Travel tip, WHAT TO SEE, Estonia

I have been longing to visit Tallinn so long and now during last summer I took it as real business to get there. Of course, things are just not so easy so the weekend trip got postponed to Fall, more accurately to last weekend!

I did not get taken so much pictures nor got to enjoy fully the tourist walking because the wind was horrible, literally. I had also a bad flu going on for few days which gave me also 39 degrees fever during the night on the cruise. 

Also, I though to be smart when choosing to wear a hat to keep me warm while walking in the windy weather but I forgot the fact that a little bit too big hat and the hard wind are not best combination...That's why pictures were really difficult to take when other hand was all the time holding the hat on my head (see also the two pictures were I am appearing...surprise surprise - holding the hat).

I do not have so much to say what to do and what to see in Tallinn because my exploring was kind of non-motivated thanks to the circumstances. I still want to list below my favourite places of visitation but I also highly recommend to check in TripAdvisor to see more possible activities and places to visit!

Even though I spent the whole day (booked a weekend vacation of one night on the cruise and the second night in a hotel in Tallinn) in Tallinn, I think these places can be also easily squeezed to see during 5 hours visitation which is also one alternative while planning a trip to Tallinn from Finland (Helsinki) with a cruise. 

Attractions free of charge

Old Town of Tallinn

Town Hall Square 

Maiden's Tower

Observation spot "Patkuli"

The City Wall

Toompea Hill

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Kiek in de Kök

Oleviste Church

Observation spot "Kohtuotsa"

Paksu Margareta

The gates to Old Town

Also, if you want to do some shopping I recommend to visit Viru-mall and next to it has been expanded another mall with H&M etc. In Viru-mall is also a museum of KGB but somehow I totally forgot till late night. Also if you really like to expierence more down to earth local shopping you should visit Merekeskus and Sadamarket which are near by the port.

++ If I could choose, I think the most ideal visitation time for Tallinn would be Summer time because Old Town has so beautiful and colorful buildings with several nice local cafeterias and restaurants with a terrace or patio. I can ensure that idyllic and romantic vibe of the area is as its best during the hot and sunny days. Or at least I think I would get most out of the visitation during this seasonal time! 

If there is missing some good attraction spot so name it!

AND if you know some good locations, attractions or activities which are possible only during some specific time of the year in Tallinn, share it with others so we can all be again bit smarter during the next vacation :)!

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This days main attractions were Golden Temple (Kinkankuji) and Ryoanji Temple which are both world famous attractions. For the Golden Temple you needed to pay 500 yen entry price (if I remember correctly) and the area inside had a very specific one-optional route pass the temple and through the garden area which kind of made the experience bit less magical while being so tourist oriented attraction. The most time taking with the visitation is the photo taking -spot which is right in the beginning of the route. Rest of walking takes maybe max 15-20 minutes if you do not make many huge stops in the garden.

Ryoanji Temple (fee was also 500 yen) was one of my other ultimate favorites in Kyoto with Ryozen Kannon. When you first time hear that it is a rock garden you might end up thinking something as why would I want to see that but I recommend that you will ditch that thought and go to explore the place because it will surprise you most likely - like it did to me. Maybe my experience got also more unforgettable because of heavy rain (not many people maybe say this so much hah). But for real -while sitting down towards to the rock garden, only thing which was breaking the silence was  the rain drops coming down to the small stones in the sides of the garden area (see the left corner in the second last photo). It is sad how I can not describe it so much because it was all about the experience but I believe that you believe it was beautiful and speechless moment. That is why you should maybe visit this place during a rainy day. Plus you can also walk inside of the temple and around it without rain bothering you. Only minus is that the area has a beautiful garden as well and there is no protection from rain but the route was easy and did not even get muddy during the rain so if you are not made from the sugar, I believe you will survive!

This garden is surrounding a lake which is known as home for some rear goose species, which we got to see as well! Sadly I just did not get any good picture of those because they were just too far and too white for my camera hah! There is also a small cute island in the middle of lake which has a small shrine and two small toriis!

I also think the small things makes the most; like in several other temples, you needed to take your shoes off also in Ryoanji Temple. It feels so nice to walk with bare foot on the old wooden floor - makes the experience more special and magical and peaceful! The same habit was also in Higashi Hongan-ji Temple and Nishi Hongan-ji Temple in Kyoto by creating same kind of feeling!




