A jaunty POV on travel, living abroad in Australia, SCUBA diving and food.
Enjoying Two Days in Helsinki Finland
In June, I had an incredible – and fairly short notice – opportunity to explore the Nordic countries of Northern Europe. I obviously jumped at the chance to visit these locations and boarded a plane from Sydney to start the journey. It all kicked off with two days in Helsinki, the capital of Finland in the southern part of the country. Here’s what went down…
I hopped off the bus at the Sibelius Monument, a beautiful abstract art piece dedicated to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.
For my last day in Helsinki, I considered just sleeping in and not fussing about seeing any more sights. But then the FOMO part of my brain fully took over, as it usually does, and I bounced out of bed for a few final hours of meandering! My destination for the morning was very focused: Suomenlinna, a sea fortress series of islands just a short ferry ride from Helsinki proper. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site originally known as Sveaborg when the Swedish built it in 1748 to protect against Russian expansion efforts. It’s a fantastic spot to explore, full of cobblestone streets taking you past tunnels, fortress walls and even a small city centre. There are about 900 people who live here year-round and it stopped being utilised as an actual fortress in the early 1970s. If I had to summarise my Helsinki visit and recommend a single, must-do it would most likely be Suomenlinna. I absolutely loved it. This was partially influenced by the fact that I was literally the first tourist to get there in the morning and had the entire place to myself. It made it a bit more eerie and remote feeling, which I prefer.
After Suomenlinna, it was time to make my way back to the hotel, grab the bag and check-in for the next leg of the journey: a cruise ship from Helsinki to Stockholm. When this transport was booked, I don’t know what I was envisioning. A quaint sort of ferry-like boat, perhaps? Instead, it was full-fledged cruise ship with restaurants, bar, night club…the whole shebang. I was LOLing as I walked around the ship checking out all the spots but honestly…I wouldn’t have swapped it for anything else in the world. It was a hilariously perfect way to transition from Finland to Sweden.
My ship to Stockholm.
My cabin – small but perfectly comfortable and a sea-facing window.
Tacky and perfect.
One of several restaurants.
The map of the ship.
A view from the bow of the ship before we left the Port of Helsinki.
Pulling away from Helsinki!
Hilariously over the top Pub on board.
Insert two creepy twin girls at the end of the hall.
Solo dinner which was surprisingly good! That burger made me very happy.
So there you have it, lovely readers. 48 full hours in Helsinki completed, and I think I did a damn good job of exploring the heck out of the city. I wish I had extra time to get further outside of the capital and see more of Finland to formulate a broader view of the country, but that will have to be saved for a future holiday. Stay tuned for the next phase of the epic Nordic adventure coming soon: 24 hours in Stockholm, Sweden! XOXO -JW