Seurasaari is a small island a short distance from Helsinki which is approached by an ornate wooden footbridge. Getting there by public transport is quite easy, Bus No.24 leaves from Eira and we boarded the bus from outside the Sokos Department Store on Mannerheimintie near Kamppi. The bus takes around 30 minutes but it’s also a pleasant cycle ride if you are feeling energetic. Bicycles are not allowed on the island but cycle racks are provided near the bridge.
Strolling over the delightful old wooden bridge, we sat on one of the little alcove seats for a few minutes to take in the beautiful views and watch the ducks and geese float along beneath the bridge.
Stepping onto the island you will find a kiosk to obtain tickets for the Open Air Museum which lies just to the left on the eastern side of the island. The museum consists of a series of traditional wooden buildings that have been brought here from other parts of the country. Visitors can look inside old cottages, farmsteads and some manor houses and view demonstrations of historic crafts. The museum is open during the summer months whilst at other times of the year the old wooden houses can be viewed from the outside.
We followed the coastal path around the island which takes approximately one hour excluding stops. Looking eastwards there are some good views across the bay to Lauttasaari and along the route you will find plenty of benches to sit down on, relax and take in the views.
Around the midway point we came to an open fireplace where some people were about to cook food to enjoy on one of the nearby picnic tables. Firewood is provided so hikers can bring along their sausages, burgers or whatever else they might like to cook and enjoy a tasty snack. If you are considering using one of these outdoor barbecues in Finland do remember to bring some matches in case the fire isn’t already lit and to extinguish the barbecue when you have finished using it if no-one else is waiting to cook.
Continuing our circuit around the island we spotted this disused old Finnish telephone box, how times have changed! We also spotted this heron standing peacefully at the water’s edge probably looking for a small fish to eat.
The island is home to red squirrels which can frequently be seen along the forest trails. There’s a restaurant located in the centre of the island as well as several small cafes and kiosks serving light refreshments.
An open air swimming pool can also be found on the island which surely must be a nice place to visit on a warm, summer’s day. Completing our circuit of the island we only had a short time to wait for our bus back to the city centre as these run at 20 minute intervals.