Suomenlinna’s toy fantasy world and its dream chocolate cake

The group of islands that form Suomenlinna Fortress is one of Helsinki’s most popular destinations. Suomenlinna is easily accessible by ferry from Helsinki harbor, and the ride takes less than 15 minutes. In addition to being enlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a unique monument of military architecture, there are two other good reasons for visiting.

The first is the ferry ride itself. Kids would love watching the seagulls sky-diving, while the parents admire Helsinki’s classical facade.

Helsinki seen from the Suomenlinna ferry

Helsinki seen from the Suomenlinna ferry

The second is Suomenlinna’s little secret: a Toy Museum, with a brilliant collection. Its oldest items date from the beginning of the 19th century, while the newest ones are from the 1960’s. Even more impressive is the exhibition catalogue telling fascinating stories about the toys on display.

Toy Museum, Suomenlinna Fortress, Helsinki

Toy Museum, Suomenlinna Fortress, Helsinki

A Toy Museum’s collection wouldn’t be complete without the most famous mouse couple in the world: Mickey and Mini.

Mickey and Mini Mouse at Suomenlinna Toy Museum

Mickey and Mini Mouse at Suomenlinna Toy Museum

Finnish navy dolls

Finnish navy dolls

Barbies and Kens from the 50's and 60's

Barbies and Kens from the 50’s and 60’s

The Suomenlinna Toy Museum is based on the collections of artist Piippa Tandefelt (born in 1939).

The Suomenlinna Toy Museum is based on the collections of artist Piippa Tandefelt (born in 1939).

And since we are in Finland, there is also a complete collection of the famous  Tove Jansson‘s Moomin characters.

Moomin characters

Moomin characters

America’s Little Darling has a special place at the Suomenlinna Toy Museum and in the hearts of many mature “kids”.

Loads of Shirley's photos

Loads of Shirley’s photos

The museum’s shop sells mainly vintage toys, teddy bears and cool postcards.

Suomenlinna Toy Museum's shop

Suomenlinna Toy Museum’s shop

Cute postcards on sale at Suomenlinna Toy Museum

Cute postcards on sale at Suomenlinna Toy Museum

We were just about to leave, when I noticed the chocolate cake at the museum’s little café. How could I possible say no?

Friendly service at the Suomenlinna Toy Museum's café

Friendly service at the Suomenlinna Toy Museum’s café

Portraits of a doll family

Portraits of a doll family

Enjoy your chocolate cake on the museum's cosy little terrace

Enjoy your chocolate cake on the museum’s cosy little terrace

For more information on opening hours and admission fees, please click here.

For history lessons on Suomenlinna Fortress, please click here.

For ferry timetables, please click here.

 

20 thoughts on “Suomenlinna’s toy fantasy world and its dream chocolate cake

  1. It is SO unlikely that I’ll come to Finland! I’m a sunshine person 🙂 But I can tell that I’m going to enjoy seeing the sights through your blog. I love Moomins, and boat trips. Well, boat trips more than Moomins, if I’m honest.
    I’ll have to find your ‘about’ page next, so I know how long you’re stopping in Finland, and where’s next. Have a happy day! 🙂

    • Hi Jo! It’s been a pleasure to have you on board! But please, do visit Finland. The weather has improved dramatically since June. Today it has been sunny, and the thermometer shows 28 degrees. And to top it all, it’s gonna last a couple of hours more! So you’d better be fast! 🙂
      How on earth do you know Moomin? I always thought that it is more of a finno-japanese thing. They are very popular in Japan.

      Thank you very much for your kind words. Talk to you again soon!

    • Hello Christine! That’s exactly why I had to order one more portion. To fight the nostalgia induced by the long gone first chocolate cake! 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for liking my post! Let’s chat more soon.

    • We didn’t have them in Greece either, when I was a kid. I learned about Moomin much later, during the first years after I moved to Finland in 1998. And these days, thanks to my little daughter’s passion for Moomin, I could easily write a thesis on them! 🙂
      For me, what makes the Moomin characters interesting is that they were actually created based on Tove Jansson’s family members and people she loved.
      For example, Snufkin has many similarities with Tove’s one and only husband. He also used to be a loner, traveling to far away places without Tove. A “free soul”. And Too-Ticky is a character full of the warmth and gentleness Tove’s female life companion Tuulikki Pietilä had.
      If you ever have the chance, Tove Jansson’s biography is a very good read: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/15/tove-jansson-life-words-westin-review

    • VasilisM

      You are not the only one. I have been visiting Suomenlinna every summer for the last 16 years and only last June I found out about it. It is located on a much lesser visited part of the fortress and if you ask me, it could be better signed. From what I read in their website, the house where the museum is, belongs to the person that owned the toy collection. When did you visit Helsinki?

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