Finland regions

The Weekender: Helsinki and Levi, Finland

Every season in Finland is nothing short of a dreamscape, whether you’re gazing at the leaves in the heart of Helsinki or conquering the snow in the wild and peaceful wilderness of Finnish Lapland. In fact, seeing the best of both worlds in one trip is the way to go, especially for the traveler who appreciates a good change of scenery. This is our ideal long weekend in Finland for lovers of both city life and the great outdoors.

Where to stay:

In Helsinki, stay at Hotel U14, a family-run 117-room boutique hotel in the waterfront district of Kaartinkaupunki. Between a prime location, eclectic design, spacious accommodations, and excellent dining programs, you’ll feel right at home while being steps away from some of the city’s best sights, shops, and restaurants.

The Northern Lights in Levi

The Northern Lights in Levi

No trip to Finland is complete without a visit to Levi in ​​the heart of Lapland, the northernmost region of the country where, if you’re lucky, you can see a magnificent Aurora Borealis in the crisp clear blackness of the night. While you’re here, Design Hotel Levi and Golden Crown Levin Iglut are two exceptional places to stay, both designed to showcase the breathtaking nature that surrounds them. The latter, as you might have guessed, has an ever-growing park of glass igloos that are absolutely worth booking during your stay, if only for one night. under the stars.

Where to eat:

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Version Restaurant serves up sustainably-minded Scandinavian and Californian dishes made from fresh, local ingredients, and at the bar you can expect an extensive wine list. original but accessible as well as creative craft cocktails. Nearby, the restaurants Alexanderplats, Nolla and Finnjävel are not to be missed.

King Crab House in Levi

King Crab House in Levi

In Levi, King Crab House is a go-to for fresh Arctic seafood, from the star catch of the week to live king crab, of course. While you’re in the area, be sure to reserve a table at the Golden Crown’s Utsu restaurant, where guests seated on the top floor can lean back in their chairs to gaze at the sky through the specially designed glass roof. building before returning to their igloos for the night. And, if you happen to be visiting during ski season, spend some time lounging in at least one of the many Levi’s restaurants, cafes or bars by the slopes. Most importantly, don’t leave without downing a cup or two of hot chocolate enriched with Minttu Finnish peppermint liqueur (trust us).

What to do:

Sauna is absolutely essential when visiting Finland in any capacity. Helsinki is full of fun and unique sauna and spa experiences, including a very exclusive Burger King sauna as well as a sauna inside a cabin on an active Ferris wheel, although Löyly was by far our first choice. . When you’re ready to detox, head to The Helsinki Distilling Co. for a tour, tasting, food, and drink. Skiing is one of Levi’s most popular winter activities and, for good reason, the slopes, which are generally open October through May, are impeccably groomed with diverse terrain for skiers of all skill levels. If you venture outside of Levi, the elf village of Tonttula is a fun year-round attraction for families. For the adventurous, spend a day with the huskies at All Huskies (yes, you can sled) and end the evening with the wonderful HaliPuu family, who have cared for their serene forest for decades and shared maintaining its beauty with visitors through a variety of creative wilderness experiences. Embrace the trees, arctic cocooning and homemade open-fire chai, anyone?

Dog sledding in Levi

Dog sledding in Levi