Working from my laptop in my from my room all the time can get boring! Sometimes I need a change of environment to keep motivated and it also helps me be creative. Living in Tampere for the last 7 months I have been able to check out a lot of the local coffee shops in the area and have come to love a few! One thing is true, Finns LOVE coffee. Since they spend a big part of the year in darkness, I understand why (so hard not to be tired at 3pm because it’s already dark). If you are in Tampere, or maybe in Helsinki and looking for a day trip, here are the best coffee shops in Tampere, Finland!
This cafe is so unique to Tampere! They make all the food fresh and the menu is ever changing. You might need a reservation if you want to go during weekend brunch!
This cafe is so Instagram-worthy with marble tables and cool lighting! They have delicious cakes and coffee. On the weekends they also have a brunch buffet. It is pricey, but worth a try!
Another great cozy cafe. I love this cafe’s pastries and also their outdoor seating during the warmer months!
The chia tea lattes here are big and delicious! I love sitting on their couch-like seating and getting work done!
I love how all the coffee shops in Tampere are so unique and make their food fresh! Tampere is also known for being vegan and gluten free friendly so there is something for everyone!
Finland has over 100 ski resorts and no mountains! You might wonder how you can go skiing without any mountains? Well Finland does have many hills that are covered in snow! Winter can begin in November in some places, so you can enjoy skiing for a large part of the year. Whether you are a new or experienced skier, you will enjoy your time skiing in Finland! Here are 4 ski resorts to check out while in Finland.
This is the ski resort that I went to with my host family this past weekend. Since this was my first time I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I felt like as a new skier I did not feel intimidated at all!
This year Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence!
Before coming, I had no idea what their history was or who they gained independence from. On December 6, 1917 they officially became on independent state from the Russian Republic.
Finland was part of Sweden for over 600 years, but during this time Sweden and Russia fought over the land. In 1809 Finland was officially part of Russia after they won the war against Sweden.
When World War I was almost over, Finland separated itself from Russia after the Parliament accepted the declaration of independence. This then made them an independent country.
If you would like to read more about Finland and their history, you can go HERE where I found this information!
100 Years Celebration
I was able to celebrate the 100 years in Helsinki, the capital. There were so many activities! The celebration started on December 5th and continued until the 6th. The whole market square was filled with people and the national flag.
This years theme is ‘together’ to celebrate the country as a whole community. The Suomi 100 official website encourages Finns to go and do something big or small to contribute to their community.
The Suomi 100 official website states, “The centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 will be the most significant commemorative year for this generation of Finns. The centenary emphasises Finland’s strengths, such as equality and democracy by offering Finns and friends of Finland diverse and international centenary programme in Finland and abroad. The centenary year provides opportunities to better understand the past, experience the jubilee together and set the course for Finland’s future success” (suomifinland100.fi). This statement really shows how they feel about this big event and how special it is for them!
I’m truly happy I was able to have this experience and learn about the country more!
Have you ever celebrated a holiday in another country? Tell me about it!
As much as I want to explore Europe, I have to remind myself to also explore Finland! I decided to take a day trip to Turku, the oldest city in Finland. I have to say I would not come to Finland and stay for a week in Turku, a day would be enough.
How to Spend a Day in Turku:
Visit the Market Square
Unfortunately, when I was in town it was pouring rain so there were not many vendors out. I have heard though during the summer it is pretty big. And in the winter they will have a Christmas market.
Check out the oldest church in Finland
The inside was amazing! Choir practice was also going on when I visited, which was amazing to hear in the church. Upstairs of the church there is a museum that only costs 2 euros or only 1 euro if you’re a student. The church also has a bible that is thousands of years old!
See Turku Castle
Turku castle is the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. I will say the castle is about a 40 min walk from the city center so you will either be prepared to walk that long or take public transportation. There are tours you can go on or just see it for yourself!
Restaurants in Turku
I did notice that there was not that many choices in Turku to eat. I finally found a place called Tres Restaurant where I had a delicious salad and soup for only 10 euros.
If you just want coffee there are a lot of options. If you have never visited a Fazer Cafe, this is one to check out! They have them in other cities in Finland since Fazer is a Finnish brand.
There is a pretty nice sized mall and also shops around the city for shopping.
If you are planning a trip to Finland here is a blog post on Helsinki and Tampere.
Thank you for reading!
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This Sunday will officially be my second month living here in Finland. It’s so crazy how time flies! Though the days are getting shorter and colder, I am looking forward to my first Finnish winter. I have learned so much already about Finnish culture, so I thought it would be fun to share that culture with you. So, here are five things you should know about Finland 🙂
In Finland, you have your normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But then you will have your evening snack before bed. This is usually bread, fruit, or yogurt. When I first told my host family that in America this is not a common practice, they thought it was crazy! They did not see how you could go to bed without eating first. The evening snack is a common cultural practice here in Finland and every family I have met so far does it (and thinks it’s weird that Americans don’t). I am all for this snack, because who doesn’t like eating bread and cheese at night 😉
They LOVE Finnish Brands
In Finland you won’t really see many chain coffee shops, but more locally owned ones. While you will see McDonald’s, Burger King, etc they are not as popular. Finns love to support local businesses and Finnish brands. Marimekko and Iittala are two examples of Finnish brands that are very popular in Finland.
Finnish take recycling seriously! There are places everywhere for you to recycle that is even separated by the material. They even have an organic waste container. There is even a garbage truck that comes to homes to pick up their organic waste!
Saunas are very popular. It is common for families or even apartment complexes to have a sauna. Coming from America, these saunas are not what I am used to. It is common practice to go to the sauna naked, usually with friends or your whole family. All saunas are ones you can throw water on the rocks also (which is really fun if you have never done it). A local told me that in Finland they believe that it is good to go to a sauna and get really hot and then go jump in the lake, even when it’s winter! I think I may have to take her word for it.
I don’t think I could do a post about Finland and not mention Moomins! Tove Jansson started writing books and comic strips about Moomins in 1945 and they have been a hit ever since. Today you can find in probably almost every Finnish home something with Moomins on it, whether it be bedding or even dishes.
Have you ever experienced a culture that is different from your own? What was your favorite thing that was different?