Back in March 2018, we spent a couple of nights in the capital city of Finland; Helsinki.
It’s a great place to visit. I’d love to go back as two nights isn’t really long enough but in true Team Vanags style, we crammed a hell of a lot into a short space of time.
26th – 27th March 2018
Where we stayed
What we did
The Eurohostel hotel was a short walk or tram ride to the harbour and the Helsinki Cathedral area so there was a lot to see and do right on our doorstep. Because we didn’t have a lot of time we had to focus on a couple of areas of Helsinki to explore, so we had a good look around the Helsinki Cathedral area, the Harbour and the town centre. We also managed to squeeze in a trip to Suomenlinna Island which I can highly recommend.
Part of the Alexander II Statue outside Helsinki Cathedral (see above)
The Allas Sea Pool.
These guys must have had very large Kahuna’s to go swimming outdoors in these temperatures. You can see the dome of the Cathedral poking out above the rooftops in the top right of this photo.
Don’t forget to bring your ice skates 🙂 I had to walk very gingerly over this extremely slippy ice. Made for some interesting pic’s though.
Helsinki’s harbour and Skywheel in the distance.
The Ducks and Geese seemed to be enjoying themselves on the frozen ice in the harbour.
I loved these stone turtle sculptures.
These guys where being used as barriers for the car park.
Where and what we ate
If you are a foodie you must go to the ‘Old Market Hall‘ which can be found on the south side of the harbour (the building in the foreground on the left).
There are plenty of places to eat inside and lot’s of food stores and stalls where you can buy a whole host of Scandinavian food.
Here I ate the best seafood soup I’ve ever tasted! It was €10 a bowl but worth every penny. (I’m salivating just thinking about it).
If you are on a budget I can highly recommend going to the supermarkets in the town centre to buy food from the salad bars and delis. We used the Alepa Supermarket a couple of times. It was a great way to stuff our faces whilst not spending a load of money on food. Finland is expensive so going out to restaurants every night might be a bit prohibitive if you are watching the pennies.
Serena had heard about the Teemu & Markus patisserie and really wanted to go there to have tea and cake.
It took us ages to find it, we must have walked past it three times because its poorly sign-posted but the tea, coffee and cakes within were lovely.
Again in true Scandinavian style, it wasn’t cheap but it was worth it. I think this little lot cost just over £20 / €22.
We also took a day trip to Suomenlinna Island which I can highly recommend. You can read about it here.
My recommendations for two nights in Helsinki
- Maybe try and stay just outside of the town centre as it might be a bit cheaper – why not try the Euro hostel? We had no complaints about our stay and the buffet breakfast at €10 a pop was a bargain.
- Visit the harbour area, town centre, Old Market Hall food market, Cathedral area and take a day trip Suomenlinna Island if you can – this itinerary will give you a good taste of what Helsinki has to offer
- Trams are a great and relatively cheap way to get around and operate across all of the main tourist areas
- If you are on a tight budget why not buy your food from the supermarket hot and cold delis in town? It’s a cheap way to make sure you are well fed while you are in Helsinki – The underground Alepa Supermarket in town had a great deli.