Mariehamn is the capital of Åland, an autonomous territory under Finnish sovereignty. Thanks to its central location between Finland and Sweden, beautiful architecture and rich nature, it has become a popular resort town and a tourist favorite.
On Ferryhopper, you can find the information you need for your holiday in Mariehamn in Åland. Read about the best attractions and activities, local cuisine and events, and discover how to get there. Check also available routes and book ferry tickets to Mariehamn from Finland, Sweden and Estonia at no extra cost!
The floating green scenery of Åland
Vacation in Mariehamn
The capital of Åland, Mariehamn, was founded in 1861 by Alexander II after the Empress Maria. Its wide streets lined with linden trees witness its Russian heritage. Mariehamn is the home to 12,000 out of the Åland Islands’ 30,000 inhabitants and is the world’s smallest metropolis, as its locals claim. However, this popular destination is extremely lively, especially in the summer months, attracting around 1.5 million tourists per year!
During your holiday in Mariehamn you will be able to enjoy the small-town vibe and admire the quaint streets and wooden houses. You can also use Mariehamn as a starting point for a tour around the Åland Islands.
Fun fact: the Åland archipelago consists of around 6,500 islands. Only 60-80 of them are inhabited, and Mariehamn is one of them.
How to get to Mariehamn
You can easily reach Mariehman by ferry from Turku or Helsinki in Finland. Tallinn is also connected by ferry with the ports of Stockholm and Kapellskär, in Sweden, as well as Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
Tip: Åland is actually a popular getaway destination from Sweden. Find out what to do on a weekend in Mariehamn from Stockholm.
Mariehamn also has an airport, located around 5 km outside the town, which is a 10-minute drive by car or a 30-minute ride by bus (lines 1, 2, 4 and 5).
Find more details about ferry routes and schedules to Mariehamn below.
What to do in Mariehamn
Despite its modest size, Mariehamn hosts a large number of cafés, hotels, restaurants, bars, parks, galleries, museums, festivals, and cultural events, so there’s lots of things to do in this busy town and in the surrounding areas.
During your stay, you can visit numerous sights and plan activities in nature, such as cycling. You can organize island-hopping or road trips and explore more islands in Åland by sea or by land. Moreover, if you are a golf lover, you have come to the right place, since Åland has at least 3 golf courses!
Tip: we strongly recommend visiting Mariehman around June 21, when the festivities of Midsummer take place. Ålanders take advantage of the long daylight and celebrate outside and in the countryside with barbecues, decoration and traditions, such as the maypole.
Incredible midnight sun in Mariehamn
Sightseeing in Mariehamn
From preserved medieval churches to various museums and impressive lighthouses, there is a lot to explore in Mariehamn. However, we also recommend taking day trips in order to get a better taste of Åland and its hidden gems.
If you are wondering what to see in Mariehamn, here are some popular sights in the area:
- The Sjökvarteret boat-building site
- Åland's Maritime Museum (Sjöfartsmuseum)
- The Kobba Klintar old pilot station
- The Church (Kyrka) of Sankt Göran
- The Åland Island Art Museum
- The Cultural History Museum of Åland
- The Bomarsund Fortress
- The Kastelholm Castle (14th century)
Tip: we strongly recommend taking a guided tour by boat to the remote lighthouses around Åland, such as Märket, Sälskär or Lågskär, and enjoy a sea adventure!
The Kobba Klintar old maritime pilot station with its café and museum
Activities in Mariehamn
Mariehman is the perfect travel destination if you want to be active on your vacation. The island’s beautiful natural landscapes and modern sports facilities make Åland a top option for adventure and fitness lovers. Get ready to release some stress and get the endorphins running, and try:
- Sport fishing
If you are an architecture enthusiast, you must definitely discover the buildings designed by Lars Sonck, such as the Mariehamn City Hall and the ÅSS Pavillion, or Finland’s first female master builder, Hilda Hongell, whose work you can still admire on a walk along Mariagatan and Södragatan.
On the other hand, if you just feel like relaxing we suggest you visit the Mariebad bathhouse and enjoy an invigorating experience in its sauna, jacuzzi and steam room, along with massage treatments from the establishment’s specialists.
Nightlife in Mariehamn
Mariehamn might not be the place for party seekers, but it has a variety of entertainment options to offer all year round, even though some establishments may operate only from May to September. There are many events and festivals taking place in June and July, so be prepared to check the event schedule before visiting.
In Mariehamn, you will find several pubs which are the town's evening hot spots. You will also find some beautiful bars with a terrace around Lilla Torget, and a nightclub for some late-night fun in the Arkipelag Hotel. You can also enjoy a movie night at the historic Bio Savoy Cinema or try your luck at the Casino Paf.
Food in Mariehamn
For Ålanders food is a big thing, and so is sustainability. In Åland you can eat tasty organic food, which is locally produced with respect for nature and according to the seasons. In Mariehamn and Åland restaurants, the AX label on a menu indicated that the dish is made from local ingredients, such as fish, meat and apples from local farms.
