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2 days in Helsinki, Finland!!

2-days in Helsinki, Finland!!

Finland….doesn’t the name sounds exciting to hear? Thinking of it was a dreamy winterland destination cladded with neat snow forest and peaks or feeling the breath of chill air in the freezing temperature while walking on the shining streets in the dark chilly climate, well that’s a feeling I always had about Finland. But the best feeling actually comes when you finally know that you have got the chance to see the amazing country in real from your own eyes. Yes, it was happening to me and was so excited! The idea to visit Finland actually started from a fellow travel blogger “Viivi“ of whom I used to be a regular follower and use to see some amazing articles about her country Finland. So the unresistant travel lust finally pushed me forward to make a small trip to Helsinki and also got the chance to meet the fellow blogger in person as well!

On board the Finnair flight when I was about to touch down Helsinki, the weather was partly cloudy, very little sunny and the views of snow-land Finland from the top was just so mesmerizing. I could really felt the sense of excitement and happiness in my own eyes!!

View of Helsinki From Finnair
View of Helsinki From Finnair
View of Helsinki From Finnair
View of Helsinki From Finnair

Helsinki Day: 1

Finally I landed at Heslinki Vantaa Airport, after clearing through customs I went straight ahead to tourist information center to purchase 2 day regional pass which cost in total for 18 Euros. The best deal about this pass it works 48 hours from the first time of activation and it includes the airport region as well so you end up saving good money on Airport drop from your accommodation and includes almost all public transportation. Traveling in Helsinki is pretty much easy, in case you get lost, people are very much helpful to guide you to the right path. I was headed straight towards my hotel “Holiday Inn Helsinki – West Ruholahti” which was hardly 2 km from the city center.

After Checking into my hotel room, my desperation levels were just increasing every second moment to explore the Helsinki City. I was tired and exhausted, but the travel bug was still alive! So I got freshen up in few minutes and left to explore the city heading straight towards the downtown Kamppi city center. Kamppi is basically a commercial cum residential area which have been designed by various Architects throughout the time consisting of supermarkets, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, underground subway station, bus terminus and even high-class office and residential apartments.

Kamppi, Narinkka Square
Kamppi, Narinkka Square
Kamppi Chapel Or Chapel Of Silence
Kamppi Chapel Or Chapel Of Silence

Since it was around Christmas time, I was lucky to see the decorations at every second corner. Kamppi being the busiest area of Helsinki, one could easily see an active life all around. But out of this busy life, kampii has something special stored in its vicinity. Its a small Chapel, the architecture of which dominates the atmosphere but as soon as you step inside, it is a perfect place intended to calm down and just experience the utmost moment of silence. When I was sitting inside at one of the bench, I felt a moment of meditation in the air, the purity of thoughts as if you can feel connected to yourself in that moment!

After leaving chapel, I placed the city map in my pocket and went ahead to explore where the city takes me. For a moment I thought could be silly but it was the best things to do then. So I just walked along the city streets beautifully decorated with shining chandeliers, mesmerizing boulevards and parks, lively restaurants where people were just celebrating the company of their friends and mates and I was just enjoying the moment passing by every second corner.

Helsinki City During Christmas!

Helsinki During Christmas
Helsinki During Christmas
Helsinki During Christmas
Helsinki During Christmas
Helsinki During Christmas
Helsinki During Christmas

After walking for couple of kilometers randomly crossing the streets, circumfering my way through market square, I went ahead to the famous “Senate Square”. Though most of it was closed by this time, but the view even then looks so amazing!

Senate Square, Helsinki
Senate Square, Helsinki
Senate Square, Helsinki

Senate Square is also one of the major tourist spot in Helsinki and is dominated by attractions like Helsinki cathedral, Government palace, Sederholm House and university of Helsinki. Although I was tired but I decided to climb up those broad flight of steps in the main entrance in the front cathedral which were so steep it felt as I am actually climbing a cliff up top! It was windy, cold, freezing but the feeling to be there at the top in the front of that grand architectural beauty was just amazing. I sat there for couple of minutes watching the grand scenery of nightlife, isn’t it actually interesting sometimes? Just to experience the life in a city by yourself? Well it might felt lonely but I think it can be one of those best moments of your travel! 🙂 ..After Senate square it was time to head back to hotel and get some good sleep as next morning I plan to visit the famous”Suomenlinna Island”.

