Great places to exercise outdoors in Helsinki

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The green area around the Töölönlahti bay in the centre of Helsinki is a great place to jog and work out on the exercise equipment. Similar equipment can be found throughout the city in some of the least expected settings. In addition to all the sawdust trails, cycling paths, swimming places, hiking routes and exercise equipment, there are also lots of other opportunities for exercising free of charge in Helsinki. Here are seven of our favourite places to exercise outdoors!

Obstacle course at the Kivikko sports park

If you like to exercise with a friend who is particularly competitive, then try the obstacle course at the Kivikko sports park. You can warm up and exchange small talk along the adjacent recreational trails before getting serious on the obstacle course. There are two parallel tracks, so you can go head to head over, under and around the obstacles! The slalom poles, booms, mesh walls, crawling obstacles and overhead wires will get your pulse racing and – unless you take it too seriously – put a smile on your face!

There are also lots of activities for kids, including an artificial turf sports field for playing football, a Frisbee golf course and an international-spec BMX track!

Pump track at the Roihuvuori sports park

Roihuvuori is home to Helsinki’s first paved pump track, a circuit of banked turns and features designed to be ridden by “pumping” on your bikes. You can ride the track on a mountain bike, BMX bike or even a city bike. Begin by pedalling hard to get over the first mound and then coast the rest of the way by using up and down body movements to create momentum. There is usually plenty of space on the track, at least during the daytime!

You can also work up a sweat on the exercise equipment in the adjacent sports park!

Micropolis skatepark in Eläintarha Park

The skatepark in Eläintarha is a great place to skateboard or scooter – or just to check out the action. Micropolis covers an area of 3600 square metres, and the ramps are made out of natural stone and concrete.  There is a street skating area, a snake run, ledges and all kinds of obstacles, jumps and steps. The skatepark attracts people of all ages and all levels, from beginners to those training for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo!

In the adjacent Eläintarha sports ground you can enjoy more traditional forms of exercise. You will find all the usual track and field facilities, including a 400-metre running track!

Workout steps on the hill at Malminkartano

The manmade hill at Malminkartano is the perfect place to work out your thighs. There are no less than 426 steps leading to the top, and you can run, jump or simply walk up them to get in shape. The steps attract people of all ages and fitness levels, especially on evenings and weekends. The Malminkartano hill was built between 1976 and 1996 using 8 million cubic metres of landfill. The peak is now the highest point in Helsinki at 90 metres above sea level. If you want, you can try to beat the record for running up the hill (52.53 seconds, to the best of our knowledge), or you can simply bring a picnic and enjoy the scenery! 

Helsinki has lots of other steps too where you can get a good workout, including the 182 steps at Majavatie in Herttoniemi.

Tennis courts at the Laajasalo sports park

According to serious local players, the free-of-charge courts at the Laajasalo sports park are the best in Helsinki. There are four great artificial grass courts and a practice wall – if you are hitting by yourself, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to join in a doubles match! The courts are protected from the wind on two sides, and especially in good weather they attract a lot of players. If they happen to be occupied when you get there, at least you can sit and watch some matches!

Nearby there is a playground for kids, as well as a basketball court and a good football pitch. If you get too sweaty, head for the local swimming beach for a dip in the sea!

Ping pong tables along Baana

The pedestrian and cycling corridor that cuts through the city centre is more than just a convenient way of getting from point A to point B. Baana features not only street art and rest areas, but also lots of recreational opportunities. These include ping pong tables, which you will find near the Maria Hospital.

You will also find basketball courts, petanque courts and even a public sculpture that can be used for skateboarding!

Frisbee golf at Tali

Watch the discs fly by, listen to the baskets jingle, and enjoy the screams of delight and agony from the bushes! This is Frisbee golf, and Tali is the perfect place to play it. The international-spec course consists of three 6-hole loops, each of which has its own unique characteristics. The course is very scenic and attracts a lot of players.  

If you like walking but are not that keen on retrieving Frisbees from bushes, you can enjoy instead the recreational trails in the area. Along the trails there are plenty of interesting sights, including a dog training area and dog park. The Vermo trotting track is nearby, you will probably see lots of horses too. There is even a miniature model of Jupiter. The entire scale model of the solar system covers an area of five kilometres, so cycling is recommended if you want to see all the planets! 

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The green area around the Töölönlahti bay in the centre of Helsinki is a great place to jog and work out on the exercise equipment. Similar equipment can be found throughout the city in some of the least expected settings.