On our trip to Tallinn and Riga, we had a quick stop in Helsinki since the flight times and prices were more convenient. We had around 9 hours in Helsinki and we were able to see many things at the end.
- How did we get there?
We took a direct flight from Barcelona Airport (Terminal 2) to Helsinki Airport (Terminal 2) with Norweigan Airlines which had WIFI on the plane and it made it quicker 4 hour flight.
Once we arrived, we took bus 615 from platform 21 in Helsinki that took us directly to the city center that cost 5€. The ticket can be used in some other transports within 80 minutes.
As our plan was to take the ferry to Tallinn at 21:30, we had limited time in Helsinki but I think we have seen a good part of Helsinki and Suomenlinna.
- How did we get around?
Helsinki is a small city and it is very easy to walk around. Once the bus left us in the city center, we got our maps from the main station (the building on your right where the bus stops) and walked to the Market Square to find a locker to leave our luggage. Unfortunately there was none so we had to walk to te ferry terminal and left our luggage in a small locker that costs 3€. Once it is done, we walked back to Market Square to take a boat to Suomenlinna Island. (12 hour Suomenlinna ticket costs 5€ and ticket can be bought in the port from the machines or ticket office)
- Where to visit?
It takes about 20 minutes to go the island from Market Place and I think it is definitely worthed to see. It is possible to see smaller islands with 2 or 3 houses on it on the way to Suomenlinna which makes the trip nice as well.
Suomenlinna is a sea fortress built on 6 islands and around thousand people live on these islands in total. Somewhere I read that it is also popular by local people to go for a picnic. When we were there we saw some people having a picnic but it is was not very crowded. The weather was a bit cool (10 Degrees) and it was a bit windy but it was sunny so I was happy with the weather :)
When we arrived to the island, we were already hungry and looking for some food. There was a recommended restaurant on the right once you get off the boat but it was closed. Luckily we found a super market and tested some different Finnish food. The one on the right top was something different with rice even though it looked like something sweet. From all of the food we chose, I liked it less. Surprisingly, it was not very expensive. And Markus was happy to find one of his favourite beers – Kozel :)
We sat down next to the see in front of the super market and enjoyed the sun and food and have some rest. After our mini picnic, we walked around the island for about 2 hours. In the island there were some cafeterias and restaurants that looked very cute. Also it was very green so it was a very relaxing walk around.
- City Center
I am not sure if we missed something but city center seemed to me very small :) Due to the lack of time, we haven’t entered to any place but we had a look from outside. But we somehow had time to visit a brewery :) (Bryggeri Helsinki) in the center which we really liked and after that it was time to go to the ferry terminal to take the boat to Tallinn.
By the way, the weather was changing almost in an hour, as you can see the sky on the above pictures :)