Built on five interconnected islands by the Swedes in 1748 to protect Helsinki from seaborne attack, the fortress of Suomenlinna, fifteen minutes away by boat, is the biggest sea fortress in the world. Reachable by ferry from the harbour, it’s also a great place to stroll around on a summer afternoon, with superb views back across the water towards the capital: you can either visit independently or take one of the hour-long summer guided walking tours, beginning close to the ferry stage and conducted in English (June–Aug daily 11am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm; Sept–May Sat & Sun 1.30pm; €11 high season, €4 low season). Suomenlinna has a few museums, none particularly riveting, but the best is Suomenlinna Museum (daily: May–Sept 10am–6pm; Oct–April 10.30am–4.30pm; €6.50), with a permanent exhibition on the island. There are several atmospheric places to eat and drink.

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