This day included a lot walking (19 kilometers) and several beautiful attractions; Ryozen Kannon, Chion-in Temple and Heian Shrine. We also walked to Ginkankuji Temple (Silver temple).

Chion-in Temple was sadly totally under construction so there was nothing else to see expect this huge, literally the biggest gate I have ever seen which can be seen in the third picture (wooden one) and the big stairs which were exhausting to walk up in the heat of over 30+ degrees. 

Heian Shrine was beautiful experience as well. Before arriving to the shrine there was also the biggest torii I have ever seen.

My personal favourite was for sure Ryozen Kannon which is 80 feet high buddha monument as a tribute to 48 000 unknown soldiers who fought in Japanese territory during the second world war.

Ginkankuji Temple cost 500 yen inside while Ryozen Kannon was modest 300. While entering to the Ryozen Kannon, visitors get an incense to put in front of the statue. It is also good to know that you can concretely enter inside to the statue where is located every horoscopes (years) own god for whom you can make a pray to. 

Ryozen Kannon is incrible place to visit and it is good to knowledge its existence because you might not stumble on it easily; despite the statue is huge it is quite well hidden. A lot of information in the area is only in Japanese so if you are really interested in for knowing what all the memorial place includes, I would recommend to stay forehand what all you can find, for example from TripAdvisor.

The second picture is showing "The Golden Ball" (unfortunately do not remember the real name) which you are supposed to go around three times with your right hand to get your own wish come true. You can find this ball on the left side of the statue. 

I truly, fully recommend to visit all these places but especially Ryozen Kannon because it is probably less known but still has the strongest atmosphere around; peace, harmony and tranquil are many of other feelings you can sense! Plus, it is so beautiful!




The third day of our stay in Kyoto we went to see the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. This shrine is one of the most famous attractions in whole Japan because of its thousands of toriis (gates) all the way up to Mountain Inari. These toriis are also called as Senbon Torii which means thousand gates.

According to the story, Fushimi Inari Shrine was founded when the god Inari was enshrined on the mountain in the year of 711. Every shrine tend also to have own spiritwhich for Fushimi Inari Shrine are "Kitsune" - foxes. These foxes are seen as messengers of gods which is also seen how the foxes are presented in the statues in the area of this shrine.

The experience of spending the day by walking through the thousands toriis to the top of the mountain with its 233 meters high was unbelievable amazing. Though the weather for the day was extremely heavy (especially for Finnish the subtropical weather is not common with sweaty and moisture air at the same time). This forced me to have several small pauses while walking up. Also, the height and depth of the stairs was bit more than natural step is so it was more physical than usually. This is way I truly recommend to have comfortable clothes and shoes on! Also having a bottle of water is a wise choice!



Japan, Food, Accommodation, WHAT TO SEE

We arrived to Kansai Airport in 9 am local time and after filling in several papers and showed passports few times we took a straight bus to Kyoto with 20+ euros. I do not know accurately how long the ride took because I slept the whole way hah.

From Kyoto station, where the bus took us, we walked 3 km to our hostel called Guesthouse Trip Sound which is located near by Yasaka Shrine. The hostel itself was small but comfortable and handy for its location; next to big attractions, not too far away from the city center and several bus lines passing all the time. The expectations for the hostel were not high with the price we paid but only lack with the stay was that there was really few bathrooms and showers. Luckily for us the hostel was pretty empty during weekdays so we did not need to wait a lot for getting in either ones.

I recommend to check usual,, etc. to find a good deal for place to stay! Our problem was that we reserved only five days before arrival so there was not options a lot but after a good looking we found this place with really low price!

During our first day we walked little bit around next to hostel but the feeling of jet lag, being awake without proper sleep and really different weather (it is so moisture air) I felt horrible so I went to sleep over the day.

The second day went better; we were strolling around the city center and seeing few temples in the center area. My favourites were Higashi Hongan-ji Temple, Nishi Hongan-ji Temple and small but extremely beautiful Rokkaido Temple. We walked also through the main shopping streets which have roofs (this became handy later when it started pouring water) and Nishiki Market which is a famous food street of Kyoto.

