A stroll around Mariehamn
The maritime town Mariehamn is a large small town with almost 12 000 inhabitants. The town centre has much to offer in a small area – you are always near shopping, restaurants, culture and experiences and for a town the size of Mariehamn, the service and supply is great.
It’s quite easy to discover the harbour and shipping town of Mariehamn on foot or by bicycle, or bus. It is a ten-minute walk from the harbour in the west to the harbour in the east side of the town. The ferries arrive in the western harbour and that is also where the four-masted barque and sailing vessel Pommern is situated, by Åland’s Maritime Museum and the park Badhusparken.
The esplanaden boulevard
At the turn of the century between 1800 and 1900 there was a charming seaside hotel in the park Badhusparken. The youth music center Pub Bastun, doctor’s premises and pavilion down by the ÅSS Marina still remain from that time. A trail leads up to the hill Badhusberget, from which there is a magnificent view over the town.
The Esplanaden boulevard, an avenue lined with lime trees, runs from Västerhamn to Österhamn with a parade down the middle. St Göran’s church is located halfway along, and on the north side several of the old shipowners’ houses remain. The Tourist Information Office is located opposite the church.
Most of the town’s shops, restaurants and cafés are located in the Torggatan pedestrian precinct in central Mariehamn. The square includes the seat of power, the Åland’s parliament and provincial government, the town hall of Mariehamn and the state government building. On the slope up to the town hall there is a statue of Maria Aleksandrovna, who gave her name to the newly founded town in 1861.
The road Östra utfarten begins by the Åland parliament and continues past the Hotel Arkipelag, to the newer culture and congress building Alandica. Further on comes the blue town library and Mariebad public baths with their own beach by the Slemmern.
Down in Österhamn you also have the Tullarns Äng green area and Lilla holmen bathing beach, the MSF guest harbour and marina, minigolf and restaurant Ångbåtsbryggans Äventyrsgolf and restaurant boats. The Maritime Quarter Sjökvarteret with its boatbuilding and craftwork is a maritime oasis in the middle of the town.
Leafy Södragatan, with its fin-de-siècle wooden houses designed by Hilda Hongell, runs parallel to the Esplanaden boulevard, from the Högskolan’s easily recognisable Maritime Studies buildings on the west side to the town hall in the east. Norragatan is another delightful parallel street where you go past the lycée by Åland upper secondary school.
Ålandsvägen-Västernäsvägen are streets that run through the town towards Järsövägen in the south, as far as to Sleipners riding club and Espholm recreation area. On the way you have Lervik marina and Fiskehamnen harbour, from which you can enjoy a glorious walk that winds its way alongside the beach and rocks back towards the ferry terminal in the Western harbour.
In the town Mariehamnsbussen takes care of public transport with one line going north and one going south. The buses run once an hour in the summertime and during working hours. If you want to take a proper sightseeing tour, there are tours by minirailway in the summer courtesy of Röde Orm.
Town of many restaurants and cafés
After a nice day strolling in Mariehamn you might find yourself longing for a nice meal. And that is something Mariehamn easily can supply. There are many cozy cafés in the town centre where you can enjoy a coffee break with home made pastries in old fashion interiors.
Mariehamn is also famous for the wide range of restaurants. In summertime the restaurants open their terraces and there are many places where you can enjoy a good dinner, small town life, sun and fresh sea breeze at the same time.