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Monuments and Statues in Hanko

As discussed previously, Hanko is one of the peaceful cities in Finland. It’s a perfect escape for people looking for serenity and trying to find peace from the typical hustle and bustle, the noise and the dust. It’s a city where you will feel close to the nature, find harmony with it, wale up to the song of birds and the sound of the rain and simply enjoy your time there.

Hanko

Photo by Idhren

There are not so many hotels in Hanko but neither there are many incomers. As a rule Finnish tourists choose more active cities and therefore on the whole, the number of Hanko hotels is not large but it’s more than enough. Note that the hotels do not stand out with luxury or expensiveness but they are quite affordable and come with quite humble interior.

We have already talked about what you can do in Hanko and which places you can visit so now we will talk about the monuments and statues you will come across when walking in Hanko.

Hanko 1

Photo by hfb

The history of Hanko almost always includes Russian presence. The entire cape of the city was used as a naval base by the Soviet Union. A garrison of 30 000 men was taken there. As a result, the Soviet Union built fortifications and other building in the city the ruins of which can be still seen there. In this regard, there are also many sites reminding of the war. One of them is the Monument of Pioneers featuring 22 names. Those are the names of the soldiers killed in action and in explosion in 1942.

The Soviet Monument is another war site in Hanko. 453 Soviet soldiers killed in Continuation War are buried close by.

Hanko 2

Photo by Helran

Worth attention is the Monument of Liberty. The monument was erected in 1921 to commemorate the landing of German forces in Hanko in 1918. However, during the course of time the monument was more than once taken down. In 1960 it was erected again with an updated text – “For Our Liberty”.

Between 1880 and 1930 around 400 000 Finnish people and Russians moved to the U.S. Around 250 000 of them passed through Hanko.

Emigration Monument – The monument depicts three cranes flying onto the sea.

Hanko 3

Photo by Idhren

Other than these, some of the monuments you will come across in Hanko are:

  • Bird
  • Conciliation
  • The Cloud Woman
  • Fish in the Water Tower
  • The Guardian Angel
  • Lenore
  • Marielle
  • Oystercatcher
  • Sea snake
  • Wind from the sea

The majority of these sculptures (Bird, The Cloud Woman) were sculpted by Carl-Gustaf Lilius; a Finnish sculptor born in capital Helsinki in 1928.

If you happen to visit Hanko Museum, which is one of the few and main museums in Hanko, then outside the museum you will find the monument of the Headless Soldier. It’s is erected in the shade of the bushes. (The museum was opened in 1971 and presents the history of Hanko.)

Hanko 4

Photo by Cheryl Q

Considering the sizes of this city we are probably done with what you can see there. There is also a spa park with nice wooden villas designed by popular architects. Some of the buildings in the spa park serve as restaurants serving Finnish cuisine. And as usual, we highly recommend that you try Finnish foods and if you have the chance also try to learn several recipes to surprise your relatives when you are back home.

Lastly, have a great time in this quiet corner in Southern Finland and enjoy every moment spent there. And as we said in the beginning, don’t expect too many activities here otherwise you might be disappointed. Expect less and you will be delighted by what it has to offer.

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Off to Hanko? What to see!

Hanko is a quiet, modest and natural city in Finland which is less known compared to capital Helsinki or “smart” Oulu, but which can turn your vacations into an unforgettable memory. If you are in Hanko, it means you are there on a daytrip or on a particular reason like visiting friends/relatives living there, or having to attend a certain conference. Chances are high that you won’t stay for too long there, not because it will disappoint you but rather because you have to explore the rest of Finland and its amazing wonders as well.

Hanko

Photo by Idhren

So Hanko is a bilingual port town and is considered the country’s southernmost city. The distance between Hanko and Helsinki is 130 kilometers, thus it will take you around two hours to get there. It depends on the means of transport you will opt for and obviously, it will take less time if you rent a car and go there by car. The city’s population does not reach 10.000 and while the majority speak Finnish here, you will also come across many people speaking Swedish (44%).

