December 23 & December 28, 1996

When Tara planned our Winter Tour 1996, she decided that we didn't need to spend the night in Helsinki, but that we should take advantage of our long layovers and travel into town between flights.


BTDT Overall Rating - 5 COLD and CLOSED
Ease of Journey - 4 Our layover in Helsinki was a bit long since the weather was COLD
Accommodation - none
Activities - 6 We enjoyed the little coffee shop we ate in the first time and the Planet Hollywood. Shopping was OK, especially the little lizard toiletry bag and socks will be memorable. We were disappointed the second time since we couldn't find a coin shop that was open. But, at least Seth found a video arcade.
Coolness - 7 Being able to say that you've been to Planet Hollywood in Helsinki is sort of kool.

Travel Experience

December 23
Copenhagen was the first stop on our winter tour and Rovanemi was the second. But, first, we had to get from Copenhagen to Rovanemi via Helsinki.

We left Copenhagen early in the morning and changed planes in Stockholm. There was just enough time to clear immigration, walk outside, take a photo and go through security again to catch our onward flight to Helsinki. Why you ask did we do this instead of just staying in the airport? But, of course, Seth wanted the extra passport stamp!

Arriving in Helsinki, we had the whole afternoon and evening before our flight left for Rovanemi. So, we took the bus into town and walked around the shopping streets. We bought a small bag and a pair of socks with lizards on it. Even though it was mid-afternoon, it was dark already. Tara wanted to go see the harbor, so we took a long, cold walk down a deserted street to the harbor. It was not that exciting. But, on the way back, we saw a pretty government building and stopped in a market across the street. The market sold interesting things like a Finnish sauna bucket and ladle, plus some very nice Christmas cards. We had cakes on the second floor balcony and enjoyed the warmth of the place. Finally, it was time to head out. Just around the corner from the market was a coin shop. Unfortunately, it had closed just a few minutes before and wouldn't be open for another three weeks due to the Christmas and New Year's holiday. We wished we'd seen the shop before going into the little market. oh well. We were very lucky because for dinner, we happened across a Planet Hollywood. After dinner, it was back to the airport for another flight to Rovanemi.

December 28
We again had some time in Helsinki in-between our flight from Rovanemi to Stockholm, so we took the bus into town. We hadn't been able to find any collectible coins in Rovanemi, so Tara though that maybe there would be a coin shop in Helsinki that wasn't shut for the holidays. We were in a McDonald's and she scoured the phone book looking for a second shop. Unbelievably, she was able to read the yellow pages well enough to find a shop not far away. So, we set off throughout he streets in search of it. We did find it... but unfortunately, it also was closed for the three weeks around Christmas and New Years. It was disappointing that we weren't going to be able to get a set of coins from Finland.

When we were walking back to the train station for the airport bus, we passed a video arcade. It had one of Seth's favorite games, so that's where we spent the rest of our Helsinki stop over.

Photo Album

Seth holding his passport in Stockholm

Seth on the street in Helsinki

Tara by the harbor in Helsinki

Seth in front of the government building in Helsinki

Tara by Planet Hollywood

Travel Facts

When: Christmas 1996
Tourist Office: Finland
Web Sites:
Airline: SAS and Finnair
Travel Times London -> Copenhagen -> Helsinki -> Rovanemi -> Helsinki -> Copenhagen ->Oslo ... Bergen -> London
Hotel: none