Located in northern Europe, Finland borders Russia and Sweden. The country has much to offer, including beautiful summers, northern lights, snowboarding and Santa Clause. Yes! Santa does live there in Rovaniemi. Falling in love with this country and most specifically Helsinki when last year. It seemed like a hidden gem, that was yet to be discovered. It wasn’t over crowded, filled with noise or even dirty. It’s shockingly quiet and really safe for solo female travelers.
Staying in Helsinki, close to the city center was great. The Sokos Hotel in Helsinki was in an amazing centrally located area. There was a large mall and several restaurants connected to the hotel. It was also located across from the train station. There’s much to experience inside the hotel, including a rooftop restaurant with a fresh catch of the day to die for. There’s also a sauna on site, great for those cold winter nights. The food was amazing, especially the seafood. The seafood was always fresh, whether it was street food or in a restaurant. Heading to the Helsinki market try the fried sardines, potatoes and vegetables. Most of all stop at the fruit vendors for some of the best strawberries, they were juicy and sweet and organic.
There’s a lot of natural beauty to experience there as well. Take a ferry to Suomenlinna and explore the one time fortress that is now a living museum and location for amazing concerts and picnics.
Best Time to Arrive: May, June, July and August for mild weather and January for the Northern Lights in Lapland.
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Hotel and Hotel Helka
Food: Casa Largo and Sea Horse or Street Food (Highly Recommended)
Shopping: Stockmann’s Department Store and Marimekko
Where to visit: Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) and the Sibelius Monum
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