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3 must-run routes in Helsinki

SuuntoRun — 7 januari 2020

Run with us around the world in our favorite cities!

We know the desire to run does not stop when you travel, in fact many times its the opposite. Running is one of the best ways to explore a new city! One of the challenges to fully enjoying this potential is not knowing where to go. Big cities have lots of sights and routes, but how to find the right one? We’ve got you covered! Here at Suunto, we’ve put together a collection of routes that showcase some of the best parts of Helsinki (our hometown!).

Through winding parks in the heart of the city, to historic sites and architecture, these routes hit all the high notes. We’ve put together three main options for you; short and scenic route, a favourite track of local runners and those “in-the-know,” and finally an adventurous trail in the city’s Central Park, winding through the heart of Helsinki. Trust us, you’ll be thankful you brought your sneakers!


To follow these routes with your Suunto watch or mobile device, please follow these instructions:

1. Press download GPX.
2. Go to Suunto app and press + button in app map and press 'import route'.
3. Find the route, press it. The app opens the route, press 'Done'.
4. You can modify name and details. The route is saved. Keep the 'Use in Watch' toggle on to have the route in watch. 

Note: If you are not reading this on a device with Suunto app installed, download the route file and save it in a location you can access on your mobile device. Then follow the guidance above.


Short, sweet and central – Töölönlahti (4,9 km)

Download the GPX file here.


Who it is for:

Tourist run/walk route taking stunning views of the city in less than 5 km.


Töölönlahti is the most popular and frequented of any running loop in Helsinki. It is peaceful, picturesque and in the heart of central Helsinki. The track follows the shoreline of a charming inlet, that in the span of just over 2 km lends views to Finlandia Hall, the Opera House and the tower of the Olympic Stadium.  

Particularly scenic are the calm, early morning hours as the still water of the bay, and finishing up in time for a coffee and snack at one of the many quaint cafes nearby. Most afternoons see many visitors, though even when it's busy, it's not crowded.

Start point note and logistics:

From the Central Railway Station exit west (right as you leave the main exit). You’ll walk past the Kiasma contemporary Art Gallery, The Helsinki Music Centre and Finlandia Hall, and you’ll see the bay from there. The route follows the water to the right! Have fun! 

Finish Point note + post-run POIs

The most straightforward point to finish at where you began but there are countless options to exit the loop, you can head towards the Olympic Stadium for a visit, or to a charming little cafe overlooking the bay Cafe Sininen Huvila (summer only).

Run extensions and alternatives:

On the opposite side of the bay from the starting point, is a small foot-bridge that takes you over the train tracks to the opposite side of the bay. You can follow this extension of the route for an additional 2.5 km of mostly flat shale, and paved path.  Your tree-lined route includes turn of the century, stone buildings to keep you company, here you’ll find a go-to pub and patio called Juttutupa should you need refreshment. The loop circles back to the same foot-bridge, so you’re never too far from you started.



Locals Run – Sibelius Seaside (7,9 km)

Download the GPX file here.


Who it is for:

The locals running route: Some history and some wild & rugged island terrain, a feast for the senses and the legs!


The route begins at the Sibelius Monument, an ode to Finland’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius. This handsome park can be busy at times with visitors and tour buses, but as you head towards and along the seaside, you will find a new view of wild coast-line of Helsinki. The charming island of Seurasaari, a frequented haunt for Helsinki’s runners of all abilities. This teardrop-shaped island is home to undulating trails woven amongst lightly-wooded, rocky terrain, seemingly dangling in to the Baltic Sea. An open-air museum that displays traditional Finnish way of life and homes from the past four hundred years is a fascinating distraction along the way.

Start point note and logistics:

The Sibelius Monument is 2.5 km from the Central Railway Station. The best (and most fun) way to get there is to take the tram.  Firstly, head west from the train station to Lasipalatsi (on Mannerheimentie). You can take Tram #4, 7A or 10 that head west, away from the city centre. In four stops you’re at Töölön Kisahalli, get off here and head towards the sea along Humalistonkatu, and you’ll find the park.

Finish Point note and post-run POIs:

Your route back follows your outbound journey and ends at the beloved Cafe Regatta, across the road from your starting point. If you still have some energy, you can also extend your outing with some kayaking or SUP, which you can rent directly from the cafe (open year-round).

Run extensions and alternatives:

Instead of finishing at Cafe Regatta, you can continue back along the water for a dip in the Baltic Sea at Helsinki's largest beach, Hietaniemi (1.5 km further), or turn left towards the centre at Hesperian Esplanadi.



Adventure Trail – Paloheinä & Helsinki Central Park (18,4 km)

Download the GPX file here.


Who it is for:

The trail and forest adventure-seeker. 


The first 7 km is a loop around the Paloheinä forest. There are a multitude of off-shoots in the forest with a mix of single-track and main trails, in the forest you’ll be able to get a nice mix of elevation change and some reasonably technical portions. Around the forest is a mostly flat, mixed gravel trail.

When heading to the city through central park the route is pedestrian roads (gravel sur-face) and there are many different paths that can be taken, you can use your Suunto watch (Suunto 5, or Suunto 9) to track your progress on the trail running heatmap. This narrow shard of greenery through the city will make you feel as though your entirely away from the bustle. 

Start point note and logistics: 

Straightforward to get to. Take the 66 or 66A bus from the Central Railway Station, and it is the last stop on the route.  Conveniently there are free showers and dressing rooms in Paloheinä should you want to spend your entire time running the forest. Open in the summer Mo-Fr 12-21, Sa-Su 10-18. 

Finish Point note:

We have plotted the route to pass a little bay called Töölönlahti (also mentioned in the first route), so anywhere in this area you’re in close proximity to hotels, cafes and a veritable plethora of points of interest.

Run extensions and alternatives:

You can spend as long as you like in the forest, sometimes the single-track is too fun to leave! Even if you get lost the park it’s not too big that you can’t find you way out soon enough. There is a main trail within the forest which is used for cross-country skiing in the winter and covered with soft blanket of sawdust. It’s easy to spend a couple invigorating hours within this quiet, natural space, and you can always take the 66/66A bus back to the centre.


Discover new routes with heatmaps. Heatmaps show the tracks frequently used by the Suunto App community all over the globe, based on millions of moves. You can plan your own route with the help of rich, topographic maps, transfer it to your compatible Suunto watch and start exploring. 

With Suunto 5 and Suunto 9 watches, you can add these routes directly to your device and track your progress.


Lead image: Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash