This week I’ve been busy celebrating my name day (Linda is on 15th April in the Finnish calendar), doing all kinds of baking, and running some boring bureaucratic errands. When cooped up here in my own corner I’m of course not out finding things to share with you all. I’m not giving up that easily though!
In this post, I will reach out digitally and share Helsinki-based articles from other travel blogs. Many of these articles fall into specific niches, such as day trips from Helsinki or what to do in Helsinki in the winter. All of these blogs are awesome, and I thoroughly recommend checking them out further than these articles that I’m sharing!
By Cory Varga of You Could Travel
Cory Varga sings the praises of the great Finnish sauna in this article. She tells about her experience at Löyly and Allas Sea Pools. Löyly as a building is a feat of architectural design. It’s made of sharp geometric shapes that are softened by the building material: natural wood. Allas Sea Pools is an outdoor recreational centre which is, believe it or not, open year round! They of course also have a sauna for visitors.
Cory also recommends some cafes and restaurants in Helsinki. Her recommendations are very useful if you’re a vegan, as she talks about which locations have vegan options on the menu and which locations will happily accommodate vegan guests. I echoed one of her recommendations, Goodio, in an earlier post. Goodio’s raw vegan chocolate is delicious, as are the smoothie bowls which Cory recommends.
By Cory Lee of Curb Free With Cory Lee
I was very happy to find this article about spending a day in Helsinki as a wheelchair user. I’m a huge advocate of accessibility in all its forms, so I was delighted to read that Cory Lee’s experience in Helsinki was easy and enjoyable. I’ve always been under the impression that Helsinki’s public transit is accessible for wheelchair users, but hearing Cory confirm that the buses were indeed easily accessible was great.
Cory only spent 6 hours in Helsinki but managed to squeeze in many attractions, which he talks about in the article. Another reason why I’m super glad to have read his article is that I found out something new! I like to think that I know both Helsinki and design quite well, but I wasn’t aware that Taiga Colors in Helsinki’s Design District sells products with designs painted by a bear! Thank you, Cory, for letting me know about Juuso the bear’s masterpieces.
By Aga of Worldering Around
Those used to warm weather might shudder at the thought of visiting a Nordic country in the winter months. But it truly is worth it! Despite the snow and ice (and sometimes because of it), Helsinki is full of things to do in the winter. It’s definitely a different experience to Helsinki in the summer, and perhaps not for everyone. But if you’re up for it, Aga at Worldering Around has a great bunch of ideas for wintertime activities in Helsinki.
My favourite of her suggestions is taking a walk or a ski across the frozen Töölönlahti. Of course, other bodies of water are frozen as well, so you have your pick of places. But if you’d like to be in good company, the large Töölönlahti (Gulf of Töölö) is often full of people walking across its icy expanse. After crossing the bay, you can continue across the Töölö neighbourhood to check out Cafe Regatta. Also suggested by Aga, this cute little red cafe is a longtime favourite of tourists and locals alike.
By Evan Kristine of Pretty Wild World
Pretty Wild World has a myriad of great Helsinki-based articles, so it was difficult to choose just one! I ended up choosing this one because it is such a comprehensive list of easy day (or weekend) trips from Helsinki. Evan Kristine lists ten destinations, none of which are more than two hours away from Helsinki by public transit.
One location mentioned is actually within the greater Helsinki area. Nuuksio National Park is in Espoo, about 35 kilometres from inner-city Helsinki. Despite being accessible by city buses, Nuuksio is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a wonderful slice of nature where you can forage for berries and mushrooms, take a hike, or roast food on a campfire.
Evan Kristine also suggests many other cities in Finland that deserve some love. Even Tallinn, Estonia is included because it’s so close. Believe it or not, a trip to the Estonian capital takes only about two hours by ferry across the Gulf of Finland!
By Katie Mac of The Katie Show Blog
This article starts off brilliantly by suggesting a stay in one of Helsinki’s most unique hotels, Hotel Katajanokka. This hotel is actually a converted prison! Imagine the funny stories you could tell back home by starting off with “I just spent a weekend in a Helsinki prison…”!
Katie Mac suggests an itinerary for a two-day stay in Helsinki and includes all of the must-see attractions. She also suggests taking a bike tour, which is a wonderful way to experience Helsinki like a local would. Cycling isn’t quite as ubiquitous in Helsinki as a place like, say, Amsterdam – but it’s definitely a huge part of city life.
Another recommendation is taking a ride on SkyWheel Helsinki. I’m not sure why other travel bloggers don’t seem to suggest this! Perhaps they just assume that since it’s such a tourist magnet, travel blogs must be full of mentions of it. I haven’t seen it mentioned often, but it definitely is a fun attraction. SkyWheel Helsinki will inevitably draw comparisons to the London Eye. But while the London Eye is all well and good, it definitely doesn’t have a sauna carriage!
I love reading about other bloggers’ experiences in Helsinki. It’s always wonderful to hear about your hometown through the eyes of someone who is just visiting and seeing the city from a completely different perspective. And if I’m lucky, I’ll even learn something new! No one has seen every single corner of Helsinki, and if someone can clue me in on corners that I’ve missed, I’ll only be grateful.