Helsinki Day: 2

But wait, let me rewind a bit…..the best part of this mini Island journey was the fact that I was not doing it alone! Yes, so I finally met the fellow blogger (whom I mentioned earlier) and we decided to go ahead to Island together. Well traveling solo is always fun, but to travel with someone who share the same craziness as you do is sometimes more fun that can you imagine! Suomenlinna built as a vast fortress is considered as a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO and is situated on the outskirts of Helsinki.  It is connected by short ride from Ferry which was actually included in my regional pass, but although when we went to check it was more like a free entry as they there was no one there to check! 😀

On board the ferry heading towards the Island, the super chill feel of the air was rushing through my face, immense feeling of crazy cold was tingling through my body, but I couldn’t resist any single moment to enjoy that perfect beauty of the nature all around me.

Evening view of Suomenlinna in Helsinki, Finland
Evening view of Suomenlinna in Helsinki, Finland
Suomenlinna fortress - part of UNESCO world heritage
Suomenlinna fortress - part of UNESCO world heritage

Once reaching the Island, the view towards the fortress was kind of astonishing! Although being December month, most of the shops and restaurants were close and the island itself seems very less inhabited with only handful of tourist. But even then walk through the island was much peaceful and felt so great!

A bridge in Suomenlinna
A bridge in Suomenlinna

Following these small bridges on the Island through our way to cobbled road we wandered around and saw some old little houses built in traditional style half of them seems to inhabited at that time, some old fortress building which now converted into tourist sites. There were also militarily facilities with various cannons and large gun which might be dating from different era. But the thing which I found most interesting was the landscape “Hobbit land”  (well that’s what I call them), which looks nice and appealing and really blends along with the beauty of the sea. After climbing some few up and down landscape terrains, we finally made it to the edge to see perfect picture of the sea where sun was about to set down.

Hobbit Landscape, Suomenlinna
Hobbit Landscape, Suomenlinna
Hobbit Landscape, Suomenlinna
Hobbit Landscape, Suomenlinna

We went along few different sites to catch the glimpse of the fascinating sea views before heading back to the city. Suomenlinna in all could say was one of my best experience of Helsinki so far, the peaceful island filled the immense beauty of nature consisting of historical elements and traditional houses, I think that is one all need for a perfect tourist destination!

Suomenlinna Sea View
Sunset View from Suomenlinna Island

My trip finally came to the end and I was all ready next day to take my flight to Budapest, Hungary which was my next stop! Standing at the airport before my departure gate few minutes before boarding time, holding my trolley hand bag looking outside towards the window, it was about to get snowy, looking at the spectacular view, recalling all the moments I spend in last 2 days, I wished and hope for a moment, when would I get the chance to visit this beautiful country again?!!

Vaanta view from Helsinki Airport
Vaanta view from Helsinki Airport

Have you been to Helsinki? How was your experience? Or Do you wish to visit there sometime? Feel free to leace your comments below! 🙂

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Gothenberg Sweden Travel Blog Travel Destinations Travel Diaries Vacation

Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

If you have been following the chronicles of my travel diary series , I would like to share my experience where I had spend two days exploring the astounding Gothenburg city on my own.

Set in the Swedish west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden. Most people would dream to visit Stockholm as their first preference when traveling to Sweden, but in order to seek something unconventional, I determined to hit Gothenburg this time and to my gratification it was no doubt a gorgeous experience. 

Scenic aerial view of the Old Town with Oscar Fredrik Church in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Scenic aerial view of the Old Town in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.

Sustaining its roots into Noe-classical architecture, beautifully designed around picturesque canals, the moment I stepped down, I was already fallen in love with the city. It was the month of March, still in the span of frigid winters, I was all set and ready to unravel this ultimate trip. My flight landed on Göteborg Landvetter Airport, I approached further to find my way towards my accommodation into this shivery night. There were two things I had kept notes for in order to make use of trouble-free transportation.

