With any new city, I try to figure out a high level plan, the same applies to spending 48 hours in Helsinki on my way to Tallinn and/or Riga. That being said, I’ve booked a weekend at the Hotel Kamp, which is reputed to be the “Best Hotel in Finland … and no I don’t have cash to burn but rather using my Starwood cash and points (I love this program!) … It’s only $90 a night for $500 a night suite with some SGP points!
Once I check in, I’m heading to the Olympic Stadium just like the one in Montreal with the great view, then it’s off to Senaatintori (Aleksanterinkatu/Hallituskatu Helsinki), or Senate Square, is a scenic area of the city where 18th century merchants once built their homes in. By the 19th century, though, it had become the center of the Finnish government. Churches, neo-Classical buildings, and universities subsequently sprouted there over the years as a result.
After traipsing around all day … then it’s on to Suomenlinna, which is an inhabited sea fortress sprawling over an area of six islands – Susisaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Långören Kustaanmiekka, Iso-Mustasaari, and Länsi-Mustasaari. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was built in 1748 to protect the city from Russian invasion. Since I won’t be in town for a long time, I can’t really do Karelia Lake Country or Lapland Ethnic Region – they’re just too far.
Thoughts about Finnish saunas? Then it’s also on to Uudenmankatu Street in the city’s Punavuori district. This is what I’ve found so far.