Moreover, the Ålanders have always been sea travelers that would bring new tastes, ingredients and influences, that you can trace even nowadays on innovative courses with exotic products.
Some of the Åland flavors that you must try in Mariehamn’s many restaurants are:
- Fish (smoked, cured, fried in batter or roasted)
- Åland pancakes
- Local tangy cheeses
- Dark malt bread
- Apple juice and soda from local fruit
- Artisan “slow” beers (Stallhagen microbrewery)
Åland is Finland's apple orchard
Useful information about Mariehamn
Mariehamn is the biggest town of Åland, has a unique architecture and offers many things to see and do. With incredible landscapes combining sea and green vegetation, a vibrant life in the summer and many options for activities and relaxation, it has become a tourist favorite over the last decades.
In Mariehamn, you will find a variety of accommodation options depending on your preferences and budget. The hotels in Mariehamn are classic and are close to museums, restaurants and shops.
Then again, if you want to connect with nature and try something different, you can book a cottage by the sea, a cozy wooden guesthouse of B&B, or even a room in a farm hotel. Do your research and you will find that options are numerous!
Tip: if you want to go simple, you can set up a tent or park your motorhome in one of Åland’s around 20 camping sites.
As for health establishments, there are several hospitals and clinics in Mariehman, so you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Mariehamn
Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Mariehamn:
- Mariehamn Port Authority: +35818531470
- Åland Police: +35818527100
- Mariehamn bus station: +3581825600
- Medical assistance: +35818538 500
- Emergency health ward: +358185355
- Mariehamn airport: +35820708000
- Mariehamn taxi services: +3581826000
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Mariehamn
Mariehamn is a relatively small town so you can easily get around on foot. Inside the town, you can also get around by the city bus Mariehamnsbussen. The main stop is in the town center at the crossroads of Nygatan and Torggatant. To travel to the countryside from Mariehamn, you can catch a bus from the main station next to the library.
In Mariehamn, there are many taxis that you can use to get to the airport and the ferry terminals. Moreover, Åland is a cycling friendly destination with a great network of cycling tracks and, since the distances are short, biking is one of the best ways to move around and see the surrounding areas. Alternatively, if you don’t bring a vehicle, you can rent a car in one of Åland’s two car renters.
Finally, where the roads end, you can continue your journey to the Åland Islands via the Archipelago ferries and even spend the night in one of the archipelago municipalities. These local ferries are free of charge for passengers who travel without a vehicle (bikes are considered as vehicles).
Ports in Mariehamn
The port of Mariehamn has 2 harbors: one on the western shore and one on the eastern shore. The Western Harbor is an important passenger harbor with and is used by cruise ferries traveling from/to Sweden, Estonia and mainland Finland.
In the Eastern Harbor you will find the Maritime Quarter, a living marine center with boat building activity, a smithy and other handicrafts, and a marina for traditional ships and wooden boats.
Mariehamn ferry: schedules and tickets
From the Western Harbor at the port of Mariehamn, there are regular ferry crossings to Helsinki and Turku in Finland all year round. There are also connections to the ports of Stockholm and Kapellskär in Sweden, and to Tallinn in Estonia.
The companies that operate the connections are Viking Line and Tallink. Keep in mind that on all vessels it is possible to embark your vehicle and stay in a cabin during the trip.
On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can see all available ferry routes from/to Mariehamn, so that you can easily plan and visualize your ferry trip.
Here are some more details on the ferry routes to Mariehamn:
- Ferry from Helsinki to Mariehamn: the Helsinki - Mariehamn ferry route is served up to 7 times a week. The crossing lasts approximately 11 hours and tickets start at around €55.
- Ferry from Turku to Mariehamn: the ferry from Turku to Mariehamn runs up to 7 times a week all year round. The crossing takes approximately 11.5 hours and tickets start at around €17.
- Ferry from Stockholm to Mariehamn: the ferry connection from Stockholm to Mariehamn includes around 4 daily sailings and the ferry ride takes about 6.5 hours to get to Mariehamn. Tickets start at around €18.
- Ferry from Kapellskär to Mariehamn: the Kapellskär - Mariehamn ferry route is operated all year round, with up to 3 daily crossings in the summer months. The trip lasts around 3.5 hours and tickets start at about €12.
- Ferry from Tallinn to Mariehamn: the ferry from Tallinn to Mariehamn runs with up to 4 weekly crossings. Ferry time ranges from 10 to 14 hours and tickets start at about €103.
Snow covering the green scenery of Mariehamn
Where to book ferry tickets to Mariehamn online
On Ferryhopper, you can find all ferry routes to and from Mariehamn in the Åland Islands. Compare prices, timetables and companies, and book ferry tickets to Mariehamn online with no hidden fees.