Back in August I took a trip from Oslo to Helsinki for a long weekend. Tickets from Oslo to Helsinki are usually around $130-140, so if you find something cheaper than that it’s a good deal. I flew Blue1, which I found to be a very clean, empty flight. It only takes about an hour, so by the time you get to cruising altitude it’s almost time to land again. Because Helsinki is one hour ahead of Oslo, when you fly back you basically land at the same time you departed. Time travel!
There aren’t really that many must do things in Helsinki, but one place I would definitely recommend is Market Square. This is a great little outdoor market by the sea that is quite packed in the warmer summer months. The market sells both food and Finnish souvenirs. I took some pictures of the souvenirs on my iPhone, but it got stolen the next night while I was out. Travel tip: Don’t leave your smartphone on top of your table while at a restaurant or bar. Someone will snatch it!
A number of the stalls sell berries.
Norwegians love their strawberries in the summertime. My father has always complained that American strawberries are too bland and tasteless, while Norwegian ones are naturally sweet (I would agree). However, this summer the Norwegian strawberries weren’t that good because it rained too much in Norway and the little guys didn’t get the sunshine sweetness they needed. I purchased these beauties from a vendor for 5 euros and they were SO sweet. I just ate them straight out of the package and by the end I felt as though I’d eaten a bag of candy.
What Finnish market would be complete without some crazy Finns? Many of the stands have the same items, so I guess this guy wanted to do something to stand out! (Pun intended)
When we walked by these, the woman making them overheard me tell my friend how disgusting I thought these little fishies looked.
“Well, why don’t you try one?” she suggested, handing me this sample.
I was quite the picky eater as a child, but over the years I’ve grown to like more and more. However, I generally avoid eating things that still have their face. I looked at Jenni, my Finnish friend. “I don’t eat those,” she said. “If I eat one, will you?” She agreed. I figured, when in Rome…
Ugh. I really really don’t want to do it.
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. That doesn’t mean I wanted more, though. The Finns eat it piled high with some sort of mayonnaise sauce on top. It’s herring, but I can’t remember the name they had for it on the sign.
Market Square is also where you can take the ferries out to Suomenlinna, which I’ll write about in another entry. A good idea would be to pick up some picnic foods here in the market to take out to the island with you.