Why You Should Visit Finland

There is a good reason why I moved out of Finland, but there is also a good reason why I travel there annually (not counting my family and friends who obviously are the main reason). People often ask me if it is a good place for a holiday and I definitely do recommend it for a holiday, as most people who visit it seem to love it.

Finland is a country that has proper 4 seasons. So unlike the myth that it is always freezingly cold in there, it actually has a beautiful spring and a warm summer of up to 35 degrees celsius.

Winters are cold but full of snow. There are lots of places where they offer snow sports from snowboarding to skiing, whilst stopping at cottages to drink warm hot chocolate (which was my favourite thing to do). In the north, you can visit the Santa Claus and his reindeer or even stay in a glass igloo, which I would really like to do at some point! You can take a very warming sauna and dip into the refreshing cold water afterwards. It does sound like extreme sports, but apparently, it is very healthy for you.

Spring is a beautiful time if you want to see nature coming back to life again. It does invigorate you feeling slight cold on your face while the sun is shining and you can see a flower growing through the snow.

Summers are my favourite time of the year as they are warm and full of light. Actually, Finland is one of the places where you can experience almost never ending lightness. During the summer it can be light nearly the full 24 hours. Finland is full of lakes and forests, so it is easy to feel close to nature and don’t forget about the Aurora borealis. Some of the favourite past times in the summer is going swimming, of course. There are a lot of summer cafe’s with creamy ice cream to be enjoyed at the docks. Summers are also full of various music festivals and you can probably find a festival with the kind of music you like, although Finns are massive fans of heavy metal. There is opera, jazz, rock, r&b… Some of the popular ones are Savonlinna opera festival and Flow.

Autumns are great if you want to see the place full of colour. Trees turn to different colours from green to yellow and orange and people cosy up inside with warm drinks and delicious food. This is a good time if you want to gather some mushrooms or berries, which there is an abundance of in the endless forests.

Finland is not necessarily known as a culinary paradise and I can’t say that I love all the foods there, but there are some gems that I crave for on a yearly basis and make sure to eat when I visit.

  • Karelia pasties/pies are rice pudding wrapped in thin layer of rye and wheat.
  • Leipäjuusto with cloudberry jam. Leipäjuusto is this particular cheese that is a bit squeky. You can eat it cold or warm it in the oven and the cloudberry jam just works with it. Actually, anything cloudberry is yummy!
  • Cheeses, in general, are good. Aura cheese is this blue cheese with a flavour much milder than most blue cheese, but it is delicious!
  • Berries. Just any berries are good and there is lots of them.
  • Ice cream, like I said earlier you can buy it nearly everywhere during the summer.
  • Rye bread can be bought in any supermarket, but many cafe’s offer rye bread sandwiches as well.
  • Liquorice and salt liquorice = salmiakki are one of Finland’s favourite sweet treats. There is also an alcohol drink based on this treat, which is their favourite and available in any club or bar you visit.
  • Chocolate. Fazer is a finnish brand of chocolate and bakery products which you can find in supermarkets, as well as in a Fazer cafe.

Finland has an interesting history being occupied by Sweden and Russia after which they gained their independence in 1917. They have very much of their own cultural identity, although I feel they have a more of a Scandinavian lifestyle than a Russian. There are few castles build during the occupations and there is Suomenlinna, a famous fortress and a Unesco World Heritage site, where you can still see the history of the wars standing in front of you.

Finland, as a country, is quite sustainable. I learned there, from an early age, to recycle everything, to not use too much water and to savour the environment. In addition, you can easily get around in Finland with English and they use Euro as their currency. Transportation has been made quite easy compared to many other countries. So if you are still wondering about whether to go for a holiday toFinlandd I hope this post helped you to decide.

All pictures are from this Pinterest board.

Have you ever been to Finland?

With love,

Lii

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Metz

On my trip to Luxembourg, I also got to visit the beautiful and charming city of Metz in France. It was a pretty quick stop with a walk across the city’s nice little shops, the cathedral (which was magnificent!) and the food market, so there is not a lot to tell. Instead, I will shower you what it was like and reassure that it is one of the places to visit if you are in the area.