Overall, the city hosts a number of major festivals, among them Hanko Regatta (sailing race), Hanko Music Festival (classical music) and so on. Just a few days ago the city completed the Sea Horse Week. If you love festivals and would like to know what Hanko can offer in terms of festivals, then you should do your bets to travel there in August as it’s the last month of major Hanko events. One of them is Hanko Sea Kayak Gathering, which will take place on August 22-24 and the other days, which should never ever be missed is Hanko Days and the Night of Bonfires Traditional celebration in the archipelago. The latter will be held on August 29-31 this year.

Hanko 1

Photo by Jukk_a

Now let’s see what you will see there:

While for some people lighthouses might be a boring “thing to see,” it does not reduce their significance for sea towns and cities. Visitors of Hanko might encounter at least three lighthouses on the islands located within this city’s limits. One of them is the lighthouse of Bengtskar, which is very well known not only among Finnish people but also among foreigners simply because it’s the tallest in Nordic countries. It was built in 1906. The lighthouses on Russaro and Gustafsvärn islands are much older dating to 19th and 18th centuries, respectively.

If you would like to have the view of the city from above then go for the towers, say, the Water Tower. It rises 65 meters above sea level and provides a wonderful view of not only the city but also the Baltic Sea. If you want to get to the top of the tower, you can take the elevator to the top where a telescope will be awaiting you for even better and closer views. The entrance is not free, but the fee is very insignificant. Adults will have to pay EUR 2 and elderly people as well as children only EUR 1. The Sun Bridge and the Storm Tower are two more places to enjoy splendid views.

Hanko 2

Photo by Jumilla

Being a city officially founded in late 19th century, Hanko does not boast of a number of museums or churches. If you do want to visit at least one museum, then you are welcome to Hanko Museum. As to churches, the oldest one is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanko and it dates to 1892. The church features Neo-Gothic style. We would also recommend visiting the Chapel of Taktom, which, however, cannot be regarded as a top destination. It dates to 1920 and was built by a grieving father who lost his daughter when she was only 2 years of age. Presently, many Finnish couples choose to get married exactly in this small and modest chapel.

Being constantly at wars with Russian and Swedish forces, the city also houses a number of monuments and statues, which recall the days of war and their victories. Keep up with our next post to learn what else you can see in peaceful Hanko.

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Hotels in Aland Islands

Among the countries of the world Finland has its special position. It’s one of the most developed countries from which many countries draw lessons. It refers to a number of areas – be it its governing system, its close to perfect education system, its way of living and its views on life. From the point of tourism Finland might not be as popular as Spain or Italy but it’s like a small gift box and those who dare to open it always win.

Aland Islands

Photo by tuija

Finnish people appear to be cold at first sight but it’s just a stereotype about them, just like most people think that Finland is under the snow veil all year round. Finland is a bit colder compared with most of Southern countries and it’s fine because it is located in a different zone and enjoys different weather conditions but it does know what summer, winter, spring and fall are.

Aland Islands are one of the nicest parts of Finland. Note that here you will discover new Finland where people do not speak Finnish but Swedish. It’s an autonomous region, which means that the provincial powers are exercised by its own government. It’s also worth knowing that Aland means Land of Water and if you are planning to spend time in this land of water, then here are a few hotels to consider.

Havsvidden Hotel

Photo by Havsvidden.com

Havsvidden – Havsvidden Hotel is suitable for all travelers. The hotel offers its services for people with disabilities as well. It’s just necessary to let the hotel staff know about disabilities in advance so that to be properly prepared.

The hotel offers cliff houses, suite houses and rooms. The cliff houses come with two or three bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen, TV, Wi-Fi and terraces with sea view. The cliff house prices start at EUR 432 per night. Pets are allowed but extra charge to the tune of EUR 100 applies.

Havsvidden Hotel 1

Photo b Havsvidden.com

The suite houses are a wonderful option for two – two people wishing to cut from the reality and everything and just be together and enjoy every moment. The suite houses include a big terrace, bathtub, sauna with a sea view (as you know Finnish saunas are something to try, of course it would be even better to learn the Finnish sauna etiquette), a sitting area and a bedroom. The prices start at EUR 360. Breakfast is included, however, pets are not allowed.

Compared to cliff houses and suite houses, the rooms are less interesting but not less convenient. The rooms are fully equipped and have most comfortable beds. Just note that the rooms are non-smoking. The cheapest are the standard rooms and their prices start at EUR 80.

