Visiting Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki Bikes

Find out what it’s really like to visit Helsinki in Finland.

A very grand overnight cruise transported our Busabout group from Stockholm to Helsinki. 41 EUR gained us a two-hour feast in the Grand Buffet (including wine). We gorged on everything from smoked salmon, to roast beef to chocolate mousse! Delicious! After dinner, we checked out the on-board entertainment, before dancing the night away in the nightclub!

Check out Part 2 of the video of my Scandi-Baltic Adventure now, and scroll down to read all about my time in Helsinki.

On arrival in Helsinki there were a few sore heads, but with little over 24 hours there, we were all keen to explore the city.

Wanderlust Chloe Busabout Helsinki 1 Wanderlust Chloe Busabout Helsinki 2

Being so fond of Stockholm, I expected to love Helsinki too, but it had a very different vibe. As most of the city burned down in 1801, it was redesigned from scratch in a Neo-Classical style – full of big boulevards and grand buildings.

One of my favourite discoveries was Signora Delizia – a cute Italian café in Katajanokka, just around the corner from Moomin creator Tove Jansson’s childhood home. It used to be a tobacco store, and was full of quirky charm, plus the coffee was excellent.

Wanderlust Chloe Busabout Helsinki 3

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Busabout Scandi-Baltic Adventure: Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Time to travel around Riga in Latvia.

Stop two on my Scandi-Baltic Adventure was Latvia’s vibrant capital. Riga’s reputation preceded it… I knew it was a prime location for rowdy British stag dos looking for a cheap weekend with buzzing nightlife. Thankfully, I found there was plenty more to the city.

Check out Part 1 of the video of my Scandi-Baltic Adventure now, and scroll down to read all about my time in Riga.

We stayed in the old town, close to the picturesque 17th Century Powder Tower – previously used to store gunpowder. Around a third of the population of Latvia live in the capital, but it didn’t feel congested or horribly built up. I think this was partly due to the number of squares and green spaces (particularly Bastion Hill Park by the Freedom Monument) – something very important to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Latvia’s treacherous past was visible – with the Latvian Riflemen Monument and the Freedom Monument standing tall in different parts of the city.

Busabout Scandi Baltic Adventure Part 2 02
Unofficial “tourist attractions” include the Radisson Hotel – which, as the tallest building around, was once inhabited the KGB. McDonalds also holds some significance in Riga as it was the first to be opened in the Baltic countries. It was seen as a symbolic moment – marking the end of communism. In fact, the queues on its first day stretched around the block!

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