A visit to Helsinki would not be complete without a visit to the surrounding sea –the sea forms an integral part of Helsinki and it is everywhere one looks. Personally, whenever I visit Helsinki, I try to include a walk by the sea or a ferry trip to Suomenlinna Island and this time was not an exception.The weather has been a bit capricious in Helsinki this week but yesterday evening I braved it out and hopped onto the Suomenlinna ferry. It was already past 7 pm but the sun was still strong and clouds fluffy. The ferry left from Kauppatori (the Market Square) and it took 15 minutes to reach the Suomenlinna island. On our way there were tiny islands occupied by fancy restaurants, red wooden houses (fishermen cottages?) and seagulls. All this looked very cute and exotic to me.As I was not properly dressed I stayed inside the ferry when it made a five-minute stop in Suomenlinna to let passengers in and out. I could see that some tourists were better prepared for the weather than I was…As the ferry made a U-turn I could observe Helsinki from the opposite angle. In addition to church towers sticking out on the horizon there were more seagulls and tiny, flat islands. Helsinki from the sea looked very Nordic: small, peaceful, lonely and majestic at the same time.
Whenever you visit Helsinki make sure to include a ferry trip in your itinerary! Helsinki from the sea gives a very different perspective and shows a totally different side of the Finnish capital. Highly recommended any time of the year (just remember to wear warm clothes).
Note: Helsinki has made visiting its beautiful archipelago easily accessible to everyone: a public transport ticket allows the traveler to catch the Suomenlinna ferry at no additional cost, which is an opportunity not to be missed!!
A tip: if you are planning to use the public transport a lot (and maybe combine it with cultural and other visits), think about Helsinki Card, which includes unlimited public transport and therefore unlimited Suomenlinna ferry travels! (http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/sightseeing-trips-and-guidances/helsinki-card)