30 tips for your visit
Go on an adventure, explore and pack for new experiences, and dress for spending time outdoors. Salty sea baths on the beach, lazy days on the terrace, autumn strolls, and picnics in the warm spring sun. In Hanko most things happen outdoors; in summer as well as winter we are lured towards the magical sea. Share your best tips with the tags #hullunahankoon #visithanko.
#1 Choose your favourite house in the Spa Park
Do you like towers and pinnacles, the colour pink or ornaments? Stroll peacefully in the Spa Park and explore the unique details of the villas. If you are lucky, perhaps you may take a look in one of the villas. Otherwise you can find interiors in books as well as in interior decoration magazines.
#2 Wake up to the sound of the roaring waves
Saltwater, sea air and beaches are part of Hanko. During a visit you must experience the sea; go on a cruise, swim or stroll along the beaches. Fill your own glass jar with beach findings and sand.
#3 Admire the view from the water tower
The beautiful water tower is one of the symbols of the town and offers a fantastic view with its height of 65 metres above the sea.
#4 Eat well at one of Hanko’s restaurants
For a small town Hanko offers an unusually versatile selection of restaurants. Let yourself be lured by sea inspired menus and fresh primary produce from the region.
#Spot three lighthouses from Hanko
Cease the opportunity and visit all three lighthouse islands within reach from Hanko: the closest island Gustavsvärn, the military island Russarö and the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries: Bengtskär.
#6 Wander out to the southernmost tip of Finland
The Tulliniemi nature trail on the northern beach leads to the southernmost tip of Finland, where the archipelago sea and the Gulf of Finland meet. The southernmost tip is an excellent day trip destination all round the year. You will encounter a breathtaking view over the sea.
#7 Learn the name of three mussels
Do you recognise three of our most common mussels? Take a stroll along the beach and collect beautiful stones and mussel shells that have floated ashore. You can find all three mussels in Hanko: soft-shell clam, common sea mussel and Baltic clam.
#8 Amuse yourself in the water carousel
Both children and adults can amuse themselves in the water carousel at the Plagen Beach. The water carousel in Hanko is unique and has spread joy for many generations.
#9 See Nordenskiöld’s bowl on Puistovuoret
See the first monument of the town, Nordenskiöld’s bowl, which tells about the explorer Nils Adolf Nordenskiöld’s visit to Hanko with the steamship Express at the turn of the year 1880-1881. The tables were made at the stonemasonry on Drottningberg and was financed by shipowner Carl Korsman.
#10 Smell the flowers in the Butterfly Garden
Butterflies as well as humans enjoy the butterfly garden in Granstedt’s Park. Over 70 different perennials have been planted there with the butterflies in mind, according to gardener Mikko Lagerström’s list of plant species that make butterflies happy.
#11 Enjoy the sunset on the beach
No trip to the sea is perfect without a sunset. If you’d like to see the sun disappear into the sea, you had better go to the north side of the peninsula, where you can choose your own favourite place to admire the horizon.
#12 Play golf all the year round
In Hanko you can play golf almost all the year round. The season stretches as far as from April to December and this makes it possible for you to start your golf season earlier than anywhere else in the country.
#13 Enjoy swimming in the sea in September
The warm sea keeps the summer in Hanko far into September. Enjoy a dip in the sea in September. If you like, you can borrow the key to the bathing house on Tehtaanniemi during the opening hours of the Tourist Office.
#14 Walk in the footsteps of famous people in the old Cemetery.
Visit the old cemetery in Hanko and bring history to life by familiarising yourself with the graves of many important historical characters, like August Granroth, the sea captain and the families Korsman and Appelgren. The monument for people lost at sea can also be found here at Tulliniementie 26.
#15 Visit flee markets
There are many interesting flee markets in Hanko. Just decide a day when you want to go bargain hunting. A list of the flee markets in town!
#16 Find the giant’s kettle
Did you know that the giant’s kettles were formed when the fresh water after the glaciers of the Ice Age made one or several stones rotate during a longer period of time. On Puistovuoret you can find the most famous giant’s kettle in Hanko, it is about three metres deep and about a metre in diameter.
