To Stockholm by Sea

One of the best things about living in Helsinki is its proximity to the rest of Europe. While Finns say they feel fairly remote, for those of us facing a  26-hour flight home, anything less is a breeze.

ts_ship_silja serenade  © marko stampehl (15)

Photo: Marko Stampehl/AS Tallink Grupp

During the summer months you also have the option of visiting neighbouring countries by boat. By boat, I mean passenger ferries, built to accommodate you and 3000 of your favourite strangers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With my parents visiting we decided to do the ferry trip to Stockholm, which we’ve been told, pretty much makes us Finnish. We travelled on the Silja Serenade and were welcomed on board by Moomin, musicians and circus performers. The big promenade down the centre of the boat makes orientation really easy.

IMG_7877

As well as bars and restaurants, there’s a big play area for children. I sat in there for two hours while Miko played and recommend taking a book, as you need to stay in the area but not really watch your child the whole time. (Magazines in Finnish are provided).

IMG_7883

To travel, you pay one ticket price, that covers the fare and accommodation for all those sleeping in your cabin. A cabin with a window costs more, but with the Nordic summer sun visible for nearly 24 hours these days, you may not miss having one.

IMG_7876

One of the best things about the trip, that I hadn’t anticipated, was the beautiful views as we drew nearer to Stockholm.

IMG_8018

We had a bird’s eye view of the archipelago as we cruised slowly by, fascinated by the remotely set houses and saunas.

IMG_8025

Stockholm is a city set over 14 islands, connected by bridges. Once docked, we headed into Gamla Stan (Old Town), via bus.

IMG_7912

We passed by beautiful parks full of beautiful Swedish people, before reaching the Royal Palace.

IMG_7908

Gamla Stan is full of little streets to lose yourself in, with stores selling books, shoes, waffles and ice cream.

IMG_7951

IMG_7942

IMG_7920

We use the Foursquare app for recommendations on where to eat and were not disappointed with the lunch we had at Under Kastanjen.

IMG_8045

After an ice cream in the sun, we headed to the Nobel Museum, leaving Mum & Dad to tour through while we had a drink and people-watched in the Old Town Square.

IMG_8091

Later, on board the boat, we got a window seat and enjoyed drinks and the view, which once again was absolutely captivating. By the time we arrived back in Helsinki the next morning we agreed –  we all had a case of Stockholm Syndrome.

IMG_8021

Good to know:

  • Silja Line ferries dock a bit further out of town. Allow 20-30 mins for the bus into town, which is very easy to catch.
  • The currency of Sweden is the krona (SEK)
  • If you are a Club One member, take your card on board as you can earn points and get discounts
  • The duty free stores onboard have better prices than the cafes for things like chocolate
  • There are also big savings on Finnish souvenirs, like Moomin mugs (19€ on land, 13€ at sea)

18 thoughts on “To Stockholm by Sea

  1. Just booked my ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki… Crazy that it’s cheaper to book a return cruise then a one way ticket (around 55€ difference!)… But don’t want to risk any border issues in Helsinki so gone for a little private one-way cabin! Looks beautiful… Can’t wait to take it all the scenery!

    Like

  2. Great post! I did this trip in the middle of winter a couple of years back. It was great and really beautiful leaving Helsinki by crashing through the ice as the sun was setting.

    Like

  3. Pingback: 101 reasons to visit Helsinki | Hey Helsinki

Your thoughts..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s