Helsinki and the island of Suomenlinna
Published: 10/05/2016

We stayed three days in Helsinki, capital of Finland, and we came to the conclusion that the weather makes a huge difference when we visit somewhere new. Sunny and endless days – it is sunny until 10p.m. - and the nice temperature around 20ºC, helps to turn the city even more beautiful and charming.

As the weather helped, we spent almost a full day on the island of Suomenlinna, which is a heritage of humanity by UNESCO, 20 minutes from Helsinki by boat. Interestingly, the ferry is considered a common public transport, so if you have the bus or subway ticket you can use it for the boat without having to pay extra. That's something we do not find anywhere when we researched about the city, so it's a good tip.

The island has been a kind of fortress and also a important trading point for Russian centuries ago. Today it is a tourist destination, as long as you get off from the ferry, it gives the impression of entering a real movie set. The wooden houses, green areas and other spaces give a unique charm to the place.

Click here to read 6 facts about Helsinki.

In addition to the tip of the passage to the ferry if you visit the island on a day with nice weather, you should take things for a picnic. There is plenty of space, lawns or rocks overlooking the sea.

The city is not very big and you can know just about everything in a day of walking. The number of malls and galleries is quite large, especially because on cold days people spend hours in these places and you can walk several meters underground, almost in an underground labyrinth.

Finland only got Russia's independence in 1917 and it was also part of Sweden. The heritage of the neighboring countries is at several places in Helsinki and even today they are forced to learn two languages: Finnish and Swedish. Street signs, subway station names and advertisements are written in both languages.

One of the coolest parts of the city is called Kallio and is considered the most hipster in the city. It's nice to walk the streets and see people of all kind drinking beer on the sidewalks. There are many options of bars and restaurants, with prices a little more affordable compared to the center.

Another interesting place is the square of the trade. Rather resembling a flea market in Brazil, you can find stalls of fruits and food. Directly across the square is the town hall and a hint that is worth gold: the bathrooms of it can be used by anyone, including on the weekend. In addition of being free of charge, they are cleaner than in many places.

The general prices were very high (click here to read more), but we found a very nice place: the Cafe Bar No. 9. It is right in the center but still a bit hidden, so the public is primarily residents of the neighborhood. The menu is quite varied, from burgers to Thai food with inspiration, and the price is not the most expensive in the city - an average of 15 euros per dish.


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