Helsinki Guides

10 Things To Know About Helsinki Guides

1. What year was the Helsinki Guides established, and where is the headquarters?

1947, in Helsinki

2. What is the primary mission/goal of theHelsinki Guides?

Helsinki Guides is an association of authorised guides established in 1947. The aims of our association are:

  • to provide information on the guides and their services
  • to look after and promote the members' interests
  • to maintain and further develop members' professional skills and knowledge
  • and to act as a living community for our members.

There are more than 300 members in our association and together we give around 17,000 guided tours in 25 languages annually. We are a member of SMAL (Association of Finnish Travel Industry, AFTA) and the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG).

3. What is the process to become a qualified tourist guide in Helsinki Guides?

Helsinki Guides work together with Perho Liike talousopisto and other educational institutions in maintaining the highest levels of professionalism within the industry. More information on courses on offer can be found at

The scope of the degree is 120 competence points (cp) and consists of one mandatory module (creation and implementation of guiding services, 45 cp) plus additional optional modules (75 cp).

Vocational qualification training in guiding services includes different types of training that include 4-6 meeting days a month, guided e-learning and independent gathering of information and familiarisation with the guiding environment.

At the beginning of their studies, a personal competence development plan (HOKS) will be drawn up for each student, which will also determine the duration of their studies which is on average 6 – 12 months.

If you have already has acquired the necessary skills, you have the opportunity to prove your competence directly by giving a guiding demonstration.

If you are a guide local to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, you can apply for membership of the Helsinki Guides Association after completing your degree and then will be authorised as an official Helsinki guide. Read more at

4. Once qualified, how do tourist guides in Helsinki Guides maintain their qualification? Also, is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in Helsinki wear?

Helsinki Guides are required to carry out a minimum of 12 tours annually to maintain their qualification.

Guides wear their official badge when working – an example is shown below.

5. How many qualified tourist guides are members of Helsinki Guides and tell us about their diverse backgrounds?

We have round 325 members with various backgrounds including teachers, health care professionals, historians, flight attendants, trades people, trainers, etc.

6. What are some of the professional development classes offered to members of Helsinki Guides ?

We organize lectures and professional visits regularly.

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in Helsinki?

We want to give a true picture of Helsinki and tell stories about the city and its people. Often we take guests to places that require the guide to know its history and plans for its future development. An untrained guide may not know how to act professionally or how to guide a group and often they provide incorrect information.

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in Helsinki?

The Senate Square, Market Square, The Rock Church, Sibelius Monument, Central Library Oodi, Olympic Stadium, Winter Garden, Maritime Helsinki, her parks and coastline. New districts of Ruoholahti, Jätkäsaari, Hernesaari and Kalasatama. Archipelago cruises and islands like Suomenlinna and Vallisaari.

We provide walking tours, culinary tours, Ghosts of Helsinki tours, bus tours, Prohibition tours, Architecture and Art tours and many, many more.

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation Helsinki?

Come and visit Helsinki with an open mind.

  • We have an active cultural and art life
  • Maritime Helsinki is a new trend destination in the Baltic Sea .
  • Helsinki is also the "capital of the sauna", and we recommend our guests a genuine sauna experience.
  • The price level here is similar to that in other Nordic capital cities.
  • Our tap water is the cleanest in the world and drinkable
  • Helsinki hasa beautiful natural environment and a wonderful archipelago.
  • Finland is a pioneer in equality.

Visits to Helsinki are city breaks at their best.

Please contact Helsinki Guides whether you are planning a leisure group visit or a more official tour - you will be in the hands of professionals.

10. Where can potential visitors to Helsinki find out more information about Helsinki Guides and also find a qualified tourist guide?

Much more information is available at