Arctic Magic: Exploring Finland & Tallinn’s Enchanting Wonders!

We embarked on an unforgettable journey through Finland and Tallinn, Estonia, where we explored historical landmarks, enjoyed thrilling snow adventures, and witnessed the mesmerizing Northern Lights. From the vibrant city of Helsinki to the Arctic landscapes of Rovaniemi and Ivalo, this travel diary was filled with magic and enchantment.

Useful Trivia for Traveling in Finland:

  • Local Currency: The official currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR).
  • Languages Spoken: The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish. English is also widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
  • Visa Details: For many nationalities, including Indian travelers, a Schengen visa is required to enter Finland. The Schengen visa allows you to travel to all the countries in the Schengen Area, including Finland.
  • Largest Community: The largest ethnic group in Finland is the Finnish population itself, followed by a small percentage of Swedish-speaking Finns.
  • Mode of Transport: Finland has an efficient and well-developed public transportation system. The Helsinki Metro and local buses are commonly used for getting around within the city. Trains are a popular option for traveling between cities, offering scenic views of the Finnish landscape.
  • Essential Apps: When traveling in Finland, consider using the ReittiGPS app for public transportation routes and schedules, and Google Maps for navigation. For language translation, Google Translate can be handy.
  • Local SIM Card: You can easily purchase a local SIM card from providers like Telia, DNA, or Elisa. These SIM cards offer data and voice services, ensuring you stay connected throughout your journey.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s highly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost belongings, and other unexpected events during your travels in Finland.

Day Wise Itinerary:

Day 1: 13th March – Travel to Helsinki, Finland

  • We embarked on an exciting journey from Mumbai to Helsinki on a late-night flight, filled with anticipation for the adventure that awaited us.

Day 2: 14th March – Helsinki

  • After a smooth landing in Helsinki at 1.15 pm, we checked into the cozy Euro Hostel to rest and freshen up.
  • Eager to explore the city, we began our sightseeing with the iconic Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Church), carved into solid rock and adorned with a magnificent copper dome.
  • Strolling along Aleksanterinkatu Street, we immersed ourselves in the local culture, indulging in some shopping and trying out Finnish delicacies.
  • The picturesque Esplanadi Park offered a serene escape, with its vibrant flowerbeds and relaxing atmosphere.
  • We then marveled at the grand Helsinki Cathedral, an impressive neoclassical structure overlooking Senate Square.
  • At Market Square, we experienced the vibrant energy of a local market and treated ourselves to some delicious street food.
  • The Uspenski Cathedral, with its striking red-brick facade and golden domes, left us captivated by its Eastern Orthodox beauty.
  • In the evening, we decided to unwind and recharge by swimming in the hot sea pool at Helsinki Allas:Urban treasure. The stunning city view, saunas, and restaurant made it a perfect spot to relax.

Day 3: 15th March – Helsinki

  • After breakfast, we hopped on a ferry to Suomenlinna Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an 18th-century sea fortress.
  • We explored the fortress’s well-preserved walls, tunnels, and museums, learning about Finland’s fascinating maritime history.
  • In the evening, we joined a free walking tour of Helsinki, led by a knowledgeable guide who shared interesting anecdotes about the city’s past and present.
  • To end the day on a high note, we headed to A21 decades bar to try some unique and refreshing drinks, soaking in the trendy vibes of the bar.

Day 4: 16th March – Helsinki to Rovaniemi

  • Rising early, we caught a morning flight from Helsinki to Rovaniemi at 7.20 am, arriving at 8.40 am.
  • Upon reaching Rovaniemi, we wasted no time and checked into the charming Guesthouse Arctic Heart.
  • Exploring the city, we visited Rovaniemi Church, a stunning example of modern Finnish architecture.
  • The highlight of the day was our visit to Santa Claus Village, where the spirit of Christmas was alive all year round. We met Santa Claus himself, sent postcards from the Santa Claus Main Post Office, and embraced the enchanting atmosphere.
  • Later, we enjoyed the magic of Santa Park, an underground amusement park filled with thrilling activities and shows.

Day 5: 17th March – Rovaniemi

  • Today, we ventured out to the Arctic Snow Hotel, just a short bus ride away from Rovaniemi, to experience the enchanting world of snow and ice.
  • We indulged in various snow activities, from riding on a reindeer sleigh and husky dog sledding to snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
  • The highlight of the evening was the Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights tour. In search of the mesmerizing natural light display, we found a perfect spot at the Arctic Garden behind the Arktikum museum. The dancing lights in the night sky left us in awe of nature’s beauty.

