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“Nice day trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fortress of Suomenlinna

Fortress of Suomenlinna
Suomenlinna C1, Helsinki, Finland
(0) 29 53 38410
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Top Rated
$27*
and up
Helsinki Sightseeing Cruise
Ranked #1 of 230 things to do in Helsinki
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Nice day trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

Short 20 minute ferry ride from the harbour. Pick up fruits for a picnic on the island or visit the many museums on it. Which ever way its a great place to spend a day. If you miss a guided tour of the island, visit the museum inside the visitors centre near the main ferry stop which runs a short 25 min film in 9 languages about the history of the island. Its very informative and helps you understand the different parts of the island.
Lots to do for a whole day for the entire family. Play areas for little children, museums and cafés / restaurants.

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Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“A beautiful park, a great museum, a pleasure to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

The Fortress of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg in Swedish) lays a short (and photo shot perfect) 20 minute boat trip from Helsinki's Market Square. Work on this impressive 18th C fortress began in the 18th C when this was Eastern Sweden and the eastern front against the expansive Russian Empire. The Swedish name Sveaborg translates as the Fortress of Svea (Sweden) and was only in the 20th C given the more timely name Fortress of Suomenlinna (Fortress of Finland).
The Fortress has over time changed hands depending on the prevailing political situation, even though it's surrender by the Swedes to the Russians on 3 May 1808 was one still heavily debated by military historians, even though it seems that the the Russians decisions to attack from the rear instead of from the sea, which was the Fortress main purpose and therefore the most guarded, now seems the quite obvious.
The Fortress still bears a few scars form it's Russian period, when it was heavily shelled by a Anglo-French armada, as garrisoned island has been well maintained and still has many architecturally interesting buildings from both the Swedish and Russian eras open to visitors. There are several very interesting museums on the island wit knowledgeable guides, besides a restaurants and cafés, but the weather permitting, the island (or islans to be more correct) offer wonderful parks with well maintained lawns and gardens to enjoy and savour the contents of a picnic basket.
There are several guided tours in various languages, but also historical re-enactments giving visitors an impression of that 17th and 18th C life would have been like here.
Today this a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fascinating place to visit if you come to Helsinki.

Visited July 2014
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Johannesburg, South Africa
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15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A place some call home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

I do not know if it was the sadness in me or whether Suomenlinna, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is one of those places that just evoke feelings we try to hide. I do not know if it reminded me of a recent personal loss, or of home and its Robben Island, but the feeling to just sit, hold my head and weep was overwhelming. We had visited Helsinki to experience its long summer days, but this was a very cold, windy and wet day. When we arrived at the island after a short boat ride which had started with seagulls 'seeing' us off the harbor, it felt like I had sailed to a very faraway place. It looked and felt like a place from a very old story book, yet there we were, physically in it..It looked and felt so very different yet so very familiar in a very strange sort of way. It was all so very strange that it is home to a few hundred people, that children are born and raised there, play and go to school there, that adults leave for work in nearby Helsinki in the mornings and get back home in the afternoons. I saw too many shades in my head, a zillion thoughts shot through my mind, and seeing my daughter attempt a jump and a smile after our loss was too much. I asked that we leave, not because I had seen enough but because my heart was about to break into pieces..I fully understand, without being able to explain, what UNESCO saw in that (seeming desolate) gem.

Visited June 2014
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Enschede, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful place, interesting tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

This is a very beautiful place with a lot of history. I recommend to get the guided tour on the island. The guide will give you lots of interesting information you will not have without the tour.

Visited July 2014
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“UNESCO Site that is well worth the visit.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014 via mobile

Fortress of Suomenlinna is a must if you are in Helsinki for any amount of time. It is an easy, inexpensive ferry ride (under 4 Euro). The island fortress is on the UNESCO list, and it deserves to be. Take the time to explore everything that you can. It is a gem.

Visited July 2014
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