Hotell Arkipelag

Photo by HotellArkipelag.com

Hotel Arkipelag – Hotel Arkipelag is a four star hotel including 76 rooms and 8 suites. If you want some luxury experiences, then you should simply book the suites, particularly two suites which include a sauna. If you need the romantic atmosphere and the passion accompanying you, then you should by all means book one of the two deluxe suites that come with Jacuzzi and a balcony with breathtaking sea views. All the rooms are equipped with balcony, mini bar, free Wi-Fi and IP TV. Bad news for smokers – it’s non-smoking.

If you cannot afford the rooms with sauna, but want to know what renowned Finnish sauna is then you can rent a private sauna. It will cost you EUR 18 for one hour, EUR 25 for two hours and EUR 30 for three hours. If you are businessman by nature then you will obviously go for the 2 or 3-hour option. Note that the prices are per person.

Hotell Arkipelag 1

Photo by Play Among Friends

Also for those who have always been interested in the art of casino, there is a wonderful chance to attend the hotels’ casino school where they will master American Roulette, Oasis Stud Poker and Black Jack. Each group is usually comprised of 10 to 30 people and the trainings last 1.5 to 2 hours. The classes are not free of charge. They cost EUR 30 per person.

Interestingly, the check-in starts at 3 pm and the check-out is at 12 pm. If you have rented a car or are traveling by your own car, then you should know that the hotel has outdoor parking area. It’s free of charge and is located by the hotel.

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Finnish Education

Education is a key factor in personal and professional development and effective education is the key to success.

To wish to start a new life far from your country is not an easy decision but once you make it you have to consider several factors. One of them is obviously education. People planning to start a family or to move to a particular country with their children should keep it in their focus.

Finnish Education

Photo by DG Jones

Having this idea of moving to another country still at its initial phase, I somehow got involved in talks concerning education in Finland. Finland has always pulled me as to a certain extent it appears to me as a country of magic, where Santa lives, where the Northern Lights are best seen but never had I thought about how effective and productive Finnish education is.

A research helped me have a better notion and it turned out that the education system Finland has developed and adopted is one of the best ones in the world. Many countries look up to it to improve their own ones, to make changes and enhance the overall system. It’s true. And going back to what I said in the beginning, education is the key to success and thus, perhaps that is one reason why Finland is one of the most leading and straightforward countries in the world.

Perhaps that is why Finland is one of the successful countries in the world. And perhaps that is why a look at Finnish people is enough to conclude that their education system has not failed as it has managed to bring up generations who are not only book-smart (which is observed in a myriad of countries) but also life- smart.

Finnish Education 1

Photo by Leo-setä

The first step to building an educated environment is to value the teacher’s profession. Overall, the European education system or the U.S. education system are said to be at a high level. But the world is not limited to only these two continents and in majority of countries the teacher’s profession is unfairly underrated and devalued despite the huge responsibility and mission it bears.

As of today most countries are trying to raise the significance of the teacher’s profession and place it in its worthy place. Some manage others don’t. What Finland has managed to do is to realize its significance and it simply has to be noted that teachers are given the status of doctors and lawyers, which are the two most important professions in the world, especially the first one. All teachers in this amazing country should have their Master’s Degree obtained.

The school system is 100% state funded. Despite that schools enjoy full autonomy. It should be said that just like Rome was not built in one day neither the Finnish education system was. It’s a result of decades of consistent and systematic work. The Finnish government came to realize that to educate generations they need educated teachers and therefore the stress was put on highly competitive and skillful teachers. Effective school education should start with teacher education in the first place. Perhaps this is the cornerstone of the Finnish education.

Finnish Education 2

Photo by Leo-setä

If you go to a Finnish school today you will be surprised by the interior and the exterior of those schools. They look elegant and modest. And children seem to lack that “crazy” behavior observed in most schools around the world.

Finnish schools are quite small. They include minor or less 300 students with 20 in each class. This allows teachers to pay more attention to each of the students and show more care to them. Unlike most classes with like 30 or 40 students, Finnish classrooms enjoy some harmony and solidarity which is kind of typical of all Finland, including of its nature and wildlife.

Students do not need to ask for money from their parents not to starve at school. They get free meal every day. In addition, they have free healthcare and transportation. While in most countries getting the learning materials costs money, here children perhaps do not even know there is such a thing as all learning materials are given free of charge.

