If you follow me on instagram and stories, you probably know J and I ventured to Europe last month. In eight days we visited 3 countries, flew on 6 planes, and rode on 2 trains – it was quite the whirlwind trip!

We were so excited to be invited to explore Finland and Zurich in depth with the Stopover program offered by Finnair, Finnair’s flagship and largest airline.  The stopover program is so amazing because it allows you to explore another city while in route to your Europe destination for no additional charge!  We were traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, but first, we were able to make a quick detour to Helsinki, Finland for a quick night and had an entire day and a half to enjoy the city.  I’ll take that over  layover any day!  Although our time in Helsinki was brief, we were able to fit so much into our time there.

Let me start from the beginning – because our airport here in Greenville is fairly small, we flew from GSP to Charlotte, Charlotte to JFK.  Once we made it to JFK, we felt like the trip finally started.  Finnair was so gracious to fly us to Europe in business class, as well as allow us access to the OneWorld Alliance Lounge at JFK.  We were able to enjoy a meal, a cocktail, and charge all of our devices in the lounge before even boarding the plane.  BUT, once we did – oh my gosh.  The business class accommodations were so amazing.  From being greeted with a goodie bag + warm towels and  food + beverage service throughout the flight to seats that fully reclined and private televisions – this girl was HAPPY.  Needless to say, I finished my steak, put Sex and the City on my TV, pulled my eye mask over my eyes and lived my best life on that 10 hour flight.  We woke up to breakfast and felt so refreshed + recharged for a full day of exploring Helsinki!

Helsinki was absolutely stunning this time of year.  The weather was beautiful, the locals were out and about, and the days were long.  (Sundown was around 11PM, which was so crazy for us!)  We checked into Helsinki’s newest hotel, Hotel St. George, and it was so beautiful.  The rooms were all neutral with pops of blush, so to say I was in heaven would be an understatement.  After a quick moment to unpack + change clothes, we were off to meet our group and stuff our face with pizza.  We walked to a local favorite, Putte’s Bar & Pizza, and indulged in huge slices of pizza + craft beer (or if you’re me, rosè).  Next up, we met the team from Visit Finland who planned the most amazing itinerary for our quick 36 hour layover in Finland.

We explored the city all afternoon and were able to see so many of the beautiful backdrops that make Helsinki so unique.  The Allas Sea Pool was one of our first stops and had such an amazing view of the entire city.  Lounge chairs and couches filled this huge patio + rooftop that overlooked the water and everyone had a cocktail in hand enjoying the 80 degree weather.  (You know I live my best life on a rooftop, so we fit right in.)  My other favorite was this quaint, little cafe we stumbled upon called Cafe Regatta.  It’s off the beaten path a bit, which I love, but we quickly noticed how popular it is because the line was out the door!  We stood in line for a few minutes waiting on the highly anticipated pastries + a mid-day pick me up cup of coffee and enjoyed them outside by the water.  The cafe itself was so teeny, but the food + service definitely lived up to our expectations!

Later that night, we walked across the street from our hotel to dinner at Werner.  They were so accommodating to fit all 30 of the people in our group on one side of the restaurant and met us with grapefruit spritzers in hand.  Is there any other way to be greeted?  From appetizers and small plates to dinner and dessert, we dined and chatted at the restaurant for over 3 hours.  Although we were a bit jet lagged, we had no idea it was so late because the sun was still out.  It was then we discovered that late sunset and knew we’d come to far to look back.  We decided to open another bottle of wine and stayed until dark, watching the sunset out the window and feeling so grateful for such a crazy, yet beautiful day.  Needless to say, once we got back to the hotel, we slept so well and woke up fresh on Finland time before taking off to Switzerland later that day!

I’ll be sharing more about our next few days in Zurich (which happened to be our favorite part of the trip!) later this week, so stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by, X.

Thank you to Finnair for partnering on this post and for making this southern girl feel so chic on the best flight of my life!


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