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General questions

Who designed the Opera House?

The Opera House was designed by Hyvämäki–Karhunen–Parkkinen architects.

When was the Opera House completed?

The Opera House was completed in 1993.

How much room is there?

The Main Stage seats 1,350, while Almi Hall seats 200 to 500, depending on the configuration.

How long is the interval?

The interval is about 25 minutes long.

Is the interval included in the estimated total duration?

Yes, the interval is included in the estimated total duration.

How long is the performance?

The duration of a performance depends on the work being performed. Information on the duration of the performance may be found in the insert in the programme booklet. The duration is also given on the cast lists on display in the Aino Lobby near the main entrance (Mannerheimintie side) and the Alfons Lobby near the Töölönlahti entrance (Oopperankuja side). Front-of-house staff will help you find the information boards if you require assistance. The duration of each performance is also given for each production on the FNO website.

How do I find my seat?

You should enter the auditorium according to what it says on your ticket – left or right. The stalls are located on the same level as the Main Foyer. Access to the balcony is by lift or by stairs. Row numbers are at the ends of rows, and seat numbers are on the seats. Every ticket has a designated seat. You may look for your seat in the seating plan beforehand to find out where your seat is located in the Main Stage or Almi Hall. Seating plans are displayed at the Opera House and are also available on our website. Staff will be happy to help you find your seat.

Where do I go in the auditorium?

Row numbers are at the ends of rows, and seat numbers are on the seats.

Where are the toilets?

There are several restrooms in the Opera House: in the Alfons Lobby near Töölönlahti entrance, the Aino Lobby near main entrance (Mannerheimintie side) and Juha Corner in the Main Foyer. An accessible toilet is available in the Alfons Lobby near the Töölönlahti entrance.

Where is the lift?

The lift is in the Alfons Lobby on the Töölönlahti entrance. Access to the 1st and 2nd balconies is by lift.

How should I dress? Should I dress formally for a premiere?

The FNO is intended for everyone, and because of this there is no dress code. You are equally welcome whether you like to dress formally or in jeans and pullover.

Having said that, we should note that there is a tendency to dress more formally than normal: men often wear a jacket and tie or a suit, and women sometimes appear in full-length formal gowns. Premieres have a touch more glamour about them, and the dress sense of the audience tends to reflect this.

As we said, there is no dress code, but audiences seem to want to dress up just a bit when coming to the opera. It is up to you.

Can I go to the toilet if I need to?

We do not allow people to leave the auditorium in the middle of a performance, as we wish to guarantee an undisrupted performance for the audience and performers alike.

Why can I not get in if I am late?

We do not admit late arrivals, as we wish to guarantee an undisrupted performance for the audience and performers alike.

Everything you need to know about tickets and seats

Are mobile tickets valid?

Yes, mobile tickets are valid.

Do I have to fold my ticket to get in?

No, you do not need to fold your ticket. The bottom part of a ticket you print out yourself only contains instructions; your name is on the top half. The folding instructions are just for looks: folding the A4 sheet as instructed will produce a normal-sized ticket.

When is the box office open?

The Customer Service is open Tue to Fri 14.00–19.00 and Sat 12.00–18.00. The Customer Service is open until the start of each performance.

Is there a waiting list for sold-out performances?

Unfortunately we do not keep a waiting list for sold-out performances. You may ask about returns by phoning us or by visiting the Customer Service.

Will you inform us when tickets will be available?

We always announce beforehand on our website when sales of tickets for the next season will begin.

Is there a cloakroom charge?

No, there is no cloakroom charge.

How is the visibility from the balconies?

The visibility from the balconies is very good, although the guard rail may obstruct your view on the 1st row of the 3rd balcony. Visit the ‘Opera tickets’ page for a description of the visibility from various locations in the auditorium.

Are the stalls raked?

The stalls are raked, meaning that the floor is tilted up towards the back rows. The Swedish and English surtitling is partly obscured when viewed from the leftmost and rightmost seats in row 19 in the stalls (seats 698–700 and 725–727).

