in Helsinki provides entertainment...
Finland is one of my favorite countries. The main train
station in Helsinki has a wonderful shawarma kiosk. Enjoy
a large spicy one while watching the passengers coming
and going. I would venture to the train station most days
because there was always some excitement happening there:
free cans of Pepsi one day, free ice cream another day,
live music and, of course, lot of travelers.
Margaret, Hamilton, Canada
Swim naked in Helsinki...
I went to Finland last year and braved the Yrjönkatu
Indoor Swimming Pool, (the oldest pool) built in 1928.
Freezing cold and snowing outside and (gasp) naked women
inside. Check the separate bathing times for men and women
before you go and take your courage and enjoy the best
of Scandinavia. Recently renovated to house three pools
and wonderful saunas, there is an extremely convivial
atmosphere where women meet after work and have a sauna
and swim followed by a drink (served by female waiters
who are clothed). Staff are also very helpful and speak
English. From my cultural perspective, it was pretty confronting,
but I am very glad I took my courage with me. No-one really
cared about body shape or size and seemed very comfortable
in their own skin. That was a valuable lesson and experience.
June, Adelaide, Australia
is safe and fun...
Our capital Helsinki is a nice, relaxed and safe city
for female travellers. You can move freely and independently.
Helsinki is not too big; it's a walkable city with lovely
parks, it's by-the-sea and especially in summer time Helsinki
is very international with lots of city events and music.
For shoppers I can recommend our biggest department store
Stockmann. Finnish design is world famous and you can
buy that in our main shopping street in the centre of
the town. Don't forget the Moomies, a must souvenier from
I suggest you also take a boat trip to Stockholm in
Sweden and see the city from a different angle. This is
a popular enjoyment for Finns and the boats are something
to see! It is only 60 kms and you can visit a lovely city
called Porvoo, with old buildings from 16th century and
Hannele, Helsinki, Finland
Fabulous facts about
1) Finns are known for their honesty. Since 1998, Finland
has been found to be the world's least corrupt country.
2) Finland's mobile phone market is one of the world's
most developed. Ninety-eight per cent of households have
mobile phones. It's no surprise, then, that the world's
leading manufacturer of mobile devices, Nokia, was founded
and is still headquartered in Finland. It's estimated
that 11 to 12 Nokia devices are sold every second.
3) Lest you get the sense that Finns are a bunch of bookworms
with few other interests, they also hold a number of other
firsts, such as the karaoke singing world record, which
they nabbed from China by singing nonstop for 240 hours.
Could the fact that the Finns are the top coffee-drinking
nation have fueled their win?
4) Seventy-five per cent of Finnish households own a
personal computer, 70 per cent have an internet connection
and 62 per cent broadband; 78 per cent own a digital television.
5) Finland has a literacy rate of 100 per cent and the
highest number of registered book borrowers per capita.
6) In Finland education and healthcare are virtually
free and equality is not just a buzzword: Finland's president
(2009), Tarja Halonen, is a woman and women ministers
outnumber men in government, making Finland the most female-dominated
government in the world.
7) On average, Finns are entitled to five weeks of paid
holidays a year. And while they are avid travelers, many
enjoy spending their holiday time in the Finnish archipelago,
which is considered the biggest in the world when measured
by the number of islands in it – more than 20,000.
Finland is also known as "the land of a thousand
lakes." Actually, there are 187,888 lakes. The 338,000
square-kilometre country also has more islands than any
other country in the world.
(Source: Katja Pantzar at www.finland.fi)
Talking trash bins in
During the summer trash bins greet passers-by and encourage
them to throw their trash away. They are never at a loss
for words, whether the subject is culture or politics.
This summer tourists will be delighted to hear that the
talking trash bins speak not only Finnish and Swedish,
but also Japanese, English, German, Polish and Russian.
Tourists can also learn the basics of the Finnish language,
such as: “One of the sure signs of summer in Finland
is that the trash bins start talking.” The voice
behind the talking trash bins this year is Simo Frangén,
a popular Finnish TV celebrity. The multilingual trash
bins can be found along Esplanadi,
Monument and Temppeliaukio
Church. Website: www.talkingtrash.fi
our time in Finland...
I travelled in Finland with a girlfriend
May 2006. In Helsinki we had some of the best food at
Kosmos; dinner was served in an elegant 80 year old dining
room atmosphere. We still go on about their delectable
Cream of Nettle Soup. Address: Kalevankatu 3, tel +358-9-647
255. Highly recommended. Click
here for their website.
Leave your high heels at home. Bring comfortable walking
shoes for Helsinki, where streets are cobblestoned and
beautiful. We loved the mostly low-rise pastel painted
architectural wonders that draw you in to the feeling
of old times. You will want to explore the whole city
by foot and tram. We stumbled onto parks, quaint cafes
and restaurants, clothing and fabric stores and the Esplanade,
a boardwalk that teems with outdoor eaters and where there's
a fantastic indoor/ outdoor food & wares market most
I also recommend (SP) travel to Rauma, a 400 year old
wooden town, and Tampere, the university city with a river
running through it as well as a bus tour to St. Petersburg,
Russia where you must take in as much of the culture as
you can. Especially delicious was not the food but the
folklore concert in a baroque concert hall with singers
and dancers that sparkled with old charm as they showed
us one of the best evenings of our trip.
Ahava, Salt Spring Island, Canada
Older adults offered
If you are 65+ show proof of your age and you will receive
30% discount on trains and buses covering 80 kilometers
each way. For air travel within Finland and between Finland
and parts of Europe, Finnair offer substantial savings.
What to wear in Finland...
Finns dress stylishly but conservatively. I traveled to
Finland during Feb. and March and it gets really cold
so dress for the weather -- down coat, hat, gloves and
long johns. Waterproof, non-slip boots are a must, as
it snows constantly. Out of concern for the environment,
Finland does not use rock salt when it snows.
Donna, New York City, USA
Finnish women have a very conservative style that appears
to be driven more by the weather than by current fashions.
Its easy to see why with temperatures dropping below zero
during winter time. Bring lots of turtlenecks and nice-looking
skinny jeans. Most women wear nice brown or black boots
with the jeans tucked into them. Make sure if you come
in winter or to Helsinki during any time of the year you
don't bring any expensive shoes with skinny or high heels.
In winter the streets and sidewalks are coated with ice
as they do not use rock salt and the streets in Helsinki
will tear up your high heels because the streets and sidewalks
are all very old and made from bricks. As far as coats
are concerned, anything that keeps you warm is acceptable
regardless of shape, color, or material. If you are traveling
to Lappland in the winter there is absolutely no need
to look fashionable. Just keep warm!!! Snowpants, boots,
hats, scarves, insulated mittens, and long underwear are
necessities! If you try to look fashionable here when
it's that cold you will just look foolish!
Ashley, Chicago, USA