Helsinki Edition – Finding Fika

A month ago, two friends and I decided to book a cruise to Finland, for $36 each… When the time finally came, I was really scared to see the room. It turned out to be a very nice ship, and despite the lack of wifi or service in our room and the expensive food, I would say it was well worth the price.

Viking Line runs a 42 hour cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki which was pretty quick but here’s everything we did! (I also know people who made the line to Turku!)

FRIDAY

4:15 p.m. – We boarded the ship and checked our room. Unfortunately we were under both car decks and had no kind of connection to the outside world, but hey, $36 for travel and accommodation.

5:30 p.m. – Dinner time! We ate at one of the four restaurants on the ship, The Grill. We had burgers and then checked out the view from the terrace. (definitely not cheap but we were in the middle of the ocean so options were limited)

7:00 p.m. – We headed to the duty free store for snacks, bottled water and wine. It was HUGE. Whatever you are looking for, they have it. I’m pretty sure some people brought extra bags just to buy a bunch of discounted stuff (honestly, a genius).

9:00 p.m. – Then we went to karaoke in the pub where we heard lots of Finnish music and American songs we didn’t know existed. After that, we went down to Club Mar, the boat’s entertainment area. We listened to a live band for the rest of the night! People were filling the dance floor, and I honestly think the people watching were worth the price of the set.

SATURDAY

10:00 a.m. – We have arrived in Helsinki. After deliberately avoiding the overpriced breakfast buffet, we hopped on a tram and headed downtown. We had coffee and a well deserved breakfast at Cafe Engel. (Fun fact: Finland is the only Scandinavian country to use the euro!)

12:00 p.m. – Our first stop was the Helsinki Cathedral, which we could see from the cafe window. Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal, it was raining and it was windy.

12:30 p.m. – The next item on our list was a gift shop. I collected postcards from every place/country I visit abroad and needed to pick one up to add to the collection.

If you want souvenirs from your travels abroad, I recommend that you choose a small souvenir like this because it is cheap, light and will not break on the plane (you can also use them as wall decorations abroad and at home).

1:30 p.m. – We arrived at the Kamppi Chapel of Silence, which is a really cool wooden structure that I wanted to check out. Unfortunately after a long walk we learned that it was closed until further notice. 😦

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I get most of my travel recommendations, including this one, from TikTok.

2:00 p.m. – We hopped on a tram to Merisotilaantori Island, where we checked out the waterfront and Uspenski Cathedral. The cathedral was beautiful both outside and inside, and I highly recommend you visit!!

2:30 p.m. – Hunger strokes. We head to the first restaurant we see, Rodolfo. I had an amazing salami pizza (almost as good as Rome).

4:00 p.m. – It was time to get back to the boat! Goodbye Helsinki!

7:00 p.m. – After a well-deserved nap, we had dinner at another restaurant on the BistROAST ship. I ate Swedish sausage and my friends had BBQ chicken.

9:00 p.m. – We once again ended the evening people watching and hanging out with the live band!

SUNDAY

So the timestamps are a bit fuzzy on this one. Mainly because Finland is an hour ahead of Sweden, but Sweden also went into summer time on Saturday night. It wouldn’t have been that much of a hassle except we didn’t have wifi or service in our room so the time on our phones didn’t change. We got up at 8 o’clock thinking it was 9 o’clock. Whoops. Around 10 am we arrived in Stockholm and headed home!

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