This summer, I visited Finland with my family. Having never seen or heard anything about this location before, I didn’t know what to expect. However, it was absolutely beautiful and I would recommend it to anybody wanting a short city break without the hustle and bustle that normally comes with it.
We spent the first few days in Helsinki and there was so much to do! We did try to pack in as much as we could during our stay but we didn’t have enough time to do everything we wanted to.
When we arrived after a day of travelling, we had a rest in the apartment and then went out for some dinner. Something that we noticed was that most of the restaurants were very expensive, and we just wanted something quick as we were ready to just get into bed. With this in mind, we just went to a “burger joint” called Naughty Burgr. I had the ‘Back to Bacon Burgr’ and it was delicious. Naughty Burgr is perfect if you are looking for somewhere that is affordable and quick, but still relatively good quality. It is perfect for somewhere that is a balance between a restaurant and a fast food chain.
The next day, we woke up early for lots of sightseeing. After breakfast, we made our way to the harbour and got a boat to Suomenlinna, which is a World Heritage Site on an island off the coast of Helsinki.
Suomenlinna is truly breathtaking. We spent around half a day there walking around the island and seeing what it has to offer. There are so many things to explore there and it is not too touristy so it feels very peaceful and comfortable.
When we returned from Suomenlinna, we ate at the market on the harbour and had salmon with potatoes and vegetables. Finland, particularly Helsinki, is well known for their fish dishes and the harbour is definitely a great place to try some fresh fish!
We then visited two cathedrals: Uspenski Cathedral and Cathedral of Saint Henry.
To end the day of tourist activities, we went to the Ateneum Art Museum. This art museum is so big and has so much to see, definitely too much for the couple of hours that we spent there. It was really interesting, though, and there is such a wide variety of different types of art.
The next day, we spent the morning in Helsinki and then drove to Naantali. In the morning, we went to the Temppeliaukio Church (also known as ‘The Rock Church’), which is a church that has been built into the rock. This was fascinating to see, especially due to the unique design and feel of it.
Finally, we managed to fit in a milkshake from Kitty’s Milkshake Bar as we had been told that we couldn’t go to Helskini and not try one. I wanted to try the ‘Cookie Dough’, but they had run out so I had the ‘Rocking Raspberry’ and I have to say, it lived up to expectations! It was full of fresh raspberries and delicious.
After a very quiet journey, we arrived in Naantali, a town in the South-West of Finland which is famous for being home to the fictional characters of the ‘Moomins’. We only had one full day here, which was enough as there is not a huge amount to do. The traditional town itself is peacefully picturesque and a great location to explore. During our day there, some of the family went to Moomin Land and I went with my grandad on a boat trip to Turku which was a lovely way to look around the area.
Our trip to Finland was short but sweet and I am definitely glad that I had the opportunity to go there. It is not a holiday location that is spoken about a lot but it really is worth a visit. There is the perfect balance of being able to relax while also being able to explore lots of different places. My two top recommendations for Naantali and Helsinki would be Naantali Harbour and Suomenlinna as I found them beautiful backdrops while also having lots of little places to be able to look around.