Some small and colorful shop in the center

Close-ups from Nishiki Market area; a lot cute small stores and shops

This kind of crab is possible to find in several places -and its dancing!

Cutest donut I have ever eaten & small detail from Rokkaido Temple

We had a lunch at this Japanese fast food chain called Yoshinoya and if you do not need gourmet food I highly recommend to try their food already because the price rate was so low; my lunch cost under 400 yen! And I loved their green tea!

Among numerous different stores we got to visit Disney store! One of the cutest stores ever!

It is really common in Japan to have a menu in shopping window like above in the photo. This becomes extremely handy because seeing the meal helps a lot while deciding what to eat and sometimes employees did not speak any English so showing from the window helped to avoid further problems hah! And these plastic dishes are worth of lot money, believe it or not! The big bowl in upper left corner costs 10 000 yen so approximately 100 euros while the big one down is 50 000 yen...basic hah!




I have just returned home from my spontaneous vacation from Japan! Very incredible!

I knew about the possibility to travel there along my sister but I kept the idea pretty absurd because I had not really thought or dreamed of this destination so much as some other places. In fact, I always imagined my first vacation outside of Europe would be under the palm trees hah. But I truly believe that spontaneous trips are the ones which creates the best memories so I did not see it as a negative factor that I have not been longing for this trip months or years. I knew I would love it, have fun and enjoy it as much as it's possible and it was enough reason to me.

With my sister we planned to visit two bigger cities in Kansai area; Osaka and Kyoto during our visit of 2,5 weeks in Japan. The main reason for these cities were the good priced tickets from Finnish airline Finnair. Flights were straight from Helsinki (HEL) to Osaka (KIX) with time of 9+ hours. Despite I was little bit nervous how I manage so long flight (before this my longest flight had been 4,5 h) but all that worrying was for nothing in fact. We got blankets, pillow, headphones and access to movies, tv-series etc. and enough food to survive and sitting such a long time did not kill my butt hah.

Only lack I had was that next to me was sitting two under 5 years old children and when I wanted to watch movies I needed to skip 4/5 of options because those were not suitable for children hah. Then again, on our return flight we got economy comfort seats so no complains!

I will write several posts about all attractions I visited during my visit of these two cities. Unlikely I write separate post of every single day but let see how it turns out; main thing still is to tell about the attractions!

Sayonara, Karoliina

  • Filed under: Japan




Barcelona is such a city which gives so much to see and explore. My visit took three days and even though the days started early and ended late I am sure I still missed some attractions. This is why I do not dare to mention what you definitely have to see in Barcelona when I do not even myself know all the possible options. That still did not prevent me sharing my own personal favorites with few separate posts which I have done here, here and here.

To make it simple for you I write here below the names of places which I visited or tried to visited so you can also google them and check if they are something you want to see with your own eyes! I definitely recommend to see these places but if you have a shorter visit in Barcelona I would suggest to think your own interest while choosing the places to visit!

Parc de la Ciutadella

Plaça de l'Ictineo & Port Vell

Palau de la Música

La Sagrada Familia

Cathedral of Barcelona

Park Güell

Casa Milà

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona

Casa Batlló


Las Arenas

Magic Fountain of Montuï

Gothic Quarter & Carrer del Bisbe

Museum of Picasso

Gaudí has also made several other famous buildings than in the list above so if you are interested in architecture so I recommend to check those too. I do not have own experience of the beaches in Barcelona because my vacation was purely a city trip because of other destinations in Spain were more concentrated on chilling under the sun. 

Hopefully this post helps you little bit while considering Barcelona as a destination or already planning the trip there! I liked the place myself so I definitely recommend the city but be aware of the high prices in case you want to enter in attractions!

If you have visited or even live in Barcelona and know some great place to see which is not in my list, share your knowledge for others by commenting in this post! 

Until the next time

Adiós, Karoliina




I thought it would be good to tell you guys what to consider or plan ahead while visiting Barcelona. I came up with this idea thanks to my more or less perfectly planned days. Mostly these *small mistakes* happened just because I did not plan ahead the days but started to walk with google maps. Sometimes it worked out well and I found places I did not even thought about to visit but sometimes bad luck unplanned trip paid back at me.

