1 Week Travel Guide (Finland)

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Coming from a tropical nation, I’ve come to like the winter season in any vacation spot — so when the tourism board of Helsinki invited me to remain for per week of their great metropolis throughout the “white” month of February, it wasn’t onerous to say YES! (Helsinki Winter Itinerary)

Right then and there, I began daydreaming about all of the doable issues that I’d be doing… however when I requested about my itinerary, the tourism board mentioned that it was a ‘secret’ and that I’d know why as soon as I get there. For certain, it was a artful means of constructing suspense in me.

twenty second of February — I landed in Helsinki and so they lastly divulged why they didn’t give us a journey plan initially. Apparently, it was as a result of they’ve been amassing a number of sponsors up till my arrival, and with the pack of free tickets that they have acquired for us, I can then have the liberty to plot my very own week-long itinerary!

They slowly sprawled out all these ‘goodies’ on my condominium’s desk — invites from numerous sights, tour suppliers, and eating places all all through the town — and I couldn’t assist however really feel that it was Christmas over again!

You wager that I had a troublesome time plotting my actions at first (there have been simply far too many superior issues to do!).  In the top, I managed to squeeze all the highest issues that I desired to do in my 7-day keep. Here’s the way it went for me!

» Quick Travel Planning

Faroe Islands Itinerary

» Day 1

After a 2-hour flight, I used to be ushered into my Helsinki Secret Residence for the week: an Aallonkoti condominium that was situated within the coronary heart of the town.

It was simple to fall in love with this house as a result of although the room was modernly furnished with a contact of an inventive ‘quirk’ because it nonetheless retained the coziness and heat of “dwelling“.

I particularly beloved how there’s a big balcony as effectively that gave me a transparent view of the town skyline that was wrapped in white velvet snow. In truth, I spent a while resting on the balcony as I savored how fortunate I used to be to have been in a position to begin off my Helsinki winter itinerary on an ideal be aware!

Afterward, I proceeded to plot my itinerary for the following days as I joyfully flipped by way of all of the tickets that got to us. Since it was already nighttime at this level, I made a decision to take a leisurely stroll across the metropolis as I went off and seize dinner in one of many eating places that needed to supply complimentary meals underneath the Helsinki Secret scheme.

I felt like consuming ‘comfort food’ and so I picked a restaurant known as: Naughty BRGR… and OMG their burgers and fries had been divine!!!

A number of Finnish individuals had been additionally crowding up this place so it actually appeared like a kind of locations that locals frequent to. If I’ve to offer you a tip, just be sure you order their candy potato fries as a result of these had been sinfully good.

After the hearty meal, I proceeded to walk across the metropolis throughout the evening and I used to be completely blown away by how picturesque and ‘hip‘ Helsinki was.

In all honesty, I anticipated the town to be olden; and although it nonetheless has its previous infrastructure, it was simple to see how the metropolis has such a novel and energetic vibe what with all the trendy architectural wonders, cafe tradition, and bustling crowd.

I used to be positively off to begin!

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» Day 2

Since I’m an outside buff, my agenda for the day was to go and hike by way of the world of Nuuksio. The Helsinki tourism board offered me with a thick parka for the entire of my Helsinki winter itinerary keep and it was a certain lifesaver for the chilly!

I took an hour-long bus first to Haltia Nature Centre the place I obtained to be taught extra in regards to the natural world not solely in Helsinki however the entire of Finland.

I discovered right here that the north of Finland which is above the Arctic Circle normally doesn’t have any solar (just a few hours of twilight round midday) for a month or extra throughout winter. It’s usually known as a polar knight through which the Finns name it as ‘kaamos’. (I critically can’t think about having no solar for months!)

Once I had my fill of knowledge, I sought out a close-by mountaineering path. The workers on the nature middle informed me that there was one which passes by way of Lake Pitkajarvi. As I set off on this journey, each step I took within the snow made me understand how I would truly want mountaineering throughout winter as a substitute of the opposite seasons as a result of the environment regarded extremely magical and mystifying — and better of all: I don’t sweat!

On my path, I chanced upon a spot the place a number of different hikers had been consuming or taking on some heat from a fireplace. Later on, I even discovered a lodge by the facet of the highway that I savored for myself!

At one level, nonetheless, I ended up strolling within the unsuitable course. The path was imagined to be on the opposite facet of the highway over the thicket of timber, and so I had an concept that I can simply traverse by way of it with a purpose to find yourself on my desired path.

It seemed like an excellent plan — however as I walked by way of it, I couldn’t assist however begin laughing as a result of I didn’t bear in mind that there could be tons of recent snow piled up. So think about, each step I took would make my toes plunge proper by way of the ice, and the hassle it took to maneuver my toes felt like I used to be threading by way of water! In quick: it was a bit tiring.

Thankfully, I managed to undergo and get on the fitting path. Though it was enjoyable and ‘adventurous’, I ought to by no means try this once more. *laughs*

Right earlier than the path ended, I made it to a viewing platform that gave me an ideal view over the lake, and I absolutely took my time savoring the picturesque panorama. It was actually spectacular and as I stood there, I distinctly felt how I used to be slowly falling in love with Helsinki.

Afterward, I headed off to the bus cease and it was right here that I all of the sudden remembered how I’ve by no means constructed my very own snowman but! I took benefit of this ‘free time’ as I proceeded to construct a small white man — isn’t he cute?!

