I enjoyed my time in Helsinki, but the place didn’t rock my world like other European cities. That is surprising as I am an "urban-water" gal, but maybe Nice is more of my flavor? But, it is the perfect day trip from Tallin, Estonia. I took the first ferry to Helsinki and the last one back to Tallinn to get a full perspective of the city.
Visiting any European in the winter has its downside because of the weather, but in Finland winter is fucking cold. You can’t help but dip into a café every few hours to get jacked up on another 5-Euro latte.
But in reality, Helsinki has its charm and beauty like every other European city. Aesthetically pleasing, I meandered the seaside sidewalks that remind me of my hometown Seattle and other places like Hamburg. Even in the shit of winter, seagulls fly around looking for food, which shows that life is still alive in the winter, including the polar bears.
Feeling steamy, I checked out another café all which flaunt the latest modern trends. While people watching, I could not help but notice genetics between the various European cultures. I noticed the similarity between German and Scandinavian men all of which flaunted tall and lean bodies with thick heads of hair, perfect beards and piercing blue eyes. Not to mention, the women too are the Barbie Dolls of Europe. From genetics to appearance, people looked good with their sense of fashion. Now, I love modern day trends, but am deeply rooted into Europe’s vintage and history culture. I would say I didn’t see much history with an 1800’s ladle hanging on the wall like you see more of in Germany.
But there are pockets of beautiful Classicism meets Functionalism architecture in Old Helsinki and plenty of veg-friendly food options including the cutest vegan food stand in Old Market Hall.
I had no plans in Helsinki, I just got lost. I meandered through markets, which showed the connection to their Viking culture that used animals for food and clothing. Although difficult for me to process in modern times, I wanted to learn more. And ironically, a Greenpeace boat stood adjacent to this market where liberals and people dressed as polar bears proudly educated people on why they should stop hurting animals in the Arctic.
At the national museum, I discovered more about this Viking culture. Brutal and harsh– these people were warriors and survivors of life and the most treacherous conditions.
Overall, I found Finland to be expensive, but not as pricy as I imagined. What is funny is that it is cheaper for the Finns to take a ferry and party in Tallin (and bring back cases of duty free beer) than it is to stay in town. If you get a chance you should check out Helsinki, but I would suggest spring and summer unless you are doing a spa and a winter Arctic trip up north.