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FINLAND : WINTER DAYS IN HELSINKI

I honestly had no intention of going to Helsinki. When I was planning for my 9-day-winter trip for December of 2016, my eyes were on Rovaniemi (then go by ferry to Tallinn and to Riga by bus). I was excited to walk on snow, drive a snowmobile on a frozen river, meet Santa Claus, see the Northern lights, cross the Arctic Circle, and experience winter wonderland in Finnish Lapland. So I took Norwegian Airlines from Dubai to Rovaniemi with a layover of about 4 hours in Helsinki Airport.

Back in the planning stage, I finally decided to go to Helsinki as I thought, I might as well see Finland’s metropolis and there’s nothing to lose but experiences and tons of photos to gain.

Following my 4 days and 3 nights (or should I say, all-nights as there’s only 4 hours of sunlight per day in Lapland during my visit?), I flew Norwegian again from Rovaniemi to Helsinki.

And the following photographs will tell my story.

  • Day 1 : Arrival at Helsinki Airport from Rovaniemi at 3PM. Ate dinner at Burger King at the airport.
  • Took a train for 1 hour at 5 Euros from Helsinki Airport to Helsinki City.
  • Rode a taxi cab from Helsinki train station to my hotel for 10 minutes at 8 Euros.
  • Checked in at SCANDIC PAASI HOTEL : My home for 3 days and 2 nights in Helsinki.

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • DAY 2  : DO-IT-YOURSELF CITY TOUR OF HELSINKI
  • BREAKFAST BUFFET at SCANDIC PAASI : Included on the complimentary room rates.

Helsinki, Finland

  • HAKANIEMI TRAM STATION : A stone’s throw away from my accommodation.
  • Took the tram from Hakaniemi to Market Square (paid coins to the driver).

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • HELSINKI CATHEDRAL : Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral .
  • SENATE SQUARE : Iconic landmark; oldest part of Central Helsinki.
  • TUOMAAN MARKKINAT : Helsinki Christmas Market; oldest and the largest in town!

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • ALEKSANTERINKATU CHRISTMAS STREET : Taken near the Senate Square.

Helsinki, Finland

  • KAUPPATORI or MARKET SQUARE : A few blocks away from Senate Square.

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

  • FERRY RIDE TO SUOMENLINNA SEA FORTRESS :  10 Euros return ticket, 15 minute ferry ride.
  • Self-service ticket machine is located at the harbour near Market Square.

Helsinki, FinlandHelsinki, FinlandHelsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • SUOMENLINNA or SVEABORG : A sea fortress inscribed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
  • Inhabited, with 6 islands that form part of City of Helsinki.
  • Swedish crown built the fortress in 1748 as protection against Russian colonialism.

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • View from the ferry en route to Helsinki from Suomenlinna Island.

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • LUNCH AT CHINESE RESTAURANT : The oldest in the city as they claim.
  • Rice, rice, rice!!! The Asian kid in me became giddy with this 10-Euro-Chinese buffet!
  • Dishes were limited on the spread, but came with soup, water, free-flowing green and black tea!

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • HELSINKI SKYLINE viewed from ATELJEE BAR, located at 14th fl of SOKOS HOTEL TORNI.
  • Sokos Hotel Torni is said to be the tallest building in Helsinki. Rooftop bar opens at 2PM.
  • From the north entrance of the hotel, go straight and take the lift on the left to its top floor; then take the spiral stairs to Ateljee Bar.
  • A glass of white wine cost about 25 Euros but the view’s priceless!

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • Took the tram to go back to Helsinki Downtown.
  • Found HELSINKI CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION at Helsinki City Centre.
  • I ended up taking the taxi cab again on my way back to my hotel.

Helsinki, Finland

  • DINNER at JUTTUTUPA traditional restaurant located within SCANDIC PAASI HOTEL.
  • I had Grandma’s meatballs with creamy mashed potatoes and Jalovina brandy sauce. 17.50 Euros + a glass-serving of white wine.

Helsinki, Finland

  • Day 3 : Last day at Helsinki.
  • Enjoyed breakfast buffet at my hotel.
  • Took the taxi cab to ROCK CHURCH or TEMPPELIAUKIO CHURCH
  • Rock Church is a Lutheran church in the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki with a modest exterior and an impressive, one-of-a-kind-interiors made of rocks, copper dome and chic modern fixtures.
  • Rock Church opens at 10AM; free entrance.
  • From Rock Church, I went back to my hotel to check out, hailed a taxi to catch my ferry to Tallinn, Estonia at 1PM.

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

  • In summary, I’m thankful I decided not to skip Helsinki as the city’s uniquely pretty.
  • It may not be my favourite destination however, I appreciated its character, its being quiet and less busy despite the holiday season; Helsinki’s totally different from the other places I’ve been.
  • Special thanks to my Finnish friend and an a Social Media Influencer based in Dubai, Minna and her sister, Tiina whom I met in Helsinki. Kiitos! Thank you for everything!

Helsinki, Finland
Cheers! Happy to be in Helsinki!

3 Comments

  1. Great photos as usual Doc! How do you make your DIY tour of any city youve been? Any references or you just google it? Thanks!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you, Joanna! You’ve been generous with words as usual. How do I do my DIY tours? It takes preparation with help of Google Maps and Rome2Rio.

  2. Marge Solis Marge Solis

    Stunning photos! I am inspired to start a blog because of people like you.

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