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 through the “white” month of February, it wasn’t arduous to say YES! (Helsinki Winter Itinerary)
Proper then and there, I began daydreaming about all of the potential issues that I’d be doing… however when I requested about my itinerary, the tourism board stated that it was a ‘secret’ and that I’d know why as soon as I get there. For positive, it was a artful approach of constructing suspense in me.
twenty second of February — I landed in Helsinki they usually lastly divulged why they didn’t give us a journey plan initially. Apparently, it was as a result of they’ve been amassing a variety 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 varied points of interest, 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 tricky time plotting my actions at first (there have been simply far too many superior issues to do!). Ultimately, I managed to squeeze all the highest issues that I desired to do in my 7-day keep. Right here’s the way it went for me!
» Fast Journey 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 area as a result of although the room was modernly furnished with a contact of a creative ‘quirk’ because it nonetheless retained the coziness and heat of “dwelling“.
I particularly cherished how there’s a large balcony as nicely 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 capable of begin off my Helsinki winter itinerary on an excellent observe!
Afterward, I proceeded to plot my itinerary for the subsequent days as I joyfully flipped via all of the tickets that got to us. Because 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 beneath the Helsinki Secret scheme.
I felt like consuming ‘consolation meals’ and so I picked a restaurant known as: Naughty BRGR… and OMG their burgers and fries have been divine!!!
Numerous Finnish folks have been additionally crowding up this place so it actually appeared like a kind of locations that locals frequent to. If I’ve to provide you a tip, just remember to order their candy potato fries as a result of these have been sinfully good.
After the hearty meal, I proceeded to walk across the metropolis through the night time 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 undoubtedly off to begin!
– – –
» Day 2
Since I’m an outside buff, my agenda for the day was to go and hike via 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 positive lifesaver for the chilly!
I took an hour-long bus first to Haltia Nature Centre the place I received to study extra concerning 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 often doesn’t have any solar (only some hours of twilight round midday) for a month or extra throughout winter. It’s sometimes known as a polar knight by which the Finns name it as ‘kaamos’. (I critically can’t think about having no solar for months!)
As soon as I had my fill of knowledge, I sought out a close-by climbing path. The workers on the nature heart informed me that there was one which passes via Lake Pitkajarvi. As I set off on this journey, each step I took within the snow made me notice how I would really desire climbing throughout winter as a substitute of the opposite seasons as a result of the environment appeared 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 have been consuming or taking over some heat from a fireplace. Afterward, I even discovered a lodge by the facet of the highway that I savored for myself!
At one level, nevertheless, I ended up strolling within the flawed route. The path was alleged 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 via it with the intention to find yourself on my desired path.
It seemed like a superb plan — however as I walked via it, I couldn’t assist however begin laughing as a result of I did not bear in mind that there could be tons of contemporary snow piled up. So think about, each step I took would make my toes plunge proper via the ice, and the hassle it took to maneuver my toes felt like I used to be threading via water! Briefly: it was a bit tiring.
Fortunately, I managed to undergo and get on the best path. Although it was enjoyable and ‘adventurous’, I ought to by no means try this once more. *laughs*
Proper earlier than the path ended, I made it to a viewing platform that gave me an excellent view over the lake, and I certainly 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 lovable?!
Come night time time, I headed off to dinner at Kappeli with the intention to attempt Finnish dishes. This restaurant was conveniently situated in one of many huge parks within the metropolis and it was a sublime institution. I ordered a basic 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 must be sufficient! I’m glad nonetheless that I attempted it.)
To cap the night time off completely on my Helsinki winter itinerary, I went on to attempt 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 do you have to ever head to Finland. Other than non-public saunas which are situated in motels and flats, there are additionally public saunas unfold out throughout the nation.
– – –
» Day 3
For this present day 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 Pure Historical past.
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 finished LIVE and you can not think about how nervous I used to be! I used to be fairly positive that I used to be going to journey over my phrases or say one thing extremely silly on air.
To chop the story quick: it went wonderful. However boy… was I a bundle of nerves! And since I’m extraordinarily shy, I can’t share the hyperlink to the interview — ha!
As if that wasn’t sufficient, on the subsequent day, I used to be known as by the Helsinki Secret crew they usually requested if it’s alright for me to undergo one other interview with a special station, Radio Suomi. Each fiber of my being didn’t need to do one other one once more, however I didn’t need to be impolite so I stated sure. Fortunately, this interview went quite a bit higher than the primary. Regrettably although, it was not recorded… boo!
– – –
» Day 4
On this present day of my Helsinki winter itinerary, I went to the town’s basic cafe: Ekberg. I grabbed some pastries for takeout after which I ventured into the remainder of Helsinki’s symbolic must-sees: Senate Sq., Outdated Market Corridor, Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral, Kiasma Museum, Ateneum, and so forth.
When the night time crept in, I used my free tickets to observe a music present at Helsinki Music Centre (Musiikkitalo).
– – –
» 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 driving a snowmobile — or any winter exercise for that matter.
I’ve written about my expertise with this intimately and you’ll examine it right here:
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 night time.
As I headed again to the condominium, I seen the Kallio open-air ice skating rink. Well timed, 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 listing that must be checked off?“
For sure, I went on to hire skates and had my enjoyable!
– – –
» Day 6
Have you ever heard of the Baltic States? They’re 3 underrated locations in Europe — hidden gems if I’ll 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 the intention 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:
Briefly: the town was a DREAM and I’m undoubtedly planning on exploring extra of Estonia sooner or later, in addition to exploring the opposite 2 Baltic nations: Latvia and Lithuania. It is best to, too!
– – –
» 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 Web site deemed to be one of many greatest sea fortresses all over the world.
Really an iconic place in Helsinki, that is an exercise in your itinerary that you shouldn’t miss!
Relaxation assured, this place I simply explored this on foot so it might be simply achieved in simply an hour as an example. (You’ll be able to at all times take a guided tour so as to study extra particulars concerning the fortress and its historical past.)
• • •
Different Helsinki F.A.Q.
As a rule, service is already included in your invoice if you’re in Finland. As such, tipping is just not obligatory nor anticipated within the nation; nevertheless, additionally they don’t thoughts being tipped in case you’re feeling beneficiant.
Finland sometimes makes use of two plug varieties: sort C (two spherical pins) and sort F (two spherical pins with two earth clips) they usually function on a 230V provide voltage with a frequency of 50Hz.
Please test their newest journey advisories web page.
Need a detailed Helsinki journey information?
For more information about the very best months to go to, how one can get round, and so forth. — come and skim this Helsinki information!
• • •
From my seat within the aircraft again dwelling, I appeared 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 may at all times maintain true. I DO fall in love with each place, and Helsinki is a kind of.
However as Fitzgerald would put it: “There are every kind of affection on this world however by no means the identical love twice” and positive sufficient, the way in which that I fell in love with Helsinki as I stayed there for per week was a novel type of love that I’ll ceaselessly cherish.