Helsinki, Finland

With a population of about 620,000 Helsinki has the feel of an international city while retaining a small-town vibe at the same time. Like its Nordic neighbours to the west, Helsinki is an expensive place to visit – hostels are roughly 30-35 euros a night and meals less than 6 euros are REALLY hard to come by. As a result, travellers visiting from Tallinn, Estonia (a quick 2 to 3.5 hour ferry) can initially be put-off by the capital of Finland.

While I only stayed in Helsinki for 2 days – again, it’s REALLY expensive! – I grew quite fond of this quiet, well-maintained capital city. There aren’t a lot of major tourist attractions to check-out so it’s best to just cruise around the city, enjoying how nice everything is!

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  • Helsinki is located directly on the Gulf of Finland, 80km north of Tallinn, Estonia.

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  • As I mentioned before, the ferry to and from Tallinn takes about 2 – 3.5 hours depending on which one you choose.
  • The cost ranges from about 25 -50 Euros (!) each way. There are three different ferry lines, each offering their own times and schedules. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to find a promotion for 18 Euros, making this trip slightly more feasible…

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  • The term ferry doesn’t really do this boat justice. It’s more of a 10-floor party cruise-ship that includes a disco room, karaoke section, fully stocked bar and pretty much anything you could possibly need if you’re getting drunk. Which everyone is..

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  • By the end of my 3.5 hour mini vacation I was one of only a handful of sober people among the 500+ passengers. It was 2:30pm..
  • SO… if you have the chance to take the longer ferry on a Saturday afternoon- DO NOT MISS OUT. The Finns are the best and this people watching experience was one of a kind!

Now, back to the actual city of Helsinki.

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  • Above, the Helsinki Cathedral is the most impressive building in the city. It was built from 1830-1852 to honour the Russian Tsar, Nicolas l. (Finland, like pretty much all of the surrounding area, was under Russian control at the time)

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Here are some other pictures of charming Helsinki:

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  • The following turtles can be found throughout the city. Instead of standard cinder blocks preventing cars from entering a sidewalk, the Finns have placed turtles in the way. Brilliant!

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When talking to other travellers about Helsinki, the reviews are quite mixed. Despite a lack of traditional tourist sites, I found the capital of Finland to be an extremely nice place that would be a great city to live in.

While I wouldn’t classify Helsinki as a MUST visit, it is definitely more than worthwhile to check out for a few days – if your funds can hold up ; ). Between the awesome people, its location on the water and a general attractiveness to the city, Helsinki should be added to every itinerary. I personally look forward to seeing the rest of this beautiful country at some point!

Kippis! (Cheers)

 

 

6 responses to “Helsinki, Finland

  1. Hi there! How funny that I’ve never really given any thought to those turtles. I guess next time I’m out and about, I’ll actually notice them thanks to your post. Hope you visit Helsinki again one day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately I didn’t get to see other places in Finland : ( … I plan on returning to see more of the country though. Especially Lapland!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Tallinn, Estonia | canadianglobetrotter·

  3. Pingback: Suomenlinna, Finland | canadianglobetrotter·

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