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12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

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buenos aires
posts: 6,180
reviews: 219
12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

Hello, we are planning a trip to Helsinki in late August. We are a couple on our 40ties. I need you help planing what to do and where to stay, because of my work we will split our journey and from the 12 days I will be 7 in Munich and I will leave my husband in Helsinki, by himself. So here is where I really need your help, where will be the best place to stay, I'm looking for a hotel well located, surrounded by bars, restaurants and stores (maybe Scandic Paasi) . also as my husband loves cooking I was wondering if there is any place where he can learn how to cook local dishes and where he can finds local or farmer markets.

Thanks for your help and your ideas.

We are kind of nervous, we are flying from Argentina.

BBA

@blueTAmiami

Turku, Finland
posts: 47
reviews: 26
1. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

I'm sure that Scandic Paasi would be a good choice - at least it is quite close to everything, was opened quite recently and is apparently very popular. If you want a more centrally placed hotel, look for a one closer to Mannerheimintie Street - hotels like Scandic Simonkenttä, Scandic Marski, Hotel Seurahuone or Sokos Hotel Vaakuna. But if Scandic Paasi is closer to the your husband's work place, then I'm sure it would be a good choice.

Market halls (kauppahalli in Finnish) would be good places to visit for a food enthusiast. Here is a list of market halls and markets in Helsinki visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/shopp… Note that Wanha Kauppahalli is closed for renovation until 2014.

Here you can find a list of farmers' markets in Helsinki

visitfinland.com/article/…

Here are some restaurants or other operators that organize cooking courses

ravintolanokka.fi/en/kokka-cooking-courses

visithelsinki.fi/en/…cooking-school-espa

Edited: 2:45 am, May 03, 2013
buenos aires
posts: 6,180
reviews: 219
2. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

Thanks Susanna for your suggestions , I will use google maps to locate the hotels you named.

For sure he will love this markets and special thansk for the cooking courses information.

I will take advantage that you are from Turku to ask you if there is any ferry that makes a round trip: Helsinki-Turku-Stockholm. If any,how I have to book it, at the Viking Line website I didn´t find a multi city option.

Thanks again.

BBA

@blueTAmiami

Helsinki, Finland
posts: 627
3. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

I would suggest staying in the centre. Paasi is in Hakaniemi area, which is not in the centre but a couple of km from it, in Hakaniemi, that has more of a hippy/ working class feeling in it and maybe not so many great bars for hanging out. Paasitorni is famous for holding all social democratic party conventions. My friends are always praising GLO, but it is a very modern type of hotel. I would probably want to stay in Torni, I really like the staff and the building.

Hakaniemi Kauppahalli is a must place for a food lover, but it is adjacent to the Hakaniemi metro station. During the day time very easy to get to even if you are not staying there. Stockmann has a very good food department and down the Aleksanterinkatu is shopping centre Kluuvi that has Eat & Joy market, which used to be very nice place for local delicacies.

Nice ways to spend time here:

1) day trip to Tallinn (Eckerö Line, Tallink, Viking Line)

2) day trip to Porvoo town by an old steam boat http://www.msjlruneberg.fi/index_eng.html

3) Suomenlinna Fortress, Seurasaari Open air museum

4) If you want to experience Finnish Saunas, there are few possibilities:

- Yrjönkatu swimming pools are famous for naked swimming (men and women have separate turns)

- Kallio area still has an authentic old time Sauna, Kotiharjun Sauna where you can experience the way Finns enjoy their "holy place" kotiharjunsauna.fi/press/Kotiharjunsauna_web…

- as a couple you can experience different kinds of Saunas in Flamingo shopping centre (Vantaa, very close to the airport), in their waterpark & spa area. In the spa area you can go Sauna with swimming suit on and as a couple and they have 5 different saunas. Our personal favourite.

There is no ferry connection between Helsinki and Turku, but there is a train connection between Helsinki station and Turku Port. Both Silja Tallink and Viking Line have routes Helsinki- Stockholm (night) and Turku - Stockholm (both night and day - the day crossing is great because you can really see the archipelago that way). It is always more expensive book one Hki - Sto and one Tku - Sto crossing than a cruise (two-way trip), but many people book a cruise and just don't use the other half of the trip. They don't offer multicity.

buenos aires
posts: 6,180
reviews: 219
4. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

Mrs_MM77, thanks for your answer, it s very helpful.

