A perfect day in Helsinki, Finland

A perfect day in

Good things come to those who wait – and Helsinki has been on my list for a good couple of years! Why? Well, everyone knows it quite a pretty city, but also, it has a special place in my heart, thanks to the Quality Hunters project, of which I am almost an “honorary founding member“. This project is led by Finnair and Helsinki Airport, and aims to help improve air travel at all levels, which is something that means a lot to me!

An early morning start for Mrs. O came with a business class ticket and an empty lounge at LHR

An early morning start for Mrs. O came with a business class ticket and an empty lounge at LHR

The time difference (2h) and flight time (2.30h) between London and Helsinki means that a 7.30am departure gets you to Helsinki just before 1pm. And with a weekend ahead of workshops (see what we got up to on Saturday and Sunday), I needed to explore Helsinki as much as I could on that very same day. Mrs. O loves a challenge.

The first thing I did was drop the bags at our hotel, the stylish Klaus K hotel, very centrally located. I love Design Hotels and was happy with the choice. Sadly, the rooms allocated were tiny (seriously tiny), but there is nothing that an upgrade request didn’t solve (and great value at  €50). My new room was fabulous, and I absolutely adored the shower (and toiletries). I know I am a girl, just bear with me!

You know my obsession for showers.. this Hansgrohe beauty did not disappoint!

You know my obsession for showers.. this Hansgrohe beauty did not disappoint!

From the hotel, we (that means me and the lovely Henriette from tinyitchyfeet.com) decided to explore as much as we could. That included a walk down the Etelaesplanadi, which was heaving as the sun was out.

Hello Helsinki!

Hello Helsinki!

This wide road, with fab shops on each side (was very hard for me to resist the sales, but I was a good girl for once!), leads to the seafront and port area, which is known as Kauppatori. I was told by a lovely friend (who may have played a little practical joke on me), to head there and search for buckets of prawns. This, with a nice glass of sauvignon blanc seemed like perfection, but after asking pretty much everyone we saw (and who thought we were completely mad), we gave up. For future reference, no prawns in buckets in Helsinki. But not one to give up easily, we found a fabulously looking restaurant which provided us with the wine and the prawns, albeit in a more traditional Scandinavian style: toast skaagen, one of my favourite things in the world.

Yes please!

Yes please!

After we wandered around the market for a bit (I will never forget the smell of strawberries), we headed on a ferry towards Suomenlinna, which is a maritime fortress located off the coast of Helsinki. I love boats and water and I think these really add to the way one experiences a city. We were very lucky with the weather and seriously enjoyed just walking around.

Mrs. O loving Helsinki

Mrs. O loving Helsinki

There seemed to be a wedding taking place on the island, which made it quite interesting – you had people sunbathing, children playing, and some very smartly dressed ones waiting for the big event. But in true Finnish style, it obviously wasn’t a problem!

The Port and The Island - what a fab combo!

The Port and The Island – what a fab combo!

No rest for the wicked, and before we knew it, it was almost 6pm, which obviously meant cocktail time. At this stage, we were met by the lovely Veera (a Finnish native, also part of QH), who very kindly took us out for the evening. Evening? There wasn’t much of that and I will tell you in a second.

We had a bit of champagne, as it seemed to be the drink of choice pretty much everywhere we went. It is interesting how some European cultures really like bubbles.. or not! I must confess I was expecting vodka on tap, but it was bubbles all the way, I am afraid… NOT!

Helsinki at 11pm.. unreal!

Helsinki at 11pm.. unreal!

After a nice dinner at Loiste (we also tried Pure the following day, which I really liked), it was time for a quick after dinner drink at this rooftop bar. And this photo, was taken at 11pm, which is completely unreal. It felt like 7pm and way to early to head back to the hotel – but we had to as a busy two days awaited us…

My visit to Helsinki, Finland, was short but sweet – which means I totally need to go back and explore this city (a favourite of Mr. O, who must have been more than 20 times for work).

And what I will always remember? This photo as it looked even better in real life than in postcards.

Kiitos Helsinki for a fab day. Mrs. O will be back!

Kiitos Helsinki for a fab day. Mrs. O will be back!

xo

Mrs. O

 

Disclaimer: I was a guest of Quality Hunters on this trip. I would also like to thank Klaus K for the complimentary room upgrade.

35 Comments

  1. So you did manage to go to Suomenlinna. Good job! Hope you enjoyed it! Greetings from Helsinki, Piritta / The Bizarre Globe Hopper

  2. Francesco /

    Helsinki looks amazing.. never thought!

  3. Therese /

    Have been to Helsinki once, but in the winter.. so there wasn’t enough sunlight! It looks so pretty

    • @mrsoaroundworld /

      I can imagine it being a very different experience! But still nice?

  4. Oh gosh… I so would love to visit Helsinki!! I don’t know why I never went when I lived in Poland, such a short flight.

    Love that view at 11pm!! And the shower. :)
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo(s) of the Week: Steel wings of Milwaukee Art MuseumMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld /

      Maybe when you go back to Poland? Absolutely worth a visit!

  5. For some reason I have always thought of Finland as a cold place but it looks like the weather was fantastic… I think I will have to take a another look at it :)
    Ian Garstang recently posted..Enticing Locations in Morocco | North AfricaMy Profile

  6. Me thinks Helsinki needs to be on my next Euro tour. It looks great even though the long days freak me out a bit.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Fly Away with Me: Paragliding in MauiMy Profile

  7. Sounds like a great weekend, and Klaus K is definitely my kind of hotel!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Rainy Night in Atlanta – Random Picture of the WeekMy Profile

  8. Having a little fascination with Scandinavian countries as I a bit of heritage from this part of the world….looks great. Would love visit and see for myself!
    Anita Mac recently posted..Teased by Cottage Country on Otter Lake with Sunny Point Resort and CottagesMy Profile

  9. Looks like you had an amazing time! I must try toast skaagen asap!
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Empanadas: Three Ways.My Profile

  10. i know we keep talking about the midnight sun, but it really is just SO WEIRD. i don’t think i’d ever get used to it if i lived this far north!!
    the lazy travelers recently posted..no travel required: #frifotosMy Profile

  11. Looks like my kind of day.. and toast skaagen?! Umm, yes please!
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Lake Titicaca for a DayMy Profile

  12. You have absolutely piqued my curiosity about Helsinki and the rest of Finland for that matter! What a wonderful day, hotel and that business class seat! Gorgeous photos too my friend!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..The Norway Fjord ChroniclesMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld /

      Not too shabby for Mrs. O! Helsinki made me want to explore Northern Europe more too! Thanks, Jeff!

  13. Well done for one whole day! I could stand under that shower for hours, and that prawn dish looks soo mouth watering!
    Jean | Holy Smithereens recently posted..Caramoan Underwater is To Die For. Seriously.My Profile

  14. mmmm that looks so good….the scenery isn’t too bad either! :P
    Hogga recently posted..Honging the KongMy Profile

  15. What a fabulous city – I didn’t know too much about it but you whetted my appetite :)
    Suzanne (Travelbunny) recently posted..Rimini’s Golden HourMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld /

      I would say go in the summer.. as bet it will be much darker in the winter! really liked it!

  16. What a lovely place. I’d love to go to Helsinki – one of my favourite street style blogs is from there – http://www.hel-looks.com
    Mrs D recently posted..Goths in hot weatherMy Profile

  17. Never been to Helsinki before but it seems you had a great time ! Will definitely keep this destination in mind :-) xx

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