Exploring Helsinki with Finland’s Best Tour Guide

Exploring Helsinki with Finland’s Best Tour Guide

Exploring Helsinki with Finland's Best Tour Guide
The main square in Helsinki has boasts one of the most iconic buildings in all of Finland.
170 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 106 Google+ 25 Pin It Share 0 StumbleUpon 39 Reddit 0 170 Flares ×

Exploring Helsinki with Finland’s Best Tour Guide

.

Ok, let’s be honest for a second, taking a walking tour isn’t the first thing on our list when we arrive to many cities. We often like to explore a bit on our own, get lost and snap some pictures at our own pace, but while on a trip to Helsinki recently we decided to go on a city tour and man are we glad we did. We weren’t sure what to expect, but ended the day sure we had just explored Helsinki with Finland’s best tour guide, and we think you’ll agree if you are ever lucky enough to explore the city with Maria Hanninen.

.

Exploring Helsinki with Finland's Best Tour Guide
Helsinki has a strong Russian influence and it can be seen in many of the churches and government buildings.

.

We met Maria outside of our hotel in the middle of Helsinki city center and were immediately taken by her high spirits, bubbly personality and passion for the city. She was so excited to take us exploring that her excited wore off on us and we were instantly ready to head off into the city with her. She had so much that she wanted to show us but took the time to explain that she was there for us and would allow us to dictate the pace and places we most wanted. As we strolled the quaint streets of Helsinki’s design and fashion district she was constantly explaining the smallest of details to us and their importance to the city. This design shop had the best Finnish designer furniture, this fashion shop sported the most popular gifts among Finns, and so it went. We were simply caught up in a whirlwind of history, culture, current events and Maria’s general passion for the country she is proud to call home.

.

“Maria made our day memorable, fascinating, educational and most importantly, personalized. Maria showed us a side of Helsinki we never would have seen…”

.

Jumping on the tram, we made our way outside of the city center and into the more residential part of town. We toured a local market, tasted traditional fruits and meats, talked to locals, visited churches, explored parks and took in all we could during our morning with Maria. She explained each neighborhood, statue, street sign and cafe and how they all played a part in the local history and culture of Helsinki.

Maria works for a great company, Tours By Locals, which has really revolutionized the way tour guiding is done. You can read all about the different tours she offers on her Helsinki tour guiding page, read others reviews and chose the tour that suits you best. The best part of our day with Maria is that we felt comfortable with her and instantly felt like friends, I honestly felt like we had known her for years. I think being comfortable with a tour guide is one of the most important elements while exploring a new city as you feel open to ask any questions, and once you get to know each other, the a good guide will be able to know what you are interested in and show it to you before you even know where you are headed, which is exactly what Maria did. I told her that we were photo nerds but also wanted to learn as much about Finnish history as we could.

.

Exploring Helsinki with Finland's Best Tour Guide
The neighborhood of Arabia mandated that art be present in all strictures in the entire neighborhood, well worth a visit!

.

As a tourist exploring a new city, the small details can make a world of difference. One of the coolest parts of our day with Maria was wandering into the University of Helsinki library and learning a bit about both the building and the Finnish education system, both of which were very interesting and something we never, ever, would have found out on our own. I’m not going to lie, since we visited the university Marina and I have had more than a couple conversations about going back to school in Helsinki haha.

Knowing this, she seamlessly walked us down the most picturesque streets while pausing to show us tiny details with huge historical significance, which really made our tour meaningful and interesting. While we only had a morning with Maria she took the time to really find out what we wanted to explore on our own and gave us all the information needed to do it solo and only focus on the sites which we should really do with a guide. This was so helpful to us, as we knew exactly what to do on our own and how to do it, while maximizing our time with her.

.

Exploring Helsinki with Finland's Best Tour Guide
A local street performer making beautiful music using simply glass bottles filled with water.

 

Finland is one of the most amazing places we have ever visited, and Helsinki, one of our favorite cities, a place we could easily see ourselves living in the future. Maria made our day memorable, fascinating, educational and most importantly, personalized. Maria showed us a side of Helsinki we never would have seen, pointed out details we never would have known and proved to us that hiring a guide to really get to know a new city really is the way to go. And while we don’t expect to always get a guide as good as Maria in the future, we will definitely think twice about only exploring on our own in the future and cross our fingers we get back to Helsinki in the future to spend another day with Maria.

Maria is available for half day, full day, multi day tours and everything in between. You can read about her Helsinki and Finland tours here as well as contact her about any other tours you can think of.

.

Exploring Helsinki with Finland's Best Tour Guide
Inside the famous Rock church, one of the most unique in the world.

.

.

.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel.¬†Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

NO COMMENTS

Leave a Reply


CommentLuv badge