#17 Visit the seals of the Baltic
Travel out to the outer archipelago and see the seals living in the Baltic. There are more than 12 000 grey seals in the Baltic and with a bit of luck you can see them in Hanko daily.
#18 Experience the unique Pike’s Gut
On the rocky islands outside Tulliniemi there are 640 rock carvings preserved. This ”Guestbook of the Archipelago” consists of the names and coats of arm of nobility, soldiers and merchants. The earliest carvings are from the 16th century. You can reach the island by cruise boat in July-August or with your own boat or kayak.
#19 Find bargains in the cosy town shops
In the small town of Hanko there is an amount of cosy shops offering locally produced goods as well as well-known brand products. In summertime there are several pop-up shops, expanding the supply further.
#20 Go on a sculpture walk
Take a sculpture walk on your own and check out the different sculptures that are placed around the town. Can you find Marielle or the “Sea Snake”? Do you know the story behind the headless soldier? Here you can find a list of all the monuments and sculptures.
#21 Visit a Täktom farmer
Buy eggs from free-range chickens, visit sheep or fluffy Highland cows grazing the meadows and shores of Täktom. Local food at its best, primary produce sold directly to you at Sjöberg’s farm and Havsgårdar.
Sjöbergs gård, Västankärrsvägen 40, potatoes, eggs and vegetables according to the season
Havsgårdar, a farm shop with Highland cattle beef and meat from Hanko from ecologically reared cattle.
#22 Follow in the footsteps of the emigrants
Between 1880-1930 almost 400 000 Finns emigrated to North America, and most of them took the ship from Hanko. Today you can follow in the footsteps of these emigrants in Hanko, and see the emigrant hotel, the departure harbour, the monument and visit Puistovuoret among others, where the emigrants danced before they left their home country for America.
#23 Visit the House of the Four Winds
The House of the Four Winds is a must if you visit Hanko. The café, which was first called Café Lilla Tallholmen (“Little Pine Island”), has had several owners. Historically the most interesting one is C.G.E. Mannerheim. His summer cottage was situated on Stora Tallholmen (“Large Pine Island”). During the prohibition era (1919-1932) the cafe was called Cafe Africa, and they served so called “hard tea”. The happy and wild life in the café disturbed Mannerheim and for this reason he bought it in 1927. Mannerheim changed the name of the café to The House of the Four Winds.
#24 See Smörmagasinet (the butter storehouse)
Hanko town was founded in order to operate as a winter harbour in the country in 1874. The first large export from Finland was butter, and the butter storehouse in the Western harbour was built to store butter in 1908-09. The famous Valio was established in 1905 in Hanko to promote and supervise the quality of the export. The granite building is planned by the architect and professor Gustaf Nyström.
#25 Learn about war history at Hanko Front Museum
Hanko Front Museum is authentically situated in the environment, where the front line was in the summer of 1941. In the terrain around the museum you can still see traces of the war, which are presented along the so called “War path”. The new fixed exhibition focuses on the events at the Hanko front during the war in the years 1939-1941.
#26 Try SUP-paddling
An easy way to make your way out to sea is to hire a SUP board. It is simple to get started, and you can easily paddle out and explore the coast line. Or just enjoy chilling by the waterside and splashing in the sea. Alternatively you can also participate in SUP-yoga classes during the summer. You choose what suits you the best.
#27 Go spotting for migratory birds
The Hanko peninsula is one of the best places for bird spotting in Finland. The season is long and spring arrives earlier than on the rest of the mainland and reaches towards winter, often even into the new year. There are several shallow beaches, luring the birds in droves. Here you can spot migratory birds!
#28 Enjoy an open fire
The food always tastes better outdoors. Enjoy a day in nature and finish it with a barbecue over an open fire by the windbreak in Furunäs on the north side of the peninsula. At the windbreak there is wood, a fireplace and a toilet.
#29 Go on a bike ride around entire Hanko
Rent a bike and widen your views. You can follow the 19-km-long signposted bike rout that goes around the whole town. Stop for coffee or lunch on the way or bring your own lunch bag. You will receive a map from the tourist office.
#30 Send your own best tips to us!
What do you think is the best thing you have experienced in Hanko? Send in your tips to us so we can pass it on to other visitors! Tourist.firstname.lastname@example.org ” My Hanko-tip”