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Scandic Simonkenttä in Helsinki

Scandic Hotels are not popular only in Finland but also in, say Denmark, more precisely Scandic Hotel in Silkeborg. Since all itineraries to the rest of Finland start from Helsinki as there is hardly any Finnish tourist who first goes to Oulu and only then starts exploring the country, we have picked a hotel, where you will find the most at the best price.

Scandic Simonkenttä

Photo by ScandicHotels.com

Scandic Simonkenttä – To start with, if five-star hotels are a must for you, then just skip this one. Scandic Simonkenttä is a four-star hotel much opted for by people planning to organize conferences or business meetings.

Scandic Simonkenttä enjoys a wonderful location with a very close distance to the main attractions in Helsinki, among them Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Helsinki Cathedral, as well as the restaurants serving delicious foods.

The general overview of this hotel – It has 360 rooms out of which 351 are non-smoking rooms. Note that the hotel offers its care for disabled people by offering them specially designed rooms. The hotel includes a fitness room, a restaurant and a bar. If you have rented a car or have such plans, you needn’t worry about parking. There is a garage. On the whole, the distance from Helsinki Airport to the hotel makes 20 kilometers. It will take some 20 minutes by taxi.

Scandic Simonkenttä 1

Photo by ScandicHotels.com

Scandic Simonkenttä includes Standard, Family standard, Superior, Family superior, Superior Extra and Superior plus rooms, and Junior and Presidential Suites. The rooms come with wooden floors, a bathroom with shower, safe deposit box, hairdryer, TV with movie channels, air conditioning, pants press, iron and ironing board, wireless Internet access, desk and an armchair.

The hotel has a number of meeting rooms and the package for a day starts at EUR 63. The package includes conference service, conference room, free Wi-Fi and technology support. There are also coffee and lunch buffets. Note that the meeting rooms are not so large; they can accommodate up to 80 people.

The hotel’s restaurant serves international and Finnish cuisine. As a rule, the restaurant serves breakfast the entire week; however, you will be offered lunch only from Monday to Friday and dinner from Monday to Saturday. Room service is available. Just order breakfast in bed. The hotel also has a shop and grants its guests an opportunity to buy food from there and take it to your room. This might be even a cheaper option of dining or having breakfast.

Scandic Simonkenttä 2

Photo by ScandicHotels.com

The bar is designed in a way as to provide most relaxing and enjoyable time. It’s where you can not only try interesting hot and cold drinks, but also enjoy nice views.

The fitness room is fully equipped. Interestingly, the hotel has not only equipped the room but has also posted exercise guides on its website making it available for everyone. This shows how truly caring and attentive the hotel and hotels’ management board are. There is also an option of requesting a bicycle and exploring the capital city by bike. However, the bicycles are available only during summer.

Those traveling with children will love this hotel. Upon your arrival the hotel will make welcome gifts to them. There are also special TV-channels from them, a special menu and high chairs. Isn’t it great? Also take into account that during summer time there are various mobile play modules.

Scandic Simonkenttä 3

Photo by ScandicHotels.com

And lastly, it is highly important to speak of how the hotel treats people with special needs. Under special needs the hotel understands not only people with disabilities but also people suffering from allergies or people who have broken a certain part of their body.

The hotel offers five accessible rooms in the design and construction of which every single detail has been taken into full account. It has been done to provide utmost convenience to their guests. Other than that, the staff is trained and therefore is able and ready to support disabled people with whatever they might need.

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Exploring Southern Finland: Vantaa, Vihti, Hanko

We basically categorize the world countries into four categories –eastern, western, northern and southern. Well it’s a relative categorization. Since for Asian countries western countries are the European ones, while say, for France they might be basically Portugal and Spain. Whatever it is, all these categories are set up to show the difference as well.

Southern Finland

Photo by wili_hybrid

Our focus of interest is Finland and if we place its eastern, western, northern and southern parts under review, we will see that although they share the same Finnish culture and history, they are different. Even the culture and history at some moment start appearing differently. As for example the northern part of Finland might have been at war, while the Southern not at the same time, so if you separate then those “regions” might have even different histories with a common background. Even the habits might differ and thus the people’s attitude as well.

