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 every week of their great metropolis through the “white” month of February, it wasn’t onerous to say YES! (Helsinki Winter Itinerary)
Proper then and there, I began daydreaming about all of the attainable 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 certain, it was a artful means 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 firstly. Apparently, it was as a result of they’ve been amassing a whole lot 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 condo’s desk — invites from numerous points of interest, tour suppliers, and eating places all all through 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!). In the long run, 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 condo that was situated within the coronary heart of town.
It was straightforward to fall in love with this house 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 beloved how there’s a enormous balcony as effectively that gave me a transparent view of town skyline that was wrapped in white velvet snow. In actual fact, 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 awesome word!
Afterward, I proceeded to plot my itinerary for the subsequent days as I joyfully flipped by means of 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 wished 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!!!
A number of 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 be sure you 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 evening and I used to be completely blown away by how picturesque and ‘hip‘ Helsinki was.
In all honesty, I anticipated town to be olden; and although it nonetheless has its outdated infrastructure, it was straightforward to see how the metropolis has such a singular and energetic vibe what with all the trendy architectural wonders, cafe tradition, and bustling crowd.
I used to be undoubtedly off to a great begin!
– – –
» Day 2
Since I’m an out of doors buff, my agenda for the day was to go and hike by means of the realm of Nuuksio. The Helsinki tourism board supplied 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 wildlife not solely in Helsinki however the entire of Finland.
I realized 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 usually known as a polar knight during which the Finns name it as ‘kaamos’. (I significantly can’t think about having no solar for months!)
As soon as I had my fill of data, I sought out a close-by climbing path. The employees on the nature heart advised me that there was one which passes by means of Lake Pitkajarvi. As I set off on this journey, each step I took within the snow made me understand how I’d really choose climbing 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 have been consuming or taking on some heat from a fireplace. In a while, I even discovered a lodge by the aspect of the street that I savored for myself!
At one level, nonetheless, I ended up strolling within the flawed course. The path was alleged to be on the opposite aspect of the street over the thicket of timber, and so I had an concept that I can simply traverse by means of it in an effort to find yourself on my desired path.
It seemed like an excellent plan — however as I walked by means of it, I couldn’t assist however begin laughing as a result of I didn’t take note of that there can be tons of contemporary snow piled up. So think about, each step I took would make my ft plunge proper by means of the ice, and the trouble it took to maneuver my ft felt like I used to be threading by means of 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 awesome 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 instantly 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 evening time, I headed off to dinner at Kappeli in an effort to attempt Finnish dishes. This restaurant was conveniently situated in one of many massive 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 evening 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 turn into 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. Other than personal saunas which might be situated in accommodations and flats, there are additionally public saunas unfold out throughout the nation.
– – –
» 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 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 executed LIVE and you can’t 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 chop the story quick: it went nice. 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 staff they usually requested if it’s alright for me to undergo one other interview with a distinct station, Radio Suomi. Each fiber of my being didn’t wish to do one other one once more, however I didn’t wish to be impolite so I stated sure. Fortunately, this interview went rather a lot higher than the primary. Regrettably although, it was not recorded… boo!
– – –
» Day 4
On at the present time of my Helsinki winter itinerary, I went to 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 on.
When the evening crept in, I used my free tickets to look at 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 evening.
As I headed again to the condo, I observed 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 record that must be checked off?“
For sure, I went on to lease 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 could say so myself given how they’re among the least visited international locations within the continent. So when the Helsinki Secret staff gave me roundtrip cruise tickets in an effort 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 Journey to Tallinn, Estonia: A Quick Cruise Away
Briefly: 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 international locations: Latvia and Lithuania. It’s 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 Website deemed to be one of many largest 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 may very well be simply achieved in simply an hour as an example. (You’ll be able to all the time take a guided tour so as to be taught extra particulars in regards to the fortress and its historical past.)
• • •
Different Helsinki F.A.Q.
As a rule, service is already included in your invoice whenever you’re in Finland. As such, tipping shouldn’t be obligatory nor anticipated within the nation; nonetheless, in addition they don’t thoughts being tipped should you’re feeling beneficiant.
Finland usually makes use of two plug varieties: kind 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 verify their newest journey advisories web page.
Desire a detailed Helsinki journey information?
For more information about one of the best months to go to, the best way to get round, and so on. — come and browse this Helsinki information!
• • •
From my seat within the aircraft again dwelling, I regarded over fondly at Helsinki because it slowly dissipated from my view. I’ve written for in all probability so many occasions now about how I’ve fallen in love with the locations that I’ve been to in my travels — and that may all the time maintain true. I DO fall in love with each place, and Helsinki is a kind of.
However as Fitzgerald would put it: “There are all types of affection on this world however by no means the identical love twice” and certain sufficient, the way in which that I fell in love with Helsinki as I stayed there for every week was a singular form of love that I’ll ceaselessly cherish.