RSA Friends Travel to Helsinki

Posted on 23 May 2018

RSA Friends Travel to Helsinki


I have just come back from leading a group of 29 RSA Friends on a fabulous 4 day tour of Helsinki for our Annual Friends’ Holiday.  Organised by Ian Dickson Travel, the tour included all the main highlights of Helsinki and a day trip across to Tallinn.  We were accompanied throughout by our charming tour guide Sarrianna who really helped out by arranging and re-arranging visits to Art Galleries and Museums not on the itinerary.  The weather gods were looking after us and the sun shone throughout the trip showing Helsinki at its very best.  The hotel was very central and had an excellent restaurant and very comfortable rooms with a scandic design.  Our first day was spent touring the city by bus, getting our bearings and visiting the National Museum and the impressive Rock Church.  After a very early start the following day, we took the ferry to Tallinn and toured the city by bus in the morning.   After lunch we explored the medieval city centre before catching the ferry back.  The next morning we again took a boat, this time just across the bay, to the Soumenlinna Fortress.  I had not been over excited by the prospect of this visit but I found the history hugely interesting and the island itself had an atmosphere not unlike Iona or Lindisfarne although its purpose was completely different. Lunch from the food market on the quayside was delightful- plenty of fish and fresh fruit to choose from.

We had a couple of group meals in restaurants serving typical Finnish food which everyone enjoyed and on the other evenings we investigated a variety of nearby restaurants.  On the final morning we visited, what was for many the highlight of the trip, the home and studio of Alvar Aalto, the well-known Finnish architect.  We had heard from our guide all about the sauna culture but unfortunately that was one thing I didn’t manage to fit into our busy schedule – next time!   A great trip with a lovely group of friendly fellow art lovers.

Comments from the group included:

“The best of the trip was saved till last – the private visit to the Alvar Aalto house and studio was what RSA tours should be all about. A truly memorable morning.”   

The holiday was a great pleasure indeed– thank you for organising this fascinating trip to the splendid city of Helsinki- a beautiful spacious city with lovely trees, lakes, varied architecture and interesting galleries. 

Sheena Walker, RSA Friends’ Administrator

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