Suomenlinna – the Sea Fortress
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.
An apt picnic spot
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.
Home of 800 lucky ones
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.
Open till dawn
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.