If you find yourself in the Helsinki market, and you look towards the harbor, not 50 feet away you’ll see a swarm of people cramming themselves onto a ferry boat and dashing to get a good seat on the top deck. The majority of those people are tourists from the cruise ships that docked earlier that morning, while the rest are teenagers stocked with olut (beer) heading out for a fun time of partying and hanging out along the shores of Suomenlinna Island. This ferry leaves about every 30 minutes and is covered with a trolly ticket, making it a very cheap day trip.
Only 15 minutes away from Helsinki by boat lies Suomenlinna. A sea fortress made up of 6 islands, built during the Swedish era in the 18th century. This cluster of islands served as a maritime fortress and a base for the Archipelago Fleet.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is crawling with tourists, but who can blame them?
The islands are beautiful, offering a gorgeous view of the sea and Helsinki.
My favorite part, however, was exploring the ancient tunnels that run through the hills.
Others come to the island to sunbathe on the rocks, or take a swim in the refreshingly chilly sea.
If you plan on visiting this site anytime soon, I highly recommend wearing good hiking shoes! All of the streets and most of the paths are cobblestone, and one hour into it my feet were aching (I was wearing my trusty ole’ Chucks, but they just did not cut it!).
This is a must-see if you plan on visiting the Helsinki area. There are several cafes and restaurants on the islands, giving tourists a nice break and time to sit and watch the sea roll in. Suomenlinna is a great day-trip for old and young alike, giving everyone a sense of adventure and exploration! While we spent about 4 hours there this past weekend, we only covered about 1/4 of all there is to see. Luckily we’re headed back to Helsinki this week for 3 days, and plan on covering some more ground!