Amidst the crystal icy waters of the Bay of Finland, eight islands are crowned with a magnificent 18th century sea fortress. Tempting alcoves of beaches peer out from under Helsinki’s careful watch, where the Suomenlinna is home to many inhabitants who live and work in this historic site. Symbolisinga turbulent history between Finland and Russia, the Suomenlinna fortress is a beloved destination for exploring the country’s finer sights. In the warm months, the grounds are covered with fleecy growth of blooming trees and bushes. When the glacial Finnish winter sets in, the Baltic Sea asserts itself with chilling severity.
- Discover the history of Helsinki’s Suomenlinna fortress at the Suomenlinna Museum, including the role it played during Russian expansion and the Crimean War.
- Explore the latest contemporary installations and creations exhibited at Jetty Barracks Gallery, which is run by the Helsinki Artists’ Association and featuring many intriguing displays by local artists.
- Venture through the cavernous King’s Gate, which welcomes you onto the site of the Suomenlinna and serves as the very symbol of the UNESCO World Heritage fortress.
Since the islands over which the Suomenlinna fortess is spread are inhabited year-round, the islands are likewise accessible throughout the summer and winter months. Located just off the coast of Finland’s capital, Helsinki, Suomenlinna is serviced by a ferry from the Kauppatori market. Boasting a beautiful panorama of the city as it makes the two-kilometre crossing of the Bay of Finland, the ferry docks at the King’s Gate. All you have to do is purchase your tickets from the market’s ticket booth in Kauppatori, or the ticket machines available near the harbour and on the islands.
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