It’s been three weeks since I landed on Europe for Runaway Europe project. The destination #2 was Finland and I fell in love with the country. It was a brief itinerary for five days starting with Tampere, Turku and finished with Helsinki. Finland was always a very wild travel destination for me, even thought it only takes several hours of flight away from Seoul. The wooden design, birch tree, the rumor that Finnish people always chew gum right before bed (I confirmed this is not true from a Finnish friend), sauna, and the tall people – everything about it. Finally, I stepped on a northern country, and I’m already thinking about going back.
Finnish sauna, Finnish design, Finnish food, the language, the laid back people, beautiful scenery… everything about the country was just clicked with me. For the five days, I keep promising myself to come back here sometime soon.
Tampere is not so much a popular destination in Finland for foreign travelers, yet. It’s a university town, and it attracts travelers with a pleasant atmosphere. The best part of Tampere was visiting Rauhaniemi sauna. After spending few minutes in the steamy sauna, the cold lake couldn’t be better to cool down. My friend Ville said ‘Tampere is the nicest city in Finland’ and I can’t argue with that.
Must visit: Tammelantori market place and Rauhaniemi beach public sauna.
Must eat: Mustamakkara – the black sausage
As the old capital, Turku is culturally and historically interesting. A lot of old buildings are gone during the developing period, but the castle is a very good place to spend some time. Also, Turku was European Capital of Culture in 2011. It’s the city of art, river and great food.
Must do: Eat my Turku Food Walk
Must visit: Turku Castle
For me, Helsinki was all about the Finnish design. The World Design Capital of 2012 is Helsinki. Design is not just about the products; it’s about mindset, living and life. It is well resolved in Finnish people’s daily routine. The neat furniture, simple but elegant decoration… just a simple lamp is in a stunningly neat shape. I fell in love with this city through the Finnish design.
Must do: Guided city tour
Must visit: Design Museum (Photography is not allowed in the museum)
# Disclosure: Part of my visit to Finland is sponsored by a wonderful team of Visit Finland due to the partnership with Runaway Juno. Thanks for making my time so efficient! However, all the photography and the words are my own.