Back to tours

Seaside museums – architecture, art and home museums by the sea!

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Duration: 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 days

Sites: Studio Aalto, The Aalto House, Gallen-Kallela Museum, Tamminiemi, Seurasaari, Villa Gyllenberg, Didrichsen Art Museum

Available: All year

Accommodation: Not included

Transportation: Not included

Themes: Aalto homes, Art, Cultural buildings, Museums, Nature, Sea

A museum tour around the Laajalahti bay, outside the usual tourist routes, reveals seven unique museum sites that can be experienced together or separately.

Tour highlights: 

A self-guided museum tour around the Laajalahti bay, outside the usual tourist routes, reveals seven unique museum sites that can be experienced together or separately. In addition to the scenic surroundings, the sites are united under interesting architecture and the fact that they have originally been homes and / or workspaces. The Didrichsen Art Museum, Villa Gyllenberg and Gallen-Kallela museums also feature significant art collections and changing exhibitions.

In Alvar Aalto’s home and office building in Munkkiniemi you can take part in guided tours all year round. Aficionados of architecture and design will get an insight into the interesting life of the Aalto family and everyday life of architects’ office. During the visit, you can also explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the buildings.

On a guided tour in Tamminiemi you will learn about the house’s most famous and longest-lived inhabitant: president Urho Kekkonen (1900–1986), and discover the original interiors and design from the 1970s. Tamminiemi’s legendary tar-smelling, seaside sauna can also be visited during the summer season.

The nearby Seurasaari open-air museum comes alive in the summer. The beautiful and fascinating traditional Finnish buildings, immersed into the magnificent natural setting of the island, constitute a favourite destination for both Helsinki locals and travellers around.

There are as many as two high-quality art museums on the small Kuusisaari island. The Didrichsen Art Museum has 2-3 changing exhibitions each year. The neighbouring Villa Gyllenberg features museum’s permanent collection which includes, amongst other masterpieces, 38 works by Helene Schjerfbeck. In addition, the museum also organises changing exhibitions. On Saturdays during the summer, Kuusisaari can be reached also by water bus running between Market Square in the city centre and Kuusisaari.

The northern shore of Laajalahti bay also offers exciting museum experiences, as well as a pleasant museum café where visitors can spend a relaxing moment. The Gallen-Kallela Museum, located in a castle-like villa designed by artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela, presents the art and life of Gallen-Kallela and his contemporaries with changing exhibitions, as well as exhibitions of contemporary art. From April you can also cycle to the museum on a city bike.

Check our tour proposal on the program tab!

You can download the brochure for the seaside museums from the program tab. Photo: Seaside museums

The studio and the family’s living areas have been discreetly separated from each other through choices of material on the facade. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation

In addition to the scenic surroundings, the sites are united by interesting architecture and the fact that they have previously been homes and / or workspaces.
Gallen-Kallelan Museo, Espoo
The Gallen-Kallela museum presents the art and life of Akseli Gallen-Kallela and other artists working in the same historical period, as well as contemporary art. Photo: Saana Kytömäki, GKM
Gallen-Kallela Museum, Espoo
The Gallen-Kallela museum building is a mix of various architectural styles. Photo: Saana Kytömäki, GKM
Gallen-Kallelan Museo, Espoo
Akseli Gallen-Kallela designed and built the castle-like Tarvaspää atelier building as his studio and home. Photo: Saana Kytömäki, GKM
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum
The Open-Air Museum of Seurasaari was founded in 1909. Photo: Seurasaari
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Helsinki
The buildings that compose the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum have been relocated from all over Finland. Photo: Seurasaari
Seurasaaren ulkomuseo, Helsinki
The interiors of the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum buildings give an overall view of life in the Finnish countryside from the 18th to the 20th century. Photo: Seurasaari
The Aalto House
Aalto's architect’s office was located in this building until 1955 when Studio Aalto completed. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Studio Aalto
The windows in the Studio Aalto's curved wall open onto the courtyard. Photo: Maija Holma, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Villa Gyllenberg, Helsinki
Villa Gyllenberg is located on the south shore of Kuusisaari. Photo: Tomi Parkkonen
Villa Gyllenberg, Helsinki
Villa Gyllenberg presents Ane and Signe Gyllenberg’s art collection in their former home. Photo: Jussi Tiainen
Tamminiemi, Helsinki
Tamminiemi has been the official residence of three presidents, Risto Ryti, Gustaf Mannerheim and Urho Kekkonen. Photo: Tamminiemi
Tamminiemi, Helsinki
Tamminiemi interiors are preserved in the shape that dates back to the time of President Kekkonen in the early 1970's. Photo: Tamminiemi
Tamminiemi park, gazebo
There is also a charming gazebo in the Tamminiemi museum area. Photo: Tamminiemi
The Didrichsen Art Museum
The Didrichsen Art Museum was designed by architect Viljo Revell. Photo: Rauno Träskelin
The Didrichsen Art Museum, public sculpture park
The Didrichsen Art Museum is surrounded by a public sculpture park. Photo: Rauno Träskelin
The Didrichsen Art Museum
The Didrichsen Art Museum holds two to three exhibitions a year. Photo: Rauno Träskelin

Programme by day

Day 1: Gallen-Kallela Museum

Head towards Tarvaspää in Espoo and visit the Gallen-Kallela Museum on your own or on a guided tour during the day! In the atelier castle designed by artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela there is enough to see to fill the whole day! It is also interesting to browse the vast selection of products in the museum shop, to choose a great souvenir of the day spent at the museum.