On the whole, if we compare the northern and southern parts of Finland, then there are weather differences, it’s colder in the northern part than in the southern; the north seems to be covered with permanent snow, while the south has more chances to enjoy the green of spring and the blue of the sky with the sun smiling from high above. Overall, both the north and the south are wonderful; the north embraces the magic of the Santa Claus and the south – the warmth and colors of the seasons.

Southern Finland 1

Photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho

Southern Finland is not so popular with the tourists since the capital Helsinki, and major cities as well as Lapland have managed to take over the hearts of tourists to Finland. However, if you dare to go beyond the set and known site you will eventually open a new world; a world which is interesting, modest and exciting.

Vantaa

Vantaa is a lot like Bilbao. Just like the latter Vantaa is a modern and innovative city. In general, Vantaa is located quite close to the capital and therefore it does not require any special planning. You can get there by bus or by train. If you would like to get their even earlier, then by train is a better option.

What to do? Those who have little or no knowledge of Vantaa should visit Vantaa City Museum presenting the history of Vantaa. Note many people understand the core of contemporary art, but if you love it, then visit Vantaa Art Museum. Church of St. Lawrence is one of the most popular Finnish churches. It should be mentioned that the Church is one of the most favorite venues for Finnish people, especially Finnish couples who choose to get married in exactly this church dating to 1460s. So chances are high you will manage to witness a Finnish wedding.

Vantaa, Southern Finland

Photo by MikeAncient

No matter you are traveling alone or with your family you should make sure to visit Flamingo Leisure Center and Jumbo Shopping Center. It includes a water park, spa and wellness center, bowling, various restaurants, night club and so on. If you happen to visit Vantaa on Tuesday or Thursday, then plan your day so as to visit Tulisuudelma. It’s a dance club and restaurant with live music on the mentioned days.

Vihti

Vihti is for people who love and appreciate the beauty and power of nature. Although the city has a number of museums and attractions (Granary Museum, 19th century farm equipment and utensils; Vihti Church, dating to 1772; Galleria Pictor, presents Finnish and international art), you will absolutely love the activities it offers. It seems to be a sports city and everybody seems to be involved in outdoor recreational and adventurous activities. Among many things, Vihti offers paddling, swimming, golfing, Nordic skating and so on.

Vihti, Southern Finland

Photo by darkismus

Nuuksio National Park is one of the best national parks in Southern Finland where you will find astounding beauty and immense serenity is located here. And if you wonder it’s one of the top things to see in Finland.

Hanko

Seeking romance or love in Finland? Neither Helsinki, nor any other place will offer as many opportunities as Hanko will. There is even a path known as the Path of Love. It offers mesmerizing views of the sea and the city. Kayaking, sailing and windsurfing are three activities not to miss on your visit to Hanko, especially if you are traveling with your loved one.

Hanko, Southern Finland

Photo by Idhren

A piece of advice to all the visitors of this small city would be to walk as much as you can. If you dare, we would also recommend taking off your shoes and walk barefooted to feel the soil under your feet and the soul of this city closer.

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Exploring Southern Finland: Porvoo, Loviisa and Kouvola

Finland surprises every single time and always. Having visited the majority of this awesome country and spending more than awesome time in this land of Finnish people, people might think there is nothing else to see. But Finland is like a special magical box containing ceaseless surprises. And from the point of tourism it’s more than great.

If someone ever asks you why you love Finland, or why you want to visit exactly Finland, then just simply say “because of the thousand reasons you have no idea of”. It’s hard to single out a particular reason and say that is why you should visit Finland. In a broader sense you should visit Finland just because it’s Finland and that’s it.

Finland visit

Photo by Marko_K

The north of Finland and Finnish Lapland are two parts of this country that need to be explored by all means. But if you have time, then don’t ignore the southern part as chances are high you will love it. Here are three cities we recommend visiting:

Porvoo

Just look at the picture below. It’s historical Porvoo and it looks wonderful, doesn’t it? It will take more or less an hour and a half to get to Porvoo from capital Helsinki by bus. If you have rented a car or are traveling by your own, then it might take even less. If you are traveling with your loved one, we would recommend going for the romantic option – get there by boat. You will be astounded. Just note that the boat tour is not that suitable for people who are in a hurry. The views are great but it will take you around 9 hours to get there.

