asian girl tourist pink jacket hush pose with santa claus helsinki finland travel agirlnamedclara

Helsinki Travel: from Rock Church to Contemporary Arts

Some of you may have planned for a year-end trip or winter holiday. Although now most of us can only dream about travelling, this week I’ll take you to a far, far away country where Santa Claus is residing – Finland.

We’ll have a virtual tour of Helsinki: The Rock Church, Sibelius Monument, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and Suomenlinna.

I may only spend two days in Helsinki during autumn 2017, but whenever the end of the year is approaching, I would look back at my Northern Europe trips.

Well, let’s start our virtual tour!

Helsinki Travel: The Rock Church

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The Rock Church isn’t a regular church. It got its name because it was built directly into a solid rock. The exterior may look ordinary but not the interior.

What I really like is the design of the rooftop that allows natural light to enter. The Temppeliaukio Church is so unique and beautiful that it becomes one of Helsinki’s famous tourist attractions!

The Temppeliaukio Rock Church Helsinki Finland by Matthew Duncan agirlnamedclara
Photo by Matthew Duncan – because the church deserved a beautiful representation

Sorry I didn’t snap many or nice photos that could deliver the beauty of the church as I and a few friends, ehm… sneaked in when the mass ended to have a glance for a few minutes.

What I did was wrong, so don’t follow me, okay? You need to pay to enter 😛

Helsinki Travel: The Sibelius Monument

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Another amazing monument that you have to visit when travelling to Helsinki, Finland is the Sibelius Monument. It resembles organ pipes that you see in some of the Catholic churches, but these ones are designed to look like they’re melting.

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The designer, Eila Hiltunen, dedicated the monument to the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. It consists of more than 600 hollow steel pipes and weighs 24 tonnes.

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With Jean Sibelius

On the next day, I had almost one whole day for myself before the bus picked me up at 7pm. Been to Stockholm and Copenhagen, I realised that Northern European countries are more than salmon, snow and hygge – the people are artistic. Just take a look at IKEA, hehe!

Helsinki Travel: Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art

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There were arts everywhere. I went to check out Kiasma, a museum of contemporary art and spent around 2 hours there.

The museum was very huge and there were many uniqe and interesting arts that would make you forget about time. So, if you’re on a rush, remember to set a timer!

kiasma map guide book contemporary art museum helsinki agirlnamedclara
tourist try on feeling reader tv interactive kiasma contemporary art museum agirlnamedclara
I played this too, but too bad my video link is already expired
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It’s very interesting because, in reality, I’ll never do it. Now I know what flat TVs look like when they’re severely damaged.
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Let’s say the concept of this art is ‘The Death of Travel’ aka Year 2020
life inside a jar contemporary art museum kiasma helsinki agirlnamedclara

Then, I strolled by a morning market where you get fresh salmon for lunch – but I didn’t. Instead, I searched was on the hunt for Lappi, a famous restaurant known for its deer meat dish.

girl smile eat deer meat lappi ravitola restaurant helsinki finland agirlnamedclara

I went there out of curiosity because I might not visit Finland for the second time. I could say, the restaurant was very charming but I prefer beef to dear meat. You can read my review of Lappi Restaurant here.

Also read: “Digital Detox Trip: City Edition in Copenhagen, Denmark”
Also read: “Sorry Santa, I Ate Your Reindeer at Lappi Restaurant, Finland Before Christmas”

Helsinki UNESCO Travel: Suomenlinna, the Other Side

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After lunch, I had only a few hours until 7pm. I rushed to catch a ferry that took me to Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a sea fortress built on eight islands, about 4km from Helsinki.

But before that, let’s take a quick look at the city itself:

girl smile holds tourist map helsinki finland bridge agirlnamedclara
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Finnish Your Dinner – an annual festival where locals have dinner together in the middle of the street. You need to book your seat in advance!
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modern art seal eats fish statue helsinki finland agirlnamedclara
You’ll see many art installations in Helsinki. They’re fresh and creative, very contrasting to their minimalist interior design.

Suomenlinna was actually built in 1748 by Sweden to protect them from Russia’s expansion but later on, was surrendered to Russia during the Finnish War. It’s not until the independence of Finland in 1918 that the country starting to manage Suomenlinna.

I was rushing and half running when I reached there because I had only 30 minutes to catch my return ferry. Alas, I didn’t get to see the real Suomenlinna because I went to the other side.

There was a shower of rain and I didn’t see many people. Just a huge land with small hills and old buildings. Feeling cold and lost, I was like,

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river suomenlinna helsinki agirlnamedclara
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In the end, I only managed to see the gate of the real side of Suomenlinna LOL…

traveler pose in front of suomenlinna gate helsinki unesco travel agirlnamedclara

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To conclude, Helsinki should be on your travel list! If I have the chance, I would love to return to Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Of course, with Norway as an addition!

So, what do you think of The Rock Church, Sibelius Monument, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and (the other side of) Suomenlinna, the UNESCO World Heritage Site? Let me know in the comment 😀

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