Where do I go if I have long legs / have a long back / am short?

Phone our group sales to find out where seats with slightly more legroom may be found.

Getting there

How do I get to the Opera using public transport?

The Opera House is easily accessible by tram or bus. For information on routes and schedules, please consult the online guide of Helsinki Regional Transport. Trams 2, 4, 7A/7B, 8 and 10 stop outside the Opera House.

Where can I leave my car?

The nearest public car park is 100 m from the Opera House on Mäntymäki field. The car park charges a fee until 19.00 Mon to Fri, but later in the evening and at weekends parking is free.

Please note that the car park may be crowded during events at the Olympic Stadium, as the car park is operated by the City of Helsinki.

Opera Restaurant

How early should I book my interval refreshments so that I can sit where I want?

You should book your interval refreshments well in advance, as soon as you have bought your tickets. Please note that the good tables at premieres will have been taken already at the beginning of the season.

Where can I book a table in advance?

You can book a table in advance via our Customer Service or in our online store.

Can all the products available in advance booking online be bought on site (one hour before the performance or at the interval refreshment counters)?

Unfortunately not. The advance-booking range is broader than the range of refreshments available on Customer Service. Advance-booking products are on sale until 16.00 on the day of the performance. Online sales are available until 24 hours before the performance.

Do you have vegan products?

Yes, we do. Dietary information is given for all products, also online.

Where can I find water?

Water is available near the refreshment counters in the Main Foyer and in the Balcony Foyer.

Can I get a cappuccino or an espresso?

In autumn 2021 special coffees are available in the Side Foyer serving desk.

Where can I leave my used dishes?

You can leave your cups, saucers and cutlery on any table or any other flat surface.

Where is the restaurant’s advance booking desk?

The Customer Service is in the Alfons Lobby next to the Töölönlahti entrance.

Where can I pay for tables booked for another night?

Tables booked for other nights can be paid for at the Customer Service desk during the day. In the evening before a performance, you can only pay for that evening’s table booking.

Programme booklet

Where can I get a programme booklet?

You can get a programme booklet from the ushers, from the Opera Shop or at the programme booklet desk on the upper level.


How do I find step-free access?

The FNO’s own car park on Oopperankuja on the Töölönlahti side is for disabled parking. There is step-free access to the Opera House from the Töölönlahti entrance.

Where is the lift?

The lift is in the Alfons Lobby next to the Töölönlahti entrance. Access to the 1st and 2nd balconies is by lift.

Are there any perfume-free performances or seats?

No, unfortunately we do not have perfume-free performances or seats.

Children first

Which performances are suitable for children? 

Main Stage performances are not suitable for children under 5 years of age. The duration of the performances, the bright lights and the powerful sounds often prove to be too much for babies and toddlers. Please consider other members of the audience and don’t bring a small baby to the performance. You’ll find performance-specific age limits on each dedicated performance page.

But don’t get us wrong – we’re delighted for the youngest family members to visit the Opera House, too. Our repertoire always contains operas and ballets suitable for audiences of all ages. We have productions designed specifically for children in terms of their length and content. Babies are welcome to our First Taste of Opera and Ballet workshops and toddlers to our Mini Operas. Preschoolers will love the Opera and Ballet in Action workshops. Our children’s performances are typically very popular, so you should book in good time.

What is the age recommendation?

We give age recommendations for productions intended for the whole family. Even if a work is intended for the whole family, it may contain scenes that children find intimidating. Please note that Main Stage performances are not suitable for children under 5 years of age. Parents know their children best; please ask our box office for more details about age recommendations and the content of productions.

Where can children see the best?

This depends on the age of the child. For children aged 6 to 8, for instance, we recommend the front stalls or the centre of the 1st balcony. We also provide booster cushions to help children see better. For fire safety reasons, an adult may not have a child on his/her lap during a performance. Please note that all visitors, regardless of their age, must have their own ticket.  Read more about our services for families.