Few months back, I visited beautiful Helsinki upon my intention to tick it off my bucket-list. Helsinki in Finland has always been a dream destination for me since it’s one of those European Cities which I often heard about while growing up in the Philippines.

In this article, I will be sharing some of the best things to do and sites to see in Helsinki. But first, I will be sharing a few facts about the city: The city is situated on the northern shore of the Gulf of Finland. It has over three-hundred islands interconnected with many bridges therefore, water transport is widespread. The city has over thousand of places for people to park their boats as well as several marinas where yacht owners park their boats during winter season.

Did I also mention that Helsinki currently holds the record for having the lowest average temperature amongst all capital cities in the world? Yeah, and it has around 50-60 days per year where you cannot see the sun shining in the sky. With that being said, Helsinki is basically rainy most of the time and according to google, there are only around one hundred twenty rainy days in the Finnish capital each year.

Well, below are my own compilation of the best things to do and sites to see in beautiful Helsinki!

Helsinki Cathedral

Located in the center of the Senate Square, this Finnish Cathedral boasts a Neoclassic style architecture. It is one of the most photographed churches in Europe and it is also considered to be the symbol of Helsinki. You know what they say, you haven’t been to Helsinki at all when you didn’t have any photograph with the Helsinki Cathedral in the background.

Uspenski Cathedral

Often referred to as the ‘Red Church’. It is is an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Helsinki, Finland as well as being the main cathedral of the Orthodox Church of Finland, dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. Definitely a site to behold when visiting Helsinki.

Helsinki Design District

Located in the city-center, Helsinki’s design district is the city’s high-street. You can find different fashion brands both international and local within the areas of this district. Definitely a must-go place for fashion enthusiasts.

Helsinki Zoo

My favorite place in Helsinki. The Helsinki Zoo is one of the most unique zoos I’ve ever been to, as the zoo is actually an island itself. It houses quite a range of species and it has an indoor establishments as well for tropical animals. A great place for those who love animals. There are two main ways to reach this place, either through a ferry-ride or through bus-ride. Just note that the ferry-ride option is not available all year-round, only during the warmer months when the water is not frozen. However, bus-ride option is available all year-round.

Teatro Nazionale Finlandese( Finnish National Theatre)

If you love theatre plays, then this definitely is the place for you to visit. Located just a few meters from the Main Railway Station, the Finnish National Theatre is worth visiting. It is one of Helsinki’s icons as it is the oldest performing theatre in the city.

Allas Sea Pool

If you simply want to relax with a great view, then this is the place for you. Allas Sea Pool is located just a few-minutes walk from Helsinki Cathedral and Uspenski Cathedral, so when you’re exploring those places, make sure to also include Allas Sea Pool.

Sibelius Monument

Located just 15 minutes from the city center, this monument is a must visit, especially if you are a music enthusiast. This monument was built by Finnish artist Eila Hiltunen in honor of Jean Sibelius, a Finnish Composer.

Have you been to Helsinki? How was your experience?! Tell us through the comment section below!

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London is one of my favorite of all the cities I have been to. Simply because of its captivating vibe and picturesque streets. When we think of London, we think of the London Eye, The Big Ben, The Tower Bridge, etc. But let’s skip those for now. In this blogpost, I will be sharing 10 unique photos that will make you wanna visit the English Capital.

Covent Garden is one of the most beautiful districts in London. I spent half-day exploring this gem when I was in London. Definitely a place I would like to explore again when I will visit London soon.

After a day of exploring, a pint of beer is the best idea! So why not head to Cafe Brood. I found this gem while exploring Borough Market on my second day in London.

If you’re looking for the best backdrop for your instagram photos, head over to the Southbank Skate Space, here you can find stunning graffitis and other street arts. Or if you simply wanna skate, then this is the best place for you.

I visited St. James Park on my second day in London. The views are breathtaking even though most trees didn’t have any leaves mainly because it was winter during that time. What mostly caught my attention though are the squirrels. They’re very cute and they seem to be really tamed, maybe because they got used with people giving them food.

If you’re visiting Greenwich in London, make sure to include the The Old Royal Naval College in your list. The Old Royal Naval College is an architectural center piece in Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London. Definitely a must-visit for architecture lovers.

The Old Royal Naval College

If you wanna travel back in time or simply want to admire a great piece of architecture, then Churchill War Rooms is the best place for you to go. The Churchill War Rooms is a museum in London the museum comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, a historic underground complex that housed a British government command centre throughout the Second World War, and the Churchill Museum, a biographical museum exploring the life of British statesman Winston Churchill.

reference: Wikipedia

Churchill War Rooms

I visited Columbia Road Flower Market on my third day in London. It was a Sunday and it is the only day where the market is open, so take note of that. Columbia Road Flower Market is located in Bethnal Green in London. But aside from flowers, you can also witness amazing street performers showing their respective crafts here.

