomenlinna.

Matkailuneuvoja neuvoo kävijää kesällä pääreitillä

Visitors from around the world

Visitors to Suomenlinna come from all corners of the world.

Services open throughout the year

Suomenlinna has some 30 tourism service providers catering to visitors.

Kuvassa näkyy kustaanmiekan ammusvarastot, joita ympäröi keltaiset ukonpalkokasvustot. Taustalla näkyy meri

The principles of sustainable tourism

The Fortress of Suomenlinna strives to actively develop sustainable tourism, both at home and through efforts to help develop tourism at other World Heritage Sites in Finland and internationally. Together with other World Heritage Sites and national parks in Finland, Suomenlinna is committed to the principles of sustainable tourism.