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With love,

Lii

Luxembourg city

Luxembourg is a small country, however not as small as I originally though. It actually has more than one city. It is a great place if you want to travel around to other countries like Germany, France, Belgium or Nederlands. But there is also a lot to see in Luxembourg and in the city.

Luxembourg city is surprisingly big with amazing history, shopping spots, yummy pastries and gorgeous parks. You can take a bus almost everywhere. A ticket only costs 2 euros, however, most people do not usually even pay that as they check the tickets rarely. And yes, they use euros in Luxembourg. It is told that everything is very expensive. I found that touristy stuff was not really that expensive and with eating you can save if you buy from the cheaper supermarkets, like Lidl. Most museums are closed on Mondays, although many of them are free. The thing that shocked me the most was the opening times of the shops, as not only did the clothing shops close early so did the grocery stores as well. So remember to check opening times if you are planning something.

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What to see

Cathedrale Notre-Dame

The gorgeous sanctuary. With beautiful archways and glass windows. Come here to just sit and relax, or look around the magnificence of it. It is right in the centre of the city, next to the Grand Ducal Palace. It is a favourite with many tourists!

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Casemates

I found casemates to be one of the best places to do city sightseeing of the old town. It is located right above the Grund and the old city and it overlooks the Grand Duchess Charlotte bridge. However, there are parts of the casemates that are not for those who are afraid of confined spaces. Casemates are a set of tunnels initially built in the 17th century. They have a long and important history within the city and I found it one of the most exciting places to visit, although the confined spaces really did give me some anxiety, especially with the narrow and slope staircases.

Grund

This apparently is the name of the old town, which is located in a valley below the centre of the city. It is a very picturesque walk along a river, in a park and between cute buildings. You can get there either by walking down a long set of stairs or going down with a lift. The lift is free to use to everybody and unless you want to do some cardio on your way up to the central, it is the best way to get up (and has free bathrooms right next to it).

Banque et Caisse d’Epargne (Bank museum)

This building is probably the image building of the city and for no wonder, as it was the first bank in the city. Within the building, there is a bank museum, which takes you through the history of the bank, money, and history of Luxembourg. Interesting and free!

There are of course many other museums and parks in Luxembourg as well and other places to see. It might be a small city, but it has a long history.

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Food

Well, to tell you the truth I mainly ate patisserie throughout my trip and it is the best thing to do in the city. We went for brunch one morning only to realise that most people still like to eat something small and sweet next to brunch of fluids such as coffee, juice and possibly bubbly as well.

Rawdish

This was the only place where I didn’t have something sweet, but rather just a chia pudding with this amazing nutty paste. So yumm!! I also had so yummy raw juice and delicious coffee. Definitely a great place for breakfast or lunch.

Chocolate House

This was my favourite place ever! It is located across from the Grand Ducal Palace, but the price is not too bad. They offer massive yummy cakes, great hot chocolates in different flavours (also with alcohol) and different chocolates.

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Cathy Goedert

I know that this place also serves brunch on Sundays, but it is 27euros per brunch with a buffet. We did not try this so I cannot tell you whether it was good. The thing that got me in the patisserie where the great cakes they were serving and the bagels. My cake was the best thing ever!!

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Where to shop

The centre itself is the best place unless you want to travel to nearby outlets, which are not actually situated in the country itself. Rue Philippe 2 is good for the high-end finds, whereas Grand-Rue is best for high street fashion. But just circling around the centre, which is not massive you can find loads of places to spend your money and see lots. Although, if you are planning to travel around, then I would research some outlets, as they are much cheaper than the centre of Luxembourg.

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Where to have a drink

If you are looking to party the old town is the best place. There is a whole little area filled with most of the clubs next to each other. But if you would rather just have a quiet drink with a friend we loved the place next to Gare Centrale, next to the Rotondes. Can’t remember the place, but they had a lovely patio outside and reasonably priced drinks, as well as a grill outside where they made delicious burgers. We tried their falafel burger which was so yummy!!

Have you been to Luxembourg? Do you have any other travel tips?

With love,

Lii