I vote one of the greenest places on Earth! And when combining with the wavy sea and amazingly blue sky – almost the most calming and peaceful place you can visit!
It was Saturday and the weather was perfect. It could only mean… a day-trip! I’m not that very good in planning holidays (luckily I have Rascals’ Dad travelling with me), but Suomenlinna was no 1 on my ‘must see in Helsinki’ list for a long time.
We took (as usual) tram to central station and then walked towards the shore. We took a way through the Esplanadi park – full of people, little stands and musicians trying to make their living.
During summer there are several operators offering cruises to Suomenlinna, but if you’re fast enough the cheapest way is to use the public transport – a ticket valid for 1h costed us (adults) only 2€ (tram + ferry to the island). Ferries leave every 15min and the cruise takes around 15 minutes.
The ferry was full of people so after a while it was difficult to find a nice and comfortable place. And you do want one to peacefully enjoy the view. We liked the ride getting a new perspective on all the places we saw few days before.
Just next to the main quay there’s a tourist information with leaflets and maps in several languages. After taking ours we decided to go first towards the fortress and see the submarine on the way.
The submarine Vesikko was used during WW2 and was operated by an approx. 20-member crew. It was restored and now serves as a museum. It’s open only during summer season and the entrance costs 5€ (adults; children enter for free) or 6€ combined ticket with Military Museum’s Manege. We chose the second option.
After visiting the submarine we want further towards the fortress. The land was perfectly green, the sky was perfectly blue, the sea was perfectly waved and the wind was annoyingly strong! But if you’re not sitting just next to the sea, Suomenlinna is an ideal place for a picnic! In fact we were planning one, but somehow we had a looong morning and then left home in a hustle.
It was a lunch time and our Rascals started to show their hungry nature so we decided to eat first in a pizzeria located in the very fortress. Never do this mistake! Unless you really want the experience of ordering the most expensive pizza ever! The place was (obviously…) crowded, prices were high, tables were mostly taken and the waiting time was long. But pizza and chips were tasty :)
After lunch we went to explore more of the island.
There are some places you never want to leave… Even despite the wind!
… but we had to after a (looong) while. We walked peacefully towards the Military Museum’s Menage enjoying the views and the laziness of the afternoon.
The museum was small but very well done. It hosts a very interesting exhibition called “From Autonomy to Atalanta”. It provides a lot of information (in several languages) on Finnish history and military system, has a collection of Finnish uniforms, some heavy vehicles used during past wars and also a reconstruction of trenches! We learned a lot about the history of Finland and it’s way to independence and gained a completely new perspective on the WW2. Also our kids were amazed with the exhibition and really liked the place.
After visiting the museum we decided to go back home. What a nice and tiring day we had!
Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) – www.suomenlinna.fi (offers information in several languages)