Porvoo, Finland

Photo by la_febbra

Since it is highly likely you know very little about this city, it would be great to visit the Porvoo Museum. The museum will introduce you to the history of this city. The exhibitions feature arts and crafts.

Bicycle rental is available. You can opt for it and get to know the city by bike. One thing to take advantage of here is the sauna. You might not know much about the history of Finland and neither Finnish culture but there is one thing to know and moreover, try – Finnish saunas and also learn the Finnish sauna etiquette.

Loviisa

Loviisa is listed among the small Finnish cities. It’s an hour-drive from the capital city. This small city has breathtaking views created by the sea landscapes, wooden buildings that have historical significance and the 18th century fortifications. A visit should be paid to the Old Town. The Old Town dates to the 18th century.

Loviisa, Finland

Photo by tuija

Loviisa visitors should pay a visit to Laivasilta Marina Area housing restaurant cafes, shops and exhibitions; Svartholma Fortress dating to 174; Loviisa Town Museum with its garden; Eija’s English style garden; the Bonga Castle exhibiting colorful, textiles, oil painting s and so on.

Kouvola

A trip to Kouvola is for those Finnish tourists who are in search of peacefulness and serenity. Just to have an idea of how amazing Kouvala it should be said that it’s where the Repovesi Park is located.

Kouvala offers a large variety of things to see and do. One place not to miss is Verla, which has been included in the World Heritage Sites. If you have some idea of how the 19th century looked like, then Verla will make you appear there. This small village seems to have been able to preserve that feeling of the past centuries in all their beauty.

Kouvola, Finland

Photo by Kriisi

Mustila Arboretum is one of the most popular botanical gardens in Northern Europe. There is hardly any person who does not know this botanical garden. When waling there you will also reach the Mustilan Viini winery bar and shop.

The botanical garden was founded in 1902. Presently, it contains around 100 conifer species and a great number of shrubs, vines, perennials and so on.

As already said, the Repovesi National Park which is one of the top sites in Southern Finland is located in Kouvola. The park has splendid scenery with most clear lakes and ponds. It’s one of the best places to enjoy the splendor of the Finnish nature.

Repovesi National Park

Photo by Barry_Madden

Some more sites to visit are the Model Railroad Museum, Moisio Art and Catering Manor and of course, Tykkimaki Amusement Park offering over 40 games and ride.

Note that each of these cities and town has nice hotels and wonderful restaurants, where you can stay and enjoy the Finnish cuisine, respectively. Have fun and enjoy your visit to this magical land.

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Hotel Helka in Helsinki

People who say there is not so much to see in Finland are perhaps those who have never taken their time to see what lies beneath the cold weather of this country. Finland is an amazing Scandinavian country, which has surprising beauty. The nature and the wildlife of this country have the power to leave all visitors speechless. In a broader sense, you don’t need to visit a particular attraction, since this country itself and its splendid views are a whole bunch of “things to see” in this wonderful land of Finnish people.

Helka Hotel 1

Photo by Helka.fi

But before anything all visitors should find a place to stay and place to spend the night. In general all explorations start from capital Helsinki and that is the reason why Helsinki has the most number of hotels from modest ones to “show offs” and offering excessive luxury. One of the hotels that has its honorable place among the best Helsinki hotels is Helka Hotel.

Helka Hotel includes 150 rooms equipped with traditional Finnish furniture which will grant you an opportunity to enrich your overall knowledge about Finnish culture. The interior of the rooms features light colors ensuring the guests’ serenity and tranquility. There are standard rooms, premium rooms, apartments and suites.

Standard rooms – Standard rooms are quite comfortable yet small rooms. They include WC, shower, towels, linen, basic toiletries, hair dryer, TV, phone, minibar, air conditioning, coffee and tea making facilities. Wi-Fi is available. And the room fee includes sauna from 7 am to 9 pm.

Helka Hotel 2

Photo by Helka.fi

Premium rooms – Compared to Standard rooms, Premium rooms are much larger. They include WC, shower, premium-toiletries, hair dryer, TV, phone, minibar, air conditioning, coffee and tea making facilities and lap-top-pillow. The room fee includes Wi-Fi and buffet-breakfast. The guests can also take advantage of the sauna open from 7 am to 9 pm and also get minibar and restaurant discounts. This is a great option considering the fact that you might want to save in order to spend it on attractions.

