The fortress of Suomenlinna is one of Finland’s most popular sights. It is only a very short ferry crossing away from Helsinki.
This base for the archipelago fleet was originally built midway through the 18th century, when Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom. In 1991, Suomenlinna was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The different parts of the six islands offer a variety of atmospheres; whether you are looking for a cheerful weekend with friends, a tranquil evening stroll or perhaps a jog – it is all made possible by the diverse routes and locations across the islands. During the summer when the nights are warm, it is possible to stay on Suomenlinna until rather late at night. The last ferry of the day departs from Suomenlinna at two o’clock in the morning.
Helsinki is a modern, pocket-sized European city known for design and high technology. Helsinki’s attractive and unique character comes from its proximity to the sea, as well as its location between the East and the West.
Escaping the bustle of the city to a park-like environment with an ocean view can be accomplished in less than 15-minutes. Ferries run regularly throughout the year and the crossing costs just over two euros. Your picnic can be planned or can go about it spontaneously, buying your lunch at the Market Square while waiting for your ferry to depart. There are also several cafés and restaurants on Suomenlinna. Café Piper, for example, has been open to summertime visitors since 1928.
Along with King’s Gate, Suomenlinna’s cannons are its most well-known symbol. Cannons from the Russian period can still be found on the sandbanks of Kustaanmiekka.
Built in 1854, Suomenlinna church is made exceptional by the fact that it also serves as a lighthouse for both air and sea traffic – a function shared by only two other churches in Finland.
During the summer when the nights are warm, it is possible to stay on Suomenlinna until late at night. The last ferry of the day departs at two o’clock in the morning.
Cruise ships passing through the narrow Kustaanmiekka Strait are an impressive sight.
Bastion Zander is one of the oldest remaining buildings in the entire Helsinki area. It is one of the four bastions that form Suomenlinna’s fortress chain.
The youngest adventurers particularly enjoy the tunnels, most of which are open to visitors. However, they have no lighting, so remember to pack a torch.
King’s Gate (Kuninkaanportti) is the original main entrance of the fortress and it is also regarded as the symbol of Suomenlinna.
Gardening and various artistic garden compositions have long been a part of Suomenlinna’s history.
The different parts of the six islands offer a variety of atmospheres.
After hiking on Suomenlinna in the heat of the summer, it is possible to take a refreshing swim in the cool water. On the beach, swimmers have access to showers and toilets.
Suomenlinna comprises of six islands and can only be reached by sea. Ferries run regularly throughout the year. The crossing costs just over two euros and takes about 15-minutes.
Even though Suomenlinna is generally considered to be a tourist attraction, it is also home to more than 800 permanent residents. Most of the flats on Suomenlinna are rented and are owned by the state. The houses are looked after and blend unobtrusively with their surroundings. Most of the current residential buildings were originally used by the garrison, but by the 19th century they had begun to be transformed into homes.
Although Suomenlinna is often considered to be a summer attraction only, it is open to visitors all year round. And sometimes the white silence of a bright winter’s day beats the hot summer nights.