capital of Åland, Finland

Mariehamn is the capital, and the only town of the Åland islands. The town's Finnish name, Maarianhamina, is rarely used, as less than 6% of the population of 12,000 (2021) speaks Finnish.


Södragatan, one of the oldest streets of Mariehamn.



A youthful town, Mariehamn was founded in 1861 while Åland and Finland formed part of the mighty Russian Empire. Maria, consort of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, gave the town her name. The name Mariehamn is Swedish for Maria's harbour.

Mariehamn grew up round the farming village of Övernäs, situated on a peninsula. The harbour's built-in sheltered bays came to be of great importance. The streets of Mariehamn are wide and straight. Housing sites were large from the beginning, but today they have been divided to provide space for several houses. A distinctive feature is the Esplanade, an avenue of lime (linden) trees stretching from west to east, from harbour to harbour.

The Russian heritage is mainly responsible for the layout of the town. It follows the same basic guidelines as can be found in many Russian cities, with large avenues with promenades in the middle of the street. Apart from that, the only Russian signs left from that era is the multitude of tombstones in the graveyards in Åland.

During the Russian times seafaring expanded from shipping local goods to Stockholm to global trade, continuing after the independence. Between the world wars Gustaf Erikson got famous by gradually buying most of the big sailing ships still left in the world, and successfully operating them. One of the former German P-liners acquired by him, Pommern, has become a symbol of Mariehamn. Many of the beautiful wooden houses were built by shipowners. Shipping still contributes considerably to the wealth of the town.

Get in

Mariehamn lies on a peninsula. The walk across is short, but by yacht the distance is considerable.

Mariehamn is well connected by cruise ferries: from Stockholm, Norrtälje, Turku, Helsinki, Tallinn, and occasionally even Riga. For those cruise ferries that call in Eckerö or Långnäs, there are buses to Mariehamn. Note that while a single bus trip from Långnäs harbour to Mariehamn costs only €2.50 in daytime, the night bus by Viking Line costs €19.

The airport is small, with flights mainly from Stockholm, Turku and Helsinki.

Mariehamn is a common first port for those arriving by yacht from Sweden.

NB! As Åland is outside European Union VAT area the customs regulations are different from normal traffic between EU countries. The amounts of alcohol and tobacco that are allowed in duty free import into EU apply also here, but free import of taxed EU products for personal use may not.

By plane

  • 1 Mariehamn airport (MHQ  IATA) (less than 3 km (1.9 mi) north of Mariehamn, in Jomala). The only airport on the islands with scheduled flights. There are daily flights from Helsinki Airport, Turku and Stockholm Arlanda Airport. The flight from Helsinki is less than an hour and the flight from Turku or Stockholm is only half an hour. The flight from Stockholm crosses the time zone border and the return thus arrives before it departs. There is no airport bus.    

By ferry

Pommern and the western marina, as seen from a cruise ferry

The passenger port is at the western edge of the centre, in 2 Västerhamn, the Western Port. The terminal is open when a boat is due to leave. Facilities are limited. There are several lockers, toilets and a customs office. Just outside, there is a café and a small kebab restaurant. Visiting cruise ships have their own terminal 300 m north from the main terminal, facing the Adlon hotel and pizza restaurant.

There are a few cruise ferry services from Stockholm specifically to Mariehamn. The cruise ferries that travel between Turku and Stockholm in the day call in Mariehamn, while ferries passing in the night mostly call in Långnäs, 25 km away (with bus or taxi connection), as do the ferries between Kapellskär (Norrtälje, Greater Stockholm) and Turku or adjacent Naantali. There are also ferries from Grisslehamn (Norrtälje) to Eckerö, the shortest and cheapest passage, with bus connection to Mariehamn. The cruise ferries have tax-free sales, often slightly cheaper than the equivalent on-shore products.

There are buses between Stockholm, Uppsala and Norrtälje, often specifically connecting to the ferries.

