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July 23, 2012

Suomenlinna

When I visited Helsinki, I had the great opportunity to visit a sea fortress called Suomenlinna. Suomenlinna is a maritime fortress located off the coast of Helsinki. It is also a garrison town and a base for archipelago navy. The construction of the fortress began in 1748. In 1991, the fortress was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique monument of military architecture.


There is a ferry in Kauppatori that would take visitors to the island. You won't miss the port since it is also where the Helsinki seat of government is located and an area where tourists can buy souvenirs and even fresh sea foods and other fruits. The ferry departs from the eastern side of Kauppatori, opposite the President’s Castle. At Suomenlinna the ferry departs from the main pier on Iso Mustasaari island. The ferry is part of the city transport network and all HSL tickets are accepted.




You need to buy your ferry ticket before boarding. Tickets can be bought from ticket machines or the Market Square ferry booth, which is open daily during the summer from 9 am to 6 pm (special opening hours apply during Midsummer).

After paying our tickets, we went aboard the JT-Lines ferry and around 10 minutes later, we find ourselves in historic Suomenlinna.

Once arriving at the Visitor's center of Suomenlinna, it is best to grab a map of the island so you can plot your tour. You can also get walking tour guides but if you want it for free, then you can do your own walkabout.



Suomenlinna has museums, theaters and shops you can visit. Of course there are those vintage canons and fortress walls you can explore. Should you go hungry, there are also cafes and restaurants inside.

When we visited Suomenlinna, we tried to explore some of the cliffs in the island. There are arrows that would point you to the right direction and there are information boards that would give you details of the area. You can visit the "Great Courtyard" and also the old naval docks of the fortress. You can also visit and walk through the King's Gate.





My visit to Suomenlinna was more than just a memorable visit. It was also an educational one. It transported me back through time. When you are visiting Helsinki, I definitely recommend visiting Suomenlinna.

For more details about Suomenlinna, you can visit their official website here.




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Arman Barbuco said...

Nice place,  lucky you that you able to visit this area...I wonder what would be the sunrise and sunset looks like...? 

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