MY HUSBAND HAS BOOKED FLIGHTS TO DUBLIN NEXT JUNE WITH A 10-HOUR STOPOVER IN HELSINKI ON THE WAY. HOW CAN WE FILL IN AT LEAST PART OF THIS TIME, APART FROM SITTING IN THE AIRPORT?
J. RUSSELL, BAYVIEW
Since your husband appears to be a thrifty fellow here's a strategy that might appeal to you both. Get some euros from one of the airport ATMs and buy a regional day ticket which costs $18 from the ticket machine at the number 615 bus stop outside the terminal. This is a better option than the Finnair bus since it covers all your transport needs. From the bus stop at Helsinki's central railway station walk to Senate Square and Kauppatori, the market which spills across the waterfront. Have a stroll around and check out the arts and crafts and the Empress Monument and maybe try some of the traditional delights of the Finnish kitchen such as reindeer meatballs, which are delicious.
From Kauppatori take the city ferry that leaves from a glass building in front of the Presidential Palace to Suomenlinna, a sea fortress that straddles six islands and a lovely place to wander around. The visitor centre can fill you in on the history of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Your day ticket covers the ferry ride. Back at the airport you might have some time to kill before your Dublin flight and you might head for the relaxation area located near Gate 31. This quiet lounge has comfy chairs and even a few bunk style beds, and it's free.