It is possible to come island hopping with smaller ferries from Finland. This is much less straight-forward and not necessarily cheaper, but can be rewarding as an experience in itself. You end up in Långnäs or Vårdö, with bus connection to Mariehamn.

For the specific services, see Åland#Get in.

By yacht


For those with a yacht, Mariehamn is conveniently between Sweden and the Finnish mainland, with only a short passage over the Sea of Åland. There are two marinas, one in the west harbour (Västerhamn) and one in the east (Österhamn). The distance between them by sea is considerable, so know your plans. Åland has border control service, check procedures if you are arriving from outside Schengen, have a pet or otherwise need customs clearance (Åland is not in the EU VAT zone).

  • ÅSS' marina (Västerhamn), +358 18 13610, . Early May to late September: 14:00–21:00, peak season 08:00–21:00, off season by request. Marina of Åländska segelsällskapet. Guest harbour; showers, toilets, laundry (not included), Wi-Fi, septic tank emptying, garbage disposal, electricity and water. Shop (fuel, basic groceries, charts, newspapers, postcards, sailing clothes). Sauna 08:00–11:00 and 18:00–21:00, off season by request. Restaurants: ÅSS Paviljongen and Pub Albin, see Eat below. Bikes for rent. Booked moorings shall be taken into use before 18:00. July €35 up to 30 feet, 30–66 feet €40–84; other times buoy €35, alongside €48; larger vessels: ask; €2/person past the first four.
  • MSK's marina (Österhamn), +358 18 19979 (harbour office), +358 40-867-7760 (harbour master), . Marina of Mariehamns Seglarklubb. One of the largest guest harbours of the Nordic countries (320 guest moorings; the few alongside mooring needs to be booked). Showers, toilets, laundry, Wi-Fi, septic tank emptying, garbage disposal, electricity and water. Shop (basic supplies, sailing clothes). Restaurant: Club Marin. Playground. €30–34, length > 35" in peak season €38–39, alongside €58–60.

Get around

Mariehamn is called the town of a thousand lindens; walk in central Mariehamn

As of summer 2023 there are five local bus lines operated by Ålandstrafiken, and identified by direction: N for northern line, S for southern, Ö for eastern, and V for western. The J line drives south all the way to Järsö. The bus routes are circular, so do not be surprised if the bus does not return the same route as it arrived. The local transport hub is on Nygatan. Single ticket cost €2.5 (€1.25 for children 6-11 years old, children less than 6 yo free). The ticket is valid for 2 hours.

Your other options to get around is by taxi, car, bike or foot. The town is quite compact, a car is mostly useful to get to the surroundings.

Long distance buses leave from the 3 Mariehamn bus station, next to the library.

Bikes are available from 4 Ro-No West Harbor or 5 Ro-No East Harbor (see their webpage for prices and conditions). And probably from every accommodation business for their own customers.