‘People Watching’ is definitely one of the most therapeutic activities out there. Have you ever tried picking up on idiosyncrasies like language, expressions, clothing and activities to try to guess at another person’s story? Well, I always do and it’s pretty relaxing haha. Anyway, I took this photo between St. Pauls Church and the Millennium Bridge. I though it would be nice to add at here.

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Ever thought of taking a trip to a destination where you can disconnect from the modern world to reconnect with yourself? Or simply just wanting to have a life-changing experience on a budget? Then worry no more, the best destination for you is ‘Buscalan’!

Buscalan is a small village situated on the mountains of Tinglayan in the Province of Kalinga in the Northern part of the Philippines. It is famous for being a ‘tattoo haven’ as well as being the home of the legendary tattooist Whang-od Oggay.

I remember the first time I visited Buscalan, I was 16 and went there alone! I don’t know what’s gotten into me but it surely is the start of my wanderlust story. Since then, I haven’t kept track as to how many times I’ve been there already. Well, basically, I’ve been captivated by its breathtaking landscapes and its rich culture resulting in my many countless returns. Definitely a place that would surely make you wanna’ come-back for more.

Apo Whang-od Oggay

Top Things to do in Buscalan

-Interact with the locals, go around the village and discover their way of life.

-Go and work your way towards the rice terraces early in the morning to watch the sunrise, or in the afternoon to catch the sunset.

-Go and have a dip at their waterfall situated at the base of the mountain just below the village.

-Try their local coffee, this is a must whenever you visit the village!

-Try their local food, a must if you wanna have an unforgettable experience in Buscalan!

-Get inked by the legendary traditional tattooists of the village!

In this post, I will be sharing some helpful DIY travel tips on how to get there.

The most frequently asked question by every first time traveler is of course, how to get there. Well, there are actually a few ways on how to get there, purely depends on where you will be coming from.

Below are the most commonly taken route:

Manila->Tabuk City->Bugnay, Tinglayan

For this route, take the Victory Liner bus which departs from Victory Sampaloc Terminal in Manila. Buses to Tabuk usually departs during the evening, around 7:00 pm till 9:45pm. The journey roughly takes around 12-14 hours, depends on the traffic. For complete bus schedules and fare, visit the Victory Liner Website.

Then from Tabuk City, take the mini bus or jeeps going to Bontoc which usually departs from Tabuk City between 4:00am- 8:00am. The journey takes around 3-3.5 hours. Just don’t forget to tell the driver or the conductor to drop you off at ‘Mar-u’ in Bugnay, Tinglayan. Then from ‘Mar-u’, you can ask the locals where the starting point is going to Buscalan and you can then work your way towards the village, either through walking or hiring a motorcycle for php100($2) per way. The walk usually takes around 1.5-2 hours, depends on how fast you are. Motorcycles will drive you all the way to the last vehicle-accessible point in Buscalan then you can work your way towards the village which would take around 30 minutes walking.

Tip: When you ride the jeep/bus going to Bontoc from Tabuk, make sure to ride on top of the jeepney/bus to enjoy an unforgettable experience and a spectacular view!

There is also another way if you want to skip the long bus-ride. You can take a plane from Manila going to Tuguegarao City and from Tuguegarao City, you can ride a van going to Tabuk City and follow the same route as above. But for this option, you need to spend a night in Tabuk City and catch the bus to Bontoc in the morning of the following day.

Manila ->Bontoc Mt. Province->Buscalan

For this route, take the Coda Bus lines which depart from Quezon City, Manila en-route to Sagada, Mountain Province. Just don’t forget to tell the driver or the conductor to drop you off at Bontoc. Journey takes around 9 hours to Bontoc from Manila.

For Coda Bus Line Schedules and fares, visit their website for the latest fares.

Then from Bontoc, you can then ride the Jeep going to the last vehicle-accessible point in Buscalan and you can then work your way towards the village which would take around 45 to 60-minute walk, depends on how fast you are.

Manila->Baguio City->Bontoc, Mt. Province->Buscalan

This route is the best option if you need or want to have a stop-over at the Summer Capital of the Philippines. I suggest that if you take this route, then spend at least one night in Baguio then take the buses going to Bontoc either via D’Rising Sun or GL Trans in the morning on the following day.

Buses from Manila to Baguio departs every hour 24/7 via Victory Liner, Genesis, etc. Either from Pasay Bus Terminal, Cubao Bus Terminal or Sampaloc Bus Terminal. Journey from Baguio to Manila takes around 5-6 hours.

From Baguio City to Bontoc, you can take any of the following below:

D’Rising Sun Buses departs every hour from 5am till 1pm every day from Slaughter House Compound in Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City.

GL Lizardo Buses, departs 8AM, 10am and 2:30pm from Dangwa Bus Station at the back of Center Mall in Baguio city.

Journey from Baguio city to Bontoc takes around 6-hours and fares differ from $5-$6 depends on the couch you availed. Then from Bontoc, you can follow the same steps as above.

If you have questions or clarifications, feel free to drop a comment below.

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