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Thoughts on Stockhom, Helsinki and the Overnight Ferry?

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May 27th, 2014, 03:02 PM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2014
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Thoughts on Stockhom, Helsinki and the Overnight Ferry?

Hi everyone,

My sister and I will be in Scandinavia in January 2015 and are planning to spend:
-Two nights in Stockholm
-One night on the Viking Line overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki
-Three nights in Helsinki

What do you think about this? Ideally I wanted to spend three nights in both Stockholm and Helsinki, but time simply doesn't allow it. I basically have five nights to split between Stockholm and Helsinki. I'm very conflicted. I've done a lot of research and it seems as though Stockholm is the nicer city with more to do. However, Helsinki holds a special place in my heart. I nearly went on university exchange there so want to see what I missed out on. There are also many things I want to do in Helsinki (ice swimming, saunas, etc.) but no specific activities that come to mind for Stockholm. I also thought that if we were bored in Helsinki we could take a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia. Viking Line provides two hour ferries between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Just a little disclaimer. We are prepared for the dark and cold. Unfortunately this time of year is the only time we can travel together. I will be 21 at the time and my sister will be 18.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Any information on Stockholm, Helsinki and the overnight ferry between them is much appreciated
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May 27th, 2014, 04:01 PM
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Well.. I've been to both and I'd reverse your times in each city. But then you're young and I'm an old geezer - I've been on the Silja ferry and it was quite the party boat… in Sept…
don't know what's it's like in winter. There's a lot more to see in Stockholm… but for someone with your athletic interests perhaps Helsinki is the answer. In any case…. have fun!
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May 27th, 2014, 05:45 PM
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IMHO Stockholm has way more to see and do than Halsinki so I would

Switch the 3rd day to Stockholm

Look at flying instead of ferry to 1) save time and 2) avoid being on the sea in midwinter - when it will be bitter cold and unpleasant
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May 28th, 2014, 02:14 AM
  #4
 
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The ferry isn´t cold or unpleasant in the winter. It has heating ;D Tallink Silja also has a overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki that has been just refurbished so might be nicer than Viking´s.

I would do three nights in Stockholm and two in Helsinki, but if you want to have an option for Tallinn day-trip then your current plan is fine.

Have you looked at hotels yet? I can recommend Omenahotels in Helsinki if you´re on a budget, or for slightly more Sokos Hotels chain is realiable.
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May 28th, 2014, 03:54 AM
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We traveled to Scandinavia two years ago (for a cruise) and spent a couple of days in Stockholm (you'll have no trouble filing your time there!) and single day in Helsinki (sorry, I can't contribute much on that city), and a day in Tallinn. I want to put in a good word for Tallinn. The old town was beautiful! It was the surprise highlight of our trip. Enjoy!
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May 28th, 2014, 04:59 PM
  #6
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Thank you everyone for your input If we leave our plans as they currently are we will be on the ferry on a Saturday night. If we add an extra night in Stockholm we will be on the ferry on a Sunday night. Will the atmosphere be different depending on which night we travel?
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May 28th, 2014, 05:20 PM
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I'll add to the folk saying spend more time in Stockholm.

We took the overnight ferry to Helsinki, spent one day in Helsinki and caught the ferry next night back to Stockholm. We did a bus tour of Helsinki that meets the ferry and went to the main tourist sites of Helsinki then dropped you off in the city. We then had time ( about three hours from memory to explore the harbour and revisit the cathedral before walking back to the ferry. We feel we got a good overview of Helsinki and was well worth the trip.

As mentioned above, it's a bit of a party boat, with restaurants, lounges and discos and the main clientele seemed to be Swedes or Finns having a weekend away and stocking up on supermarket-trolley-loads of duty-free grog. Consuming quite a bit of it too. Also a large tour group of Chinese who dominated the first sitting of the buffet and were not seen again.

The trip through the archipelago out of Stockholm was fantastic and we felt the trip was worth it for that alone.
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May 28th, 2014, 10:48 PM
  #8
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Hi @eigasuki. Perhaps two nights in Helsinki would be enough. If you managed to squeeze that into a few hours I'm sure I'll be able to find time to do all of the activities I'm planning Is this archipelago trip you speak of a dinner cruise? It doesn't look like any run in the winter time unfortunately.
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May 29th, 2014, 12:20 AM
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The archipelago trip is the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. If you look at a map of Stockholm, you see the ferry has to pass by numerous islands and this is what makes the ferry trip special as the islands are very beautiful. If you do an overnight trip, you won't see much though. I would take a day sailing. In January the days are very short. Some of the ferries make a stop in the Åland islands for duty free shopping. 1 day or maybe 2 maximum in Helsinki is sufficient.
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May 29th, 2014, 02:03 AM
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Oh right! Thanks for that clarification @Odin. The only time I've seen the word archipelago before was in reference to a dinner cruise in Stockholm
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