  • 1 Pommern, Västerhamn. Accessible daily May–September. By far the most popular attraction in the whole Åland! Pommern (earlier name Mneme) is a windjammer turned into a museum ship, kept in original shape, except arrangement for wheelchair access etc. She is a four-masted barque built at J. Reid & Co shipyard in Glasgow in 1903. She soon became one of the Flying P-Liners, the famous sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. Later she belonged to Gustaf Erikson of Åland, who used her (and the rest of his windjammers) to carry grain from the Spencer Gulf area in Australia to harbours in England and Ireland until the outbreak of World War II. She was thus one of the last cargo-carrying large sailing ships. In 2018–2019, Pommern was placed into a dock, to lessen stress on her hull. Tickets to go aboard her are sold at the Åland Maritime Museum right next to the ship. Show the QR code you received from ticket office to the customer service on board.    
  • 2 The Åland Maritime Museum (Ålands sjöfartsmuseum), Hamngatan 2 (above Västerhamn marina), +358 18 19 930, . Jun-Aug: daily 10:00-17:00; Sep-May: daily 11:00-16:00. This impressive museum preserves memories of the sailing ships. One of its exhibits being the red-brown captain’s saloon from the famous four-masted barque Herzogin Cecilie, built as cargo-carrying sail training ship for Germany, after World War II bought by Gustaf Erikson, and used for the Australian grain trade. She ran aground off the coast of England in 1936 and before she sank her saloon was salvaged and brought to Åland. In the exhibition you will see all sorts of ship paraphernalia from sextants to sails, souvenirs sailors brought home from their travels, and learn about e.g. shipbuilding and the 19th century seaman's hotel in Mariehamn, and try out being a captain in the museum's ship simulator. One of the treasures here is an original 18th-century Jolly Roger! Also English literature for sale. The archive of Gustaf Erikson was declared an immaterial world heritage by UNESCO in 2023. €14/8, Finnish Museum Card valid.    
  • 3 Kobba Klintar (by own vessel or by transfer boat from Pommern), +358 45-7347-9545. Boat and café Midsummer to school start (middle Aug) W–Su 12:00–17:00, boat 10:30 and 13:30. A former pilot station on an islet off Mariehamn, where the fairways from Sweden and mainland Finland to Mariehamn meet. In these narrow channels the tall ships of Gustaf Erikson had to manoeuvre by sail to get to their home port. The mist siren machinery of 1910 required the big house that still stands. The islet and the pilot station have become an important symbol and a popular outing destination; they are owned by the city and there is an association caring for them. Museum and summer café. Transfer boat €25, children under 13 years €10; voluntary port fee.    
    Exhibits at the Åland Maritime Museum
  • 4 Maritime Quarter (Sjökvarteret), Österleden 110, . Jun to mid-Aug 10:00–16:00. Boat building traditions are kept alive at the Maritime Quarter in the Eastern Harbour. Among the red sheds there is a boatyard and a smithy as well as a free-entrance boat and shipbuilding museum. Several small ships have been built here, including the galeas Albanus and the schooner Linden. Restaurant and a handicrafts shop. There is a small chapel by the sea open to visitors. The view of this site is often used in Åland tourism marketing. Free.  
  • 5 Åland Museum and Åland Art Museum (Ålands kulturhistoriska museum), Storagatan 1, +358 18 254-26, . Sep–Apr: Tu–Su 11:00–17:00, Th 11:00–20:00; May–Aug: daily 10:00–17:00. The Åland Museum exhibits the history of Åland from prehistoric times up to the present day. Plenty of artefacts from fossils and archaeological finds to the interior of an entire pharmacy. The Åland Art Museum displays pictures by both old and young Åland artists. €8/5/5 (children: 7–17); free first Th monthly, 18 May and 9 Jun; Finnish Museum Card valid..    
  • 6 Mariehamn Museum (Mariehamnsmuseet), Ålandsgatan 42 (in the cellar of K-Supermarket, entrance from Ålandsgatan). from mid-June to mid-Aug: daily 12:00-16:00; otherwise by request for groups only. A vast gallery model of Mariehamn in the 1920s with its wooden houses. Information about the design and history of the town. Also an art exhibition. Free.
  • 7 St. George's Church in Mariehamn (S:t Görans kyrka i Mariehamn), Östra Esplanadgatan 6. The main church was built in 1927 and is dedicated to St. George. Designed by renowned architect Lars Sonck. Altarpiece by painter Bruno Tuukkanen. Guide leaflets on Swedish, Finnish, and English available. Service every Sunday at 11:00.
  • 8 Tullarns Äng Park. Deciduous forest and a small meadow included to Natura 2000 network and protected by law. Walking/biking route goes through the area. Old cannon from Bomarsund fortress and a copy of Emskär jungfrudans. At spring you may spot snake's head fritillary or ramsons here.
  • 1 Lilla Holmen. Park island with peacocks, rabbits etc. Small sand beach. Activities for children. Free.
  • 2 Gröna udden beach, Östernäsvägen 1. Large sand beach near the town center. Free.
  • 3 Mariebad, Österleden 68, +358 18 531650. M 12:00–22:00, Tu–F 10:00–22:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. Swimming hall. Also outdoor swimming, water slide, spa facilities, café etc. €9/5.
  • Football: IFK Mariehamn play soccer in Veikkausliiga, Finland's top tier. Their home ground Wiklöf Holding Arena (capacity4500) is shared with the women's team Åland United; it's central in town. The playing season is April-Oct.
  • RockOff is a music festival in the last week of July, in Torget the main square.
Sittkoff Gallerian, a shopping centre
  • The northern part of 1 Torggatan is the main shopping street. Shops usually close at 17:00 or 17:30 on weekdays and at 14:00 on Saturdays. Some close at 20:00 on Thursdays. Most shops accept Visa and MasterCard, but some of them do not accept Visa Electron. ATM's ("OTTO") are scarce. There are some in the city centre, outside the four bank offices along Torggatan. One is situated in Strandnäs, at the Ålandsbanken bank office.
  • 2 Sittkoff Gallerian, Torggatan 13. M-W F 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-20:00, Sa 10:00-16:00, Su closed. Downtown shopping mall. Includes Alko store.
  • 3 S-Varuboden City, Torggatan 6, +358 10 76 27100. M-F 07:00-22:00, Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 10:00-22:00. S-group grocery store.
  • 4 K-Supermarket Matthis-Hallen, Ålandsvägen 42, +358 18 28149, . M-Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 11:00-22:00. K-group grocery store.
  • 5 Maxinge, Sparvägen 1 (in Jomala, 4 km north of the centre). The largest shopping mall on the islands. Alko store. Terminus for local bus line N.

