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Interesting facts about Mariehamn

Åland’s only city, Mariehamn boasts charming pastel-coloured wooden houses and an alluring island atmosphere. There are also diverse sights and attractions to suit all types of tourists, with everything from quaint little museums to archipelago day cruises. Plan your time in Åland’s capital with this useful Finnair travel guide to Mariehamn.

Sights in Mariehamn

The capital of the autonomous Finnish area of Åland, Mariehamn is crossed by a pretty esplanade. Walk between the two harbours, passing through the lime trees that line the street. The Maritime Quarter, located at the eastern harbour, is a terrific place to observe boat-building and maintenance traditions. Visit the Åland Museum to learn more about the area’s history and heritage, as it takes you right back to prehistoric times. The Åland Maritime Museum, known locally as Sjökvarteret, is another interesting attraction, home to the remains of several seafaring vessels. People keen to learn about shipping history definitely shouldn’t miss The Pommern, a ship that has now been turned into a museum. Art enthusiasts can view a selection of paintings by local artists at the Åland Art Museum.

Discover how the city once looked at Mariehamn Gallery with its model replica that shows the area in the early 1900s. Saint George Church is worth a quick photo stop. Escape Room Åland challenges your mental ability, puzzle solving and logic; it’s a fun place for groups of friends and families with older children to visit. Mariebad is another top attraction for families. The large swimming pool sits right next to the sea and a range of blissful spa treatments are available too. The public beach of Lilla Holmen offers more opportunities to relax on warm sunny days, and the parkland around Tullarns Äng is especially charming in the springtime when wildflowers are in bloom and the songs of birds fill the air. Climb Lotsberget if you’re looking for some of the best views. Geocaching offers a great way to get out and explore the natural areas around the city.

Things to See and Do Near Mariehamn

  • Kastelholm Castle – This medieval Swedish-built castle is located around 25 km (15.5 miles) from the city. It stands in a good state of preservation and is a major tourist attraction on the island.
  • Church of St. Olaf – Located close to Mariehamn Airport, this old stone church dates back to the medieval era. Built from red granite and limestone from the local area, it is thought to be one of the oldest churches in Finland. Several additions have been made over the years, including the installation of a stained-glass window. Eye-catching wall art was created in the 1280s.

Shopping in Mariehamn

Although shopping in Mariehamn is fairly basic, catering mainly to everyday needs, there are still some local products to take home as souvenirs. When it comes to shopping, however, do keep in mind that the prices in Åland are usually higher than in other parts of Finland and Scandinavia.

  • Torggatan – This is the main shopping street in Mariehamn, with clothes, household goods, and other day-to-day items.
  • Sittkoff Shopping Centre – Home to Finnish, Scandinavian and global brands, names include Lapponia, Tommy Hilfiger, Vagabond, Canon and Pentax. You’ll find a diverse assortment of goods, from clothes and accessories to electronics, homewares and souvenirs.
  • SALT – Situated at the Maritime Quarter, this is a great place to watch artisans at work and buy locally handcrafted goods. Artisan products include items made from silver and gold, textiles, metalwork, pottery and wooden crafts.

Food and Drink

  • Svartbröd – A type of black bread, which includes syrup for a sweet taste.
  • Åland pancake – A traditional local dessert, these pancakes are made from semolina or rice and usually topped with stewed plums and lashings of cream. The pancakes can also be eaten at breakfast time for a sweet start to the day.
  • Kastelholm cheese – Produced in a local dairy, this cheese can trace its heritage back to the 1700s.
  • Beer - Stallhagen beer is brewed locally. There are several beers to suit different preferences, including both pale and dark lagers.
  • Ålvados – This is a type of apple vodka that is distilled on the islands from locally grown produce.
  • Fish – Unsurprisingly, the coastal location of Mariehamn means that fish and seafood are particularly popular. Try smoked flounder, a type of flatfish, with a side of creamy potato salad.

Transport in Mariehamn

The main heart of Mariehamn is easy to explore on foot. Public transport also serves the city and its surroundings.

  • By foot – Walking around Mariehamn is convenient and easy. The main street is pedestrianised and there is a long esplanade that travels from harbour to harbour. In this compact capital, shops, restaurants and other services are all within easy walking distance.
  • Buses – Two bus lines serve the city centre; tickets can be bought from the driver. Do note that there are no services at the weekends.
  • Mini train – Geared towards tourists, the mini train operates during the summer months, leading around the city’s main places of interest.
  • Taxis – City taxis operate 24 hours of the day. You can call and pre-book a taxi (recommended for nighttime trips) or head to one of the taxi stands around the city.

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Weather in Mariehamn

2°C 29.02.2020
2°C 01.03.2020
3°C 02.03.2020
3°C 03.03.2020
3°C 04.03.2020
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