To Move Around / Getting There

a) Maybe the first of first questions what you and your travel buddy have to consider is are you going to get a metro ticket or walk to destinations you want to see? After making this decision it is way more easier to plan the days. Barcelona has great attractions all around the city and some might be more difficult to see by walking so consider decision carefully!

To Explore with Knowledge

b) The Magic Fountain of Montuïc - I planned to see this amazing fountain right before I was leaving Barcelona with a car because it is not near by center area. While waiting with other tourists the show would start I found out that the show is not daily...So if you want to see the light show of the fountain I would plan the visit before even arriving to Barcelona because I have heard it is amazing and it might happen that only one day of your stay will fit on the schedule!

c) Park Güell - If you want to visit this famous park and spend little bit longer time there by walking around I would suggest to take own snack or packed lunch with. There is a lot nice places to sit down and enjoy the views and the weather. If you want to get in to the area where from you can see the famous "view" so be prepared that is cost (at least during my stay in August) and the scheduled tours get full fast...While I was planning to take it I found out I should have waited 2+ hours to participate one. One option is also to buy the ticket in advance!

d) Palau de la Música -This beautiful building has guided tour in different languages and most likely English one gets full fast when tourist are most interested in visiting attractions. When I arrived to the destination I got to know that all guided tours are almost finished before 4 pm and they were even full already or in language I do not understand!

Carry With You

e) Carry your valid student ID - as student you will get a reduction of price in several attractions while showing your student ID so it's good to carry this card continuously with you if you are a student currently!

f) Be ready to have cash enough if you want to visit the tourist attractions; places like buildings of Gaudí, museum of Picasso, La Sagrada Familia etc because these attractions cost over average, in my opinion. Luckily enjoying the architecture from outside is free but to see buildings from inside cost a lot (even with a student ID).

g) Have a scarf or longer clothing with you - In case you want to visit for example Barcelona Cathedral take a scarf, knit or something which help you to cover knees and shoulders! If you are wearing a pair of shorts and shirt you do not get to see the building from its inside - this happened to me.

To Taste

h) Extra tip - visit small cafes on streets, they are the cutest and will give you the close look of real culture! Plus coffee is usually awesome!

Until next time

Adiós, Karoliina




Third favorite place to visit in Barcelona was Park Güell! It was bit further away (~4 km) but all worth of walking. Huge park area with the architecture of Gaudí and great view is perfect way to spend a day! I did not plan so well that I would have realized to pack some snacks or packed lunch with me but I truly recommend this idea because the park has a lot great spots to sit down and enjoy the weather and the view of Barcelona city. The main walking route had also a lot artists and salespersons from who you could buy some souvenirs.

Also, it is good to know that if you want to get in to the area where from you can see the famous "view" so be prepared that is cost (at least during my stay in August) and the scheduled tours get full fast...While I was planning to take it I found out I should have waited 2+ hours to participate one. One option is also to buy the ticket in advance!

For rest, I let the pictures talk because I believe they give the best speech for the place ;-)

​Adiós, Karoliina




Mount Tibidabo is one of those attractions in Barcelona which might stay unknown because of its little bit different location; up in the hill above the whole city. I still wanted to see the place and I am happy I did! Up in the mountain has amusement park, church called Sacrat Cor (Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús/Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor) and Torre de Collserola tower to explore.

I chose to drove with a car half way up and then take a cable car to get in to the amusement park area. The ride of cable car cost something like 7 euros per person so I chose to use it instead of parking area of amusement park because my mathematics thinking did not really work haha. The ride was really enjoyable and fun though when the hill was so steep.

As you can see from the photos I visited the mountain during the late evening. My plan was to be up there when the sunset starts but because of my long day around the city I failed on that. Despite I did not succeed with this plan I got to see the amazing night lights of whole Barcelona. Also the Ferris wheel and church looked beautiful with their lights on. The amusement park had also organized some sort of light show with lasers and music.

I took a ride with the Ferris wheel (which was my first ride ever!), the ticket cost few euros. I was literally so horrified during the ride; sitting up in the air of over 500 meters and seeing whole Barcelona made me feel so scared but it was still definitely worth it when the view was so beautiful. I recommend you to do it as well was it then during a day or an evening.

I did not walk more around the place because the park was getting closed soon. I am still glad I got to see something up there and from there. The church's lighting was incredible.

Hopefully you will enjoy this place as well!

Adiós, Karoliina