Thoughts/ Travel

The Land Of A Thousand Lakes

This month has been a whirlwind and it is about to get even more hectic.There are so many things happening but the best part is I got PUBLISHED! In the East African magazine, Drum.

Drum East Africa Issue 2

Drum East Africa Issue 2

Naturally, I wrote about my beloved city Helsinki. What you can do during the summer. As it is summer in that part of the hemisphere it would be awkward to talk about skiing destinations don’t you think? The magazine is unfortunately not available online but I can let you in on some of the places I mentioned that you can visit in Helsinki during the summer. The title is the same as the blog.

During the summer you must try grilling makkara (sausage) and have a picnic or a drink on the bar terraces. You must also attend the cultural events offered by the city.

Helsinki Cathedral

It’s the heart of Helsinki . A magnificent edifice that has been open since 1852, it takes your breath away. I overheard someone asking if it was real.  It is situated quite close to the University of Helsinki and North of the Senate square.

Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral

Suomenlinna

Take a ferry from the Senate square that takes you to view the gorgeous archipelago. If you have time you can choose to go visit Suomenlinna at 2.20€ for an hour. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fortress was built in 1747 and has been in the hands of the Swedish, Russians and finally the Finns. It has 5 restaurants and I saw people swimming in the sea and there is lots of space to have a picnic.

Suomenlinna

Senate Square

You can easily find souvenirs, local food and you can find seagulls thronging ready to snatch your food.  As you are in the boat there are cruise ships that pass by and passengers wave at each other.  These boats are either going to Tallin, Estonia or going to Stockholm, Sweden.

Esplanaadi You can easily bump into Finnish celebrities as they either spend time in the posh cafés or filming for their episodes or films. I have bumped in to the Duudsons filming a series it was quite a sight.

Hotel Kämp

A luxury hotel is a popular spot. International celebrities have spent the night at the hotel. Founded in 1887, it has a classic touch to it. They serve tea in silver kettles.Their cutlery is made out of silver too. The service is excellent and the staff is friendly. I had lunch at Brässerie Kämp restaurant for my birthday.  t was a special treat. A three course menu is about 44€ . Starter is 15€ and main course 24€. As I have food allergies– the staff was so kind to ensure my meal was allergen free, with no fuss at all.

Linnanmäki A popular amusement park ;for the inner child.  Entry is free, if you want to enjoy the rides you have to buy a ticket or a bracelet. If you arrive after 4pm it costs about 28€ to access all rides. There are lots of rides to choose from the haunted house was not as scary as I had imagined it to be but there’s one ride that made me say my prayers. They even have a marine park—Sea Life.

Sauna Visiting Finland without having the Sauna experience is sacrilege. Everyone has one some even have two. If they don’t have a personal one, they have a shared one in their apartment building or communities.  This is the ultimate relaxation spot. There is an Indoor-swimming hall on Yrjönkatu 21. It is one of the oldest swimming halls. It opened its doors in 1928. The swimming hall is architecturally beautiful, going in is like time travel. The doors open to men and women on separate days. It costs about 14€ for 2 hours and includes swimming. No need to carry a towel they will provide one for you and your own cubicle. There are three types of Sauna’s in the swimming hall: an electric Sauna, traditional wood sauna and a steam sauna. You can order drinks and snacks if you feel you are parched or famished. It will be brought to a table situated near your cubicle.

At the end of the day you must visit Hotel Torni. It has a rooftop terrace 360 degree view of Helsinki.

There are other fabulous places to visit, if you want to know where you can eat authentic Finnish food Lehtovaara is my favourite.

Tip:

For more information on accommodation and sites go to http://www.visitfinland.fi Public transport is reliable and you can find information on how to commute to your destination on www.hsl.fi/en on journey planner . While travelling in Helsinki it is recommended to get a day ticket this costs 8€ and you can use all forms of transport (tram, train, buses, ferry within Helsinki). If you are planning to go to other regions buy a Regional ticket. If you have children under 7 transport is free within the metropolitan area. If you happen to be pushing a stroller with a child transport is free.

Most shopping centres and malls have supermarkets but are situated in the underground tunnels Restaurants during the week close at 10 so if you want to eat out make sure you order by 9pm as the kitchen closes at 9.30pm on weekends kitchens close an hour later.

Going to the amusement park Linnanmäki entry is free. If you want to enjoy the rides it costs 38€ pp day / 28€ pp evening If you intend to travel to the out of Helsinki a train is recommended http://vr.fi /en

Tipping is not necessary in restaurants as the wages are relatively good. The sites in Helsinki are in proximity to public commute you can get a free map to navigate through the city

Recommend: Taking the Ferry to Tallin, Estonia it is about 25€ return one can go for lunch Taking a day cruise to Stockholm, Sweden by ship prices vary

Ferry to Sweden

Ferry to Sweden

R. Donna x  

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  • Reply
    Martin W
    16/02/2015 at 17:46

    Great tips Donna …….will be very useful when am in Helsinki in August!

    M x

  • Reply
    Thoughtful Tuesday: Moving Forward | donnasmélange
    29/12/2015 at 14:07

    […] I got published in an East African Publication […]

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