Photo Essay: Day Trip To Suomenlinna – Helsinki, Finland

Scenic clouds and ocean views on a trip from Helsinki to Suomenlinna, Finland

On a lovely sunny afternoon we enjoyed a ferry ride from Helsinki, Finland to Suomenlinna visiting a Sea Fortress, wandering around the island and enjoying Finnish black licorice Salmiakki ice cream as part of our walking tour around the island.

With a couple of days in Helsinki under our belt, we wanted to explore around some of the outer areas – including a trip a nearby island. Meeting up with Audrey’s friend who is studying in Finland for the day, we ventured off to Suomenlinna, a historical maritime fortress and one of Finland’s most popular sights.

Seagull soaring in the sky

The brief ferry was as comfortable a ride I’ve ever been on before. With temperatures reaching the low 20′s I felt a refreshing breeze against my face as the gentle rays of sun penetrate my skin.

The 15 minute ferry ride also afforded me an opportunity to photograph Helsinki from a different vantage point.

Ferry ride from Helsinki to Suomenlinna, Finland

We felt extremely lucky to have delayed this trip considering we had planned this trip the day before when the weather was overcast and rainy.

Building located in Suomenlinna, Finland

Upon arriving this once virtually barren island was picturesque with its wild meadows, lush gardens and natural cliffs. In many ways this quaint little getaway reminded me of Prince Edward Island in Canada.

One of many outdoor cafes and restaurants in Suomenlinna, Finland

Given the many cozy cafes, restaurants, parks, fortifications and canons on this small island, it’s no wonder Suoemenlinna attracting more than 700, 000 visitors annually!

A candid portrait of a Finnish man smiling

Suomenlinna, a UNESCO Heritage site, (formerly known as Sveaborg in Swedish or Viapori in Finnish) is an inhabited sea fortress which is actually now considered a part of Helsinki. Popular with both foreigners and tourists alike, its the perfect destination for a lazy afternoon picnic, bite of ice cream or a picturesque destination for a wedding.

A couple enjoying looking out over the water

Literally, ‘Suomenlinna’ translates as ‘Castle of Finland’ and was once a former strategic fortress used to thwart off Russian expansionism.

We enjoyed just randomly wandering around the island marveling at how peaceful and serene the pace of life was compared to Helsinki.

A group picnic on Suomenlinna, Finland

We spotted several couples getting married, children playing under the shade and couples holding hands while sharing ice cream.

Two ladies sharing a laugh while visiting Suomenlinna, Finland

By far our favorite activity was just sitting down to enjoy a picnic in a picturesque setting overlooking some local boats in a quieter remote area of the island overlooking a rocky spot by the sea.

A close-up shot of a brick home located on Suomenlinna, Finland

For those seeking a summertime day trip from Helsinki, I highly recommend visiting this UNESCO heritage site.

This is the kind of destination where planning several hours to leisurely stroll around the island – with an extended picnic with family and/or friends – is the perfect way to spend a summer day in Finland.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Bradley September 3, 2013 at 1:20 am

awesome pictures dude. can I ask what camera you use?

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Samuel Jeffery September 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Thanks Bradley!

I use a Sony Alpha A79 dSLR with an 18-250 mm lens.

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures September 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Love pics! I want that pink house!!!

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Samuel Jeffery September 6, 2013 at 1:06 am

Audrey loved that house as well! :)

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Thomas September 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

Great photos! Looks like the people are so happy or maybe you made them laugh before you took their photos! 700k visitors is a lot of people. Finland wasnt on the list of travel places but now I have to think about it. So many places in the world to visit.

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Samuel Jeffery September 6, 2013 at 1:11 am

Thanks Thomas,

I think Finland is very under-rated. I’m hopefully we’ll have a chance to go back soon. I feel the same way as you – the more I travel, the more places I want to visit :)

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YJ @ thefancyvoyager September 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Love the photo of the pair sitting at the pier!

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Samuel Jeffery September 6, 2013 at 1:11 am

Thanks YJ!

It’s the kind of island where you can have a quiet place all to yourself.

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Debbie September 18, 2013 at 2:50 am

I love your pictures. They are awesome. I wish I can go to Finland someday. :)

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Samuel Jeffery September 18, 2013 at 3:11 am

Thanks Debbie!

I hope you’ll get the chance to go soon as well :)

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hotel near disney world September 25, 2013 at 5:30 am

lovely pics such these pics can spread smile on anyone’s face.

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Samuel Jeffery September 26, 2013 at 2:08 am

Thank you!

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Apol | WanderfulTogether.com September 26, 2013 at 6:14 am

love that pink house… looking so quaint and the atmosphere seems so laid-back.
I’d love to just stroll around here and not be a busy bee while in this island!

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Zahid October 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Oh. This photo essay is amazing. i love that. i am waiting for more pics of finland

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Holidaymood UK October 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Finland, an amazing place that no one want to miss it. The pics you posted here are very describing and showing the beauty of this place.
Thanks for this lovely article.

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