“Savonlinna… where history becomes real”.
This is the second “chapter of the journey” in Finland. Earlier we could read some information about Finland in general, so now it is time to concentrate on Savonlinna.
- Where: Finland
- What: “Travel Smart” series
Savonlinna is a small town, but very beautiful and comfortable. You cannot get lost, because it is a simple town. Most likely you are going to visit the city centre and the fortress; therefore, let us start this chapter of the journey in the city centre of Savonlinna.
The city centre is quite small; there is a central square called “Tori” in Finnish and there you can find lots of fairs, the Info point and simply walk ahead to get to the harbour. That small street name is Kauppatori. There you can also find Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone. The hotel has a very good location in the city centre and a very comfortable inside. If you choose this option, get upstairs to the 6th floor to the terrace where you can have a cup of coffee, a glass of beer, some snacks or a pie, or anything and you can enjoy the view; it is so terrific. You can see Savonlinna castle (at least one half of it) and feel the gentle wind coming from the water.
There are plenty of cafés and restaurants near the harbour. You can choose the best suitable design, location, menu, or simply view for yourself and enjoy your meal. Prices are quite affordable, and choice is diverse. One of such places is Majakka restaurant. The atmosphere is amazing and charming; you can enjoy your meal both inside of the restaurant and outside, on the terrace. Guests are very welcome at that place and you always have a feeling that you chose the right place.
After your meal, walk down the harbour and take pictures, breathe the air and enjoy everything you see and hear. There are lots of cruises leaving regularly, if you want to take one and explore more waterways. Do not forget to check the square, where you started the trip; buy some souvenirs, find something for yourself.
On the same street you can find another hotel, which is Tott. You can choose this one as an option. It is located very close to the city centre. In front of that hotel there is a parking place, where you can park your car for a whole day.
Let us move on to the heart of Savonlinna, its fortress. The fortress has its own name, Olavinlinna. Here it is called a castle, but I would say it is a fortress. Anyway, it is a good place to visit, actually, the most important one if you are in Savonlinna. It works all days in summer and there are special guided tours for the guests.
You can have lunch inside of it and walk through small doors and dark rooms of Olavinlinna, which keeps the history inside of its walls. Do not forget to visit the museum nearby. It has a lot of interesting stuff inside. There is a parking place not far from it. Wandering around the museum you can enjoy the view of the water, cruise boats passing you by and even swim.
If you suddenly feel hungry, there is definitely something for you! First of all, within that area there are several cafés, restaurants and bistros. So, the first place is a very nice place called Sarastro. You can have lunch or order some cold drinks and enjoy the view to Olavinlinna and the water. Life slows down for a while and you feel so peaceful and relaxed. I recommend that place as one of the best ones in that area.
Another really good place is the neighbouring place, a restaurant called Valo. That place has a very good location too and a terrific view to the water. You can have lunch or get some cold drinks during a hot day. My experience was that I tried the dish called “Paistetut muikut” which means “fried vendace”. It is really tasty and it is a famous and favourite dish in Savonlinna among Finns. So, take your time to taste it!
There is another place not far from it, called Café Saima. It is a nice place hidden among houses and away from the town. It gives you a sense of your intimacy in a town.
As for me, my favourite ones (if talking about the ones near Olavinlinna) are Sarastro restaurant and Valo restaurant. They are very good ones and have a high level of service, friendly staff and good choice of dishes. So, Hyvää ruokahalua! As it means – enjoy your meal!
There are some more hotels and cafés in Savonlinna, obviously; however, I would like to mention two more. One of them is located really close to the above mentioned restaurants. The hotel name is PerheHotelli Hospitz. I was inside of it and was amazed. I like the design very much. It reminds the sense of the past, more likely to make you feel a part of “Sherlock Holmes adventure”. Very unique and charming interior, peaceful atmosphere and friendly staff are making that place so special. I would recommend it as a new unforgettable experience.
Another hotel I would like to say some words about is Spahotel Casino, Savonlinna (previously called Best Western Spa Hotel Casino). I like the interior; it is a good mix of old classics and new modern and comfortable design. You have enough space, a view to the water, city centre pretty close to the hotel, and a casino (of course, in case if you play). You can definitely consider this hotel as one of the options.
Here I would like to end this chapter of the journey. I tried to show some interesting places to visit, some cafés, restaurants to have lunch at, some hotels required during your trip, and some directions to make it more enjoyable.
There are many other places to be in Savonlinna, some of them you might choose and plan on your own; and it is great! Just take your time and do not be afraid to explore more! There are more towns and cities of Finland in the following chapters of the journey.
About Travel Smart series
“Travel Smart” is a section, narrating about different countries and good travel tips, advised by the author, Kirill Malyutin. The series contains recommendations, including selected places to visit, character accommodation, and reasonable shopping. Simply get inspiration!
This chapter of the journey is dedicated to a small village located in a Swedish-speaking area of Finland, i.e. Fiskars Village. The village has a great historic meaning for the country as in 1649 it got its first development due to Fiskars Ironworks, which was founded on the shores of the Fiskars River.
A new boutique hotel, U14, Autograph Collection, opened its doors in the Finnish capital, the city of Helsinki. The hotel is located in the Design District of Helsinki close to the waterfront and city centre. The best view from the rooms is onto harbour with big cruise ferries in sight or charming old buildings of the Art Nouveau style.
The Mall of Tripla, the largest in Northern Europe, opened its doors in Finland, in the very heart of the business district of Helsinki, Pasila. Following grand development plans of the area, this particular spot was chosen to become a local hub for businesses and cultural life of the district.
The Plaza Hotel has appeared in a well-known film “Home alone 2”. The true luxury hotel was presented as the most attractive and the best hotel in New York City.