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16

Are there any current major Finnish cities where the architecture is medieval, or at least "pre modern" (before the late 1600s)? In short, no. Compared to most countries in central and southern Europe, Finland has very few remaining medieval buildings (or indeed buildings older than 100-200 years, sadly). Most buildings back then were wooden (and ...


13

As Ilmari commented, the recent NY Times travel blog post by "frugaltraveler" is very good. It even mentions my favorite bar, Pub Magneetti. I like his other recommendations too: free concerts & somewhat hippie atmosphere at Alppipuisto; public sauna in Kallio; berry-picking). Some more ideas below. Many of these may not be "only in Helsinki" things, ...


11

Daytime, there are two very good options: HSL bus 615 is easy and affordable. The trip to central railway station costs 4.50€ and takes some 40 mins. The bus runs every 10-20 minutes between 06:30 and 00:30 on weekdays (Sat 07:00-1:00, Sun 06:05-00:30). (From city to airport, first departure is 05:15 and last 01:20.) At the airport it leaves from T1 ...


8

As a Chinese national, you can stay within Helsinki airport up to 24 hours whilst in transit without a visa - however you will need to remain in the international "air-side" area. There are two hotels in the airport (GLO and Hilton), however both are outside of security so you will not be able to access them without a visa. There are also a number of other ...


8

In short, no. Even the Yrjönkatu pool is a bit of a historical quirk that has probably survived largely thanks to general conservatism (it's Finland's oldest and operated very much the way it did in 1928) and patronage from Helsinki's gay district Eerikinkatu (conveniently located right next door) — no, it's not a gay club or anything, but even ...


8

A couple of pointers: Tennispalatsi (Helsinki Art Museum) There will be two ongoing exhibitions in December: Akseli Gallen-Kallela - European Master The Power of Colour - Works from the Collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Ad astra, 1907 Tip: free entrace to Tennispalatsi on Fridays :) [Or at least used to be - I'm trying ...


7

Helsinki (and Finland itself) has been characterized by a number wild, free-spirited innovators. Two main sites illustrate this point: One is the so-called rock church. It was built at the location of a huge rock that no one thought could be moved. The architects were laughed at for "trying." But they didn't MOVE the rock, they carved the church out of the ...


7

I can at least answer the question for Suomenlinna. Take the ferry over there which takes approximately 15 minutes and leaves quite regularly from Helsinki's city center (Market Square). Then it really depends on your taste. You can easily spend a whole day on Suomenlinna. There are bars where you can get a drink, very tasty restaurants, some museums and ...


6

You will almost certainly be better off buying a separate SIM for each country. This may change in the next few years as roaming charges may be eliminated completely within the EU, but for now separate SIMs for each country is the best option. Personally, I use the following : In the UK, I use O2. The SIM is "free" and available from any number of shops, ...


6

Seurasaari is quite similar to Suomenlinna, only smaller. A straight circuit of the island on foot takes about an hour, but there are plenty of interesting old buildings to poke your nose into (most free, a few not), a couple of nice rustic cafes and even two nudist beaches (one for men, one for women), so it's easy to spend half a day here as well. Most ...


6

If you were willing to pay approx. 8–9 euros for lunch, there would be lots of good options. For example: Satkar Kamppi (Nepalese restaurant, tripadvisor, home page): vegetarian options in the lunch menu for 8.40 euros. Note that the quoted prices in the lunch menus are precisely what you will pay (assuming you drink water). There are no additional taxes ...


5

So I've got bad news and good more bad news. The bad news is that, as Doc explains, you need to get a visa or you'll be stuck in the international section of the airport, which is quite small: (~8 gates, duty-free shop, cafe and that's pretty much it -- but at least the wifi is free. Also, since Finland is a member of the Schengen area, there's no concept ...


5

Helsinki City Museum has the 'Out to Sea' exhibit until January, which celebrates 150 years of Sailing in Helsinki: http://www.hel.fi/hki/Museo/en/museum+news/news+and+events/out+to+sea Out to Sea 150 Years of Sailing in Helsinki Hakasalmi Villa, Mannerheimintie 13d, tel. (09) 3107 8519. Open 27 May 2011–8 January 2012 Wed–Sun 11 am – 5 pm, ...


5

I wrote a blog post about my trip to Suomelinna - it's doable as a half day trip, if you want, but you could also take a picnic and enjoy the grassy areas if it's nice and sunny (beware, it was freezing with an off-shore breeze in summer when I was there). The boat takes 15-20 minutes including boarding. Wikitravel has several guides for Helsinki - ...


4

First of all let me say I am not from Helsinki, or even a Fin myself. But I have visited several times. You mention local people places, here's a Google map I made with some marked spots. The fortress island to the south is not a place where locals venture much. But I thought I'd still point it out. If you're interested in that sort of thing it might suit ...


3

I used to have different sim cards for each country and now I switched to lefrenchmobile which should actually be called european mobile. You have a french number but it's the same price when you call from any country in Europe. For internet you can get different packages depending if you only stay in France or Europe. The "+" : the prices in all europe, ...


3

Right, it seems Porvoo ain't much of a beach town (unlike, say, Hanko, another Helsinki day trip destination). Here's what I found out. Immediately north of the main tourist area, there's Maari (Maren) where you can "you can dip your toes in the water" according to tourist info lady. But this is river water, and she couldn't say if it's clean enough for ...


3

Firstly, let's look a a Google maps view of the area: Map of Porvoo and vicinity Beaches close-by? Not walking distance, no, aside from Kokonnniemi, perhaps. But you may be able to hitch or find a local bus. In that case, you have a few options. Here's a handy list of beaches near Porvoo, as well as outdoor swimming pools and barbeque locations: ...


3

Finland, as with most European nations, is all-GSM as per http://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3?sCountry=FINLAND but your iPhone, if acquired in North America, may not support the frequencies used there, especially for 4G LTE. I'd check the model number of the iPhone offered to confirm that, if you want to tether the MacBook to the iPhone for bandwidth ...


2

I bought different sim cards in the UK and France. The one issue I had with buying a Virgin SIM card in France was that they needed a home address even though I was buying a prepaid card. I had a local residence that I could have claimed but I am not sure how it works for a typical tourist. You might need to get someone to purchase the card for you in ...


2

When I visit a new city I like to go to a large shopping center and just sit on a bench there - and watch the people passing by. First, I'm more interested in people than places. Secondly, this way I'm not tireing out my feet. In Helsinki I would go to one of those big department stores or similar. Picking three in the city center, and near to each others, ...



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