Terhi Ruuskanen

Correspondent

  • Helsinki, Finland, Europe

Terhi Ruuskanen is a Forbes travel guide correspondent who covers Helsinki for Forbes Travel Guide. After spending a half a decade studying in Australia, working in the Caribbean and traveling aimlessly all over the globe, she has happily and finally unpacked and settled back in Finland. She works as a freelance journalist and photographer. In addition to doing fashion, portrait and product photography, she writes for magazines. Her work has appeared in the biggest newspaper in Scandinavia, Helsingin Sanomat, as well as sport, travel and women’s magazines. Not surprisingly, her favorite subject is traveling.

  • On April 17, 2013
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  • On March 31, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What are the best summer activities in Helsinki?

    Summer is the best time to visit Helsinki. It is so green, lovely, warm and full of life! 

    Finns love to spend time outside in summertime, thanks to long, dark and cold winter. The beaches are packed in the hot days, when all the Finns are sunbathing and restoring all the vitamin D they can get from the sun. Especially Hietalahti beach is very popular. Olympia stadium is another option for swimming, because they have outdoor pool. 

    Esplanad park in the very city central is another hot spot in the city. You can do some people watching from the lunch time until the sun sets behind the tall buildings next to the park. Kaivopuisto is an excellent place to have a picnic or throw a frisbee with your mates.  

    Biking, jogging, walking, rolled skating and swimming are the healthiest activities you can do in the city. Bar hopping is maybe less so, but still great social thing to do especially in summertime, thanks to may outdoor terraces in the city.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What is public transportation like in Helsinki?

    Public transport is great in Helsinki! Trams, buses, trains and metros take you anywhere you like. 

    First you should check the Journey Planner online, called Reittiopas. It is also in English. You put the beginning and ending points, the time and the day you want to travel, and the planner will calculate the time and the route for you.   

    Trams are good and cover the inner city. The prices start from 2 euros (one way ticket). Here you can find the route map.

    Metros take you further away, to the Eastern parts of Helsinki. Metro trains are very orange so they are sort of a sight themselves! The metro map is very confusing, so don't get lost! No, just kidding! I reckon it is the most simple metro map you will ever see.

    The trains have few stops in Helsinki and the continue to Espoo and Vantaa. Taking a train is a pleasant way to travel in Finland and you can take an overnight train to Lapland even.

    Where the trams, trains and metros don't go, the buses will. There is an extra fee in night time. The main bus stations are in Kamppi shopping centre and both sides of the train station. For the routes and timetables: see the Journey Planner, mentioned earlier!
  • On March 31, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    Should visitors rent a car in Helsinki?

    If you are planning to stay only in Helsinki there is no need to rent a car. Helsinki is very walkable city. In summer you can rent a bike instead! The tram system covers most of the city and with buses, trains and metros you can reach the suburbs further away.

    If you want to make a day trip to another city, like Porvoo, you can rent a car or take a bus. Car rentals are the same anywhere in Europe: Europcar, Budget, Hertz, Avis and Sixt, to mention few.

    The parking costs (in the city central) 4 euros per hour from the early morning until 9 pm during the weekdays. The parking lot is sometimes hard to find, especially in wintertime. To compare: one way train/ bus/ tram/ metro ticket costs 2,40 euros.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What language is spoken in Helsinki?

    Finnish is Finns' mother tongue. We Finn's also learn English and Swedish in a school and many students choose to study yet another language, usually German, French or Spanish. For the tourist this is a good news! I would say all the Finns younger than 40 years speak very good English. In markets and department stores you will find the clerks wearing a name tag telling not only their name but also which languages they do speak. All the street names are both in Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is a mystery language that only Estonians may understand. To the others is just sounds weird. Swedish is a much more like German or English so you may able to pick a word or two. 
  • On March 31, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What are the best food gifts to buy in Helsinki?

    The very best food gift is a cloud berry jam or any berry jam: buckthorn, blueberry, lingonberry,arctic bramble... The Finnish berries are tasty and real super-food containing lots of vitamins. The jams also have a long shelf life and when not opened you don't have to keep them in a Fridge. And the jars are usually cute - too. 

    Rye bread, Finnish squeaky cheese (with cloudberry jam!), reindeer meat, salty liquorice and Finnish vodka also make good gifts. Best places to find them? Stockmann department store, Eat & Joy Maatilatori- stores and Alko -liquor stores.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    Where is the best shopping in Helsinki?

    The are few good streets to do some serious shopping in Helsinki. The longest shopping street is Alexanterinkatu. You will find the biggest chain stores, such as H&M, Lindex, Guess and Zara on it. Don't forget to visit Nokia store! For more unique shopping I recommend Korkeavuorenkatu where all cool little shops sell interior pieces as well as cloths and accessories. Near by, at Erottajankatu, you will find Design Shop that sells jewellery and interior pieces made by Finnish designers. Stockmann is the best department store in the city, right on the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie. The high end store are on Esplanad park: Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton are here, as well as the clothing store Marimekko, the Finns' pride and joy.
  • On March 15, 2013
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  • On March 7, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What should I pack for a trip to Helsinki?

    What to pack when visiting Helsinki depends on the season.

    In summer you should have one pair of shoes good for walking. Bring a swimwear that you can wear on the beach, but sun tanning in the park a bit tacky. I think smart casual clothing will take you far. Some clubs don't let you in if you wear sneakers. 

    In winter more is sometimes not enough. When visiting Helsinki between December and the end of February bring all the warm cloths you own:a down jacket, beanie, scarf, sweater, Uggs, Sorrels or any footwear as warm. The cold sea breeze makes the air even colder in some winter days.

    In spring and autumn, bring umbrella and rubber boots.

    When ever you visit, check the weather just before you leave home. The Finnish weather can be pretty unpredictable.

     
  • On March 7, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What is the best time to visit Helsinki?

    Summer is the best time to visit Helsinki. From June to August the temperature is around 20 Celcius degrees in day time, some days as hot as 30 degrees, but bring your sweater, because the nights are not as warm. When the temperature hits 25 degrees or more, Finns go nuts: We even have a word for it "helle" (heat) and when it is on, that is the only thing people talk about.

    Helsinki is a quite green city: there are parks in every neighborhood, except in Merihaka and Pasila. So it is a perfect city to have a picnic. And the best place to have a picnic is Kaivopuisto, a park in the very South of Helsinki. Good spots for picnicking and sun tanning are the islands in front of Helsinki: Uunisaari, Mustikkamaa, Suomenlinna and Pihlajasaari.
  • On March 6, 2013
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  • On March 6, 2013
    Terhi Ruuskanen answered the question: Terhi Ruuskanen

    What are the best places to ski near Helsinki?

    Paloheinä is the best place to ski in Helsinki, when talking about cross country skiing. You can rent or buy skis or even learn to ski there. They are open from Monday to Friday 1 pm - 7pm, Sat - Sun 10 am - 4 pm. You know that skiing season is over when the snow has melted. There is snow park in Kivikko, Helsinki. You can snowboard there, but for good down hill skiing you have to travel outside of Helsinki. 
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