Built on six islands, Suomenlinna fortress is one of Helsinki’s top attractions and a UNESCO world heritage site. The ferry trip between Helsinki’s city centre harbour and Suomenlinna takes about 15 minutes, and the award-winning Hostel Suomenlinna is located only 50 metres from the main pier of the island. The hostel, which is open all year round is the perfect getaway if you are looking to take a break from the city life and surround yourself with nature close to the Finnish capital.
The construction of Suomenlinna fortress began in 1748 when Finland was still part of Sweden. During its history, the fortress has had many functions and was used in different ways, one being as a prison for Finnish Red Guards after the Finnish Civil War of 1918. The fortress, which has a medieval feel to it, also has centuries-old artillery and defensive walls.
The hostel is located in an old school building and has 40 beds in private rooms and dorms. A private room (with shared bathrooms) starts from €70 per night and a bed in a dorm (there are beds in female dorms and in mixed dorms) starts from €25. There is no lift in the two-floor hostel, but the ground floor with toilet and shower facilities is almost entirely accessible for wheelchairs.
The accommodation is a perfect base for couples, families or backpackers, and has a friendly atmosphere. There are board games and books in the common room, as well as a possibility for outdoor games. A buffet breakfast is also served with a very affordable price of €7,90.
The island itself has 800 inhabitants and all the six islands of the fortress are connected by bridges. Apart from its history and scenic surroundings, there are plenty of museums, cafés and restaurants to make the visit to Suomenlinna a perfect day trip from Helsinki at any time of the year.