Suites – The suites come with a living room, bedroom and a private sauna. Well, as they say, one thing not to miss in Finland is the Finnish sauna. Start enjoying right at your hotel.

Apartments – The apartments are for people for who convenience is a must and feeling at home is a priority. The hotel’s apartments include Wi-Fi, home theater, iron, washing machine, coffee and tea making facilities, toaster, microwave oven, dish washer and full dining set. Extra bed is available upon request. So all conveniences are provided to make you feel relaxed. If you want to stay at these apartments, then make sure to bring some family pictures in order to create the close to complete picture of your family and house.

Helka Hotel 3

Photo by Helka.fi

The hotel’s restaurant offers breakfast and dinner. The focus is made on Finnish cuisine, which is great taking into account that you are a tourist to Finland and need to learn everything you can. However, if you want some other cuisine, the restaurant serves international cuisine as well. The cheapest bottle of wine comes at EUR 31 at the restaurant, while a glass of wine will cost you EUR 6.60 the least.

The hotel also has a bar with separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. The bar is open every day from 4 pm to 1 am. For those who cannot imagine their life without internet there is free Wi-Fi in the bar.

The hotel is a great option for not only staying for a certain period of time but also for organizing meetings and conferences. There are two meeting rooms accommodating 32 and 60 people, respectively. The meeting rooms are quite elegantly furnished. There is also a smaller meeting room for a smaller meeting. Upon request you might also have coffee breaks which can be held right in the meeting room or in the hotel’s restaurant where you can also try some Finnish desserts.

Helka Hotel 4

Photo by Helka.fi

The room prices might change depending on the season. However, as of today, the single standard rooms come at EUR 78 per night (for one person), single premium rooms – EUR 98 per night (for one person) and the suite at EUR 270 per night (for one person).

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Oulu: The Amazing Northernmost City

There are aspects in which the city of Oulu is referred to with the superlative degree; for example it’s one of the most populous Finnish cities, it’s one of the largest northernmost cities on the world and we have another one – it’s one of the most modest cities as well. From the point of attractions, the city might not represent huge interest but as a whole with its specific nature and architecture the city will astound its visitors.

Oulu

Photo by Juho Holmi

Being an inseparable part of Finland, Oulu seems to be cut from it as well. First of all, it’s due to its location; we have said it more than once that Northern Finland and its beauty are beyond everything and besides that, this city is like an open-air lab. By saying this, we do not imply that there is certain lab where experiments and tests are carried out, we imply the entire city where local Finnish people experiment with the new technology.

Oulu is an amazing city and is worth a visit during your travel in Finland. This city offers a number of programs involving international students, and scope of activities varies greatly. In just two months the city will host international students from Armenia and Lithuania who all study in the sphere of music and will come together with local Finnish youth to introduce their culture and raise awareness. And most importantly, it works both ways.

Oulu 1

Photo by Daniele Zanni

What the Finland tourists tend to do is arrive in Helsinki, spend there some time, explore the city and then move on and explore the rest. So considering the fact in all likelihood, you are going to do the same, we suggest the following ways to get Oulu. First f all, the distance between Oulu and Helsinki is 606 kilometers. Almost all the possible transportation options are available.

We would recommend getting there by train. Going to Oulu by train will help you explore the Finnish nature in all its beauty as well. However, you should take into account that it will take you around six hours. Going by bus or by plane is also possible. Well, by bus it will take you more, and by plane you might have only the above view missing the scenery. Another option is renting a car, this way you will ensure you independence and be the one “dictating” your route rules.

Oulu 2 fall

Photo by ptrktn

You don’t need to worry about where to stay in Oulu. There are various accommodation option. What you should pay attention to is the fact that this city lacks five star hotels. I doubt that staying at a five-star hotel is a must for you, but if it’s a must, then take it into account. The number of hotels in Oulu is not so large, yet it’s sufficient and beyond doubt nobody will be left outside. If you are traveling with your family, then you can check out if Oulu offers apartels or not. Note that there are plenty of apartels in Helsinki.

