Cheap seats: Fly to Finland
Take time now to save for a spring trip to Finland.
Popular destinations include the capital Helsinki. The city’s Senate Square is dominated by four neoclassical buildings — Helsinki Cathedral, Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. The cathedral is Finland’s most photographed building and a popular location for state and university events, while the crypt holds temporary exhibitions and concerts throughout the year.
One of Helsinki’s most popular tourist attractions, Temppeliaukio Church, was quarried out of natural bedrock. The interior walls are naturally created from the rock and offer excellent acoustics, making the church a popular concert venue.
Take a ferry or hydrofoil to Suomenlinna, touted as one of the biggest sea fortresses in the world, according to the tourist Web site Helsinki.fi. Founded in 1748, Suomenlinna is one of Finland’s most popular attractions, according to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The fortress is a suburb of Helsinki, with hundreds of people living in its ramparts and barracks, the agency says.
The city’s National Museum of Finland features major archaeological finds and historical documents that help illustrate Finnish history up to modern times.
A trip to Finland’s third largest city, Tampere, should include a trip to the Nasinneula. At 554 feet tall, the observation tower is the highest in the Nordic countries and provides a view of Lakes Nasijarvi and Pyhajarvi with the city of Tampere nestled between them.
The bustling area around Finlayson Cotton Mill is perfect for enjoying coffee and exploring the underground Spy Museum.
Tampere’s Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame is the largest ice hockey museum in Europe with more than 10,000 hockey-related objects. Other museums to explore include the Lenin or Moominvally museums, both which highlight local history.
Traditional foods include mustamakkara, a black sausage eaten with lingo berries, or pyttipannu, which is similar to stir-fry, with a side of rieva — local yeast bread.
Tallipiha Stable Yards gives visitors the opportunity to see Dammenberg chocolate being prepared and to buy souvenirs from local artisans.