I arrived in Helsinki on a Monday, I had said goodbye to my friends the night before and I was feeling dreadfully lonely. I had the worst chest infection of my life and I really just wanted my two and a half days in the city to go incredibly quickly.
After checking in to my hotel I turned on the TV and was greeted by the Simpsons, this made me happy and in my state I thought I would be able to do no more than watch TV and Netflix for the entire time I was in Helsinki. Thankfully, I am stubborn and have a “do it now, you might die tomorrow” attitude and after an hour I left my room to do some wandering and hopefully find some food.
I came across a lovely little restaurant and ordered the Finnish meatballs and a rather expensive beer. With my book I enjoyed a lovely dinner and went home to have an early night.
The next morning when I woke up, I went to the breakfast buffet and ate literally three big meals and three cups of coffee, I figured I should fill myself up at breakfast to avoid the ridiculous cost of the food.
I had no real plan for my day in Helsinki so I decided to explore the churches, that is always my first point of call in an European city mainly due to its history and architecture.
Helsinki has three main churches – The Helsinki Cathedral, Uspenski Cathedral and Temppeliaukion Church. I began at the Helsinki Cathedral which is situated right at the heart of the city. This church was so beautiful and what I would call “minimalist” compared to European standards.
I walked to the Uspenski Cathedral next, it was so grand and compared to Helsinki Cathedral it was a hoarders dream – but in a good way of course.
Uspenski was close to the waterfront so I wandered down there where I saw a ferris wheel which immediately excited me. Ever since I was a child I have loved ferris wheel’s and I have tried to go on as many as possible (I still consider the London Eye as one of the best things I have done in my life!). I was lucky enough to get a carriage to myself and I soaked in every moment.
Next to the Ferris Wheel was market square which I walked through and admired – it was a nice market, with plenty of food and crafts alike.
I set off for Temppeliaukio Church afterwards which was relatively far away from everything else, I got lost a few times but it was worth it when I arrived. The church itself is built into a rock and they have a pianist playing throughout the day, I sat down and admired this for a good half an hour.
After have a nanna nap in my room, I decided to check out Hietaranta Beach. I had been in Europe for a month, in the summer but I was yet to see a beach and for an Australian like myself that was tragic. However, being Australian your standards for a beach are high and Hietaranta Beach is not the best. I was not planning to swim so I did not have my swimmers, instead I brought my book and laid in the sun. I had a long skirt and a t-shirt on which was abnormal as everybody else had a bikini on but it was only 20 degrees! My outfit was puzzling to others, but I am sure if they heard my accent they would understand.
Still feeling unwell, I opted for another early night but not before grabbing some nachos and another beer.
I woke up to my second day in Helsinki and my last day in Europe. My plan was to head to Suomenlinna sea fortress, this had been recommended to me by several people. I spent a lovely day there, I walked around, had some food and read my book. Spending some time alone made me fall in love with reading all over again, since this I have been reading at any spare moment I can get, travelling can teach you some great things.
The last stop of the day was a bar to enjoy was last beer in the sun. My second Europe trip had come to an end and at the airport I was already planning my return.
Have you ever been to Helsinki? What was your favourite part?