Visiting the Rose Garden at Helsinki Winter Garden – A Complete Guide

How to visit the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki

For nearly a hundred years, the Rose Garden by Helsinki Winter Garden has delighted both tourists and locals alike. From July all throughout summer – sometimes well into autumn – around 3000 roses bloom, turning the Rose Garden into a wonderful parade of different shades of pink, yellow and white. The Rose Garden isn’t just about roses: by the upper terraces numerous different flowers bloom from spring to autumn. At the highest point of the garden, right in front of the Winter Garden, a spectacular view over the Rose Garden and Töölönlahti awaits visitors. Exploring the Rose Garden is free. Here’s all you need to know to plan your visit.

One of the Oldest Sights in Helsinki

How to visit the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki

Photo: Late July or early August is usually a great time to see the roses in full bloom.

The Winter Garden, a beautiful greenhouse construction, dates as far back as 1893. It was founded by a man called Jakob Julius af Lindfors and the total cost of the Winter Garden was 121, 000 Finnish marks (around 20, 000 euros), quite an extravagant sum at the time. The Winter Garden was designed by architect Karl Gustaf Nyström.

In the late 19th century Helsinki, there weren’t many attractions. From the moment the Winter Garden opened it immediately started to attract significant amounts of visitors – some days even 5000 people would flock to the premises.

Jakob Julius af Lindfors later donated the Winter Garden to the Finnish Garden Association, but stipulated that visiting it should always remain free of charge. His wishes have been respected throughout the Winter Garden’s history. Perhaps partially thanks to this, the Winter Garden is still – over 120 years later – a popular sight. The city of Helsinki acquired the Winter Garden from The Finnish Garden Association.

How to visit the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki

Photo: The bust of Jakob Julius af Lindfors, the man who donated the Winter Garden to the city of Helsinki, is positioned at perhaps the best spot in the garden, overlooking the domains and watching over the visitors.

This far up north, there’s not a lot of green to be enjoyed during winter. Hence the name Winter Garden – it refers to the fact that the garden can be enjoyed during winter.

Over 200 different plants can be admired inside the Winter Garden. Among these are different types of palms, cactuses and a camellia tree that is over a hundred years old.

A Hundred Years of Rose Delight

Visiting the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki is free

Photo: The Winter Garden, the greenhouse in the background, was inspired by London’s Crystal Palace from 1851.

Once the Winter Garden was opened, planning the Rose Garden in front the Winter Garden begun. Svante Olsson, a city gardener, designed the Rose Garden with its geometrical layout. It was built in 1924.

The Rose Garden is home to over 3000 roses, spread out over 1,2 hectares. Most of the roses bloom in pink nuances, but there are also yellow and white roses.

The Winter Garden is built on a small hill, overlooking Töölönlahti bay. With three different terraces, the Rose Garden climbs upwards towards the Winter Garden. By the lower gates there’s a large geometrical section with roses and trimmed linden trees. At the upper terraces there’s also a wide selection of other flowers, like purple coneflower and irises as well as potted plants.

How to Visit the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki

Photo: There’s a lot more to see than just roses, for example these purple coneflowers were in full bloom in late July.

How to Visit

Visiting the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki is free

Photo: This particular section of the garden was especially popular among bumble bees. Fascinating to see them buzzing (pun intended!) about these flowers.

Visiting is free and you can explore the Rose Garden at your own pace. Although popular, the Rose Garden is seldom crowded and odds are you’ll have it – if not completely – then almost to yourself.

The area is not that big, so this is a sight you can explore even if you only have a limited amount of time. Half an hour is more than enough for most. However, the upper terrace is an excellent spot for a picnic, so reserve more time if you wish to sit down and relax for a bit.

All throughout the Rose Garden there are plenty of benches and nice spots to sit down and rest your feet.

The roses in the Rose Garden are fairly scentless, which is a shame for those of us who love that mesmerising perfume of a nice rose. If you’re longing for more of a fragrance fest, or you’re visiting Helsinki a bit earlier during summer, you can head to the Rose Garden in Meilahti instead. Check out my blog post about this place here.

Visiting the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki is free

Photo: Most of the Rose Garden is a pink party, but there are also roses in other colours, like for instance these yellow ones.

When to Visit

Visiting the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki is free

Photo: One might think that a place like this would be very crowded, but thankfully it’s not. At around 6 pm, it was only me for a while!

The Rose Garden is fenced and closed during night-time, but open daily from 7 am to 9 pm. However the opening hours for the Winter Garden are more limited, so make sure you take this into consideration in case you want to visit both at the same time.

In addition to the roses, there are several different types of flowers in the Rose Garden and they bloom at different times from spring to autumn. If you’re interested in the roses, make sure you visit between mid-July and late August. Depending on for example weather, the roses sometimes bloom well into autumn. If you want to make sure you don’t miss the roses, better not take a risk and visit by the end of August.

Getting There

Visiting the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki is free

Photo: The best views are from the upper terrace. If you look carefully, you can spot several landmarks in the distance, like Helsinki Central Library Oodi.

The Rose Garden is part of the Winter Garden and located in front of this greenhouse building. The address is Hammarskjöldinkatu 1 and you’ll find it right by the end of Töölönlahti bay, near the Opera and the Olympic Stadium.

The Rose Garden is easily accessible by public transportation. If you’re arriving by train or metro, it’s an enjoyable walk from the Central Railway Station along Töölönlahti Bay. Several different trams and buses stop close or you can arrive on one of the city bikes, as there are stations nearby.

If you’re arriving by car, there’s parking for example by Töölö Sports Hall (Töölön kisahalli) and the Olympic Stadium.

Fast Facts

Visiting the Rose Garden by the Winter Garden in Helsinki is free

Photo: There’s a lot of buzzing action going on in the Rose Garden during summertime.

Here are the most important facts in a nutshell:

  • The Rose Garden is a garden that is part of the Winter Garden in Helsinki.
  • It was built in 1924.
  • Around 3000 roses bloom in the garden, in pink, fuchsia, yellow and white.
  • There are also other flowers to admire in the garden.
  • The Rose Garden is open every day from 7-21.
  • Visiting the Rose Garden is free.
  • The Rose Garden is located at Hammarskjöldintie 1, at the end of Töölönlahti Bay, near the Olympic Stadium.
  • The Rose Garden is (at least partially) accessible by wheelchair.
  • The area is easily accessible by public transportation.

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