Day 6: 18th March – Rovaniemi

  • Today, we set out for the Ranua Wildlife Park, where we were delighted to see Arctic animals in their natural habitats.
  • We had close encounters with polar bears, reindeer, arctic foxes, and many more fascinating creatures, making it a memorable experience.

Day 7: 19th March – Rovaniemi

  • Our day began with a visit to Snowman World, where we indulged in playful ice karting and other winter-themed activities, feeling like kids again.
  • We also enjoyed the hospitality of Guesthouse Arctic Heart, where we stayed, offering a cozy retreat amidst the Arctic wilderness.

Day 8: 20th March – Rovaniemi to Ivalo

  • Today marked our departure from Rovaniemi as we embarked on a 3.5-hour journey to Ivalo.
  • The scenic drive allowed us to appreciate the breathtaking Lapland landscapes, and we arrived at the tranquil Ivalo River Camping.
  • The camping site offered a peaceful atmosphere, and we took some time to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Day 9: 21st March – Ivalo to Helsinki

  • After a serene stay in Ivalo, we caught a morning flight from Ivalo to Helsinki, arriving at 12.20 pm.
  • Back in Helsinki, we returned to Euro Hostel, where we had stayed before, and enjoyed the comfortable accommodation.

Day 10: 22nd March – Day Trip to Tallinn, Estonia

  • Today, we embarked on an exciting day trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, a charming city with a rich history and a blend of medieval and modern architecture, taking a ferry from Helsinki, Finland.
  • Upon arrival, we were transported to a medieval wonderland, exploring the charming Old Town with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and lovely cafes.
  • We relished the Estonian cuisine and experienced the rich cultural heritage of Tallinn.

We explored the following places in Tallinn:

  1. Old Town (Vanalinn): A UNESCO World Heritage site, Tallinn’s Old Town is a well-preserved medieval gem with cobbled streets, historic buildings, and picturesque squares. It’s a great place to wander around and soak in the medieval atmosphere.
  2. Toompea Hill: Located within the Old Town, Toompea Hill offers stunning panoramic views of Tallinn. You can visit Toompea Castle, the Estonian Parliament building, and the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
  3. St. Mary’s Cathedral (Toomkirik): Also known as the Dome Church, this medieval Lutheran cathedral is Estonia’s oldest church and an essential part of the city’s history.
  4. Kadriorg Palace and Park: Kadriorg Palace, a beautiful Baroque palace, is surrounded by a vast park filled with fountains, sculptures, and walking paths. It’s an excellent spot for a leisurely stroll and a visit to the Kadriorg Art Museum.
  5. Tallinn Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats): This lively square in the heart of the Old Town is surrounded by colorful buildings, restaurants, and cafes, making it a great place to relax and people-watch.
  6. Tallinn City Wall and Towers: Tallinn’s city wall is one of the best-preserved medieval fortifications in Europe. You can climb some of the defense towers for panoramic views of the city.

Day 11: 23rd March – Day Trip to Porvoo

  • Our final day trip took us to the enchanting town of Porvoo, known for its quaint red wooden houses and picturesque riverside views.
  • We wandered through narrow alleys, visited the impressive Porvoo Cathedral, and enjoyed the tranquility of this charming town.

Day 12: 24th March – Departure

  • Our unforgettable Finnish and Tallinn adventure came to a close as we bid farewell to Helsinki and boarded our flight back to Mumbai.
  • Filled with cherished memories of breathtaking landscapes, thrilling activities, and cultural encounters, this trip had truly been an unforgettable experience. We left Finland and Tallinn with hearts full of gratitude for the enriching journey we had shared. Until the next adventure awaits us, this trip will remain a cherished chapter in our travel stories.

As we returned with cherished memories, the beauty of Finland and Tallinn lingered in our hearts. From Helsinki’s architecture to Rovaniemi’s wonders, each day was a treasure. As we bid farewell, we held onto the spirit of exploration until our next adventure beckons.

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1 Response

  1. August 9, 2023

    […] journey. Our hearts were heavy with the weight of unforgettable experiences. The memories of our Nordic escapade will forever remind us of the richness that travel brings – a treasure trove of moments, sights, […]

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