In LO Itinerary, real travelers share their real travel itineraries with their Little Ones — what happened, what they recommend, and why. 

When

May 2016

Why

From everything I’d read, Finland sounded like a beautiful and quirky country. Helsinki seemed like a great place to spend a few days — with both urban and nature aspects. Tallinn, Estonia is only a few hours from Helsinki, so we decided to check it out as well.

How old was our Little One at the time

4.5 months

finland2Day 1 – Helsinki

We arrived in Helsinki in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day walking around the city. Helsinki is clean and gorgeous, with lots of parks. We headed to Hakaniemi Market Square, which is right by the water, and hosts souvenir and food stands, where we discovered 101 ways to eat salmon. That’s an exaggeration, but I was in heaven.

LO was still breastfeeding at that point. I covered up with a scarf, but felt comfortable breastfeeding anywhere. In the spring/summer, the sun rises early, sets late, and is extremely strong. Even with sunglasses, I found it difficult to walk in the direction of the sun. Make sure that you have a good hood for your stroller. We ‘d left ours at home. Oops.

Getting around

Helsinki is an extremely walkable city. We took an Uber from the airport, and used our own carseat, a Graco, which snaps into our Baby Jogger City Mini.

Accommodations

We stayed at a great Airbnb in the center of Helsinki. It was a very stylish studio apartment with a small kitchenette. But the best part was that the owner, Finn, bought a Pack ‘N Play for our LO to use. He thought it was a good investment. It cost us $68/night + a cleaning fee.

img_0936Day 2 – Suomenlinna & Helsinki

Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna, a world heritage site, is a fortress that is located on an island a short ferry ride from Helsinki. We brought our stroller on the ferry, but then felt more comfortable carrying LO in the Ergo Baby 360 carrier because Suomenlinna’s paths were very rocky. I enjoyed Suomenlinna because it’s beautiful, and my husband appreciated the history. It was definitely nice to be outside, and as usual, LO napped.

Finnish Sauna

We learned some interesting things about Finland’s treatment of babies. 1. Apparently, Finnish babies often nap outside in the winters. 2. Finnish infants sleep in the maternity gift box that their parents receive when they’re born. 3. Finnish babies go into saunas. Sounds good to us, but we were not ready to introduce our 4.5 month old to the sauna. So, my husband and I took turns walking around the hipster neighborhood with our baby while the other did the sauna thing — soaking up the steam, showering off, and then getting a full body exfoliating scrub down in the center of the locker room. After being pregnant, giving birth, and nursing on demand, I felt like this was a truly cathartic, body-positive experience.  And, at Kotiharju Sauna, it was just 10 euro.

finland5

Day 3 – Tallinn & Helsinki

Tallinn

I had no idea that Tallinn was such a popular travel destination. Its historic Old Town — lined with cobblestone streets and pastel-colored buildings — was packed with tourists. Many of them were on cruises that had docked for the day. After taking a two-hour ferry ride from Helsinki, which was incredibly comfortable and made it very easy to travel with a stroller and baby, we walked up and down the streets, following Rick Steve’s Tallinn guide, as did every other tourist there. Then, we grabbed lunch outside the Old Town. If you’re a marzipan fanatic like I am, check out the Kalev Marzipan Museum Room, where you’ll find marzipan in the shapes of animals, people, fruit, and more. LO slept through Tallinn.

Shopping

Helsinki has some great fashion, and I was set on getting some of it! We went to Monki, a Scandinavian brand, where I bought a bunch of fast fashion items on the cheap. It’s sort of like H&M.

Day 4 – Helsinki

Design Museum
It’s hard to know what sort of education a baby gets from different activities, but I always feel like museum visits — as long as they’re not too long — can be good. Finland is known for its unique aesthetic design, and the Design Museum was fascinating and beautiful. LO alternated between sleeping and listening to our explanations. And there was an amazing changing station in the basement bathroom. Yay Finland!

Kaivopuisto Park

One of Helsinki’s many rambling, lovely parks. We walked through it, sat on a bench, grabbed coffee, and stared at the water. Delightful!

What are some activities that you recommend doing with a Little One in Finland?

Rachel Sales is a writer, entrepreneur, world traveler, wife, and mom. She’s the founder of Little One Travel.
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One thought on “LO Itinerary: 4 Days in Finland & Estonia

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