And now briefly about what you can do in Oulu.

Safaris – This is for people looking for some indescribable emotions and experiences. There are team competitions. If you are planning to go for safaris then make sure not to miss the competitions as they are so much fun!

Oulu 3

Photo by Daniele Zanni

Private cruise – If you afford it, then a private cruise on board of SPS Oulu promises to be most exciting. You will have a chance to not only enjoy the views, but also go deeper into them – swim in the sea. Those people who are in Oulu on business purposes can take advantage of this ship and organize their meetings or conferences on it.

Escurial Zoo – This Zoo is a perfect venue for people traveling with children. Why exactly children? Well, adults will enjoy their time in this zoo, but children will simply love, for example, holding the baby animals, or ride a pony. One thing to consider when planning a visit to this park is that it’s not open all year round. It’s open from May to August. Considering it’s summer now and for next three months it’s still summer, you are lucky! If you are visiting the zoo in fall, then you should know that I n that case you will have to arrange the visit beforehand and in groups.

SnowWorld, activities offered at Virpiniemi Sports Institute and Speedpark are several more place to visit in Oulu.

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Daytrips to Espoo, Lake Tuusula and Lohja

Visiting Finland and seeing only what capital Helsinki has to offer means not visiting Finland, because Finland is never limited to its capital and although yes, the capital city has much to entertain its curious tourists and keep them busy, you should have relevant amount of days to explore other parts of Finland as well. A must is Northern Finland. You should not miss Lapland either! Note every day you get a chance to visit the birthplace of Santa and irrespective of the fact you believe in him or not, this magical piece of land is worth visiting.

Finland

Photo by Daniele Zanni

To help you with planning, we have come up with the following daytrips from the capital city. There are many options and we have picked the best in our opinion for to enjoy to the full.

Espoo

Espoo is one of the most popular Finnish cities and is located quite close to Helsinki. It is the second largest city in Finland. There are a lot of things to do in Finland but since it’s a daytrip we suggest that you pick among the following – EMMA, Santa’s Cottage and Nuuksio National Park.

EMMA – EMMA is not a girl’s name but rather an abbreviation standing for Espoo Museum of Modern Art but be sure you will be impressed by it as much as you would be by a an elegant woman or girl. It’s one of the largest art museum sin Finland and is beyond doubt worth a visit.

Espoo

Photo by wili_hybrid

Santa’s Cottage – Well, we know where Santa is said to be born, but what does he do when he is “off?” If you are traveling with children, then make sure not to miss this cottage where Santa stays with his elves. It’s also a chance for children to pass their wish list to Santa.

Nuuksio National Park – Nuuksio is one of the most popular national parks in Southern Finland. It was established in 1996 and if you do want to visit it, then you should know that you will be expected to spend at least three hours there. The park’s mesmerizing views should simply not be missed.

Lake Tuusula

Lake Tuusula is the ideal place to feel inspired. The area is particularly popular because some of the most renowned Finnish artists used to live and stay there. The area is quite easily accessible. You can get there by bus or train, or if you have rented a car, then apparently by car.

Lake Tuusula

Photo by Marendins!

Some of the things to see here is the splendid scenery in the first place, and then the home of composer Jean Sibelius. Those who are into music and those who are not but have already seen the Sibelius monument, which we have listed among the “Wow Finnish Monuments” as well as among the “Finnish monuments worth seeing,” should have already guessed who Jean Sibelius is. Those wishing to learn more about the role of women in the Finnish history should visit Lotta Museum.

Lohja

Ready to have half an hour drive from Helsinki? If yes, then you will appear in one of the most wonderful town where the Finnish nature is in its full blossom. Lohja is a small town. Those who have delved deep into the Finnish culture and history must know about the Finnish national epic – The Kalevala. It was inspired from by the landscape of this town! Just imagine how great it is!

Lohja

Photo by BMiz

Lohja seems to be an open air museum. The largest lake in southern Finland is located here, and fishing is one of the most relaxing and at the same time entertaining activities to for here. Other than that, people in this part of Finland seem to be particularly warm toward others, be they locals or enthusiastic Finnish tourists. The list of other activities includes various water sports, skating, ice surfing, diving in underwater caves and so on.