Helsinki in summer

is not as warm as I would have liked it. 15-20°C in July simply does not qualify as ‘summer’ in my mind thought it helps to understand why Scandinavian friends find temperatures above 25°C unbearably hot.

Anyway, the weather – temperatures aside – was good, generally sunny and windy, perfect for walking a lot and enjoying the almost empty city. Could it be that any self-respecting inhabitant of Helsinki spends the summer months in a little cottage on his or her lake?

There were still enough tourists to bridge the gap but my impression of the city as being curiously quiet for a capital remains. Not that I would complain!!

We visited the Suomenlinna island, which is as much a museum, a ford and a quiet neighborhood of Helsiki; the harbor where we were lucky enough to see the dozens of sailing boots thanks to the Tall Ship race being in town; and the Seurasaari island with its collection of houses from all over Finland, some of them being several hundred years old. Besides this was a lot of walking and the realisation that Helsinki has a) no high buildings, b) a lot of water and c) is very green.

All in all, the two full days we had went by very quickly. Prices were not as steep as we had feared – coming from Brussels they seemed reasonable for most things except alcohol. Traveling on to Tallinn, I would however not recommend the trip the other way round. After all, there is a reason why Finish people pay the (expensive) ferry trip to do some cheap shopping.

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