Adjacent to the museum’s atelier building is the museum’s café-restaurant, which serves customers all year round and generally has equal opening hours as the museum. Grab a coffee here or enjoy your lunch with no rush.

Useful information

Read more here.


Gallen-Kallelantie 27, 02600 Espoo

Jump on tram number 4 and head towards Munkkiniemi! Get to know Alvar Aalto’s work and history on a guided tour in the Aalto House and Studio Aalto. The house was completed in 1936 and it was divided into an office area for Alvar Aalto’s architectural firm, and the family’s private residence. Aalto’s architects’ office operated in this building on Riihitie street until 1955, when a separate studio building was completed on the nearby Tiilimäki street. In both buildings visits last approximately 1 hour. The actual guided tour takes approximately 30 minutes, after which it’s possible to enjoy the building and its spaces at one’s own pace for a while, and also do some shopping inside the museum shop.

The picturesque neighborhood of Munkkiniemi, where the Aalto House and Studio are situated, also offers plenty cosy cafés, restaurants and small boutiques to choose from when visiting.

Useful information

The Aalto House and Studio Aalto can only be visited by joining a guided tour.

You can also book a private tour. Read more about the tours here.


Studio Aalto, Tiilimäki 20, 00330 Helsinki

The Aalto House, Riihitie 20, 00330 Helsinki

The tour of the Seaside museums continues on the third day around the Meilahti neighbourhood, where visitors will be greeted by our presidents’ former official residence: Tamminiemi. Tamminiemi, especially known as the home of president Urho Kekkonen, is a museum site where visitors will find a front row seat into discovering behind-the-scenes stories of Finnish power and politics. At the Museum Café you can enjoy a variety of café delicacies as well as a lunch right by the sea.

In connection with a visit to Tamminiemi, it is also worth combining an adventure a little further back in time. The nearby Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is only a short walk away from Tamminiemi. Seurasaari is referred to as a “rural Finland in miniature”, and especially during the summer it has a lot to offer to its visitors with guided tours, workshops, and special events. You can easily spend a whole day on the island, also enjoying a coffee break, food and shopping at the newly renovated museum shop.

Useful information

Read more about the guided tours in Tamminiemi here.

Read more about the tours in Seurasaari here.


Tamminiemi, Seurasaarentie 15, 00250 Helsinki

Seurasaari, Seurasaari, 00250 Helsinki

Idyllic Kuusisaari is the destination of the fourth day of our tour proposal. Hidden in the lush nature of Kuusisaari, the Didrichsen Art Museum and Villa Gyllenberg offer, together, an art museum experience that will be remembered long after the visit.

The visit begins from the Didrichsen Art Museum, which features Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen’s diverse art collection, as well as an annual changing exhibition. The building, designed by architect Viljo Revell, also offers a unique spatial experience for visitors, as does the seaside public sculpture park that surrounds it.

A stone’s throw from the Didrichsen Art Museum stands Villa Gyllenberg: the home and art museum of Ane and Signe Gyllenberg. At Villa Gyllenberg you will get acquainted with a comprehensive art collection, which primarily consists of Finnish art from the 18th century to the 1970s. The museum also has a cosy café with a beautiful sea view.

Useful information

Read more the guided tours in Didrichsen Art Museum here.

Read more about guided tours in Villa Gyllenberg here.


Didrichsen Art Museum, Kuusilahdenkuja 1, 00340 Helsinki

Villa Gyllenberg, Kuusisaarenpolku 11, 00340 Helsinki

Sites included in this trip

Studio Aalto

Helsinki / 1954-55, 1962-63

Alvar Aalto designed the building at Tiilimäki 20 in Munkkiniemi as his own office in 1955. Because of a number of large commissions, the office needed more space to work in. The building is only a short walk from Aalto’s own house, where the office had previously been located. Studio…

The Aalto House

Helsinki / 1935-36

In 1934, Aino and Alvar Aalto acquired a site in almost completely untouched surroundings at Riihitie in Helsinki’s Munkkiniemi. Aino and Alvar Aalto designed the building, whose simple, natural materials soften the form language of modern architecture. Designing their own home gave them an opportunity to make various structural and…

Gallen-Kallela Museum


The museum is situated in the castle-like studio, designed by the artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931). The exhibitions present his and his contemporaries’ art and life and contemporary art.



The former residence of Finnish Presidents gives a glimpse behind the scenes of power and politics. The Villa is shown as it was in President Urho Kekkonen’s (1900-1986) day in the 1970s.



Seurasaari is the green living room of Helsinki. The Seurasaari Open-air Museum invites you to take a peek into the lives of generations past in traditional Finnish dwellings.

Villa Gyllenberg


Finnish art from 19th and 20th centuries, older European art and an ample collection of Helene Schjerfbeck’s paintings permanently on display. Changing exhibitions every year.

Didrichsen Art Museum


Art museum and sculpture park by the seaside. The collection holds Finnish and international modern art and ancient artifacts from Asia and Central and South America. Changing exhibitions.

Inquiries and bookings

Book trip

Error: Contact form not found.