Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Your hostel, hotel, or the ship you came to Finland on may have a sauna. Ask them
when they heat it, and whether it's semi-public (separate men's and women's hours,
pay per person) or for private use (book and pay for a 45- to 60-minute time slot, and
save money by bringing a group of friends, either mixed or same-sex). Public saunas
are a dying breed these days, because most Finns have private saunas in their homes
or cabins. But some public saunas survive in rougher, poorer neighborhoods.
For a good, traditional wood-heated sauna with a coarse and local crowd, try the
Kotiharjun Sauna. There are no tourists and no English signs, but the guy at the
desk speaks English and can help: Pay €12 plus €3 for a towel (cash only), find a
locker, strip (keep the key on your wrist), and head for the steam. Cooling off is
nothing fancy, just a bank of cold showers. A woman in a fish-cleaner's apron will
give you a wonderful scrub with Brillo pad-like mitts (€9, only on Tue and Fri-Sat
16:00-19:00). Regulars relax with beers on the sidewalk just outside (open Tue-Sat
14:00-21:30, closed Sun-Mon, last entry 2 hours before closing; men—ground floor,
women—upstairs; 200 yards from Sörnäinen Metro stop, Harjutorinkatu 1, tel. 09/
753-1535, ) .
▲▲ National Museum of Finland (Kansallismuseo) —This pleasant, easy-to-handle
collection (covering Finland's story from A to Z, with good English descriptions) is in
a grand building designed by three of this country's greatest architects—including Eliel
Saarinen—in the early 1900s. The Neoclassical furniture, folk costumes, armory, and por-
traits of Russia's last czars around an impressive throne are interesting, but the highlight is
Finland's largest permanent archaeological collection, covering the prehistory of the coun-
try. The fine, new 20th-century exhibit bookends your visit by bringing the story up to the
present day. The interactive top-floor workshop is worth a look for its creative teaching.
Cost and Hours: €8, free on Fri 16:00-18:00; open Tue-Sun 11:00-18:00, closed Mon;
Mannerheimintie 34, tel. 09/4050-9544 or mobile 040-128-6469, . The museum
café, with a tranquil outdoor courtyard, has light meals and Finnish treats such as lingon-
berry juice and reindeer quiche (open until 17:00). It's just a five-minute walk from Temp-
peliaukio Church.
Visiting the Museum: Following the clear English-language descriptions, visit each of
the museum's four parts, in chronological order. First, straight ahead from the ticket desk
is the Prehistory of Finland, where you'll learn how Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age tribes
of Finland lived. Back out in the main entrance hall, proceed into The Realm (to the left
from the ticket desk), which continues upstairs and sends you directly into A Land and
Its People. Finally, head back down to the ground floor for Finland in The 20th Century,
starting with the birth of modern Finland in 1917 and its 1918 civil war. Touchscreen tables
help tell the story of the fledgling nation, as do plenty of well-presented artifacts (includ-
ing clothing, household items, vehicles, a typical 1970s living room, and a traditional out-
house). A 15-minute film presents archive newsreel footage from throughout the 20th cen-
Search WWH ::

Custom Search