  1. Purchase a return ticket for “Flygbussarna” bus which connects promptly to city from Airport. I directly went to Information center to get the ticket which included my valid return journey as well.
  2. Day tickets which in my case I had purchased 3-day ticket. It includes unlimited travel on buses, trams, ferries and trains. I purchased it directly from the “Pressbyran” (convenience store) which you can easily locate at the airport.

The ride on the airport bus was calm and comfortable. Since  I had reserve an Airbnb accommodation, I had to change and catch tram after two stops at “Goteborg Korsvagen”. Infused with peculiar excitement in my heart, the first glimpse of the city was itself magical. Standing next to my tram stop among the group of people, the cold breeze rushing into my face, enwreathe by glittering mix of modern cum classical architecture, it was something pristine to experience. The tram finally took me to my accommodation which was a small walk from the nearby stop.

My Airbnb home, where I was sharing a studio room, was located in a serene and tranquil neighborhood of ‘Skår’ surrounded by some beautiful and delightful private cottage houses. Residing in such a place like dream in-itself.

Skår District
Skår District
Skår District
Skår District

Drizzle of breezing rain rushing across as I walk along these streets next morning to my way towards the tram stop, fancying in that moment, how a life in real would actually felt to live here. Since my childhood I was always fascinated towards the architecture and nature of the Scandinavian life, the essence of which is enriching yet calm in its own way.  As I walk further, I was thrilled with exquisite nature reserved within the vicinity of the neighborhood that I even decided take a small walk amidst them before finally making it to my tram stop.

A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”
A walk along the nature around “Skar”

After boarding the tram, my next stop was “Brunnsparken” which is considered to be the prominent central square in Gothenburg. It also acts like a central junction where all the tram stops merges together and therefore also recognize as a famous meeting point for people.

I decided to take a quick nimble around the central square. The sight somehow reminded of places like Amsterdam and Germany. The elegant architecture all around, filled with the blend of alluring art and history, with lovely fountains and chirping sounds of birds, bold statues boasting Swedish history and cris-crossed by tram lines on the other side, a graceful canal with clean and clear water flowing away, apprached by steps in the front,  where I sat down to enjoy this spectacular view.

Brunnsparken
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg

The plan afterwards was to head towards the famous Archipelago Islands, It was a direct ride from this central square only and it directly takes you to the ferry terminal. The short trip to the archipelagos was breathtaking. To know more about my short trip experience of Gothenburg Southern Archipelago islands, click here to check it out.

 On return, I reached back at the same place of “Brunnsparken” and It was already evening by then. My body was feeling a bit tired, freezing in the chilly winter, my heart was still striking the beats of excitement, I began to explore further this amazing city by night.

Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden

I kept walking and exploring the silent peaceful night, charting my ways amidst the calm and soothing nature and beautiful surroundings.

A night time view of Gothenburg
A night time view of Gothenburg
Gothenburg Haga at night
Gothenburg Haga at night

It was finally time to catch some dinner as I was feeling hungry and a bit physically exhausted by then, so I strolled all the way to the famous ‘Haga’ area where I discovered a delightful vegan restaurant known as ‘ Solrosen’.  Haga is one of happening district of Gothenburg, which is particularly known for its magnificent wooden houses, and where also you could unearth some offbeat restaurants serving delicious food. The best things I loved about this restaurant was their free/buffet salad bar where you can have all types of various salads to satisfy your hunger pans.

Solrosen gothenburg
Solrosen, gothenburg

After enjoying my gracious food, it was time to head back to my apartment. My first day exploring this charming city had been just amazing and incredible. On the way back, I was already thinking about how I was planning to spend the second day of my trip, to visit the beautiful botanical gardens, to explore those pleasant central parks of ‘Slottsskogen” filled with auspicious greenery and peaceful nature, to discover the famous ‘Haga” district and its spectacular architecture, and much more where my heart could follow and explore its own way.

Traveling for me is not only venture to new places but to explore and connect with the surroundings. To observe the nurturing the new life, the way the people live and more importantly the nature, the very source which has given the definition to our lives.

If you would like to know more about my journeys around the world, feel free to subcrise and follow and look out for my new upcoming post! And if you have comments, questions and any experience of your own travel you would like to share, feel free to send below. I would love to read them! 🙂

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