24 hours in… Helsinki, Finland

On our second day in Tallinn, we headed across on the ferry to Helsinki, Finland. It was super easy, having bought our tickets online before we left for Estonia. On the day it was just a case of simply heading down to the port, which we had checked out the day before so we knew where to go.

After fighting our way through the queues to get on the ferry we then saw everyone run off, people were upstairs, downstairs, in the bar, in the restaurant and the window sills. It soon became clear that seating was limited as after 10 minutes it all settled down and many people were sitting (or sleeping) on the floor.

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This wasn’t any better on the way home as waiting for the ferry everyone gathered right up at the doors, and as soon as they opened all hell broke loose to find a seat.

Tip: Get to the ferry on time and find a seat when you can. 

The journey to be fair is a little too long to be standing and there isn’t a great deal to do while you are on it. We spent our time reading the maps and leaflets on the ferry to plan our day in Finland.

Off the ferry and first things first we headed straight for Helsinki Cathedral. Up the many stairs and once we finally reached the top, we took a quick look inside and it was beautiful, the detail was just amazing.

 

Afterwards we made our way into the main city centre and into a few of the malls. Despite the Christmas trees outside the Cathedral being cut down for New Year’s events, Christmas was thankfully still alive and well in the shopping malls. We headed to the Moomin shop (of course!) in Forum shopping centre on the second floor. Despite being quite small (and bit overpriced) I settled on a Moomin Papa pin badge for my collection with a small Finland flag in his hand.

You can see this in my memento blog.

 

The Hard Rock Cafe in Helsinki was always going to be somewhere we aimed to visit, as we are trying to do a little tour of each one. So far to present day we have visited 7 as we never made it to the one in Oslo. The stairs were one of my favourite parts as they were rainbow lit all the way down to the floor.

 

Choosing to take the tram over walking as it was only 3.20 euros, we ventured to the Sibelius monument and the Helsinki Football stadium. The monument is made up of over 600 tube pipes which when underneath you can hear the echoes. It is striking when walking up to it and an attraction I would recommend, it was also not busy at all until a coach tour arrived.

 

The Natural History Museum was next on the agenda, partly because it was indoors during the cold. It was 13 euros each for entry, as we entered nearer to closing time we made our way round all the exhibits quickly so to see everything.

With our trusty taxidermy there was plenty to see over all floors of the museum. Everything was very well done and the displays meant you could get very close to the animals and see all the details in their face.

 

Once it was closing time at the Natural History Museum we headed out to the main strip as you enter from the ferry for a quick wonder. The centre area was a garden area with fairy lit reindeer and Christmas lights all in the trees, it was beautiful, but we soon became very cold with the icy wind.

We headed straight for a hot chocolate stop… and a piece of cake of course! They were the best hot chocolates and just what we needed to warm up before getting the ferry back. You walk past the Skywheel Helsinki on the way to the ferry port which we would have loved to go on but it was unfortunately closed the day we were there.

 

We made it in good time to the port and waited in line until the doors opened along with a mass array of other people! Remembering the doomsday display of people running for seats we joined the queue early on to be near the front when the doors to the ferry opened. Once on we quickly made it to a small table in front of the big window full of fairy lights and watched as well pulled away from Helsinki.

Continue reading Tallinn, Estonia pt 1 here.

Read the last part of our New Year’s Eve trip to Tallinn Wednesday 5th July. 

I am so glad we made the trip over to Helsinki, it would have been a shame to be so close and not visit. We love all Scandinavia so Finland was always on our list of places to visit, so we were glad we could combine our trip and visit not one but two places. It was great to fit in all we could but by the end of the day it was a little too chilly to be outside for long to walk around.

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