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Posted by Heliocentrism on July 10, 2009

June 20-21, 2008

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2:00am in Finland

The White Nights

The sun never set while we we’re in Finland. We arrived in Helsinki in time for what they call The White Nights. It’s the time in the summer when the sun doesn’t go all the way down at night. Unfortunately for us, it is also the time of year when just about everyone in Helsinki goes to their summer homes up north and the city is practically empty. It was quite a shock to go from Moscow and St. Petersburg, where there are so many people that they have to push and shove each other to get into the subway, to Helsinki where sometimes we were the only ones on the bus.

Our Olympic Room

Not having a setting sun to tell you when it’s time to go to bed was a bit weird. I would wake up at 3:00 am to use the bathroom and look out the window and it looked like 8:00 am. I thought that it was odd that people would go further north at this time because that would mean the sun would set less lower in the sky than it does in Helsinki… and, wouldn’t it be colder too?

The Olympic Hostel

Like a ’52 athlete

We stayed at an Olympic stadium that was turned into a hostel. It was the nicest hostel I’ve ever seen. There were so many of everything. Our private room had 9 beds, the bathroom had many showers and toilets, and there were many bathrooms. Helsinki itself, was my favorite city on the entire trip. Everything was neat and clean. Everyone we met was very friendly. Maybe all the mean people were up north. The streets were so un-crowded. They had broad sidewalks, but no people. I would like to go back to see what the city is like when there are more Helsinkians there.

Ice on the sidewalk in June in Tampere, Finland

RyanAir from Tampere

For a cheap flight to London Stansted we booked a flight on Ryan Air out of Tampere.

We were going to spend a day sightseeing in Helsinki, but everything in Helsinki was closed since everyone had left town. So we went further north to Tampere earlier than we’d planned. This is the furthest north I’ve ever been.

Sadly, everything in Tampere was also closed since everyone there had also left town. We walked around Tampere for a bit after we ate some kabobs (you know, traditional Finnish food). But then it started to rain and became really cold. (Yes, this was in June.) So we figured that we would be better off at the airport.

Jumping out of boredom

But the airport in Tampere was pretty much closed except for terminal 2, the Ryan Air terminal. My mom and brother fell asleep on a bench in terminal 2… I mean THE bench inside terminal 2; there was only one. I went wandering around and eventually got so bored that I begged my brother to come out side and take pictures.

The best advice I can give anyone going to Finland is to try not to go during any type of holiday. Other than that, Finland seems like a great country. I really want to go back to see more of it. I think I would even enjoy living there. Maybe someday…

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The European Union

How to get there:

You can enter the E.U. and Finland by land, air, or sea. I’m not sure what needs to be done to get a European visa before hand. Americans are issued stamps at the port of entry which allow up to a 90-day stay.


  • Emergency number: 112 for fire, police, and ambulance (for Finland and most other EU countries)




The E.U.:



  • In most E.U. countries almost everyone speaks some English and many people speak English very well.

Stadion Hostel

How to get there:

  • 60°11’15.8″N 24°55’33.4″E

2.5 kms north from the main railway station.

You can take Trams 7A , 3T or 3 B to “Aurora Hospital” stop (300m).


Stadion Hostel
Pohjoinen Stadiontie 3 B
00250 Helsinki

Phone: 477 8480


e-mail: stadion@hostel.inet.fi



  • This is where the 1952 summer Olympics were held.

Temppeliaukio Church

How to get there:

  • 60°10’22.8″N 24°55’30.9″E

Take tram #2 to Kauppakorkeakoulut


Lutherinkatu 3, SF-00100 Helsinki, Finland

Phone: +358 (0) 9 2340 5920


Cost: Free


  • Mon & Wed 10am-5pm;
  • Tue 10am-12.45pm & 2.15pm-5pm;
  • Thu & Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-6pm;
  • Sun 11.45am-1.45pm & 3.30pm-6pm



  • It is also known as the Rock Church, Temppeliaukiokirkko, and Church in the Rock.

Sibelius Park

How to get there:

  • 60°10’55.7″N 24°54’48.4″E

Take Bus 24 to Mechelininkatu.


Sibelius Park 00260


Cost: Free

Hours: Always available


Tampere Airport

How to get there:

There is a bus from the Tampere Railway station, but I don’t remember how much it costs.



Sometimes it might be cheaper to fly to/ from Tampere when traveling to/ from Finland.


  • There is nothing to do at this airport.
  • If you are flying on RyanAir, bring your own water, snacks, and reading material because the rest of the airport could be closed, even if the RyanAir counter is open.
  • The snack shop in RyanAir’s terminal is only open right before boarding time, and the food is not that great.


Click here for Google maps

Posted in Finland, Helsinki, Tampere | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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