A PEEK THROUGH A KEYHOLE in Rome, Italy
You can find one of Rome's most awe-inspiring yet least-well known tourist attractions on the Aventine hill, next to the Circus Maximus: the Grand Priory of the chivalric Order of Malta. Though it is not possible to visit the priory itself, tourists are allowed to peer through the gate's keyhole. You can see a green parkway and, framed at the far end, Saint Peter's Basilica.
From Helsinki to Rome, twice or thrice a day (Finnair, Norwegian Air)
SHOES BY THE DANUBE RIVER in Budapest, Hungary
The history of Europe has featured some very dark periods. In Budapest, steel shoes on the Danube Promenade remind us of the Hungarian Jews who were drowned in the river during the Second World War It is a touching sight in beautiful surroundings. This spot also gives you a great view of Buda from the Pest side.
From Helsinki to Budapest, several flights a week (Finnair, Norwegian Air)
ARTISTIC LIFE in Vilnius, Lithuania
The Užupis district, near the Old Town of Vilnius, is home to many free thinkers. This artists' colony has declared itself an independent republic – for pretend. Therefore, Independence Day for Užupio Respublika falls on 1 April, and on April Fool's Day you can indeed get your passport stamped on the bridges to Užupis. The 'republic' also has a constitution, written on the walls along Paupio Street. This constitution grants the citizens various rights, such as the right to be happy or unhappy – and dogs are granted the right to be dogs.
From Helsinki to Vilnius, several flights a week (Finnair)
ON THE TRAIL OF AN EXPLORER in Oslo, Norway
In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and his team embarked on an expedition with the aim of proving that people originating from South America could have lived in Polynesia during the Pre-Columbian era. Their vessel, Kon-Tiki, was more like a raft, built from balsa wood and other Peruvian natural materials. You can learn more about Kon-Tiki and Heyerdahl's travels at the Kon-TikiMuseum (Bygdøynesveien 36).
From Helsinki to Oslo, several flights a day (SAS, Norwegian Air, Finnair, Japan Airlines)
SPORTY FUN in Alicante, Spain
Situated on the magnificent Costa Blanca coast, Alicante offers plenty of fun on the water: diving, boating, water-skiing – you name it. However, it is autumn that brings out the real sports spirit in Alicante. Basketball is one of the favourites in this city, which supports the team Lucentum Alicante Baloncesto. Also among the traditional sports for Alicante are handball and soccer.
From Helsinki to Alicante, several flights a week (Norwegian Air)
Text: Tiia Soininen