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Following artworks under maintenance: 8 Jaakko Niemelä, 11 Samir Bhowmik, 12 Niskanen & Salo

For schools

Helsinki Biennial is an international contemporary art event that will take place on the island of Vallisaari, at the convergence of nature and urban space. The Biennial offers schools a unique art experience in an environment that is close to nature and history. The selection of international artists, the unique surroundings of Vallisaari and the many layers of cultural history create a learning environment that combines various subject areas in a natural way. There is a wide range of teaching materials available for schools, such as a learning game created in cooperation with teachers, a pedagogical short film and suggested routes to support the visit to the island.

Helsinki Biennial will be open

12 June–29 August, Mon–Sun, 11 am–6 pm

1–26 September, Wed–Sun, 11 am–6 pm

The artworks located indoors are open to the public from 11 am. However, you can come to the island in the morning as soon as the waterbus services start. In addition to the island’s nature and historical sites, it is possible to experience about 10 of the Biennial’s artworks that are located outdoors on the island before 11 am. There are about 40 artworks in total displayed on the island.

Click the image for a more detailed map (PDF).

Arrival and waterbus reservations

Waterbuses to Vallisaari depart from Lyypekinlaituri pier in the Market Square and the pier in Hakaniemi. The journey to Vallisaari takes about 15 minutes from the Market Square and about 25 minutes from Hakaniemi.

Groups are required to make a reservation for the waterbus in advance. You can view the timetables and make reservations for your group for the waterbuses that depart from the Market Square here and the waterbuses that depart from Hakaniemi here.

Services for schools and early childhood education

Play the Helsinki Biennial game

The Biennial has a digital learning game for school groups. The game combines art, nature and history in a fun and age-appropriate way, taking into account broad learning objectives. The game, which is implemented on the Seppo platform, is aimed especially at children in grades 4–6. The game is designed to be played primarily in Vallisaari, but can also be played without a visit to the island. A game has also been produced for early childhood and pre-primary education intended especially for children aged 4–6. This functional game that focuses on art and nature can also be played without a visit to the island.

The learning games have been produced in cooperation with expert teachers from the City of Helsinki Education division. The games are available in Finnish and Swedish.  They also include additional teaching material intended for teachers and educators, which can be used, for example, to build a phenomenon-based learning period or as material that deepens the experience of the visit to the island. The learning games will be available free-of-charge from the Seppo shop as of 12 June 2021.

Immerse yourself in the biennial’s art with our unforgettable film

We offer schools access to our Helsinki Biennial short film that can be viewed at school. The film that lasts about 15 minutes provides an introduction to the Biennial’s themes and Vallisaari’s history and offers more information about a few of the artists and their works. The video can be viewed from 12 June to 26 September 2021. The film is available spoken in Finnish or English and you can choose subtitling in Finnish, Swedish or English.

You can request viewing access for the movie later in the spring.

Follow the biennial’s routes that are tailored to school children

Select a route that suits your group from two different themes. The first route considers people’s relationship with the environment, and the artworks selected for the second route explore the subject of being human and interaction through art. In addition to the route map, you will receive basic information about the artworks selected for the route. The environment-themed route is built around artworks that are located outdoors, while the other route also includes a few artworks located indoors.

The routes will be available in Finnish and Swedish.

Learn more about the biennial with the mobile guide

The Biennial’s mobile guide is a handy information bank both for planning a school group visit and while visiting the island. In the mobile guide you will find a map of the Biennial, and information on the artists and artworks, and on the island’s services.

Mobile guide
Experience the Helsinki Biennial remotely

You can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Helsinki Biennial and various content even without a visit to Vallisaari. A comprehensive range of digital material offers, for example, videos of artist interviews, podcasts, pictures of the artworks and material especially tailored for schools, such as digital learning games and the Helsinki Biennial short film.

Culture Path trip for Helsinki’s 5th graders

Helsinki’s Culture Path activities ensure that pupils are offered the opportunity to learn about a wide range of cultural content and events during basic education. Helsinki Biennial is located on the Culture Path followed by schools in Helsinki and it is recommended as a place for 5th graders, in particular, to visit.

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Any questions related to school visits?

Please contact us for more information about your school group’s visit to the Biennial!

Sonja Taimiaho

Curator of Education

+358 40 162 7464

Lotta Kjellberg

Curator of Education

+358 50 430 6516