Things to do in Helsinki, Finland


Hello my fellow travellers!

As promised here is my second blog about my trip to Helsinki. I hope I can give you some useful tips on what to do there and things to do. Here we go…
In my previous blog I mentioned that we went to Tallinn, Estonia and because it only takes about 2 hours on the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki and it was cheap ( only about £15 per person), we decided to visit Helsinki too.
We took the ferry at 12 pm and arrived in Helsinki at around 2 pm. Again the first thing we did when we got there was to buy a travel ticket. We opted for the 3 days internal Helsinki ticket, which in the end turned out to be the wrong choice. We didn’t realize that to get to the Helsinki airport on our last day we had to travel to Vantaa, a city next to Helsinki which isn’t covered by the internal Helsinki travel ticket.
TIPP: If you are planning to travel outside internal Helsinki at least twice it’s worth getting the regional travel ticket.
We bought the 3 day internal Helsinki ticket which includes all modes of transportation for 20 Euros; the regional ticket would have been 30 Euros.

We booked a small cosy apartment on booking.com for our stay in the capital and were pretty exhausted by the time we got there! Did I mention that it was even colder in Helsinki than in Tallinn? Anyway we just went out to a local supermarket to buy milk, some biscuits ( strawberry jaffa cakes:D), apples, bananas, soups, Lipton Green Tea with Lemon and Macaroons (Great choice btw!), bread and porridge for breakfast. The Finns love their porridge for breakfast! It was great to do some “proper” food shopping as we had a kitchen in our little apartment and had a kettle for tea!! Thank you for kettles! I don’t know how I survived without tea in Tallinn, but then again I had a lot of hot chocolate there so that’s probably how.

Helsinki
Day 1
On our first we did a lot of sightseeing!
TIPP: We found this booklet called “See Helsinki on Foot” online, which gives you 5 walking routes to see the most of the sightseeing attractions.
Places to see in Helsinki:
Uspenski Cathedral
Statue of Tsar Alexander
Helsinki Cathedral

 

Hakaniemi Market
Helsinki City Museum

Karhupuisto Park

Kallio Cathedral

Round House

Sibelius Monument
Rock Church

 

For lunch we went to this amazing vegetarian buffet restaurant called “Silvoplee” which had so many great options. We paid according to how much our food weighted, which was something new that I haven’t come across yet. We also tried their raw hot chocolate with honey and MACA powder, which again was nice and tasted totally different. I would definitely recommend this place so make sure to check it out if you are in Helsinki!

We also got some Finnish specialities such as “Mustikkapiirakka”, a blueberry pie and also “Karjalan Piirakka” – a rice pie, which we purchased at the Hakaniemi Market.
Day 2
This was our adventurous day. We decided to go to “Serena Ski” in Espoo (the regional ticket would have been handy because without it we had to pay extra for this trip). The bus ride to Espoo from our apartment took us about an hour, which is why we woke up early to make sure that we got there for 12 pm, which is when Serena Ski opens.
Next to Serena Ski they also had Serena Water park, which apparently is Scandinavian’s largest indoor water park. They had three major water slides indoors, but unfortunately in the winter the big outdoor slides were closed. Overall for 1 hour ski equipment hire, tickets for ski lifts and all day water park ticket we paid 58 Euros. I am an absolute skiing beginner but I loved it and I did try out the advanced slope at the end but that didn’t end so well…I fell halfway and skied the rest of the slope in a sitting position using my hands as poles because I could not get up 😛 Yes it did look funny and my friend did laugh at me.. The thing is she tried the advanced slope before me and failed and warned me about the steepness of the slope but hey you only live once and I wanted to try it out for myself.  Anyway I didn’t hurt myself and had so much fun. We also had a hot dog at Serena Water park because they only had fast food there and were hungry.
Day 3

On our last day in Helsinki, we took the ferry to Suomenlinna Island, which took us about 20 minutes and was covered by the HSL internal Helsinki ticket.

We did a self guided tour of the island using the free booklet provided by the information centre there as the island was very easy to explore by foot. They also had a toilet there, which you should use before you start your exploring.

Suomenlinna and its history are very interesting and the scenery and views are very enjoyable. Walking up to King’s Gate was phenomenal and the views were amazing! From the fortress of Suomenlinna you had a breathtaking view of the Baltic Sea and it made the long walk in the what felt like -6 degrees weather worth every minute.

Interestingly the island is also inhabited and you can find some cafes, restaurants and also a museum there. Unfortunately when we visited (in February) most of the cafes and restaurants were closed.
Nevertheless it was a great day out and we saw most of it in about 2 hours. I can imagine this place to be even more beautiful in the summer, when more cafes and restaurants are open and the sun is out.
For dinner that day we just went to a local North American restaurant called “Chico’s” and had a burger with coleslaw and sweet potatoes. I was really craving a burger by that time and of course I had a hot chocolate after a day out in the freezing finish weather to warm me up.

 

Day 4

Before leaving for the airport the next day we went to a Cafe called “Picnic” and had baked potatoes filled with cold salmon- DELICIOUS and coleslaw (of course), half a baguette and Macaroon Hot chocolate- AMAZING. It was so yummy and filling so make sure to check it out if you are there!

Unfortunately after this delicious breakfast we took a bus to the airport. Sad times.

Overall I have to say that Finland was more expensive than Tallinn, which is also why we didn’t eat out all the time there. But that was ok because we had a kitchen in our apartment and so just bought food from the supermarket and eat out once a day or so. The people in Finland were all super friendly and helpful and their English was good too. I would give Finland a thumbs up it’s a beautiful country with many interesting attractions. I mean I have been to Iceland before but don’t remember seeing a frozen sea there. Or have I!?

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to comment down below.
Jeny
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