August 14, 2012

10 things to do in Finland & Helsinki - Part One

During my visits to Finland and my time living here, I have done quite a lot of trips exploring the country and its' capital. I also got several people asking for advice what to do when they go on a visit. On account of all these inquiries, I will share my 10 favorite things to do while on a visit in the country. I will split this post in three parts to spare you the picture and information overload!


1. Enjoy the seaside

Helsinki has a seaport and a long coastline. Also Finland is known as a country with a huge amount of lakes, beaches that come with those and of course islands. I really enjoy going to the beach during summer months, or having a picknick near the waterfront. My favorite place is Suomen Linna, a fortress island 10min away from Helsinki harbour with a direct boat connection that goes every 10min. The island is part of the UNESCO world heritage and visitors can see the fortress grounds as well as museums, the harbour and the navy school of the finnish military. It also has a vast coast with sand beaches and rocks for picknicks. There are about 900 people living on the island and co-exist with the visitors that come every day. The four islands offer a lot of space and you can find a lot of quiet spots to relax.

Enjoy the seaside

2. Be outdoors

The Finnish life happens outdoors, especially in the summer. The children have 10 weeks of school vacation and almost all companies run on low capacity during July as a lot of people go on holiday. Activities could be hiking, swimming, sailing, walking, frisbee and all those other outdoor sports. I took a free outdoor aerobics course two times a week one summer! Also a picknick in one of the many parks is a great idea for a warm summer afternoon. There are a lot of sights to be found outdoors like the Seurasaari Open-Air museum.


3. Visit a festival

While we are at it, something quite special in Finland are all the festivals happening in the summer. I think every weekend starting from middle of May until middle of August at least one festival is taking place. The most popular ones are the rock festivals like Ruisrock, Provinssirock and others. They got quite the line ups as well.
We did decide to go for another special event this summer - the WRC World Rallye Championships near Jyväskylä. It's a huge event every year and rallye must be the national sport apart from icehockey. A lot of formula one drivers come from that league as well.


4. Helsinki Design Capital 2012

This year, Helsinki was named design capital and definitely does a lot of different activities do support that title. Tons of artists are showing their works, the main market square has a continuous design fare and all around the city stores support new  and upcoming artists with free exhebitions or selling their things. 

Design Capital

Wait for part II


Kira said...

Nice ones Anja! I have lived in Helsinki for 7 years but got inspired to explore the city again! :)

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