Expat & Travel Blog

Expat & Travel Blog

Exploring Finland for the first time!

Exploring Finland for the first time!

Hello there!

Here comes already the first post of this fall! And for such occasion I wanted to share with you all our last trip to Helsinki, Finland! Can you believe it, in less than 1 hour you’re in a new country, discovering a new city for the first time!

We got to enjoy 4 cold days in beautiful Helsinki, just last week, and even though it was still September when we got there, it was already freezing cold!

So, to be honest with you all, we over-heard that Helsinki wasn’t the prettiest city or that there is not so many sights to visit in the city. Well this is, in my opinion, not fully true. There is not so many sights, yes, but there are a few and it is also pretty relaxing to visit a place without feeling rushed to see it all. We got 4 full days there and we got plenty of time to… party, rest, visit, walk around and relax in saunas! Can it get any better than that?!

Helsinki is just about 45 min flying from Stockholm, and flight tickets are rather reasonable (we flew with Norwegian and it was perfect!). So there was no excuse not to go! Also, as you may know, Helsinki has always been – for some unknown reasons – on my bucket list! (Click here to see what are the other destinations!) So I am now very happy I got to go to Finland!

So here are some pictures (read as “a lot”) illustrating our stay there. Note that the weather has been pretty good to us, the first day has been quite grey and super raining at night but apart from this, it’s been a bright blue sky all the time!

Day 1: First steps in the city and a lot of walking around.

What’s better than walking in a city for the first time? Everything is new and different, you want to go in and on every building and capture the best view of the city. Helsinki is a rather small city, where it is easy to walk from a place to another and where there is no need to get a public transport card. However, note that there is not really an old town.

 

Day 2: Visit the Chapel of Silence and Rock church, walk along the seaside.

If we had to do it all again, I wouldn’t go back to the chapel of silence, as I didn’t find the greatest architectural or historical interest. However, the rock church is definitely worth the 3€ entrance fee.

So we started by walking around the city to visit these different religious building and then went towards the seaside. From there, we enjoyed a nice sunset and walked all the way back to the centre for dinner. The sea-side is really beautiful and no matter how cold the wind is, the walk is worth it! Also, it gives a good excuse to grab a warm tea or coffee!

Day 3: Suomenlinna island and market hall.

Suomenlinna is a former military fortress located on a 10 min boat ride from the city centre, and where you can walk pretty much all over the island and discover former military treasures and buildings. This island is definitely worth the visit, especially when the weather is good!

The second market place where we’ve been is located a bit out of the city centre, and is more local than touristy. It is a great stop around lunch where you can enjoy a warm soup.

 

Day 4: Some more walking around the city, bus tour and Löyly.

Nothing better than walking in a city when the weather is good! I spent some time gathering a few postcards and we were off to a bus tour! These touristic bus tours are actually quite nice as they give explanations on sights, and a lot of fun facts around the city, the people or anything else!

The last thing we did before heading back to the airport, is having a drink at Löyly. This place is a sauna, but also restaurant and bar, with a superb view. Here are some pictures of the view from the top of the building and another one from the building at night.

So here is our experience in Helsinki, and for a first time there it has been great! The best thing about this trip is probably the time we had to meet with our friends. Stop in cafés, bar or dinners out, while discovering a new city and country!

⇒ Please let me know in the comments what you think of it! And if you’ve been there, what are your top things to do?!

 



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