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Mariehamn

Photo © Utrecht

Travel Guide Europe Åland Mariehamn

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Introduction

The Ship  Pommern (Mariehamn)

The Ship Pommern (Mariehamn)

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Mariehamn is the capital and largest town on Åland, an autonomous territory under Finnish sovereignty. It is located in the south of the autonomous islands and has about 11,000 inhabitants. The town is a major port and located on a peninsula has two harbours on both sides, with the western harbour being a major port of call of international sea traffic between Sweden and Finland. Mariehamn is a mainly Swedish-speaking town and around 90% of the inhabitants speak it as their native language. As well as the seat of the government of Åland, the town is the cultural and economic heart of Åland.

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Sights and Activities

Pommern Museum

The Pommern Museum is located in a unique four masted sailing vessel that was named the Pommern. Built in Glasgow, Scotland this fine ship was launched in 1903. In 1923 she was purchased by Gustaf Erikson in Mariehamn. The ship mainly carried wheat between Australia and England till 1939 when World War II broke out. Since 1957 the Pommern was moored next to the Åland Maritime Museum in the western harbour of Mariehamn. The ship is open May to June: 9 am to 5 pm, July: 9 am to 7pm, August: 9 am to 5 pm and September: 10 am to 4 pm. When the museum is closed for the season it is possible to rent the boat for private events.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Åland Maritime Museum - Is a nice museum located next to the Pommern. It is possible to buy combination tickets for the museum and the ship.

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Weather

Because of its location in the waters between Sweden and Finland, Mariehamn has a milder climate than comparable places as far north as this. This means that summers are a little cooler compared to mainland Finland or Sweden, but winters are relatively mild. Summer is from June to August, with average daily highs of around 17 °C or 18 °C while nights are generally around 10 °C. Winter is from December to March, with temperatures during the day around or slightly above zero, while nights are around -5 °C on average in February, the coldest month. Rain (and snow during winter) falls quite evenly throughout the year, but tends to increase from June to December and be a bit lower during the later wintermonths and spring.

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Getting There

By Plane

Mariehamm Airport (MHQ) has connections to Stockholm, Sweden and to both Helsinki and Turku in Finland. Air Åland and Turku Air are the only airlines that service Åland.

By Car

It's easy to get in and out of town to visit other areas on the islands. Parking is mostly free of charge.

By Boat

Sweden

Finland

Estonia

Domestic
There are a number of ferries operating services between Mariehamn and other islands in the archipelago. You can find ferries, schedules, routes and prices at the Alandstrafiken website.

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Getting Around

As of late 2015 there are two bus lines operated by the ferry company Viking Line. Your other options to get around is by taxi, car, bike or foot. The town is quite compact, a car is mostly useful to get to the surroundings.

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Eat

  • Restaurant Pommern. In the same building as Hotel Pommern (a fair walk from the ship Pommern) is arranged with ship's fittings. The menu is delicious and some items are quite cheap.
  • 2 Restaurang Sittkoffska Gården, Torggatan 13 (Sittkoffska Gallerian), ☎ +358 18 17612. M–F 10:00–20:00, food from 11:00, Su closed. Food largely from local ingredients, at least some dishes with an unorthodox touch.
  • Marie Bar, Köpmansgatan 1 (next to the bus station). Mo-Sa 07:00-16:00. Cozy corner café with a cool retro-looking neon sign. Fresh sandwiches, bakeries, coffee and tea.

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Drink

Nightlife in Mariehamn is sparse and revolves around the two restaurants "Dino's" and "Indigo" – although heavily frequented by locals they don't compare well to establishments in larger cities. Between midnight and 02:00 those restaurants close, and almost everybody migrates to the nearby nightclub "Arken". Considering Åland's history (a Swedish archipelago until 1809, then Russian and later Finnish since 1918 – Ålanders speak Swedish, they use some Russian expressions and they drink like Finns) the later hours are dominated by the occasional bar-brawl, heavily intoxicated teens and vomiting. The "Arken" closes at 04:00, and then it's all over.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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Contributors

as well as Peter (7%), Hien (4%), Sander (2%)

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This is version 10. Last edited at 7:48 on Oct 21, 16 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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