Nature path

Pihlajasaari – Helsinki’s little gem

OK, so you’ve been in Helsinki for a few days now.  You are done with the museums, bought the whole Marimekko summer collection, and enjoyed Scandinavian cuisine far too much. You have just woken up in your fluffy hotel bed, feeling slightly guilty for all this overindulging.  Suddenly, your are overwhelmed by the urge to burn off the one too many fried herrings and Finnish vodka snaps, you had the night before. It is about time to re-connect your tortured urban soul with nature. Do something different. But what? Go where? The answer is “Pihlajasaari” (Finnish for “Rowan Island”), a little gem a stone’s throw from Helsinki. A perfect destination for people traveling with or without kids.

To get there is easy as pie! You only need to take tram number 3 from the center (direction Eira) and remember to get off at the Eiran Sairaala (Eira Hospital). Don’t doze off on the way, it’s not that far! Walk then along Laivurinkatu Street towards the sea. On the way you might want to play “spot the art nouveau building” with your partner . There are loads of them in the area. There is also a small playground, where you can let the children run (…for their lives :-))

Art nouveau buildings (Eira)

Art nouveau buildings (Eira)

…and more art nouveau

…and more art nouveau

By the time you reach the seashore, you are either an art nouveau expert or even better, you have deliberately lost your way into a nice café called “Carusel”(recommended for people-watching), right next to the pier . But no. This is not what we are here for. Remember? Stay focused and climb on that little boat! (Note for fathers: This is your last chance to ditch your family and head back to the hotel’s bar!).

The little boat

The little boat

A 10-minute ride and voilà! You and your exhausted credit card will be met by pristine (ok, this is the Baltic Sea we are talking about, but I like the definition) beaches, jogging tracks, children’s playground, plenty of sand to make you own version of Versailles, camping facilities (in case you might want to spent the rest of your holidays or life here), wildlife (mainly ducks), nudist beach (for those who want to scare off the wildlife),  picnic spots, and the most important: no Marimekko outlet! Enjoy!

"Pristine" beach

“Pristine” beach

"Wildlife"

“Wildlife”

Colourful beach cabins

Colourful beach cabins

Nature path

Nature path

Pihlajasaari Restaurant

Pihlajasaari Restaurant

Delicious salmon soup we had at the Pihlajasaari Restaurant

Delicious salmon soup we had at the Pihlajasaari Restaurant

Useful links:

http://www.pihlajasaari.net/indexen.html

http://www.hel.fi/hki/liv/en/Recreation/In+islands/Pihlajasaari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “Pihlajasaari – Helsinki’s little gem

  1. I really enjoyed this post Vasilis! I felt like I would be able to find my way. I laughed out loud on several occasions such as your suggestions for fathers that this was the last point to turn around for the hotel bar. Now how about the mothers? 🙂

  2. Great capture of Helsinki:) I have been there many times, my mother are born in Finland. Borgå is a small town just 50 km from Helsinki with the most amazing old town with only wooden houses, worth a visit:)

    • Tack, Kerlund! What part of Finland does your mother come from? I am from Greece, but have lived in Helsinki for the past 17 years. Borgå är en av mina favorit finska städer! Thank you also for following my blog! I really appreciate it. Hej då!

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