To kickstart the Eurotrip, we had 2 days in Helsinki Finland. After landing around 2PM local time, we headed straight to our hostel – CheapSleep, Helsinki. By the way let me tell you there is nothing cheap about Helsinki or other Scandinavian countries.
After taking a hot shower and some coffee in the hostel, we decided to go for an evening orientation walk of the city.
Day 1 of 2 days in Helsinki Finland
City Orientation Walk
CheapSleep Helsinki hostel is located around 3 km’s from the city centre. As a part of the orientation walk we decided to visit the Helsinki Cathedral and the Uspenski Cathedral, which are located right next to each other.
As with most European cities, it was a pleasant walk across not so crowded roads and some beautiful buildings. We saw an amazing sunset and that just set the tone for the entire trip. It took us a good hour to cover the 3 km odd distance from the hostel.
A stunningly beautiful cathedral located right in the heart of the city. The Cathedral is huge and imposing and the photos don’t give you a clear idea about the size of this church. A large staircase leads upto the entrance. Climbing up the stairs has 1 big perk – It gives you a panoramic view of the city of Helsinki. The Cathedral exteriors are painted white and it feels very greek. Since, we were going to visit the Cathedral again tomorrow I did not venture inside.
Helsinki City Museum
Located a few 100 meters from the Helsinki Cathedral is the City Museum. The museum exhibits Helsinki’s history & culture, with art & photography. Since, it was late we did not go inside.
Located on top of a hill, near the harbour, Uspenski Cathedral is an Orthodox church with a beautiful red exterior. It’s a stunning piece of architectural art.
Just across the road from the Helsinki Cathedral we found a pub called Bryggeri Helsinki. We decided to venture inside and try their local beer with some local food delicacies. After spending a good few hours at the pub, we headed back to the hostel and slept.
Day 2 of 2 days in Helsinki Finland
We took a Helsinki Day Pass as it covers all public transportation within the city as well as the ferry ride to Suommenlina. The pass costed €9.
From our hostel we walked a little till the tram stop and took the Tram No. 7 for Kamppi Chapel.
It’s known as the Chapel of Silence and is located in one of the busiest areas in Finland. The Chapel is famous for its modern and outlandish design. The interiors on the other hand are pretty plain, simple and classy. Read more on wikipedia.
Heritage Tram Ride
One can catch this tram from the Havis Amanda Fountain at Market Square. It takes you on a 20-minute tour of nearly all of central Helsinki’s top sights.
Central Railway Station
Located a stone’s throw away from the Kamppi Chapel, we visited the Central Railway Station. It’s a huge building with some victorian architecture. We ventured inside the station, roamed around a few kiosks and came out.
Located next door to Helsinki Cathedral lies the huge & expansive Senate Square. Read more on wikipedia.
We grabbed a quick lunch at Burger King. Like most outlets in Europe, they give you unlimited coke/pepsi but I would recommend going light on coke due to the cold climate. The meal of a double fillet fish burger, chips & unlimited cold drink costed around €8-12.
Helsinki – Sky Wheel
SkyWheel Helsinki is a 40-meter tall Ferris wheel in central Helsinki, Finland. One of its gondola cabins, the SkySauna, is the world’s first sauna on a Ferris wheel.
Suomenlinna, or Sveaborg, is an inhabited sea fortress built on eight islands about 4 km southeast of the city centre of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I have written a separate article just on Suomenlinna.
You can read that here – Day trip to Suomenlinna.
Old Market Hall
It’s a striking byzantine revival building, worth checking out even if you don’t need to do any shopping. It has plenty of stalls selling fresh produce including meat, fish, fruit and veg, but also Finnish cakes and cheeses. We tried the gelato at one of the stalls and some sandwiches.
Safe to say there aren’t many churches in the world quite like this one. Temppeliaukio was the result of a post-war design competition, won by Suomalainen Brothers and was inaugurated in 1969. The building is partly underground and around the central dome is a circular skylight, through which sunlight floods into the main chamber during the day.
Back at the hostel
We were tired by the time we came back. Luckily there is a supermarket right outside the hostel. We all shopped something or the another. I went for a ready to eat pizza, some ice cream and I was already carrying a ready to eat meal of Rice & Rajma. We all had a hearty meal in the communal dining room of the hostel. I met a lot of people from different countries in the hostel and I continue to be in touch with most of them.
Read the complete hostel review – CheapSleep Helsinki, Review.
Fun fact – I carried 15 packets of ready to eat meals, 1 for each day. However, when I finished the trip I still had 10 packets left. That was the last time I carried ready to eat food for any trip. This trip made me realise that I am such a foodie and no matter how much I try I can’t help trying out the local food.