Helsinki as a Shore Excursion, DIY OK?

Old Mar 20th, 2014, 05:16 PM
  #1  
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Helsinki as a Shore Excursion, DIY OK?

We are going to be in Helsinki for 1 day as part of a cruise. The Ship offers many shore excursions. None that look that interesting to me. Except for the City Hall I can't think of anything that is on my must see list. I don't need or want to see the Churches, except for the Church in the Rock. So what I am asking here is for someone to suggest a easy itinerary that incorporates those sights. Could you also include where the best place or places are to sit and enjoy a snack & people watch, and also to do a little shopping. Too much? I can't tell by the info I have found. And the biggie, in my case what's the easiest way to get around. Thanks in advance.
zwho is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2014, 05:24 PM
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You could just walk off the boat and hang out in the market area near the cruise ship dock. The main shopping area is adjacent. Since you are there for a short time, I'd just take a taxi to the Church in the Rock.

To get around, public transport is great, but, for a few hours, it is not worth the effort to master it. Most of the main sites are within walking distance from the dock, but not the Church in the Rock. The church can be closed if there is a wedding.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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I don't ever take cruise ship excursions. I'll study the port on my own and either take public transport or get a taxi to take me on a private tour.

Helsinki is a very popular one day excursion from Stockholm.
Bamaman is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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Thank you so much.
zwho is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2014, 07:04 PM
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I'm with you Bamaman...although not a veteran crusiser, the few I've been on, we did our own things at each port..including river cruises and barges. Much more fun DIY.
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Old Mar 20th, 2014, 07:04 PM
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"cruiser"...error
tower is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2014, 11:17 AM
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If you did Helsinki as a day trip from Stockholm by boat, you'd spend all day just getting there--and then you'd have to get back. You can do a cruise from either Helsinki or Turku in Finland or from Stockholm to Mariehamn in the Aaland Islands and back in the same day. I did it in 2007 when I home exchanged in Finland. It was a beautiful day and the island scenery was stunning. I took the Silja Line. Silja is an Estonian based company that runs ferries all over the Baltic. I have also used them to go from Stockholm to Riga (17 hours one was). I call it the poor man's cruise ship line. It's actually quite nice with entertainment for adults and kids on board if you are into that.
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 06:53 PM
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Definitely no need for the cruise line's excursion. Besides walking around the main market area, we took a mini cruise out among the islands. Lots of fun seeing the area, especially the many cottages, camps, and saunas. Helsinki is the least exciting capital on the Baltic cruise circuit (hard to compare against Stockholm, Talinn, and St Petersburg!)) but it's still a pleasant afternoon!
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 07:50 AM
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There are a couple of sites that you should see. Very do-able on your own though. The Market square, Senate square, Mannerheim Street and Temppeliauko Rock Church. Maybe Sibelius Park.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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I actually think Helsinki is nicer than Oslo--maybe a minority opinion. Oslo does have the advantage of the Museum Island where most cruise passengers will head. Helsinki has a nice fortress island in the harbor with the fortress of Suominlina. Some might want to head there or you could just hang out in the harbor area--which is really a great big food/souvenir market. Down the street you can find the upscale shops.

The problem with all cruises is that the shore time does not give you time to see much--which is why I don't take them. It's a choice whatever way you travel.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
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