Come evening time, I headed off to dinner at Kappeli with a purpose to strive Finnish dishes. This restaurant was conveniently situated in one of many large parks within the metropolis and it was a chic institution. I ordered a traditional tattikuorrutettua or reindeer fillet and it was an excellent dish with a really gamey style. (I used to be a bit apprehensive at first about consuming reindeer meat; however I assumed, as soon as needs to be sufficient! I’m glad nonetheless that I attempted it.)

To cap the evening off completely on my Helsinki winter itinerary, I went on to strive a typical Finnish sauna expertise.

DID YOU KNOW? Finns have an immense love for saunas! It has grow to be a considerable a part of their tradition — NOT as a luxurious however extra of a necessity. So it’s a must-do must you ever head to Finland. Apart from non-public saunas which are situated in accommodations and flats, there are additionally public saunas unfold out throughout the nation.

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» Day 3

For at the present time of my Helsinki winter itinerary, I went off to tour the city. I visited locations just like the Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Church), Sibelius Park, and the Finnish Museum of Natural History.

» READ: Top 10 FREE Things To Do in Helsinki, Finland

Come afternoon, I went on to Radio Helsinki to be interviewed about my expertise within the metropolis — YES. You learn that proper! I did a radio interview and it was my FIRST time doing such a factor. It was even executed LIVE and you can not think about how nervous I used to be! I used to be fairly certain that I used to be going to journey over my phrases or say one thing extremely silly on air.

To lower the story quick: it went effective. But boy… was I a bundle of nerves! And as a result of I’m extraordinarily shy, I can’t share the hyperlink to the interview — ha!

As if that wasn’t sufficient, on the following day, I used to be known as by the Helsinki Secret crew and so they requested if it’s alright for me to undergo one other interview with a distinct station, Radio Suomi. Every fiber of my being didn’t wish to do one other one once more, however I didn’t wish to be impolite so I mentioned sure. Thankfully, this interview went so much higher than the primary. Regrettably although, it was not recorded… boo!

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» Day 4

On at the present time of my Helsinki winter itinerary, I went to the town’s traditional cafe: Ekberg. I grabbed some pastries for takeout after which I ventured into the remainder of Helsinki’s symbolic must-sees: Senate Square, Old Market Hall, Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral, Kiasma Museum, Ateneum, and so on.

» READ: Things To Do in Helsinki, Finland

When the evening crept in, I used my free tickets to look at a music present at Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo).

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» Day 5

Alas, the day has arrived for my snowmobile safari expertise on this Helsinki winter itinerary! I used to be ecstatic about this as a result of I’ve by no means tried using a snowmobile — or any winter exercise for that matter.

I’ve written about my expertise with this intimately and you may examine it right here:

» READ: Helsinki Snowmobile Safari Experience

For dinner, I took up the free eating supplied by Meripaviljonki, a seemingly ‘floating restaurant‘ by the river. And since I can’t get sufficient of tattikuorrutettua, I ordered this dish but once more for the evening.

As I headed again to the condominium, I seen the Kallio open-air ice skating rink. Timely, the snow simply began to fall too at the moment so I assumed: “I’ve by no means skated in an open-air ice skating rink whereas it’s snowing… Now ain’t this a bucket record that must be checked off?

Needless to say, I went on to hire skates and had my enjoyable!

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» Day 6

Have you heard of the Baltic States? They are 3 underrated locations in Europe — hidden gems if I could say so myself given how they’re a few of the least visited nations within the continent. So when the Helsinki Secret crew gave me roundtrip cruise tickets with a purpose to attain Tallinn, Estonia in only a matter of two hours from Helsinki, I jumped on the chance to take action!

Come examine my journey in Tallinn right here:

» READ: Day Trip to Tallinn, Estonia: A Short Cruise Away

In quick: the town was a DREAM and I’m positively planning on exploring extra of Estonia sooner or later, in addition to exploring the opposite 2 Baltic nations: Latvia and Lithuania. You ought to, too!

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» Day 7

This was the final day on my Helsinki winter itinerary, and earlier than I hopped on to my flight again to Brussels, I went on to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress to witness this fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site deemed to be one of many greatest sea fortresses around the globe.

Truly an iconic place in Helsinki, that is an exercise in your itinerary that you shouldn’t miss!

Rest assured, this place I simply explored this on foot so it may very well be simply completed in simply an hour as an illustration. (You can at all times take a guided tour so as to be taught extra particulars in regards to the fortress and its historical past.)

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Other Helsinki F.A.Q.

What is the tipping coverage in Finland?

As a rule, service is already included in your invoice once you’re in Finland. As such, tipping isn’t obligatory nor anticipated within the nation; nonetheless, additionally they don’t thoughts being tipped in the event you’re feeling beneficiant.

What is the facility socket utilized in Finland?

Finland usually makes use of two plug sorts: sort C (two spherical pins) and sort F (two spherical pins with two earth clips) and so they function on a 230V provide voltage with a frequency of 50Hz.

What are the present journey restrictions and quarantine insurance policies in Finland?

 Please verify their newest journey advisories web page.

Want an in depth Helsinki journey information?

For extra data about one of the best months to go to, how you can get round, and so on. — come and skim this Helsinki information!

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Overall

From my seat within the airplane again dwelling, I regarded over fondly at Helsinki because it slowly dissipated from my view. I’ve written for in all probability so many instances now about how I’ve fallen in love with the locations that I’ve been to in my travels — and that can at all times maintain true. I DO fall in love with each place, and Helsinki is a kind of.

But as Fitzgerald would put it: “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice” and certain sufficient, the best way that I fell in love with Helsinki as I stayed there for per week was a novel type of love that I’ll without end cherish.

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