Notice that most prices are somewhat higher than on the Finnish and Swedish mainland. There are local products widely available but groceries are mostly the same as in Finland mainland.

Iconic Ålandspannkaka, the Åland pancake, is available in every café in town.


  • Draken Kebab. Popular restaurant serving pizza and kebab.
    • 1 Draken Kebab Stan, Nygatan 1, +358 18 19770. M–F 10:30–20:00, Sa Su 11:00–20:00.
    • 2 Draken Kebab Hamn, Hamngatan 11 (next to the ferry terminal). M–F 11:00–19:00, Sa Su 12:00–19:00.
  • 3 Hesburger Mariehamn, Torggatan 13A. M-Sa 10:30-20:00, Su 11:00-20:00. Finnish fast food chain.
  • 4 Pizza24 machine. 24/7 pizza machine. Choose a pizza from the list, pay with a card, the machine will bake the pizza (3 min), and finally you will receive a hot pizza in a take-away box. around €10/pizza.

Mid range

  • 5 Pub Albin, Sjöpromenaden (at the ÅSS marina, right next to the sailing ship Pommern), +358 18 19141. June-early August: M-F 15:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-21:00; otherwise closed. Pizzeria and bar by the West Harbor.
  • 6 Pizza Diablo, Nygatan 3, +358 18 17100, . Daily 11:00-22:00; takeaway F Sa 22:00-04:00. Excellent pizzas, also super hot ones.
  • 7 Kotipizza Mariehamn, Nygatan, +358 18 22332. M-F 10.30-21, Sa 11-21, Su 11-21. Finnish pizza franchise.
  • 8 Marie Bar, Köpmansgatan 1 (next to the bus station). M-Sa 07:00-16:00. Cosy corner café with a cool retro-looking neon sign. Fresh sandwiches, bakeries, coffee and tea.
  • 9 Pub Niska, Sjökvarteret (at the Maritime Quarter), +358 18 19151, . M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 12:00-20:00. One of the Mariehamn classics established by chef Michael Björklund. They serve Åland style pizzas called plåtbröd. So popular they have opened restaurants in mainland Finland as well but this is the original one. Definitely worth of trying.
  • 10 Restaurant Pommern (a fair walk from the ship Pommern; at Hotel Pommern). Arranged with ship's fittings. The menu is delicious and some items are quite cheap.
  • 11 Restaurang Sittkoffska Gården, Torggatan 13 (Sittkoffska Gallerian), +358 18 17612. M–F 10:00–20:00, food from 11:00, Su closed. Food largely from local ingredients, at least some dishes with an unorthodox touch.





