Frequently asked questions

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about our sites. If you cannot find the information you need, please contact us and we are happy to help you!

What is on display at the exhibition centre?

The exhibition centre houses a permanent exhibition and one temporary exhibition at a time. The centre has a museum gift shop as well. The core exhibition, showcasing the history of the University of Helsinki, opened in October 2023. The first temporary exhibition opened in May 2024.

At our exhibition centre, research is for everyone! Information on the opening hours here.

If you cannot find the information you need below, please contact us by email:

What’s on at the Observatory

The Observatory is the Helsinki University Museum Flame’s centre for astronomy, located at the end of Kopernikuksentie in Tähtitorninvuori park. The historical Observatory building houses exhibitions and a museum gift shop. By booking a guided tour, you can visit the old observation towers and see a planetarium show. The Observatory provides rental facilities for events ranging from meetings to celebrations, and hosts a number of public events every year.

In addition, the building accommodates the office and shop (books and observation equipment) of the Ursa Astronomical Association, the University’s Almanac Office, and a café for private events.

Are our facilities accessible?

Both the exhibition facilities on the Observatory main floor and the facilities for hire (the Argelander Room and the East Rotunda) are accessible. The towers and planetarium are, unfortunately, not.

What do guided tours include?

On guided tours, visitors find out about the eventful history of the building, explore the world of astronomy, visit the old observation towers and, to conclude, see a planetarium show. The planetarium and towers can be visited only with a guide. Please book your visit at least one week in advance.

Do you offer free guided tours?

On the second Saturday of each month, the Observatory organises a public guided tour included in the ticket price. NB! These tours are in Finnish.

Do you organise star shows?

Helsinki Observatory does not organise star shows with public telescope access. The public can observe the sky in Helsinki at shows organised by the Ursa Astronomical Association at its observation tower in Kaivopuisto. These shows are always subject to the weather.

Can I organise a birthday party at the Observatory?

Yes, you are welcome to celebrate a space-themed birthday party in our facilities! You can book a guided tour for the guests to explore the Observatory and touch a genuine meteorite, for instance. You can order catering via the private café operating at the Observatory, to be served in either the rented facilities of the Observatory or in the café building outside.

Whom should I contact for permission to take photos or film at the Observatory?

Please contact our customer service in advance:

Can I visit with my dog?

Guide dogs are welcome, but we are unable to accommodate other animals.

How can I pay?

You can pay for tickets, guided tours and gift shop products on site at the information point by cash or card. Museum Card holders are admitted free of charge. When necessary, we can send an invoice for group visits. The Observatory facilities available for hire can be paid for by invoice only. At present, we are unable to accept Virikeseteli or similar vouchers.

Whom should I contact about lost property?

You can call or email our customer service: +358 50 318 5764 or

How can I support the Observatory?

The Friends of the Observatory of Helsinki association supports the Observatory and general interest in science both financially and with ideas. Join the activities!

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions. Please note that we do not:

  • Give references or recommendations or provide information on other art classes, schools and teachers or private tutors
  • Assess, comment on or estimate the monetary value of drawings or other artworks

When can I register? What courses are on offer now or in the future?

All course information is available on the Art Room course page. If the schedule for upcoming courses is unavailable, it means it has not yet been confirmed. Registration for courses in the autumn usually begins in early September, and for courses in the spring, in early January. Course and registration schedules will appear on our website about one week before registration begins.

You can join our email list for information on upcoming courses and events by sending an email to

We share information on our courses on social media, so please follow us:



Must I be enrolled at the University of Helsinki to attend courses? 

We organise courses for both students and the public at large. Evening drawing classes are open for all, as are the intensive ‘Art Room Classics’ courses. In addition, most themed evenings, drawing excursions and events are open to the public.

In contrast, student courses are open only to the University of Helsinki’s undergraduate and postgraduate students registered for attendance during the term in question.

Do you need life models?

People of all ages, sizes and types can become life drawing models. At present, we are not actively seeking life models, but are happy to add new models’ details to our list. As a rule, we hire people with previous experience as life drawing models, but if you have no such experience, you should mention any other relevant work experience or training (e.g., from theatre or dance productions). We aim to hire a diverse range of models. You need not attach a passport photo, CV or model portfolio to your email. Please send us your application by email to