Walking Helsinki, Finland

When I thought of Finland, prior to this trip, I imagined snow, cross-country skiing, dried fish and healthy living. That the citizens of this country are noted to be famously happy to live here was a notion I took with skepticism. It is a cold country for many months of the year. Cold, in my small (very small,) world view could not equate with happy.


And then there was Helsinki. Maybe the people of Finland’s capital hide out for months in winter, but they were out with a vengeance while I visited, and I sensed it was not just for the sun. Bicycle riders, walkers, people making purchases at the outdoor markets, and more walkers still whizzed around me energized, it seemed, by the simple fact they lived here.

From the walking culture to the profusion of bicycles to the fresh food market, I felt healthy simply by being in Helsinki. So healthy that I allowed the decadent aroma from Ekberg Bakery call to me. With the obvious healthfulness of the city, certainly the bakeries would be worth a try. Rustic six-grain rye bread and an unpronounceable sweet tart let me prove that guess to be true.

There were impressive buildings in glorious squares. There were bustling city streets. And there was the public toilet I would like to nominate for best in the world. It was so clean that it gleams even in the photo. A feat of sanitation engineering, it cleans itself and tells you when it is safe to enter after the last user. To visitors, nothing says ‘welcome’ better than a fantastic public restroom.


I hopped on the bus when I had walked so long I needed a rest, and saw the coastline of Helsinki in a series of parks.

Thank you, Helsinki for outdoing yourself on one summer day while I visited.

Ever see a more pleasant tram?

Next up, St. Petersburg, Russia

Stop by Restless Jo’s Monday Walks for more…

10 Replies to “Walking Helsinki, Finland”

  1. Ha-Ha! I’m laughing about your description of the public WC and can really understand why a traveler would find it so fascinating! I also imagine cold and snow (and wool sweaters, mittens and caps) when I think of Finland Susan, but it sounds like amazing city with an incredible energy and vibe. I’d love to visit but I know it’s much too cold for me to want to live there! πŸ™‚ Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed that public restroom story, Anita! I imagine you’ve seen a few worth remembering (or forgetting?) I agree about cold weather, but we did just return from your neck of the woods where it was HOT! Happy travels – Susan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry it’s taken so long to catch up with you, Susan. Dad died whilst I was in the Algarve. Still trying to adjust. Thanks for the link. Hope you enjoyed Portugal. Looking forward to those posts. πŸ™‚


  3. A beautiful – and I can attest, accurate report from the capital of my birth country. I am happy you enjoyed your visit, although it looked like early spring and not very warm πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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