Nightlife in Mariehamn is sparse and revolves around the two restaurants Dino's and Indigo – although heavily frequented by locals they don't compare well to establishments in larger cities. Between midnight and 02:00 those restaurants close, and almost everybody migrates to the nearby nightclub Oliven (formerly known as Arken). Considering Åland's history (a Swedish archipelago until 1809, then Russian and later Finnish since 1918 – Ålanders speak Swedish, they use some Russian expressions and they drink like Finns) the later hours are dominated by the occasional bar-brawl, heavily intoxicated teens and vomiting. The Oliven closes at 04:00, and then it's all over.

  • 1 Dino's bar & grill, Strandgatan 12, +358 18 13939, . M-Th 15:00-24:00, F 15:00-02:00, Sa Su 12:00-02:00. Pub-like bar with a nice terrace during summer. Live music and rock DJ's at weekends. Karaoke.
  • 2 Indigo restaurant & bar, Nygatan 1 (entrance from Nygatan), +358 18 16550, . M-Th -02:00, F Sa -04:00, Su closed. Nice and popular bar. Also a food restaurant until 22:00. Large garden terrace during summertime.
  • 3 Spritlager, Nygatan 1 (upstairs from the alley in front of Indigo.). Small and cosy nightclub upstairs from Indigo terrace.
  • 4 Night Club Oliven, Strandgatan 35 (entrance from Nygatan), +358 18 24020. F Sa 22:00-04:00. Large night club mostly crowded by locals at their twenties. Several bars. Dance floor with dj's. entrance fee €15.


Hotel Arkipelag




  • 1 Gröna Uddens Camping, Östernäsvägen 1A, +358 18 528700, . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: cottages 11:00, camping 14:00. The only camping area in Mariehamn is located by a beach and a nice park about 1.2 kilometres easy walk from the town center, and has plenty of room. Reception building has a café with food items and toiletries available. Playground for children. Basic kitchen in the cottages and in a separate kitchen building. Service building with toilets and showers. €10 per person + €10 per tent/caravan/whatever; electricity €5; cottages €95–180; bike €15/day; sauna €30/4 pers/1 hr; linen à €8.50, breakfast basket à €8.50.


  • Gröna Uddens Camping. See above.
  • 2 Strandbergs Stugor, Varvsvägen L 183.


  • 3 Guesthouse Kronan, Neptunigatan 52. Inexpensive, especially for singles. Very close to the main ferry port. Open all year.
  • 4 Guesthouse Neptun, Neptunigatan 41.
  • 5 Pensionat Solhem, Lökskärsvägen.
  • 6 Övernäsgården, Östra Ytternäsvägen. 2 and 4 person chalets also available





Stay safe


Crime is extremely low in Åland. The only prison (having 3 cells) was closed in 1975 and is nowadays a museum (see Sund). In statistics, the situation seems very different as drunken fights and assaults on cruise ships are recorded as occurring in Mariehamn!

  • 2 Åland Central Hospital, Doktorsvägen 1, +358 18 5355. Åland Central Hospital offers medical care to both the local population and visitors. This is the only 24/7 general emergency clinic on these islands. Basic procedures are successful on site, but patients in need of more serious care will be sent by helicopter to university hospitals either to Turku in Finland or Uppsala in Sweden.

Go next


Mariehamn is the natural starting point for all the other destinations on Åland such as Kastelholm Castle and Bomarsund Fortress ruins in Sund or the Post and Customs museum in Eckerö.

This city travel guide to Mariehamn is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.