Helsinki Zoo and how to get there?

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Northern Europe & Baltic Sea
Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Greenland, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn
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1,945 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We are considering the Helsinki zoo and would love to get some feedback. I have explored so many options in Helsinki and can't seem to find one that would suit our family of 7. Our kids are ages 10-17 and I know by this point in the cruise, they will be tired of museums, churches and walking tours. Helsinki is the day after 2 days in Russia. My kids love animals and I have read they have a lot of cats at this zoo, something they would enjoy.
My question is, how do you get from the cruise port to the Market Square to catch the ferry and is the ferry the best option (Sunday, June 24th)? I called NCL and they said we will be at either South Katajanokka or West Melkki, which makes it difficult to plan out. Also, I just checked the port of Helsinki and they have the NCL Sun at Hernesaari. Is this the same dock but different name?
889 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
The paddle steamer or boats (see pictures) are starting at the Market Square next to the ferry to the fortress. It is absolutely the best option to go to the zoo. A nice short sea trip through the harbour.

There are other boats starting a mile further north (Hakaniemi) so be sure you start your return trip from the zoo from the same pier that you arrived to.

Bus 11 starts from the east side of the Railroad Station twice a hour and takes you around the bay to the zoo gate/bridge on the north side. As it is midsummer there is risk the bus might be quite full. I prefer the boat trip.

Harbour map:

Katajanokka is #5 on the map. Easy straightforward walk to the Market Square.

Melkki (aka LMA) is #4 on the map. There worst one in this case. Shuttle bus to downtown plus walk along Esplanade Park to Market Square is the easiest option.

Hernesaari is #1 & #2 on the map. Bus #16 will take you to Market Square. In fact if you are adventurous and confident in map reading , bus 16 would, after a rather long trip, take you all the way to Kulosaari island (stop: "Marsalkantie") from where its about a mile walk cross another island to the zoo.

Hope it helps.

1,945 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by epixx
World Gallery: Have you considered Seurasaari?

We went there by bus with our 14 and 10 year olds and LOVED it.
We had considered it but we are doing Skansen in Stockholm and they seem very similar.

Ultima Thule - Thanks for the detailed info.