Stockholm and Helsinki.

To do something different for a Bank Holiday Weekend in May 2013, we planned a trip to Stockholm and Helsinki, including an overnight ferry between the two cities. Scandinavia, although expensive, is perhaps not as popular as Western Europe, but the Scandinavians are lovely and we were keen to experience some of their culture.

Stockholm.

Our trip started here, and we had a day to explore the capital before needing to catch the ferry. I’d recommend starting with a walking tour with Free Tour Stockholm. It’s worthwhile and gives you some good history and context on the city. Spend the rest of your time exploring the Old Town, get lost in the cobbled streets there and admire the buildings. Stockholm is a city that I think is best soaked up by simply wandering around and exploring. It’s very picturesque and very ‘Scandinavian’.

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The Ferry.

We took an overnight ferry with Viking Lines, if you’re in a group of 4 and you book well in advance your cabin works out to less than 20 Euros each, so possibly the cheapest overnight transport/accommodation ever. These ferry crossings have a bit of a reputation for being a wild party, which somewhat prompted this trip. Although it seems like a great idea, as you can go out, drink, go to the nightclub and then just have to make it back to your cabin on the same boat – we soon learnt that the only people we had to spend the evening with were those also on the same boat. The boat had two different clubs, a gambling area and several bars and floor shows – it made for an interesting experience. I’d never been on a cruise ship before, and it certainly wasn’t as glamourous as I expected – but, interesting all the same. 

I’d definitely recommend doing the buffet dinner on this boat. Its was roughly 30 Euros, all you can eat and also also you can drink for your two hour sitting. The food was varied and great, we left feeling so so full. But 2 hours of free flowing wine and beer definitely got our night on board off to a great start.

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Helsinki.

Is a much smaller city than I expected, and was quite cool in May. You can do basically the whole city on foot, and to maximise our time we again did a walking tour, through this group. Again, a picturesque Scandinavian city, and the walking tour takes you through all the key sites in the town. We did a little more exploring in our own the next day, but I there really wasn’t too much else to it. We were fortunate enough to be in town when the World Ice Hockey Championships were on, and to get tickets to a game – an experience in itself, and quite a popular sport in these countries.

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Top Tunes.

There are a lot of great artists from Scandanavia. I cant go past these 3 songs though:
1. Wake Me Up – Avicii
2. Candyman – Aqua
3. Silhouettes – Avicii

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