I have been looking at the GLo and the Torni, I think we will choose modern over classic, as we live in South America we are willing to enjoy things we can´t in our country.

Love the idea of the saunas, I have seen many images in movies and magazines, so it will be a great experience.

Regarding the options for visiting Turku&Sto from Helsinki, do you think it´s a good idea to buy a roundtrip Helsinki-Turku by train and from there a roundtrip by ferry Tku-Sto ?.

My plane will depart from Hki, so I have to return to my departure point.

Thanks again.

BBA

@blueTAmiami

Helsinki, Finland
posts: 627
5. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

The difference between those routes is that Hki-Sto takes longer. So the ferry leaves at 5pm, there is plenty of time to eat and have drinks, and it arrives at 9am (or so..) , so in the morning you can sit and relax in the breakfast buffet. Turku routes are faster, less than 12 hours a way, so the night crossing means that you have to wake up very early and the ferry returns right away without staying the day in Stockholm.

- If you want to see the archipelago but not Stockholm, then leaving Turku in the evening and returning right away during the day time is ideal. You'll be staying on the same ferry. If you stay the day in Sto, your return will be on a different ferry as they leave back almost immediatedly.

- If you want to enjoy your cruise and see Stockholm, but not Turku, choose a cruise from Helsinki (you'll see some of the Stockholm archipelago in the morning). You'll be staying on the same ferry.

- If you want to see both Turku and Stockholm, and don't mind early wake-up in Stockholm, take the train to Turku in the morning, spend the day there, take a night crossing to Stockholm, spend the day there and return with the Helsinki ferry. You'll need to switch ferries obviously for this and book them separately. Or for easier morning, first Hki-Sto, then day in Sto, then night crossing Sto-Tku and a day in Tku.

Can't say which is the best option. I only use the Turku route if we have a car and are driving somewhere in Sweden, because it's cheaper and gives you more time (arrives early, leaves late). For me Tallink Silja ferries in Hki-Sto route are the nicest for a leisure cruise.

buenos aires
posts: 6,180
reviews: 219
6. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

Mrs_MM77,

Thanks a lot, you have been more than kind in posting all the options I can look into.

Thanks again.

With all these answer I have plenty of information to plan our trip.

See you.

BBA

@blueTAmiami

Perth, Australia
posts: 155
reviews: 43
7. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

We were in Helsinki for four days in September 2012 - it is a wonderful place to visit. We stayed in an apartment and while ours was a little disappointing it was much cheaper than staying in a hotel and there is the advantage of having more space, WIFI and being able to cook. The apartment we stayed in was Hellsten Senate and unfortunately we were allocated one of the apartments that hadn't been renovated, but the position was very good. A short walk into the city and right into the market place where there is cooked and fresh food available to buy. You could ask for a newer apartment? There was a supermarket and several cafes , bars and restaurants nearby. We also bought a Helsinki Card which was such good value. It gave us a discount on the ferry to Tallin in Estonia for a day (wonderful) , and also entry into museums, art galleries, transportation by ferry to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress ( wonderful) , on trains, trams - discounts at restaurants and included a very good city tour. We wished we had been there longer as we didn't really get very far outside of Helsinki. Everyone speaks English so we were very lucky. We also took the ferry to Stockholm at the end of our stay and that was another highlight as we sailed into Stockholm as the sun was rising and it was really beautiful. The ferry ride was excellent also with many activities to suit all ages. You will also love Munich - a very environmentally green city. Have a wonderful time!

buenos aires
posts: 6,180
reviews: 219
8. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

Memsahib, thanks for sharing your experience. A relief to know that most people speaks english.

My week in Munich is already set but we are thinking in delaying our trip to Helsinki for june 2014 in order to enjoy more daylight hours and higher temperatures.

Thanks again and we hope this trip comes true.

BBA

@blueTAmiami

9. Re: 12 days first timers what to do, where to stay

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