In the month of May, we would usually head over to Linnanmäki – the amusement park of Helsinki. It has been one of my favourite hangouts in the city and we go there about a couple of times a year – often during the spring opening carnival or the autumn lights carnival (The Carnival of Light ‘Valokarnevaali’). Many good memories from there. This year, they postponed the opening but open tomorrow, yay!
The best part about visiting Linnanmäki (translates to ‘castle hill’ in English) is that it’s right in the city, easy to reach by public transport and the entry to the park is free, unlike many theme parks. This is great because we love to go there to just enjoy the carnival vibes, visit some nice cafes and maybe enjoy a ride or two. Also, a few rides including the Panorama viewing tower are free of cost. If you plan on going on many rides, you should get the wristband (42€ for a day). About the rides, there are several great ones which will sure give you the thrill you’re seeking. My favourites are ‘Ukko’ – where we get to a height of 50 metres then are spun upside down (with a good view of Helsinki) and plummeted at a speed of 105 km/h, a new ride ‘Taiga’ – a high speed coaster which I’ve tried once, and ‘Vuoristorata’ – a wooden roller coaster built in 1951 also the most popular attraction here.
There are many fun rides and games you can play. Other than that, roam around, enjoy the atmosphere, take funny photos in an automatic photo booth or watch a 4D show. You can find kiosks selling cotton candy and popcorn, cafes where you can enjoy some treats and speciality coffees and restaurants with different cuisines. In general, it’s easy to find vegan options, they are clearly marked in most menus. Either way, if you ask about the vegan options, most of the staff is knowledgable. I once ordered waffles at the Cafe Vohvelitehdas i.e., Waffle factory and they made vegan waffles, served with strawberry jam. They also offered oat-based whipped cream but I skipped it (not sure why). Had it along with an oatmilk cappuccino. Look out for the seagulls that may fly onto your table.
Below I’ll leave some old poor quality photos that were taken during the autumn lights carnival a few years ago :D. I need to go there again sometime soon to get good photos, now that they are open for the season!