Travelling in Finland

Travelling in Finland doesn’t differ much from other countries. There are multiple ways to get from point A to point B, but I will try to point out couple of them. For short to medium range travelling I would recommend your own feet, a bicycle or a bus. Most of the cities in Finland have their own routes for cyclers so you usually don’t have to cycle in middle of the traffic (city centres are a case of their own though).

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For medium to long range travelling I would recommend using a bus or a train. With a train you are able to visit most of the major Finnish cities for a reasonable price. Using a bus is cheaper choice, but it is also slower. Then again you are able to visit even most of the smallest town with a bus. If you have a group of friends that want to travel with you, renting or buying a car (depending on the length of your stay) might be a viable option. Just remember that the Finnish traffic is right handed and the speed limits are quite strict. For a long range travelling (such as a trip to Lapland) I recommend either a train or a plane.

You should always check if there is a cheaper way to get to the place you are going. For example if you book in advance for a bus company called “Onnibus” you might be able to get a trip from Turku to Helsinki for 3 euros.

If you would ask me where should I travel to in Finland, I would recommend visiting Lake Finland, especially the lake Saimaa, Lapland, which is quiet self-explanatory, the Island of Ahvenanmaa, and of course our Capital, the city of Helsinki.

Text and photo: Iiro Järvenpää

My life in Turku

My days as a student vary quite a lot from day to day. Some days might end up being almost 12 hours of lectures at the university and some days I might not have any lectures at all. But I’ll try to depict my usual day as a student.

The alarm clock starts to ring at 7 o’clock and I get up with the speed of light (well… not always) to do my morning chores. After grabbing a quick shower, I make some coffee and eat my breakfast. Usually I eat either some toast or porridge. After eating my breakfast I double check where I am supposed to be and that I have packed all the right stuff to my backpack. Then I make my way out of the door. It is a sunny day so I decide to walk instead of taking a car (and it is smarter anyway as the campus is close.)

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I meet up with couple of my friends on my way to ICT-house and we have nice conversation about subject x. After 20 min I arrive to ICT campus and I make my way to lecture hall beta. While the lecturer is keeping a lecture I am trying to take notes about the most important things as I know I will need them. After couple lectures, around 11:30 o’clock I decide to have a lunch in ICT campuses cafeteria which offers good quality meal for measly price of 1,6 euros. The meal includes the main dish, salad, some bread and a glass of milk or juice.

Then I head back to the lecture hall for the rest of the lectures. After those I head back to home to have a dinner and do some of the exercises that were given. Then I have some time for myself and my hobbies. When I come back home I ready my backpack for the next day, eat supper and hit the bed.

Text and photo: Iiro Järvenpää

Everyday life in Turku

As I come from countryside, I find Turku to be very easy city to live in. Most of the things are easily accessible and they are also usually quite near. Turku has three shopping malls. One of these, the Hansa Shopping Centre is located in the very heart of Turku; next to the market square. As it is in the city centre, it is easy to visit by a bus, with a bicycle or by walking. The second shopping mall, Skanssi, is located 4 kilometers from city centre next to the Turku – Helsinki highway. It is easy to get there by car, bus, bicycle or on foot. Last of them, the shopping mall Mylly, (the mill) is actually located in Turkus neighbour municipality of Raisio, but it is valid option none the less! It is the largest one of these three shopping malls and it has really great selection of goods and shops.

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Other shops that are worth noticing are Lidls, which is usually regarded as the cheapest place to buy food. Siwas and K-kaupat which are smaller shops you kind find all over Turku. Prisma and K-markets are bigger shops with larger selections.

I also find Turku to be really easy city when it comes to moving around. Places are not usually too far away to go on foot, but if one finds them to be, bicycle is an option. An option that shouldn’t be over looked. I could even say that I think that owning a bicycle should be mandatory for all students in Turku. I think that Turku has really good and working public transportation. The most important of neighbouring cities can be visited by a train and daily life can be planned around bus schedules (as there is a bus stop around almost every corner.)

Text and photo: Iiro Järvenpää

Free time activities

When it comes to free time activities, Turku is a really great city. The whole city is filled with awesome places to visit and lots of opportunities to do hobbies. One of the good choices is jogging or walking as Turku has many kilometers of jogging trails (40km+) and in addition to that many more as nature trails for people who are looking forward to spend some time in Finnish nature. Other notable physical activity choices are for example going to one of the many swimming halls that are located around Turku.

For people that are looking for other kind of experience in Turku, I would recommend the Forum Marinum. The Forum Marinum Maritime Centre is a lively IiroJarvenpaa1-pieniand versatile centre for maritime activities, comprising a national special maritime museum, and the Finnish Navy Museum. Other great place to visit is Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova. The museum of history and contemporary art is an unique cultural attraction in Turku, Finland. Aboa Vetus is an underground area of ruins, where the genuine constructions tell the history of the oldest city in Finland.

Other place that shouldn’t go without mentioning is, of course, the Turku Castle. Turku Castle is located about 3 km from the city center easily accessible by public transportation. The Main Castle has treasures from the collections on display: ceramics, jewelry, costumes, demotic textiles, furniture and toys. In addition to the places that I have mentioned I should list: various gyms, Turku Cathedral, Ruissalo island, Hirvensalo ski centre, Turku indoor climbing “palace”, Kupittaa park and the Föri city ferry.

Text and photo: Iiro Järvenpää