Helsinki & Tallinn-About Salmon Soup & Saku Beer

Tripoto
15th May 2018

Glass art from Ittala Finland

Photo of Helsinki & Tallinn-About Salmon Soup & Saku Beer by Rin
Day 2

Inside the Submarine Museum in Suomenlinna

Photo of Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

A 180 degree view of the island

Photo of Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Must have walked 10 km that day!

Photo of Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

The Frazer Cafe in Helsinki, famous for coffee & chocolates.

Photo of Fazer Café City Centre, Kaivokatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Central Station Helsinki

Photo of Central railway station, Kaivokatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 4

Helsinki Cathedral

Photo of Helsinki Cathedral, Unionsgatan, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Inside the Helsinki Cathedral

Photo of Helsinki Cathedral, Unionsgatan, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 5

We spent nearly 2 hours inside the very interesting Design Museum in Helsinki

Photo of Design Museum Helsinki, Korkeavuorenkatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

The brief story of Nokia

Photo of Design Museum Helsinki, Korkeavuorenkatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Everyone has played Angry Birds...

Photo of Design Museum Helsinki, Korkeavuorenkatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Enthralling glass designs made by Ittala

Photo of Design Museum Helsinki, Korkeavuorenkatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

The traditional fabric of Finnish Marimekko

Photo of Design Museum Helsinki, Korkeavuorenkatu, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 2

The Pissing Statue also know as the Bad Bad Boy created by Tommi Toija

Photo of West Harbour, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 3

The beautiful Old Town of Tallinn

Photo of Tallinn, Estonia by Rin
Photo of Tallinn, Estonia by Rin
Photo of Tallinn, Estonia by Rin

View of sunset at 10pm from the Tallink cruise ship.

Photo of Tallinn, Estonia by Rin
Day 6

The Silent Chapel of Helsinki

Photo of Kamppi, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 2

Ever popular cinnamob bun at the famous Cafe Regatta

Photo of Regatta, Merikantovägen, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Restaurant Day being enthusiastically celebrated in a public park

Photo of Regatta, Merikantovägen, Helsinki, Finland by Rin

Spotted some Indian cuisine as well!

Photo of Regatta, Merikantovägen, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 4

The filling salmon soup by the Market Square

Photo of Market Square, Södra kajen, Helsinki, Finland by Rin
Day 3

The awesome Saku beer in Tallinn

Photo of Tallinn, Estonia by Rin

So my first Europe trip happened thanks to my boyfriend who happened to be on site at Helsinki for more than 2 months. I decided to spend my birthday there this year. The 80k mentioned above is just the travelling & visa expenses. Since he was already staying in a service apartment, I saved a truckload of money on hotel expenses!

You can read about my Schengen visa application fiasco here-https://mywhisperingsilence.blogspot.in/2018/05/getting-schengen-visa-when-travelling.html

Helsinki was a beautiful experience. Having heard of the crowds in Europe in summer, I was pleasantly surprised by the calmness of the city. Save for Friday nights when the Finnish literally let their hair down, it was the most peaceful & enjoyable stay ever. Pubs here open at 11pm & carry on until 4am.

So the major attractions are the churches & museums here. We visited the Helsinki Cathedral which did have a touristy feel about it. The Central station of Helsinki was also an architectural marvel, and located right opposite to it was the City Centre housing many shops & the famous chocolate brand Frazer's Cafe.

We stayed in Kampi, Helsinki & not only was everything at walking distance ( nothing more than 3-4km) but also the bus and tram connectivity is very comforting. We visited the Sibelius monument & then walked down 100 metres to visit the famous Cafe Regatta.

Our first excursion was to Suomenlinna island which housed the Suomenlinna Fort, Cathedral, museums & is a UNESCO world heritage site. You can spend the whole day here, exploring the island, dining at quaint cafes like the Cafe Piper, Cafe Vanilla etc.

One of the perks of staying in Helsinki was the cruise. You could book a cruise to Stockholm, Tallinn & other nearby cities lining the Baltic Sea. We booked a one day cruise to Tallinn & although hectic, it was worth the swollen feet! Mind you, do NOT arrive 30 min prior to departure, the Finnish are punctual people & boarding for these cruises start a good 1.5hrs ahead. They will however accommodate you in the next cruise after charging a small fee if you miss the deadline. And don't miss the statue of the Bad Bad Boy, which will be to your left when you take the tram to West End harbour.

When in Tallinn, please use the sight seeing bus if you have time at hand. Else you can take local buses to visit the various attractions like the Open Museum & the old town. Old Town is a must, lined with open air cafes & pebbled streets with vendors selling flowers ...this had a picture-postcard like charm to it. Also the Saku beer is a great option to add to the lunch menu.

Back to Helsinki, the next day we happened to come across the open air outlets put up by people on World Restaurant Day on Sunday. Every cuisine imaginable was lined up in the parks. It was a meat lover's paradise, with a few sprinkling of vegan/vegetarian dishes.

I found hunting for souvenirs a task. I really wanted to buy the traditional drinking cup of Finland, or even try the jewellery, but it didn't prove to be much of a bargain. Nevertheless I satisfied my urges by gulping down a cup of piping hot, very tasty & filling salmon soup & later on buying the famous Finnish vodka there!

In summer, the sun will be very harsh so doll up on the sunscreen & shades, but also don't forget your warm clothes for the merciless cold wind that blows. It's very economical to make a travel card which are useful for booking ferries to Suomenlinna, trams, buses, metros etc. Vegetarians beware, you'll be offered fish when you claim you don't eat meat, so pickup something from the supermarkets there.

You don't need to carry any Euros unless you plan to shop locally-for us, the only place currency was required was the open air restaurants in the park. Rest everywhere your international debit/credit card will definitely work. And by the way..Finland is known as the most honest & content country in the world. So you can just sit back, relax & soak in the city at peace.

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