Finland Is

Situated on the North Western Frontier of Europe, at the heart of the Scandinavian Peninsula lies the proud state of Finland. In many respects this is a nation of extremes. Hot dry continental summers coupled with snow covered arctic winters. Cutting edge urban development complete with contemporary architecture and a dazzling array of neon signs. Combined with the constant flow of human bodies one would expect from a modern European city. Well also seemingly endless wilderness in the form of pine forests as far as the eye can see. Over 100,00 lakes housing a massive variety of wildlife including bears, wolves, birds and of course huge herds of wandering reindeer.

Finland Igloo village

Igloo village

Finland can be accessed by many routes

and many means of travel including road, rail, boat and airplane. I arrived into Helsinki airport as a passenger of Scandinavian Air Services and found the experience to be a pleasant  one. Reclining seats and friendly cabin staff with complementary tea and coffee which a natural caffeine addict such as myself took full advantage of. Arriving in July I was informed by a friend who had lived in the city previously to prepare for hot weather. Well being Irish almost any other nation on the planet appears hot by comparison when compared with an Irish summer the wave of heat and hot air that struck me as I exited the airport was truly impressive. A short bus ride through Helsinki revealed a truly remarkable city. Clean, vibrant and parts almost futuristic in design. Other sections with a distinctly Gothic medieval artistic sense. As it was early in the day the first order of business was to check in at my place of accommodation. Although referring to itself as a hostel the living conditions consisted of two very comfortable beds to a room. A fully kitted out kitchen area, fridge and en suite bathroom complete with shower all of which was located a very short walk from the city centre.



One of the first impressions

that struck me and my companions was how well presented the city of Helsinki is. Signs of litter, graffiti or vandalism are almost none existent. It is also a visual experience worth the flight time alone. Sprawling city squares surrounded by ultra modern looking buildings. Streets consisting of stately mansions, artistic boutique shops and  extravagant hotels. Quiet and welcoming  green areas that are favoured spots for Finnish of all ages to relax. Where you can see circles of young people passing a guitars in music sessions and couples enjoying a bottle of wine and families sharing a picnic.

Helsinki-Finland Kaisaniemi-bay

Helsinki-Finland Kaisaniemi-bay

Finland’s nightlife

With regards to nightlife I am limited in that I did not enter any bars or nightclubs however Helsinki appeared to have no shortage of such venues. During a stroll through the city at night the familiar beat of dance music could be heard coming from very upmarket and exclusive looking establishments. However they were also many bars which appeared to be less concerned with the latest trends and encouraging the most attractive people in. If an enjoyable night for is a quiet beer or clubbing Helsinki has something for everyone.

finland (1)


When it comes to shopping Finland

is quite an expensive nation , the cost of food, milk and other everyday items is on average two to three times as most other European nations.  A popular way for the locals to pay for goods at a lower price is to walk down to the harbour located in the city centre and embark on a ferry journey into the neighbouring nations of Russia or Estonia. I did not take such a journey myself I am informed such journeys are quite short and run almost around the clock.

Finland Northern lights

Finland Northern lights

Trains in Finland

Upon leaving Helsinki I embarked on a 6 hour rail journey to the city of Oulu. On a side note if ever visiting Finland and you intend to use a train please remember such journeys almost always  must be booked in advance. The Finnish rail service is as meticulously organised as an air line with every passenger paying for and being assigned a seat in advance. Getting itchy feet and hoping on the train is possible but not advisable. Upon leaving Helsinki it is impossible not to be struck by the scale and natural beauty of Finland. Six  hours of almost completely uninterrupted sights of pine forest stretching from horizon to horizon. Countless lakes and rushing rivers with only the occasional mine or mill to remind of human habitation.

 This blog post was written by Kieran Foley, Athy. Kildare.


Finland 3

photo Credit Christopher Attinger


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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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